HISTORY optional PREVIOUS YEAR'S question papers?

Get PDF of History Optional Previous Years Question Paper with Topic-wise Question Papers

  • History Optional Topic-wise PYQPs  1985-2021
  • History Optional Year-wise PYQPs  2010-2021

1. Sources

Archaeological sources: Exploration, excavation, epigraphy, numismatics, monuments

Literary sources: Indigenous: Primary and secondary; poetry, scientific literature, literature, literature In regional languages, religious literature.

Foreign accounts; Greek, Chinese and Arab writers.

  1. “Ancient Indians had no taste for historiography; their scholars cared more for religious, spiritual and philosophical studies.Indian historiography is essentially an Islamic heritage ” Comment upon this statement with special reference to the contemporary writers and their works which help us in the reconstruction of history of the early Medieval period of Indian history. (1996)
  2. Assess the pattern of settlement, economy, social organisation and religion of India during 2000 to 500 BC from archaeological evidences. (2003)
  3. Discuss the changing approaches to the study of early Indian History. (2006)
  4. “Reconstruction of Early Indian history is hardly possible without the help of inscriptions and coins.” Discuss. (2007)
  5. In what ways are the accounts of the Graeco-Romans and the Chinese helpful in reconstructing the social history of India? How far is their information corroborated by other contemporary sources? (2009)
  6. What light do early inscriptions and literature throw on the status of women in politico- socio- economic spheres? (2010)
  7. On the basis of contemporary sources assess the nature of banking and usuary in ancient India. (2013)
  8. Evaluate the ownership of land in ancient India on the basis of literary and epigraphic sources. (2013)
  9. Evaluate the contribution of the Puranas in disseminating secular knowledge among the masses in ancient India. (2013)
  10. “While using the accounts of foreign writers, historians must distinguish between statements based on hearsay and those grounded in perceptive observations.” Elaborate with examples. (2014)
  11. How far can the ancient Indian Sruti literature be used as historical sources? (2015)
  12. “The copious references to the preservation of Varnashrama system by the kings eulogized in inscriptions are mere reflection of the Smriti tradition.” Discuss. (2016)
  13. Art and culture are reflected to a far greater extent than political history in the epigraphic sources. Comment. (2017)
  14. How did the early Indian historical tradition, as reflected in Itihasa-Purana, emerge? What are the distinctive features of this genre? (2018)
  15. Do you agree that archaeological evidence often helps in better understanding of literary sources? Comment. (2019)

2. Pre-history and Proto-history

Geographical factors; hunting and gathering (paleolithic and mesolithic); Beginning of agriculture (neolithic and chalcollthlc).

  1. To what extent archaeological materials are useful in understanding the progress of neolithic man in India? (2010)
  2. In the absence of a written script Chalcolithic pottery gives us a fascinating insight into the culture and life styles of the people of those times. Comment critically. (2013)
  3. Delineate and account for the regional characteristics the Neolithic Period in India. (2016)
  4. The emergence of Non-Harappan Chalcolithic cultures in Central India and the Deccan mark a change not only in the subsistence pattern of people but an overall transition from pre to proto historic period. Critically analyze. (2017)

3. Indus Valley Civilization

Origin, date, extent, characteristics, decline, survival and significance, art and architecture.

  1. ‘On circumstantial evidence Indra stands convicted.’ Explain, and discuss briefly different views about a sudden end of the Indus Valley civilization. How would you explain the presence of those elements in Indian culture and civilization which are found to have existed in the Indus Valley period? (1986)
  2. “The Indus Civilization had an abrupt end.” Discuss the statement and explain how the Indus Civilization could influence Indian culture in its later history. (1988)
  3. Write brief essay on External trade of the Harappans. (1991)
  4. Write brief essay: The burial customs in the Indus Civilization. (1993)
  5. Discuss the pattern of trade during the Indus Valley civilization. How far did it affect the nature of contemporary settlements in the Indian sub-continent? (1994)
  6. Write brief essay on: The Religion of the Indus Civilization. (1996)
  7. “The continuity of the Indus Civilization into later ages was not confined to the religious and spiritual fields alone.” Analyse the statement. (1997)
  8. Discuss salient features of the Indus Valley Civilization. Mention important places from where relics of civilization have been recovered so far. Examine causes of its decline. (1999)
  9. Analyse the elements of urban civilization in the Harappan Culture. What factors were responsible for its decline? (2002)
  10. Discuss the distribution and significance of farming cultures outside the Indus system. (2008)
  11. Evaluate the significance of seals and sealings in the reconstruction of socioeconomic and religious life of the Harappan people. (2012)
  12. Discuss the water management and its conservation planning in the Harappan (Indus-Saraswati) cities. (2013)
  13. Do you think the Harappan civilization had a diversity of subsistence base? (2014)
  14. The decline of Harappan civilization was caused by ecological degradation rather than external invasion. Discuss. (2015)
  15. Explain why the majority of the known Harappan settlements are located in the semi-arid areas with saline groundwater. (2016)
  16. “Archaeological evidence does not give direct access to the possible social and political dimensions of the decline of the Harappan civilization. What it does indicate very clearly is that the Harappan culture underwent a gradual process of deurbanization” ? Comment. (2018)
  17. Did the mastery over agriculture act as a leverage for the rise of Harappan towns and cities? Discuss. (2019)
  18. Do you agree that ecological factors influenced the flow and ebb of the Harappan Civilization? Comment. (2021)