The General Studies Paper 1 of UPSC mains comprises of the broad topics history, geography, and society.
History is an important topic in this paper with questions being asked from the freedom struggle, world history, art and culture, and post-independence India.
In this article, we have compiled all the history questions asked in the exam from 2013 to 2016.
Aspirants who are willing to take part in the main of civil services examinations are required to prepare writing answers intended for these questions and enhance the proficiencies in answer writing.
History Questions in UPSC Mains
Art and Culture
- Early Buddhist Stupa-art, while depicting folk motifs and narratives successfully expounds Buddhist ideals. Elucidate.
- Krishnadeva Raya, the King of Vijayanagar, was not only an accomplished scholar himself but was also a great patron of learning and literature. Discuss.
- The ancient civilization in Indian sub-continent differed from those of Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Greece in that its culture and traditions have been preserved without a breakdown to the present day. Comment.
- Mesolithic rock-cut architecture of India not only reflects the cultural life of the times but also a tine aesthetic sense comparable to modem painting. Critically evaluate this comment.
- To what extent has the urban planning and culture of the Indus Valley Civilization provided inputs to the present day urbanization? Discuss.
- Gandhara sculpture owed as much to the Romans as to the Greeks. Explain.
- Taxila university was one of the oldest universities of the world with which were associated a number of renowned learned personalities of different disciplines. Its strategic location caused its fame to flourish, but unlike Nalanda, it is not considered as a university in the modern sense. Discuss.
- Sufis and medieval mystic saints failed to modify either the religious ideas and practices or the outward structure of Hindu / Muslim societies to any appreciable extent. Comment.
- Though not very useful from the point of view of a connected political history of South India, the Sangam literature portrays the social and economic conditions of its time with remarkable vividness. Comment.
- Discuss the Tandava dance as recorded in the early Indian inscriptions.
- Chola architecture represents a high watermark in the evolution of temple architecture. Discuss.
- Explain how the Uprising of 1857 constitutes an important watershed in the evolution of British policies towards colonial India.
- Discuss the role of women in the freedom struggle especially during the Gandhian phase.
- Highlight the differences in the approach of Subhash Chandra Bose and Mahatma Gandhi in the struggle for freedom.
- How different would have been the achievement of Indian independence without Mahatma Gandhi? Discuss.
- It would have been difficult for the Constituent Assembly to complete its historic task of drafting the Constitution for Independent India in just three years but for the experience gained with the Government of India Act, 1935. Discuss.
- The third battle of Panipat was fought in 1761. Why were so many empire-shaking battles fought at Panipat?
- Examine critically the various facets of economic policies of the British in India from mid-eighteenth century till independence.
- In what ways did the naval mutiny prove to be the last nail in the coffin of British colonial aspirations in India?
- Defying the barriers of age, gender, and religion, the Indian women became the torch bearer during the struggle for freedom in India. Discuss.
- Several foreigners made India their homeland and participated in various movements. Analyze their role in the Indian struggle for freedom.
- In many ways, Lord Dalhousie was the founder of modern India. Elaborate.
- Critically discuss the objectives of Bhoodan and Gramdan movements initiated by Acharya Vinoba Bhave and their success.
- Write a critical note on the evolution and significance of the slogan “Jai Jawan Jai Kisan”.
- Discuss the contribution of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad to pre-and post-independent India.
- Analyze the circumstances that led to Tashkent Agreement in 1966. Discuss the highlights of the agreement.
- Critically examine the compulsions which prompted India to play a decisive role in the emergence of Bangladesh.
- The anti-colonial struggles in West Africa were led by the new elite of Western-educated Africans. Examine.
- Why did the industrial revolution first occur in England? Discuss the quality of life of the people there during the industrialization. How does it compare with that in India at present?
- To what extent can Germany be held responsible for causing the two World Wars? Discuss critically
- What were the major political, economic and social developments in the world which motivated the anti-colonial struggle in India?
- What were the events that led to the Suez Crisis in 1956? How did it deal a final blow to Britain’s self-image as a world power?
- The New Economic Policy – 1921 of Lenin had influenced the policies adopted by India soon after independence. Evaluate.
- “Latecomer” Industrial revolution in Japan involved certain factors that were markedly different from what west had experience.
- Africa was chopped into states artificially created by accident of European competition. Analyse.
- American Revolution was an economic revolt against mercantilism. Substantiate.
- What were policy instruments deployed to contain the great economic depression?