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IAS Prelims 2014: How to prepare Art and Culture

Mar 4, 2014 16:10 IST

    IAS Prelims 2014 is scheduled to be conducted on 24 August 2014 by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). The IAS Prelims Exam notification will be released on 17 May 2014. The IAS Prelims Exam consists of two papers: General Studies Paper I and General Studies Paper II. The Prelims Exam Syllabus includes Art and Culture under the topic of Indian History.

    Art and Culture section is very important for the IAS Prelims exam. Approximately 4-5 questions are asked from this section in the exam every year. The questions that can be asked from this section could be related to the following:

    •    Indian Painting styles like Madhubani, Rajput, etc.
    •    Rock cut architecture which includes cave architecture like Ajanta, Ellora, Badami caves and temple architecture
    •    Various Dance forms of India: folk as well as classical like Kuchipudi, Bharatnatyam, Kathak, etc.
    •    Music gharanas of India
    •    Religions of India like Buddhism and Jainism, their important philosophies and features.
    •    Indian Theatre forms

    To tackle the questions from this section, the foremost and the most reliable source is the NCERT History books from Class VI to X. After this, the candidates can also go through the NCERT Fine Arts books of class XI and XII. To make sure that no important point is left out, the candidates can read the Spectrum’s book on Art and Culture.

    The information given in various study material available for this section is quite scattered. Thus, the best way to prepare Art and Culture is to make your own notes from NCERT books and internet or from any other standard text book. The key to learn the difficult details and terms in the Art and Culture section is by doing repeated revisions. As you’ll read the topics again and again, you’ll get a grasp over them that would enable you to answer all the questions asked in the exam from this section.

    Candidates can clear their exam preparation related doubts and queries on on Myjosh.

    Some previous years’ questions have been given below:

    Q. Consider the following historical places:
    1.    Ajanta Caves
    2.     Lepakshi Temple
    3.    Sanchi Stupa
    Which of the above places is / are also known for mural paintings?
    (a) 1 only
    (b) 1 and 2 only    
    (c) 1, 2 and 3
    (d) None
    Answer: (b)

    Q. In the context of cultural history of India, a pose in dance and dramatics called 'Tribhanga' has been a favorite of Indian artists from ancient times till today. Which one of the following statements best describes this pose?
    (a) One leg is bent and the body is slightly but oppositely curved at waist and neck
    (b) Facial expressions, hand gestures and make-up are combined to symbolize certain epic or historic characters
    (c) Movements of body, face and hands are used to express oneself or to tell a story
    (d) A little smile, slightly curved waist and certain hand gestures are emphasized to express the feelings of love or eroticism
    Answer: (a)

    Q. With reference to Dhrupad, one of the major traditions of India that has been kept alive for centuries, which of the following statements are correct?
    1. Dhrupad originated and developed in the Rajput kingdoms during the Mughal period.
    2. Dhrupad is primarily a devotional and spiritual music.
    3. Dhrupad Alap uses Sanskrit syllables from Mantras.
    Select the correct answer using the codes given below:
    (a) 1 and 2 only
    (b) 2 and 3 only
    (c) 1, 2 and 3
    (d) None of the above is correct
    Answer: (b)

    Q. How do you distinguish between Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam dances?
    1. Dancers occasionally speaking dialogues is found in Kuchipudi dance but not in Bharatanatyam.
    2. Dancing on the brass plate by keeping the feet on its edges is a feature of Bharatanatyam but Kuchipudi dance does not have such a form of movements.
    Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
    (a) 1 only
    (b) 2 only
    (e) Both 1 and 2
    (d) Neither 1 nor 2
    Answer: (a)

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