IAS Prelims 2014: How to prepare Indian National Movement

The Syllabus for the IAS Preliminary exam makes clear mention of Indian National Movement as part of Indian History.

Created On: Feb 26, 2014 12:35 IST
Modified On: Mar 4, 2014 12:28 IST

The IAS Prelims 2014 exam would be conducted on 24 August 2014 by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). The procedure for this year’s Civil Service examination will start with the notification for Preliminary exam which is expected on 17 May 2014 as specified by the UPSC. The exam consists of two papers, namely, General Studies Paper I and General Studies Paper II. The Syllabus for the IAS Preliminary exam makes clear mention of Indian National Movement as part of Indian History. This necessitates it for the candidates to study the topic with utmost dedication.

The Indian National Movement is a part of the Modern Indian History which broadly refers to the post-Mughal period. Indian National Movement usually refers to the period after the revolt of 1857 till the independence. This Modern Indian History, with special focus on Indian National Movement, is highly important for the exam as around 8-10 questions are asked from this section every year.

The preparation for this topic should ideally start with the Class XII NCERT book titled ‘Modern India’ by Bipan Chandra. After this, the candidate should study ‘India’s struggle for Independence’ by Bipan Chandra for a thorough and detailed understanding of the topic. Spectrum’s book on Modern Indian History can be referred in order to make sure that none of the important points is left out.

The candidates must underline and jot down the important points and make their own notes. Incorporating pictorial presentations in the notes like tables and flowcharts makes it interesting to revise the topics and help in remembering the points better. This would also facilitate easy and quick revision before the exam.

Focus areas:

The candidates should keep their focus on the following areas which are frequently asked in the Prelims exam:
•    British era policies and Administrative system including Land Revenue system and Social system.
•    Important British Governor-generals and their policies
•    Various armed rebellions, Peasant movements, Women’s movements, Tribal uprisings
•    Socio-religious reformers and their reform movements like Raja Ram Mohun Roy and Brahmo Samaj, Swami Vivekanand and R K Mission, Dayanand Saraswati and Arya Samaj
•    Indian National Congress and its important sessions
•    British era conferences, committees and legislations
•    Prominent freedom fighters and their contributions to the Indian Independence movement, with special focus on Mahatma Gandhi.

All these questions can be tackled with a thorough understanding of the subject. From the past few years, the trend of the History questions has changed from fact-oriented to more analytical and logical type of questions. This has made it both easy and difficult for the candidates. A deeper understanding of the subject rather than just mugging up points is required for tackling the questions in the Prelims exam.

To clear all kinds of exam preparation related doubts and queries, refer to IAS/PCS group of Myjosh.

Some of the previous years’ questions from this section are mentioned below:

Q. The demand for the Tebhaga Peasant Movement in Bengal was for
(a) the reduction of the share of the landlords from one-half of the crop to one-third
(b) the grant of ownership of land to peasants as they were the actual cultivators of the land
(c) the uprooting of Zamindari system and the end of serfdom
(d) writing off all peasant debts
Answer: (a)

Q. Annie Besant was
1. responsible for starting the Home Rule Movement
2. the founder of the Theo-sophical Society
3. once the President of the Indian National Congress Select the correct statement/statements using the codes given below.
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Answer: (c)

Q. During Indian freedom struggle, the National Social Conference was formed. What was the reason for its formation?
(a) Different social reform groups or organizations of Bengal region united to form a single body to discuss the issues of larger interest and to prepare appropriate petitions/representations to the government
(b) Indian National Congress did not want to include social reforms in its deliberations and decided to form a separate body for such a purpose
(c) Behramji Malabari and M.G. Ranade decided to bring together all the social reform groups of the country under one organization
(d) None of the statements (a), (b) and (c) given above is correct in this context
Answer: (c)

Q. The Lahore Session of the Indian National Congress (1929) is very important in history, because
1. the Congress passed a resolution demanding complete independence
2. the rift between the extremists and moderates was resolved in that session
3. a resolution was passed rejecting the two-nation theory in that Session
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3
(c) 1 and 3
(d) None of the above
Answer: (a)

Q. Which amongst the following provided a common factor for tribal insurrection in India in the 19th century?
(a) Introduction of a new system of land revenue and taxation of tribal products
(b) Influence of foreign religious missionaries in tribal areas
(c) Rise of a large number of money lenders, traders and revenue farmers as middlemen in tribal areas
(d) The complete disruption of the old agrarian order of the tribal communities
Answer: (c)

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