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IAS Prelims 2014: How to prepare Medieval History

Feb 25, 2014 16:31 IST

    IAS Prelims 2014 examination is going to be conducted on 24 August 2014 by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). The process of this year’s IAS examination will begin with the notification by the UPSC for the Civil Services Preliminary exam on 17 May 2014. The UPSC IAS Prelims exam consists of two papers: General Studies Paper I and General Studies Paper II (popularly known as CSAT). The candidates need to be thorough with the IAS Prelims 2014 Exam Syllabus before starting the preparation for the exam.


    History of India forms an important component of the GS Paper I in which Medieval Indian History is implicitly included. Medieval History section is important for the exam as 2-3 questions have regularly been asked in the exam from this section which can make a lot of difference in the performance of the candidate in the exam. Also, we cannot predict the proportion of questions to be asked from a particular section in a particular year, given the high unpredictability of the exam.

    The best way to cover the Medieval Indian History for the IAS Prelims exam is to read it from the NCERT History books of Class VII and Class XI (Satish Chandra). As you read the NCERT books, mark the important points and make short notes side by side. A good GS manual like Spectrum, Lucent, or Tata Mc Graw Hill publication can be referred in order to cover the left out points. This would enable you to tackle almost all the questions that could be asked in the exam from this section.

    The self- notes would help you at the time of revision for the exam. Many students find the task of remembering the details of Medieval History highly troublesome and tedious. This problem can be addressed by remembering the topics in the form of a story in order to make it interesting. You can also incorporate tables and flowcharts to make your notes interesting for revision. This will also help you in quick revision before the exam.

    The questions that are asked from the Medieval India section in the IAS Prelims GS Paper I can be of both factual and analytical type. The questions are asked related to various important kings that ruled the country, their policies and administrative systems, the society and the economic system, and other important points related to the empires of Medieval India. Very frequently, questions are asked related to the religious movements of the Medieval Indian period. All these questions can be tackled by the candidates with systematic study and repeated revisions.

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

    Questions of 2013

    Q. The Chinese traveller Yuan Chwang (Hiuen Tsang) who visited India recorded the general conditions and culture of India at that time. In this context, which of the following statements is/are correct?
    1. The roads and river-routes were completely immune from robbery.
    2. As regards punishment for offences, ordeals by fire, water and poison were the instruments for determining the innocence or guilt of a person.
    3. The tradesmen had to pay duties at ferries and barrier stations.

    Select the correct answer using the codes given below.
    (a) 1 only
    (b) 2 and 3 only
    (c) 1 and 3 only
    (d) 1, 2 and 3

    Answer: (b)

    Q. Some Buddhist rock-cut caves are called Chaityas, while the others are called Viharas. What is the difference between the two?
    (a) Vihara is a place of worship, while Chaitya is the dwelling place of the monks
    (b)Chaitya is a place of worship, while Vihara is the dwelling place of the monks
    (c) Chaitya is the stupa at the far end of the cave, while Vihara is the hall axial to it
    (d) There is no material difference between the two

    Answer: (b)

    Q. Consider the following Bhakti Saints:
    1. Dadu Dayal
    2. Guru Nanak
    3. Tyagaraja

    Who among the above was/were preaching when the Lodi dynasty fell and Babur took over?
    (a) 1 and 3
    (b) 2 only
    (c) 2 and 3
    (d) 1 and 2

    Answer: (b)

    Questions of 2012:

    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
    (e) 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)

    Q. With reference to the religious history of medieval India, the Sufi mystics were known to pursue which of the following practices?

    1. Meditation and control of breath
    2. Severe ascetic exercises in a lonely place
    3. Recitation of holy songs to arouse a state of ecstasy in their audience

    Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

    (a) 1 and 2 only
    (b) 2 and 3 only
    (c) 3 only
    (d) 1, 2 and 3

    Answer: (d)

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