UPSC IAS Prelims 2021: Important Questions on Modern History - Topic 1 (Decline of Mughal Empire)

Check below 10 important questions on the decline of the Mughal Empire topic of Modern History syllabus for UPSC IAS Prelims exam 2021.

UPSC IAS Prelims Important Questions on Modern History Decline of Mughal Empire
UPSC IAS Prelims Important Questions on Modern History Decline of Mughal Empire

UPSC Prelims 2021: The Mughal Empire declined quickly after the passing of Aurangazeb. The attacks of Nadir Shah and Ahmad Shah Abdali debilitated the Mughal Empire. The weakening of the Mughals also helped the Europeans to expand their empire in the country. The topic is important from the Prelims perspective and aspirants should study each part in detail. Once through the preparation, you can solve mock tests and quizzes to test your preparation. Below we have provided 10 important questions from the Decline of the Mughal Empire topic of Modern History. Questions are accompanied by the correct answer and an attached explanation. Aspirants can solve these topic-wise important questions to test their preparation level.

Also Check: Important Topics to Prepare from Modern History

Topic-wise Important Questions on Modern Indian History

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UPSC Prelims Modern History Topic 1 - Decline of the Mughal Empire

Ques 1: Who among the following Mughal Emperor became the first pensioner of the East India Company?

a]. Ahmed Shah

b]. Sham Alam II

c]. Bahadur Shah

d] Muhammed Shah

Ans: b


After defeated in the battle, Mughal emperor Shah Alam II had to sign the Treaty of Allahabad. As per the treaty, he granted Diwani (right to collect revenue) of Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa to the British East India Company and became the first Mughal emperor to get pension and protection from the Britishers.


Ques 2: 3The famous Koh-i-nur / Kohinoor diamond was taken away from India in 18th

century, during the invasion of Delhi by

a) Ahmad Shah Abdali

b) Nadir Shah

c) Nizam-ul-Mulk

d) Saadat Khan

Ans: b


Nadir Shah, the Shah of Persia (Iran) invaded India in 1739, defeated Muhammad Shah, the Mughal Emperor, and took away the famous Kohinoor diamond, Peacock Throne of Shahjahan, and huge wealth. 

Ques 3:  In Mughal administration the practice of “Ijarah” was

a) Land revenue was taken on the basis of the quality of land

b) Appointment of hereditary military officers

c) Farming the land revenue to the highest bidder

d) Reserving the best lands for King’s own treasury

Ans: c


After the death of Aurangzeb, the practice of Ijarah or farming the land revenue to the

The highest bidder, who was permitted to raise what he could from the peasantry, became

more common. 

Ques 4:  Which of the following statement is the correct explanation of the Mansabdari system?

a) Land revenue was taken on the basis of the quality of land 

b) A syncretic religion, which stressed loyalty to the emperor.

c) A military organization of the aristocracy, its basis primarily being personal loyalty to the emperor.

d) Reserving the best lands for King’s own treasury 

Ans: c


The Mansabdari system was the administrative system introduced by Akbar in Mughal Empire during 1571. The word 'Mansab' is of Arabic origin meaning rank or position. Hence, Mansabdari was a system of ranking the government officials and determined their civil & military duties, along with their remunerations.

Ques 5: Which of the following were causes of the downfall of the Mughal Empire?

1) Narrow religious policies of Aurangzeb

2) Alliance with Rajpoots

3) Rise of Marathas

Select the correct answer using the codes below:

a) 1 and 3 only

b) 1, and 2 only

c) 2 and 3 only

d) All of the above

Ans: a


Narrow religious policies of Aurangzeb like re-imposition of Jizya (tax on non-Muslim)

which removed during the reign of Akbar created much discontent among the majority

The non-Muslim population of the country.

Alliance with Rajpoots strengthened the Empire and provided stability to it.

The rise of Marathas and the failure of Mughals in successfully accommodating and befriending

them within the Mughal Empire caused great harm to Mughals, as well as to India as a whole. 

Also Read: How to Study Modern History Syllabus?

Ques 6: Which Mughal Rulers gave permission for collecting Chauth and Sardesh Mukhi on Maratha land to Peshwa Balaji Vishwanath?

a)  Farrukhsiyar

b) Rafi-ud-Darajat

c) Rafi-ud-Daula

d) Muhammed Shah

Ans: a


Farrukhsiyar gave permission for collecting Chauth and Sardesh Mukhi on Maratha land to Peshwa Balaji Vishwanath.

Ques 7: Who launched guerrilla warfare against Aurangzeb's army?

a) Raja Ranjit Singh

b) Raj Singh, Ruler of Mewar

c) Sivaji, Maratha Ruler

d) Tipu Sultan

Ans: C


Maratha ruler Shivaji started guerrilla warfare against Aurangzeb's army.

Ques 8: Which of the following is/are correctly matched?

  1. Battle of Khanwa (1526) – Between Babur and Ibrahim Lodi
  2. Battle of Panipat (1527) – Between Babur and Rana Sangha
  3. Battle of Chanderi (1528) – Between Babur and Rajputs
  4. Battleof Ghaghra (1529) – Between Babur and Afghan rulers

a) 1 and 2 only

b) 1 and 3 only

c) 3 and 4 only

d) 1, 3 and 4 only

Ans: c


Babur defeated Ibrahim Lodi in the first battle of Panipat in 1526. In 1527, in the battle of Khanwa, Babur defeated Rajput kings and their supporters.

Ques 9: With which Mughal General did Shivaji sign the famous Treaty of Purandhar in 1665 A.D.? [UP-PCS 2011]

a) Jaswant Singh

b) Jai Singh

c) Sahishta Khan

d) Diler Khan

Ans: b


Th treaty was signed between the Rajput ruler Jai Singh I, who was commander of the Mughal Empire, and Maratha Shivaji. Shivaji was forced to sign the agreement after Jai Singh besieged Purandar fort.

We sincerely hope that the given questions would have helped you in your Prelims preparation. You can also check the below link to keep yourself updated on the latest GK quiz and events. 

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