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UPSC 2020 (IAS) Prelims: Check Important Questions For Preparation of History

UPSC IAS Prelims 2020 important questions from the History section are given here. Go through the questions of the past 5 years. Also, check the important analysis and observations that will help in UPSC IAS 2020 preparation.

Mar 23, 2020 09:51 IST
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UPSC IAS Prelims 2020 History
UPSC IAS Prelims 2020 History

Find UPSC IAS Prelims 2020 important set of questions from the History section in the article below. The given questions are a result of the previous 5 years of paper analysis. History as a subject is divided into Ancient, Medieval and Modern History and UPSC IAS prelims paper covers all the three sections. These 70 questions on History will certainly help you in UPSC IAS Prelims 2020 preparation.

If you have started your preparation for History, the below-mentioned key points that were noticed during the past 5 years of paper analysis will be helpful:

  • UPSC IAS Prelims paper covers Ancient, Medieval and Modern History but there is no defined ratio of questions
  • Prepare well for Modern History, specifically The Indian National Movement, Swadeshi Movement, British Economic policies in India, the establishment of Indian National Congress, etc.
  • Except in the year 2017 in which only 8 questions were from History, the question paper of UPSC IAS prelims consists of at least 13 to 18 questions from History

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UPSC IAS Prelims 2020: Questions Based on History in 2015

UPSC 2015 History

Q1- With reference to the art and archaeological history of India, which one among the following was made earliest?

(a) Lingaraja Temple at Bhubneshwar
(b) Rock-cut Elephant at Dhauli
(c) Rock-cut Monuments at Mahabalipuram
(d) Varaha Image at Udayagiri

Answer. b

 Q2- With reference to Indian history, which of the following is/are the essential elements of the feudal system?

1.very strong centralized political authority and a very weak provincial or local political authority
2. The emergence of administrative structure based on control and possession of the land
3. Creation of the lord-vassal relationship between the feudal lord and his overlord

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

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

Answer. A

 Q3- Which one of the following movements has contributed to a split in the Indian National Congress resulting in the emergence of 'moderates' and 'extremists'?

(a) Swadeshi Movement
(b) Quit India Movement
(c) Non-Cooperation Movement
(d) Civil Disobedience Movement

Answer. A

 Q4- With reference to Rowlatt Satyagraha, which of the following statements is/ are correct?

  1. The Rowlatt Act was based on the recommendations of the 'Sedition Committee'.
    2. In Rowlatt Satyagraha, Gandhiji tried to utilize the Home Rule League.
    3. Demonstrations against the arrival of the Simon Commission coincided with Rowlatt Satyagraha.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

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

Answer. b

 Q5- Who of the following was/were economic critic/ critics of colonialism in India?

  1. Dadabhai Naoroji
    2. G. Subramania Iyer
    3. R. C. Dutt

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

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

Answer. D

 Q6- With reference to Congress Socialist Party, consider the following statements:

  1. It advocated the boycott of British goods and the evasion of taxes.
    2. It wanted to establish the dictatorship of the proletariat.
    3. It advocated separate electorates for minorities and oppressed classes.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 3 only     
(c) 1, 2 and 3
(d) None

Answer. D

 Q7- The Government of India Act of 1919 clearly defined

(a) the separation of power between the judiciary and the legislature
(b) the jurisdiction of the central and provincial governments
(c) the powers of the Secretary of State for India and the Viceroy
(d) None of the above

Answer. B

 Q8- Consider the following pairs:

Medieval Indian State          Present Region

  1. Champaka:           Central India
    2. Durga:            Jammu
    3. Kuluta:            Malabar

Which of the above pairs is/are correctly matched?

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

Answer. b

 Q9- Which of the following kingdoms were associated with the life of the Buddha?

  1. Avanti
  2. Gandhara
  3. Kosala
  4. Magadha

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

(a) 1, 2 and 3
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1, 3 and 4
(d) 3 and 4 only

Answer. D

 Q10- Consider the following:

The arrival of Babur into India led to the

  1. introduction of gunpowder in the subcontinent
    2. introduction of the arch and dome in the region's architecture
    3. establishment of Timurid dynasty in the region

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

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

Answer. c

 Q11- Who of the following organized a march on the Tanjore coast to break the Salt Law in April 1930?

(a) V. O. Chidambaram Pillai
(b) C. Rajagopalachari
(c) K. Kamaraj
(d) Annie Besant

Answer. B

 Q12- Who of the following founded a new city on the south bank of a tributary to river Krishna and undertook to rule his new kingdom as the agent of a deity to whom all the land south of the river Krishna was supposed to belong?

(a) Amoghavarsha I
(b) Ballala II
(c) Harihara I
(d) Prataparudra II

Answer. C

 Q13- Consider the following statements

  1. The first woman President of the Indian National Congress was Sarojini Naidu.
    2. The first Muslim President of the Indian National Congress was Badruddin Tyabji.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer. B

UPSC IAS Prelims 2020: Questions Based on History in 2016

UPSC 2016 History

Q1- Banjaras during the medieval period of Indian history were generally

(a) agriculturists
(b) warriors
(c) weavers
(d) traders

Answer. d

 Q2- Who of the following had first deciphered the edicts of Emperor Ashoka?

(a) Georg Bilhler
(b) James Prinsep
(c) Max Muller
(d) William Jones

Answer. b

 Q3- The `Swadeshi' and 'Boycott' were adopted as methods of struggle for the first time during the

(a) agitation against the Partition of Bengal
(b) Home Rule Movement
(c) Non-Cooperation Movement
(d) visit of the Simon Commission to India

Answer. a

 Q4- With reference to the religious history of India, consider the following statements :

  1. The concept of Bodhisattva is central to the Hinayana sect of Buddhism.
  2.  Bodhisattva is a compassionate one on his way to enlightenment.
  3. Bodhisattva delays achieving his own salvation to help all sentient beings on their path to it.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 2 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer. b

 Q5- Satya Shodhak Samaj organized

(a) a movement for upliftment of tribals in Bihar
(b) a temple-entry movement in Gujarat
(c) an anti-caste movement in Maharashtra
(d) a peasant movement in Punjab

Answer .c

 Q6- The Montague-Chelmsford Proposals were related to

(a) social reforms
(b) educational reforms
(c) reforms in police administration
(d) constitutional reforms

Answer. D

 Q7- What is/are common to the two historical places known as Ajanta and Mahabalipuram?

  1. Both were built in the same period.
    2. Both belong to the same religious denomination.
    3. Both have rock-cut monuments.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) None of the statements given above is correct

Answer. c

 Q8- Consider the following :

  1. Calcutta Unitarian Committee
    2. Tabernacle of New Dispensation
    3. Indian Reform Association

Keshab Chandra Sen is associated with the establishment of which of the above?

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

Answer. b

Q9- In the context of the history of India, consider the following pairs:

 Term                     Description

(1) Eripatti:    Land, revenue from which was set apart for the main¬tenance of the village tank
(2) Taniyurs:    Villages donated to a single Brahmin or a group of Brahmins
(3) Ghatikas:    Colleges generally attached to the temples

Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched?

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

Answer . d

 Q10- With reference to the economic history of medieval India, the term Araghatta' refers to

(a) bonded labour
(b) land grants made to military officers
(c) waterwheel used in the irrigation of land
(d) wastel and converted to cultivated land
Answer . c

Q11- With reference to the cultural history of India, the memorizing of chronicles, dynastic histories and Epictales was the profession of who of the following?

(a) Shramana
(b) Parivraaj a k a
(c) Agrahaarika
(d) Maagadha

Answer .d

 Q12- What was the main reason for the split in the Indian National Congress at Surat in 1907?

(a) Introduction of communalism into Indian politics by Lord Minto
(b) Extremists' lack of faith in the capacity of the moderates to negotiate with the British Government
(c) Foundation of Muslim League
(d) Aurobindo Ghosh's inability to be elected as the President of the Indian National Congress

Answer: b

 Q13- The plan of Sir Stafford Cripps envisaged that after the Second World War

(a) India should be granted complete independence(b) India should be partitioned into two before granting independence
(c) India should be made a republic with the condition that she will join the Commonwealth
(d) India should be given Dominion status

Answer .d

Q14- Regarding the taxation system of Krishna Deva, the ruler of Vijayanagar, consider the following statements :

  1. The tax rate on land was fixed depending on the quality of the land.
    2. Private owners of workshops paid an industry tax.
    Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer. C

 Q15- Which one of the following books of ancient India has the love story of the son of the founder of Sunga dynasty?

(a) Swapnavasavadatta
(b) Malavikagnirnitra
(c) Meghadoota
(d) Ratnavali

Answer.b

 Q16- With reference to the cultural history of medieval India, consider the following statements :

  1. Siddhas (Sittars) of Tamil region were monotheistic and condemned idolatry.
    2. Lingayats of Kannada region questioned the theory of rebirth and rejected the caste hierarchy.
    Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
    (a) 1 only
    (b) 2 only
    (c) Both 1 and 2
    (d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer.a

UPSC IAS Prelims 2020: Questions based on History in 2017

UPSC 2017 History

Q1- Which one of the following was a very important seaport in the Kakatiya kingdom?

(a) Kakinada

(b) Motupalli

(c) Machilipatnam (Masulipatnam)

(d) Nelluru

Answer. B

 Q2- With reference to the religious history of India, consider the following statements:

  1. Sautrantika and Sammitiya were the sects of Jainism.
  2. Sarvastivadin held that the constituents of phenomena were not wholly momentary, but existed forever in a latent form.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer. b

 Q3- In the context of Indian history, the principle of `Dyarchy (diarchy)' refers to

(a) Division of the central legislature into two houses.

(b) Introduction of double government i.e., Central and State governments.

(c) Having two sets of rulers; one in London and another in Delhi.

(d) Division of the subjects delegated to the provinces into two categories.

Ans- d

 Q4- With reference to Indian freedom struggle, consider the following events :

  1. Mutiny in Royal Indian Navy
  2. Quit India Movement launched
  3. Second Round Table Conference

What is the correct chronological sequence of the above events ?

(a) 1-2-3

(b) 2-1-3

(c) 3-2-1

(d) 3-1-2

Answer- c

 Q5- The object of the Butler Committee of 1927 was to?

(a) Define the jurisdiction of the Central and Provincial Governments.

(b) Define the powers of the Secretary of State for India.

(c) Impose censorship on national press.

(d) Improve the relationship between the Government of India and the Indian States.

Answer. D

 Q6- Consider the following pairs:

  1. Radhakanta Deb — First President of the British Indian Association
  2. Gazulu Lakshminarasu Chetty —Founder of the Madras Mahajana Sabha
  3. Surendranath Banerjee — Founder of the Indian Association

Which of the above pairs is/are correctly matched?

(a) 1 only

(b) 1 and 3 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer-b

Q7- With reference to the difference between the culture of Rigvedic Aryans and Indus Valley people, which of the following statements is/are correct?

  1. Rigvedic Aryans used the coat of mail and helmet in warfare whereas the people of Indus Valley Civilization did not leave any evidence of using them.
  2. Rigvedic Aryans knew gold, silver and copper whereas Indus Valley people knew only copper and iron.
  3. Rigvedic Aryans had domesticated the horse whereas there is no evidence of Indus Valley people having been aware of this animal.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans- c

Q8- Who among the following was/were associated with the introduction of Ryotwari Settlement in India during the British rule?

  1. Lord Cornwallis
  2. Alexander Read
  3. Thomas Munro

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 only

(b) 1 and 3 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer. C

UPSC IAS Prelims 2020: Questions Based on History in 2018

UPSC 2018 History

Q1- The staple commodities of export by the English East India Company from Bengal in the middle of the 18th century were

(a) Raw cotton, oil-seeds, and opium
(b) Sugar, salt, zinc, and lead
(c) Copper, silver, gold, spices, and tea
(d) Cotton, silk, saltpetre, and opium

Answer- d

 Q2- Which one of the following is a very significant aspect of the Champaran Satyagraha?

(a) Active all-India participation of lawyers, students and women in the National Movement
(b) Active involvement of Dalit and Tribal communities of India in the National Movement
(c) Joining of peasant unrest to India's National Movement
(d) Drastic decrease in the cultivation of plantation crops and commercial crops

Ans- c

 Q3- Who among the following were the founders of the "Hind Mazdoor Sabha" established in 1948?

(a) B. Krishna Pillai, E.M.S. Namboodiripad and K.C. George
(b) Jayaprakash Narayan, Deen Day al Upadhyay and M.N. Roy
(c) C.P. Ramaswamy Iyer, K. Kamaraj and Veeresalingam Pantulu
(d) Ashok Mehta, T.S. Ramanujam and G.G. Mehta

Answer- d

 Q4- With reference to the religious practices in India, the "Sthanakvasi" sect belongs to

(a) Buddhism
(b) Jainism
(c) Vaishnavism
(d) Shaivism

Answer- b

 Q5- With reference to the cultural history of India, consider the following statements :

  1. White marble was used in making Buland Darwaza and Khankah at Fatehpur Sikri.
    2. Red sandstone and marble were used in making Bara Imambara and Rumi Darwaza at Lucknow.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Ans- a

Q6- Which one of the following foreign travelers elaborately discussed about diamonds and diamond mines of India?

(a) Francois Bernier
(b) Jean-Baptiste Tavernier
(c) Jean de Thevenot
(d) Abbe Barthelemy Carre

Answer.b

 Q7- With reference to Indian history, who among the following is a future Buddha, yet to come to save the world?

(a) Avalokiteshvara
(b) Lokesvara
(c) Maitreya
(d) Padmapani

Answer.c

 Q8- Which one of the following statements does not apply to the system of Subsidiary Alliance introduced by Lord Wellesley?

(a) To maintain a large standing army at other's expense
(b) To keep India safe from Napoleonic danger
(c) To secure a fixed income for the Company
(d) To establish British paramountcy over the Indian States

Answer- b

 Q9- Consider the following statements:

  1. In the first Lok Sabha, the single largest party in the opposition was the Swatantra Party.
    2. In the Lok Sabha, a "Leader of the Opposition" was recognised for the first time in 1969.
    3. In the Lok Sabha, if a party does not have a minimum of 75 members, its leader cannot be recognised as the Leader of the Opposition.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

Answer.b

 Q10- He wrote biographies of Mazzini, Garibaldi, Shivaji and Shrikrishna; stayed in America for some time, and was also elected to the Central Assembly. He was

(a) Aurobindo Ghosh
(b) Bipin Chandra Pal
(c) Lala Lajpat Rai
(d) Motilal Nehru

Answer.c

 Q11- After the Santhal Uprising subsided, what was/were the measure/measures taken by the colonial government?

  1. The territories called `Santhal Paraganas' were created.
    2. It became illegal for a Santhal to transfer land to a non-Santhal.
    Select the correct answer using the code given below:
    (a) 1 only
    (b) 2 only
    (c) Both 1 and 2
    (d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer.c

 Q12- Economically, one of the results of the British rule in India in the 19th century was the

(a) increase in the export of Indian handicrafts
(b) growth in the number of Indian owned factories
(c) commercialization of Indian agriculture
(d) rapid increase in the urban population

Answer. C

 Q13- Which of the following led to the introduction of English Education in India?

  1. Charter Act of 1813
    2. General Committee of Public Instruction, 1823
    3. Orientalist and Anglicist Controversy

Select the correct answer using the code given below

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

Answer.a

 Q14- In 1920, which of the following changed its name to “Swarajya Sabha”?

(a) All India Home Rule League
(b) Hindu Mahasabha
(c) South Indian Liberal Federation
(d) The Servants of India Society

Answer- a

 Q15- Which among the following events happened earliest ?

(a) Swami Dayanand established AryaSamaj.
(b) Dinabandhu Mitra wrote Neeldarpan.
(c) Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay wrote Anandmath.
(d) Satyendranath Tagore became the first Indian to succeed in the Indian Civil Services Examination.

Answer- b

Q16- With reference to educational institutes during colonial rule in India, consider the following pairs :

            Institution                             Founder

1. Sanskrit College at Benaras -      William Jones
2. Calcutta Madarsa    -                Warren Hastings
3. Fort William College     -             Arthur Wellesley

Which of the pairs given above is/are correct ?

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

Answer.b

 Q17- Regarding Wood's Dispatch, which of the following statements are true ?

  1. Grants-in-Aid system was introduced.
    2. Establishment of universities was recommended.
    3. English as a medium of instruction at all levels of education was recommended.
    Select the correct answer using the code given below :
    (a) 1 and 2 only
    (b) 2 and 3 only
    (c) 1 and 3 only
    (d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer. A

 Q18- In the federation established by The Government on India Act of 1935. Residuary Power were given to the

(a) Federal Legislature
(b) Governor General
(c) Provincial Legislature
(d) Provincial Governors

Answer- b

UPSC IAS Prelims 2020: Questions Based on History in 2019

UPSC 2019 History

Q1- With reference to Mughal India, what is/are the difference/differences between Jagirdar and Zamindar?

  1. Jagirdars were holders of land assignments in lieu of judicial and police duties, whereas Zamindars were holders of revenue rights without obligation to perform any duty other than revenue collection.
  2. Land assignments to Jagirdars were hereditary and revenue rights of Zamindars were not hereditary.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(e) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Ans- d

Q2- Consider the following statements about 'the Charter Act of 1813':

  1. It ended the trade monopoly of the East India Company in India except for trade in tea and trade with China.
  2. It asserted the sovereignty of the British Crown over the Indian territories held by the Company.
  3. The revenues of India were now controlled by the British Parliament.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans- a

Q3- With reference to the Swadeshi Movement, consider the following statements:

  1. It contributed to the revival of the indigenous artisan crafts and industries.
  2. The National Council of Education was established as a part of Swadeshi Movement.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: c

Q4- Consider the following pairs:

Movement/Organization

Leader

1. All India Anti-Untouchability League

Mahatma Gandhi

2. All India Kisan Sabha

Swami Sahajanand Saraswati

3. Self-Respect Movement

E. V. Ramaswami Naicker

Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched?

(a) 1 only

(b) 1 and 2 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans- d

Q4- Which one of the following is not a Harappan site?

(a) Chanhudaro

(b) Kot Diji

(c) Sohgaura

(d) Desalpur

Answer: c

Q5- In which of the following relief sculpture inscriptions is 'Ranyo Ashoka' (King Ashoka) mentioned along with the stone portrait of Ashoka?

(a) Kanganahalli

(b) Sanchi I

(c) Shahbazgarhi

(d) Sohgaura

Answer: a

Q6- Consider the following:

  1. Deification of the Buddha
  2. Treading the path of Bodhisattvas
  3. Image worship and rituals

Which of the above is/are the feature/ features of Mahayana Buddhism?

(a) 1 only

(b) 1 and 2 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: d

Q7- With reference to forced labour (Vishti) in India during the Gupta period, which one of the following statements is correct?

(a) It was considered a source of income for the State, a sort of tax paid by the people.

(b) It was totally absent in the Madhya Pradesh and Kathiawar regions of the Gupta Empire.

(c) The forced labourer was entitled to weekly wages.

(d) The eldest son of the labourer was sent as the forced labourer.

Answer: a

Q8- Building 'Kalyaana Mandapas' was a notable feature in the temple construction in the kingdom of

(a) Chalukya

(b) Chandela

(c) Rashtrakuta

(d) Vijayanagara

Answer: d

Q9- Consider the following statements:

  1. In the revenue administration of Delhi Sultanate, the in-charge of revenue collection was known as 'Amil'.
  2. The Iqta system of Sultans of Delhi was an ancient indigenous institution.
  3. The office of 'Mir Bakshi' came into existence during the reign of Khalji Sultans of Delhi.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 1 and 2 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: a

Q10- Consider the following statements:

  1. Saint Nimbarka was a contemporary of Akbar.
  2. Saint Kabir was greatly influenced by Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only            

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: d

Q11- With reference to the British colonial rule in India, consider the following statements:

  1. Mahatma Gandhi was instrumental in the abolition of the system of 'indentured labour'.
  2. In Lord Chelmsford's 'War Conference', Mahatma Gandhi did not support the resolution on recruiting Indians for World War.
  3. Consequent upon the breaking of Salt Law by Indian people, the Indian National Congress was declared illegal by the colonial rulers.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 1 and 3 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: b

 Q12- With reference to Indian National Movement, consider the following pairs:

Person

Position held

1. Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru

President, All India Liberal Federation

2. K. C. Neogy

Member, The Constituent Assembly

3. P. C. Joshi

General Secretary, Communist Party of India

Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched?

(a) 1 only

(b) 1 and 2 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: d

Q13- With reference to Mian Tansen, which one of the following statements is not correct?

(a) Tansen was the title given to him by Emperor Akbar.

(b) Tansen composed Dhrupads on Hindu gods and goddesses.

(c) Tansen composed songs on his patrons.

(d) Tansen invented many Ragas.

Answer: a

Q14- Who among the following Mughal Emperors shifted emphasis from illustrated manuscripts to the album and individual portrait?

(a) Humayun

(b) Akbar

(c) Jahangir

(d) Shah Jahan

Answer: c

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