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CBSE Class 12
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CBSE History 2011 Exam Questions

Short Answer Type


Describe the teaching of the Buddha.

The teaching of the Buddha:

(i) The world is transient (anicca) and constantly changing.

(ii) It is also soulless (anatta) as there is nothing permanent or eternal in it.

(iii) Within this transient world, sorrow (dukkha) is intrinsic to human existence.

(iv) It is by following the path of moderation between severe penance and self-indulgence that human beings can rise above these worldly troubles. In the earliest forms of Buddhism, whether or not god existed was irrelevant.

(v) The Buddha regarded the social world as the creation of humans rather than of divine origin.


Critically examine the duties laid down in ‘Manusmriti’ for the Chandals.

The duties laid down in ‘Manusmriti’ for the Chandals:

(i) They had to live outside the village.

(ii) They had to use discarded utensils.

(iii) They had to wear clothes of the dead and ornaments of iron.

(iv) They could not walk about in villages and cities at night.

(v) They had to dispose of the bodies of those who had no relatives and serve as executioners.


On the given political map of India label the following:

(i) Three major Buddhist sites.

(ii)Two important Kingdom or towns.(C 600 BCE- 600CE)


On the given political outline map of India mark and label the following:

Any five territories/cities under Babur, Akbar & Aurangzeb’s reign.


Mention the two earliest Bhakti Movements of the Tamil Nadu, giving the main difference between them.

The two earliest Bhakti Movements of the Tamil Nadu were:

(i) Alvars

(ii) Nayanars


(i) The Alvars worshipped Vishnu.

(ii) The Nayanars worshipped Shiva. 


”The mid first millennium BCE is often regarded as a turning point in the World History.” Justify the statement.

”The mid first millennium BCE is often regarded as a turning point in the World History.”

(i) It saw the emergence of thinkers such as Zarathustra in Iran, Kongzi in China, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle in Greece and Mahavira and Gautama Buddha in India.

(ii) New Kingdom and cities were developing.

(iii) Many new ideas are found in Upanishads eg: life after death; meaning of life; the idea of rebirth etc.

(iv) Development of Mahayana Buddhism, Vaishnavism, Shaivism and goddess cults.

(v) The socio economic life was changing.


How had Bernier described a complex social reality of the artisans under the artisans under the Mughals? Give any one reason.

The reason:

He felt that the artisans had no incentives to improve the quality of manufactures, since profits were appropriated by the state.


Describe briefly how do the historians usually classify the contents of Mahabharata? Why is the text described as an itihas?

The version of the Mahabharata we have been considering is in Sanskrit (although there are versions in other languages as well).

(i) However, the Sanskrit used in the Mahabharata is far simpler than that of the Vedas, or of the prashastis. As such, it was probably widely understood.

(ii) Historians usually classify the contents of the present text under two broad heads – sections that contain stories, designated as the narrative. The sections that contain prescriptions about social norms, designated as didactic.

(iii) This division is by no means watertight – the didactic sections include stories, and the narrative often contains a social message.

(iv) However, generally historians agree that the Mahabharata was meant to be a dramatic, moving story, and that the didactic portions were probably added later.

(v) The text is described as an itihasa within early Sanskrit tradition. The literal meaning of the term is “thus it was”, which is why it is generally translated as “history”.


Mention the two sections of the Harappan Settlements and give one main feature each.

The settlement is divided into two sections, one smaller but higher and the other much larger but lower. 

Archaeologists designate these as the Citadel and the Lower Town respectively. The Citadel owes its height to the fact that buildings were constructed on mud brick platforms. It was walled, which meant that it was physically separated from the Lower Town. The Lower Town was also walled. Several buildings were built on platforms, which served as foundations.


Describe briefly the expansion and consolidation of Mughal Empire under Jalaluddin Akbar (1556-1605).

The expansion and consolidation of Mughal Empire under Jalaluddin Akbar (1556-1605):

(i) Jalaluddin Akbar (1556-1605) was the greatest of all the Mughal emperors.

(ii) He not only expanded but also consolidated his empire.

(iii) Made it the largest, strongest and richest kingdom of his time.

(iv) He succeeded in extending the frontiers of the empire to the Hindukush mountains

(v) He checked the expansionist designs of the Uzbeks of Turan (Central Asia) and the Safavids of Iran.


”Krishnadeva Raya was characterised by expansion and consolidation.” Justify the statement on the basis of evidences.

Krishnadeva Raya’s rule was characterised by expansion and consolidation:

(i) This was the time when the land between the Tungabhadra and Krishna rivers (the Raichur doab) was acquired (1512).

(ii) The rulers of Orissa were subdued (1514) and severe defeats were inflicted on the Sultan of Bijapur (1520).

(iii) Although the kingdom remained in a constant state of military preparedness, it flourished under conditions of unparalleled peace and prosperity.

(iv) Krishnadeva Raya is credited with building some fine temples and adding impressive gopurams to many important south Indian temples.

iv) He also founded a suburban township near Vijayanagara called Nagalapuram after his mother. Some of the most detailed descriptions of Vijayanagara come from his time or just after.

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