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CBSE Class 12
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CBSE History 2014 Exam Questions

Short Answer Type


Why was the colonial government keen on mapping of lndian cities from the early years? Give any two reasons.

The reasons:

 (i) It was felt that good maps were necessary to understand the landscape and know the topography.

 (ii) The town maps give information regarding the location of hills, rivers and vegetation, all important for planning structures for defence purposes.


Describe the life led by the forest dwellers during the Mughal era in 16th-17th centuries.  

 The life of forest dwellers in the Mughal era:

 (i) Forest dwellers were termed jangli in contemporary texts. Being jangli, however did not mean an absence of civilization. The term described those whose livelihood came from gathering forest produce, hunting and shifting agriculture.

 (ii) These activities were largely season specific that perpetuated mobility which was a distinctive feature of tribes inhabiting these forests. For the state, the forest was a subversive place-a place of refuge for troublemakers.

 (iii) External forces entered the forest in different ways. The state required elephants for the army so the peshkash levied from forest people often included a supply of elephants.

 (iv) The hunt symbolized the overwhelming concern of the state to ensure justice to all its subjects, rich and poor. The hunt was a subject frequently painted by courts artists.

 (v) The spread of commercial agriculture was an important external factor that impinged on the life of those who lived in forests. Forest products-like honey, beeswax and gum lac- were in great demand and became major items of overseas export from India. 


Who composed the original story of Mahabharata in oral form? Explain any four elements considered by the historians while analyzing the Mahabharata.

It was composed under the leadership of a noted Indian Sanskritist, V.S. Sukthankar.

 The elements considered:

 (i) They selected the verses that appeared common to most versions.

 (ii) There were several common elements in the Sanskrit versions of the story, evident in manuscripts found all over the subcontinent.

 (iii) When issues of social history were explored for the first by historians in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, they tended to take these texts at face value-believing that everything that was laid down in these text was actually practiced.

 (iv) The studies indicated that the ideas contained in normative Sanskrit texts were, on the whole, recognized as authoritative: they were also questioned and occasionally even rejected.


How did British dispossess Taluqdars of Awadh during 1857? Explain with examples.


 (i) The British were unwilling to tolerate the power of Taluqdars. Immediately after the annexation, the taluqdars were disarmed and their forts destroyed.

 (ii) The British land revenue policy further undermined the position and authority of the taluqdars.

 (iii) The Summary Settlements proceeded to remove the taluqdars wherever possible.

 (iv) It was based on the assumption that the taluqdars were interlopers with permanent stakes in land.

 (v) The ties of loyalty and patronage that had bound the peasants to the taluqdars were disrupted.


'By the eleventh century Sufism evolved into a well-developed movement.' Give any two examples.

The examples:

 (i) The Sufis began to organise communities around the hospices or Khanqah controlled by a teaching master known as shaikh, pir or murshid.

(ii) Sufi silsilas began to crystallise in different parts of the Islamic world, it was through this channel that spiritual power and blessings were transmitted to devotees.


"Buddha laid stress on right conduct and values." ln the light of the above message, explain his teachings on life.

Buddha’s teaching:

 (i) The world is transient and constantly changing; it is also soulless as there is nothing permanent.

 (ii) Sorrow is intrinsic to human existence. It is by following the path of moderation between severe penance and self-indulgence that human beings can rise above these worldly troubles.

 (iii) In the earliest form of Buddhism existence of god was irrelevant. Buddha regarded the social world as the creation of humans rather than of divine origin. Therefore, he advised kings to be humane and ethical. Individual effort was expected to transform social relations.

 (iv) The Buddha emphasised individual agency and righteous action as a means to escape from the cycle of rebirth and attain self-realization and Nibbana.

 (v) The extinguishing of the ego and desire would thus end the cycle of suffering. 


"Domingo Paes has called the Mahanavami Dibba of Vijayanagara Empire as 'The House of Victory'." Justify.

The justifications:

 (i) The entire complex is surrounded by high double walls with a street running between them.

 (ii) The audience hall is a high platform with slots for wooden pillars at close and regular intervals.

 (iii) It had stair case going up to to the second floor, which rested on pillars.

 (iv) It was located on one of the highest points in the city.

 (v) The base of the platform is covered with relief carvings.


How did architectural features of Mohenjodaro indicate planning? Support with suitable examples.

The examples:

 (i) The settlements is divided into two sections, one smaller but higher and other much larger but lower.

 (ii) Archaeologists designate these as the Citadel and Lower Town respectively. The citadels 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.

 (iii) One of the most distinctive features of Harappan cities was the carefully planned drainage system. The roads and streets were laid out along an approximate grid pattern, intersecting at right angles.

 (iv) The lower Town at Mohenjodaro provides examples of residential buildings. Every house had its own bathroom paved with bricks, with drains connected through the wall to street drains.

 (v) Many houses had wells, often in a room that could be reached from the outside and perhaps used by passer-by. Some houses have remains of staircases to reach a second storey or the roof.


Critically examine the policies adopted by the Britishers to control Paharias.

The policies adopted by the British towards the Paharias were:

 (i) In the 1770s the British embarked on the brutal policy of extermination, hunting the Paharias down and killing them.

 (ii) By the 1780s, Augustus Cleveland, the Collector of Bhagalpur, proposed a policy of pacification.

 (iii) Paharia chiefs were given an annual allowance and made responsible for the proper conduct of their men.

 (iv) They were expected to maintain order in their localities and discipline their own people. Many Paharia chiefs refused the allowances, those who accepted lost authority within the community.

 (v) The Paharias withdrew deep in the mountains insulating themselves from hostile forces and carrying on a war with the outsiders. The brutal repression shaped their perception of British infiltration into the area.


Mention any two features of the administration system of the Mauryan Empire.



The features of the administration system of the Mauryan Empire:

 (i) There were five major political centres in the empire-the capital Pataliputra and provincial centres of Taxila, Ujjayini, Tosali and Suvarnagiri.

 (ii) The administrative control was strongest in areas around the capital and the provincial centres.

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