(17.1) On the given political outline map of India, locate and label the following with appropriate symbols : (a) Rakhigarhi (b) Agra, the imperial capital of Mughal (17.2) On the same outline map of India three centres related to the Indian National Movement have been marked as A, B and C. Identify them and write their correct names on the lines drawn near them. from History Class 12 CBSE Year 2016 Free Solved Previous Year Papers




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CBSE History 2016 Exam Questions

Long Answer Type


Read the following excerpt carefully and answer the questions that follow :

                                                 Why the Salt Satyagraha ?

Why was salt the symbol of protest ? This is what Mahatma Gandhi wrote : The volume of information being gained daily shows how wickedly the salt tax has been designed. In order to prevent the use of salt that has not paid the tax which is at times even fourteen times its value, the Government destroys the salt it cannot sell profitably. Thus it taxes the nation’s vital necessity; it prevents the public from manufacturing it and destroys what nature manufactures without effort. No adjective is strong enough for characterising this wicked dog-in-the-manger policy. From various sources I hear tales of such wanton destruction of the nation’s property in all parts of India. Maunds if not tons of salt are said to be destroyed on the Konkan coast. The same tale comes from Dandi. Wherever there is likelihood of natural salt being taken away by the people living in the neighbourhood of such areas for their personal use, salt officers are posted for the sole purpose of carrying on destruction. Thus valuable national property is destroyed at national expense and salt taken out of the mouths of the people.

The salt monopoly is thus a fourfold curse. It deprives the people of a valuable easy village industry, involves wanton destruction of property that nature produces in abundance, the destruction itself means more national expenditure, and fourthly to crown this folly, an unheard-of tax of more than 1,000 per cent is exacted from a
starving people.

This tax has remained so long because of the apathy of the general public. Now that it is sufficiently roused, the tax has to go. How soon it will be abolished depends upon the strength of the people.

The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi (CWMG), Vol. 49

(16.1) Why was salt monopoly introduced by the British considered as a curse by the Indians ?

(16.2) How did Gandhiji illustrate his tactical wisdom with regard to salt monopoly ?

(16.3) Explain the significance of Gandhiji’s challenge of salt protest.

16.1. Salt monopoly was considered a curse because:

i.The public was not allowed to manufacture salt which was a British monopoly

ii. If Indians possessed naturally available salt for which they had not paid tax it would be confiscated and destroyed by the British. Thus, British were destroying the nation’s valuable property.

16.2. Gandhiji illustrated is tactical wisdom by :

i. Choosing salt as a medium of protest as the salt affected the rich and the poor alike.

ii. It was an indispensable item of the Indian household and the salt monopoly had deprived the people of a valuable village industry.

16.3. Significance of Gandhiji’s challenge of salt protest:

i. It brought him to world attention and the event was covered by international press.

ii. Women participated in large numbers. People all over the country broke the salt law.

iii. British realised they could not stay for long in India.



“There was more to rural India than the sedentary agriculture”. Explain the statement in the context of Mughal Period.


“Inspite of the limitations, the Ain-i-Akbari remains an extraordinary document of its time”. Explain the statement.

Different aspects of rural Mughal India both sedentary and subsistence with more emphasis on ‘jangli’:

i. Forest dwellers were called jangli

ii. Their livelihood came from the gathering of forest produce, hunting and shifting agriculture.

iii. Being jangli, did not mean an absence of “civilisation”.

iv. The livelihood practices of the forest dwellers were season specific.

v. The Bhils collected forest produce in spring, fished in summer, the monsoon months were for cultivation, and autumn and winter were for hunting.

vi. Abu’l Fazl describes the trade of the hill tribes with traders and villagers of Awadh ( Uttar Pradesh).

vii. They exchanged the forest produce for items like,white and coloured cloth, salt, ornaments, glass and earthen ware.

viii. They sold bees wax, honey,gum, lac etc. This resulted in continuous mobility.


Importance of Ain –i-Akbari:

i. The chronicle provides detailed information about Akbar’s Empire

ii. It is an invaluable source to reconstruct the social, political, economic and cultural history

iii. It is a detailed document and a part of Akbarnama written by Abul Fazl C

iv. It is an extraordinary document which gives fascinating glimpses into the structure and organization of the Mughal Empire.


i. Numerous errors in totalling have been detected.

ii. Skewed nature of the quantitative data.

iii. Data were not collected uniformly from all the provinces. Detailed list of prices and wages is mainly taken from areas in and around the Agra

iv. Prices and wages of the richer areas have not been well documented.


Short Answer Type


(17.1) On the given political outline map of India, locate and label the following with appropriate symbols :

(a) Rakhigarhi

(b) Agra, the imperial capital of Mughal

(17.2) On the same outline map of India three centres related to the Indian National Movement have been marked as A, B and C. Identify them and write their correct names on the lines drawn near them.


Long Answer Type


Analyse the distinctive aspects of the oral testimonies to understand the history of the partition of British India.


Examine various events that led to the partition of British India.

The distinctive aspects:

i. Oral testimonies help to understand the trials and tribulations of ordinary people during partition.

ii. Official or government documents provide only political aspects

iii. Partition was viewed as a time of suffering, challenge and unexpected alterations in the lives of people.

iv. Oral accounts help us to grasp experiences and memories in detail.

v. They give a description of the experiences of women and even children

vi. It enables historians to write richly textured, vivid accounts of what happened to people at the time of partition.

vii. It allows historians to broaden the boundaries of their discipline. It shows the lived experiences of the poor and the powerless.

viii. It also succeeds in exploring the experiences of those men and women whose existence till now has been ignored.


Events that led to the Partition:

i. Certain policies of the British encouraged communal divisions. Separate electorates for Muslims given by the British in 1909.

ii. Encouragement to formation of Muslim League.

iii. Govt. of India Act 1919 expanded communal electorates.

iv. Communal Developments from the 1920s

v. Tabligh and Shuddhi movements caused conflicts

vi. Cow protection movement, music before mosque.

vii. In 1940, in the Lahore session, the Muslim League place their demand for autonomous province with Muslim majority.

viii. 1937 elections/ results of the subsequent refusal of Congress to form a coalition government with Muslim League.



Explain the system of land grants and trade from C. 600 BCE to 600 CE.


Explain any four sources to reconstruct the history of Mauryas. Examine the system of Mauryan administration.

System of Land Grants:

i. Grants made to religious institutions

iii. Grants called agrahara grants were made to Brahmanas

iii. Samantas were also given land. Prabhavati Gupta – example of agrahara grant made by a woman is an exception

iv. Land grants were a strategy to extend agriculture and Brahmanical practices in new regions

System of trade:

i. Introduction of punch marked coins encouraged trade

ii. Inland and overland trade existed. Inland trade connected various parts of the subcontinent.

iii. Various river routes in the sub-continent were used for trade

iv. Overland and maritime trade existed with C. Asia, North Africa, West Asia etc



i. Punch marked coins

ii. Archaeological finds like palace wall at Patliputra

iii. Account of Megasthenes.

iv. Kautilya’s Arthashastra and Asokan inscriptions – pillar inscriptions and rock edicts


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

ii. Administrative control was strongest in areas around the capital and the provincial centres.

iii. Provincial centres were carefully chosen: Taxila and Ujjayini were situated on important long distance trade routes

iv. Suvarnagiri was important for tapping gold mines of Karnataka. Communication along both land and riverine routes was essential for the existence of the empire.



Read the following excerpt carefully and answer the questions that follow :

The Accessible Emperor

In the account of his experiences, Monserrate, who was a member of the first Jesuit mission, says : It is hard to exaggerate how accessible he (Akbar) makes himself to all who wish audience of him. For he creates an opportunity almost every day for any of the common people or of the nobles to see him and to converse with him; and he endeavours to show himself pleasant-spoken and affable rather than severe towards all who come to speak with him. It is very remarkable how great an effect this courtesy and affability has in attaching him to the minds of his subjects.

(15.1) Who were Jesuits ? How did they establish their network in India ?

(15.2) How did Monserrate accord his experience about the Akbar ?

(15.3) How had Akbar’s courtesy brought affability for his subjects ? Explain.

15.1. Jesuits were Christian missionaries. They came with the Portuguese traders to the coastal cities of India (Goa). Akbar had invited them for religious debates.

15.2 Monserrate explains his experience about Akbar in the following ways:

i. He is accessible to all who wish to meet him

ii. Describes Akbar as a well liked ruler who gives opportunity to common people and nobles to see him and talk to him.

15.3 Akbar’s courtesy brought affability in the following ways:

i. Akbar was respected by his subjects and Akbar respected all religions.

ii. He occupied himself in interfaith debates at ibadatkhana and was open to new religious ideas and gave freedom to various schools of thought.

iii. He proposed Din-i-ilahi and advocated sulh-i-kul policy and had abolished jiziya and pilgrimage tax.



Read the following excerpt carefully and answer the questions that follow :

A Tiger – Like Husband

This is a summary of a story from the Adi Parvan of the Mahabharata :

The Pandavas had fled into the forest. They were tired and fell asleep; only Bhima, the second Pandava, renowned for his prowess, was keeping watch. A man-eating Rakshasa caught the scent of the Pandavas and sent his sister Hidimba to capture them. She fell in love with Bhima, transformed herself into a lovely maiden and proposed to him. He refused. Meanwhile, the Rakshasa arrived and challenged Bhima to a wrestling match. Bhima accepted the challenge and killed him. The others woke up hearing the noise. Hidimba introduced herself, and declared her love for Bhima. She told Kunti; “I have forsaken my friends, my dharma and my kin; and good lady, chosen your tiger-like son for my man…whether you think me a fool, or your devoted servant, let me join you, great lady, with your son as my husband.”

Ultimately, Yudhisthira agreed to the marriage on condition that they would spend the day together but that Bhima would return every night. The couple roamed all over the world during the day. In due course Hidimba gave birth to a Rakshasa boy named Ghatotkacha. Then the mother and son left the Pandavas. Ghatotkacha promised to return to the Pandavas whenever they needed him.

Some historians suggest that the term rakshasa is used to describe people whose practices differed from those laid down in Brahmanical texts.

(14.1) How did the story from Adi Parvan play an important role in shaping the values and ethos of the society ?

(14.2) How was this story a unique example of exogamy ?

(14.3) How did Hidimba and Yudhisthira interpret dharma in their context ?

14.1 The story helped in shaping values and ethos of the society in the following ways:

i. Stories contained in the Ramayana and Mahabharata often reinforced the norms prescribed by the Brahmanas

ii. The story shows integration of the communities beyond the varnas into the varna order

14.2. Even though Hidimba’s community did not fall in the Brahmanical order, her marriage outside her family can be considered a unique example of exogamy

14.3 Hidimba and Yudhishthira interpretation of Dharma:

i. Hidimba challenged patriliny by going against her brother and held love to be above acceptable social norms.

ii. Yudhishthira was known as Dharmaraja, the upholder of Dharma who had upheld the patriarchal norms of society.

iii. He gave sanction to the unique marriage within the Brahmanical framework. He upheld dignity of Hidimba, marriage and love above the accepted social norms.


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