IAS Prelims 2014: General Studies I (Indian History and Culture with Explanations)


Ajit Kumar AJIT KUMARWISDOM IAS, New Delhi.

1. The Partition of Bengal made by Lord Curzon in 1905 lasted until
(a) the First World War when Indian troops were needed by the British and the partition was ended.
(b) King George V abrogated Curzon's Act at the Royal Darbar in Delhi in 1911
(c) Gandhiji launched his Civil Disobedience Movement
(d) the Partition of India, in 1947 when East Bengal became East Pakistan
Ans. (b)
Explanation: On 22 March 1911, a royal proclamation announced that the Durbar would be held in December to commemorate the coronation in Britain a few months earlier of King George V and Queen Mary and allow their proclamation as Emperor and Empress of India. Without public forewarning, the announcement of the move of India's capital from Calcutta to Delhi was also made at the Durbar.
 King George V also announced to annul the partition of Bengal. (Source: ‘Modern Indi'a’ by Sumit Sarkar)
2.  The 1929 Session of Indian, National Congress is of significance in the history of the Freedom Movement because the
(a) attainmentof Self-Government was declared as the objective of the Congress
(b) attainment of Poorna Swaraj Was adopted as the goal of the Congress
(c) Non-Cooperation Movement was launched
(d) decision to participate in the Round Table Conference in London was taken
Ans. (b)
Explanation: The Lahore session of the Indian National Congress was held in 1929 under the Presidentship of Jawaharlal Nehru. It was in this session that the Congress for the first time raised the demand for complete independence. Such demand was not raised from the Congress platform earlier.
3. With reference to the famous Sattriya dance, consider the following statements :
1. Sattriya is a combination of music, dance and drama.
2. It is a centuries-old living tradition of Vaishnavites of Assam.
3. It is based on classical Ragas and Talas of devotional songs composed by Tulsidas, Kabir and Mirabai.
Which of the statements given above is /are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 1 and 2 only
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Ans. (b)
Explanation: In the year 2000, the Sattriya dances of Assam received recognition as one of the eight classical dance forms of India. Where as some of the other traditions have been revived in the recent past, Sattriya has remained a living tradition since its creation by the founder of Vaishnavism in Assam, the great saint Srimanta Sankardev, in 15th century Assam.
As the tradition developed and grew within the sattras, the dance form came to be known as Sattriya Nritya, a name first coined by Maheswar Neog. The core of Sattriya Nritya has usually been mythological stories. This was an artistic way of presenting mythological teachings to the people in an accessible, immediate, and enjoyable manner.
4. With reference to the Indian history of art and culture, consider the following pairs:
Famous work of sculpture                                                                                                      Site
1. A grand image of Buddha's Mahaparinirvana with numerous
celestial musicians above and the sorrowful figures of his followers below :          Ajanta
2. A huge image of Varaha Avatar (boar incarnation) of Vishnu, as he rescues
 Goddess Earth from the deep and chaotic waters, sculpted on rock :                     Mount Abu
3. "Arjuna's Penance" /"Descent of Ganga" sculpted on the surface of
 huge boulders :                                                                                                        Mamallapuram
Which of the pairs given above is/ are correctly matched?
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 3 only,
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Ans. (c)
Explanation: In Cave 26, Ajanta of 5th century AD there is a grand image of Buddha's Mahaparinirvana with numerous celestial musicians above and the sorrowful figures of his followers below.
Mamallapuram hosts India’s largest and most dramatic relief-sculpture. It represents the celebrated myth of the descent of the river Ganga from heaven to earth. The Great Penance, is carved on a giant granite rock wall 27 meters wide and 9 meters tall, and was believed to be initiated during the reign of the Pallava King Mahendra Varman, ca 7th century ce.
The most famous carving at Udayagiri ( near Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh) is a five-foot (or so) tall statue of Vishnu's Boar Avatar (here show rescuing the Earth, who is hanging on his tusk), with the worshipful masses standing in homage by the sides.  This image was in the personal temple of King Chandra Gupta II (ruled 376-415 C.E.).
5. The Ghadr (Ghadar) was a
(a) revolutionary association of Indians with headquarters at San Francisco.
(b) nationalist organization operating from Singapore
(c) militant organization with headquarters at Berlin
(d) communist movement for India's freedom with head-quarters at Tashkent
Ans. (a)
Explanation: The Ghadar- a Punjabi word for revolution was a revolutionary movement organised by Punjabi immigrant workers in California with its headquarters at 5 Wood Street, San Francisco.
6. With reference to India's culture and tradition, what is 'Kalaripayattu'?
(a) It is an ancient Bhakti cult of Shaivism still prevalent in some parts of South India
(b) It is an ancient style bronze and brasswork still found in southern part of Coromandel area
(c) It is an ancient form of dance-drama and a living tradition in the northern part of Malabar
(d) It is an ancient martial art and a living tradition in some parts of South India
Ans. (d)
Explanation: Kalaripayattu the martial art form of South India is regarded as the oldest and most scientific of its kind in the world. Training in combat is given at the Kalari (training school). The principles of Kalari education stipulate that training in martial art begins with an oil massage of the body which goes on until the body is agile and supple. Feats like chaattom (jumping), ottam (running), marichil (somersault) etc. are then taught, followed by the lessons in the use of weapons such as daggers, swords, spears, maces, the bow and arrow and so on.
7. With reference to Buddhist history, tradition and culture in India,
consider the following pairs :
Famous shrine                                                              Location
1.  Tabo monastery and temple complex :                Spiti Valley
2.  Lhotsava Lhakhang temple, Nako      :                Zanskar Valley
3.  Alchi temple complex                       :                  Ladakh
Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Ans.(c)
Explanation: Tabo Monastery, referred as Ajanta of the Himalayas,  is situated at the height of 10,007 feet in Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh in north India. It is one of the oldest Buddhist pilgrimage centres in the Trans-Himalayas region.
Nako is located in Kinnaur  district in Himachal Pradesh. Nako Monastery is located in the village as well as several other Buddhist temples are located high on a hillside (about 3600m above sea level).  Zangskar valley lies to the south west of Leh, surrounded by the Himalayan and Zangskar ranges.
Alchi, 65 km from Leh lies in the barren mountain valley of river Indus. The village Alchi differentiate itself from other villages of Ladakh by being so lush green. Monastic complex of Alchi mainly comprises the following shrines: 1. Lha-Khang Soma (New Temple) 2. Sumstek (Triple storied shrine) 3. Dukhang (Assembly Hall) 4. Lotsava Lhakhang. 5. Manjushri Lhakhang (Temple of Manjushri) 6. Three Chhortens (Stupas) The murals depicted in the above shrines and stucco images enshrined therein are ascribable to period between 11th to 13th century A.D.
8. Consider the followingstatements:
1. 'Bijak' is a composition of the teachings of Saint Dadu Dayal.

2. The Philosophy of Pushti Marg was propounded by Madhvacharya.
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. (d)
Explanation: Bijak is the best known of the compilations of the compositions of Kabir, and as such is the holy scripture for followers of the Kabirpanthi religion. Pushtimarg is founded by Shree Vallabacharya. He is the latest of five principal Acharyas (Spritiual Master) of Hindu religion.
9. What was/were the object/objects of Queen Victoria's Proclamation (1858)?
1. To disclaim any intention to annex Indian States
2. To place the Indian administration under the British Crown
3. To regulate East India Company's trade with India
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
Ans. (a)
Explanation: The purpose of Queen Victoria's Proclamation concerning India, issued in 1858, was to announce that England was assuming control of its Indian colonies, removing them from the administration of the British East India Company. A secondary purpose was to reassure the people of India that Britain intended to respect and preserve the culture of India, particularly the right of Indians to practice their traditional religions.
10. Ibadat Khana at Fatehpur Sikri was
(a) the mosque for the use of Royal Family
(b) Akbar's  private chamber prayer
(c) the hall in which Akbar held discussions with scholars of various religions.
(d) the room in which the nobles belonging to different religions gathered to discuss religious affairs
Ans. (c)
Explanation: Ibadat Khana was originally the debating house open to Sunni Muslims only. Philosophers and religious leaders from and around the empire and those passing through the empire were invited to the Thursday evening discussions in this building. After listening to all the religious preaches, Akbar came to a conclusion that no religion is superior and perfect over the other religion. He created a new faith, Din-i-Ilahi (meaning Faith in the Divine) in the late 1580’s.
11. With reference to the cultural history of India, the term 'Panchayatan' refers to
(a) an assembly of village elders
(b) a religious sect
(c) a style of temple construction
(d) an administrative functionary
Ans. (c)
Explanation: A Hindu temple is a Panchayatana one when the main shrine is surrounded by four subsidiary shrines. Generally, the hindu temple are built along a west-east axis. So the four subsidiary shrines are at the north-east, south-east, south-west, north-west.
12. Which one of the following pairs does not form part of the six systems of Indian Philosophy?
(a) Mimamsa and Vedanta
(b) Nyaya and Vaisheshika
(e) Lokayata and Kapalika
(d) Sankhya and Yoga
Ans. (c)
Explanation: The six systems of Indian philosophy or the Shad-Darsanas are the six orthodox systems of philosophy. They are the six ways of looking at the Truth.They are : the Nyaya, the Vaiseshika, the Sankhya, the Yoga, the Purva-Mimamsa, and the Uttara-Mimamsa, or the Vedanta.
The world lokayata was used to refer to the person who believed in the reality of this world and the physical existence of man and of other beings on earth and nothing else. The Kapalika tradition is a non-Puranic, tantric form of Shaivism in India.
13. The national motto of India, 'Satyameva Jayate' inscribed below the Emblem of India is taken from        
(a) Katha Upanishad                 
(b) Chandogya Upanishad             
(c) Aitareya Upanishad             
(d) Mundaka Upanishad
Ans. (d)
Explanation: "Satyameva Jayate"  is a mantra from the ancient Indian scripture Mundaka Upanishad. Upon independence of India, it was adopted as the national motto of India. Meaning: only truth prevails, not untruth.
14. In medieval India, the designations 'Mahattara' and 'Pattakila' were used for
(a) military officers
(b) village headmen
(e) specialists in Vedic rituals
(d) chiefs of craft guilds
Ans. (b)
Explanation: Mahattaras or Mahattara and Pattakila or Patel were village headmen
15. Which of the following Kingdoms were associated With the life of the Buddha?
1. Avanti
2. Gandhara
3. Kosala
4. Magadha
Select the correct nswer using the code given below.
(a) 1, 2 and 3
(b) 2 and 4
(c) 3 and 4 only
(d) 1, 3 and 4
Ans.(c)
Explanation: A Buddhist text, the Majjhima Nikaya ("Middle-length Discourses") mentions Buddha as "a Kosalan. Two of India's major religions, Jainism and Buddhism, originated in Magadha.
16. Consider the following towns of India :
1. Bhadrachalam
2. Chanderi
3. Kancheepuram
4. Kamal
 Which of the above are famous for the production of traditional sarees / fabric?
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1, 2 and 3
(d) 1, 3 and 4
Ans.(c)
Explanation: 'Ikat Cotton Saree Manufacturers in Bhadrachalam. The traditional weaving of Chanderi fabric is mainly done for making sarees and suit materials. A Kanchipuram sari (also known as a Kanjivaram sari) is a type of sari traditionally made by weavers from Kanchipuram located in Tamil Nadu, India
17. The Radcliffe Committee was appointed to
(a) solve the problem of minorities in India
(b) give effect to the Independence Bill
(c) delimit the boundaries between India and Pakistan
(d) enquire into the riots in East Bengal
Answer. C
Explanation: The Radcliffe Committee report was published on 17 August 1947 as a boundary demarcation line between India and Pakistan upon the partition of India.
 

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Thursday, 01st Jan 1970, 12:00:00 AM