IAS Mains History Questions

IAS Mains History Questions are those questions which are asked by the UPSC IAS Mains exam which are given below.


  • Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present significant events, personalities, issues.
  • The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors or contributions from different parts of the country.
  • Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.
  • History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc. – their forms and effect on the society.

IAS Mains History Questions 2013

1.Though not very useful from the point of view of a connected political history of South India, the Sangam literature portrays the social and economic conditions of its time with remarkable vividness. Comment. (200 words) (10 marks)

2. A. Discuss the ‘Tandava’ dance as recorded in early Indian inscriptions. (100 words) (5 marks) B Chola architecture represents a high watermark in the evolution of temple architecture. Discuss (100 words) (5 marks)

3. Defying the barriers of age, gender and religion, the Indian women became the torchbearer during the struggle for freedom in India. Discuss. (200 words) (10 marks)

4. Sevaral foreigners made India their homeland and participated in various movements. Analyze their role in the Indian struggle for freedom. (200 words) (10 marks)

5. “In many ways, Lord Dalhousie was the founder of modern India.” Elaborate. (200 words) (10 marks)

6. Critically discuss the objectives of Bhoodan and Gramdan movements initiated by AcharyaVinobhaBhave and their success. (200 words) (10 marks)

7. Write a critical note on the evolution and significance of the slogan, ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’. (200 words) (10 marks)

8. Discuss the contributions of MaulanaAbulKalam Azad to pre- and post-independent India. (200 words) (10 marks)

9. Analyze the circumstances that led to the Tashkent Agreement in 1966. Discuss the highlights of the Agreement. (200 words) (10 marks)

10. Critically examine the compulsions which prompted India to play a decisive role in the emergence of Bangladesh. (200 words) (10 marks)

11. “‘Latecomer’ Industrial Revolution in Japan involved certain factors that were markedly different from what West had experienced.” Analyze. (200 words) (10 marks)

12. “Africa was chopped into states artificially created by accidents of European competition.” Analyze. (200 words) (10 marks)

13. “American Revolution was an economic revolt against mercantilism.” Substantiate. (200 words) (10 marks)

14. What policy instruments were deployed to  contain the Great Economic Depression? (200 words) (10 marks)

IAS Mains History Questions 2014

1.To what extent has the urban planning and culture of the Indus Valley Civilization provided inputs to the present day urbanization? Discuss.

2. Gandhara sculpture owed as much to the Romans as to the Greeks. Explain.

3. Taxila university was one of the oldest universities of the world with which were associated a number of renowned learned personalities of different disciplines. Its strategic location caused its fame to flourish, but unlike Nalanda, it is not considered as a university in the modern sense. Discuss.

4. The third battle of Panipat was fought in 1761. Why were so many empire-shaking battles fought at Panipat?

5. Sufis and medieval saints failed to modify either the religious ideas and practices or the outward structure of Hindu/ Muslim societies to any appreciable extent. Comment.

6. Examine critically the various facets of economic policies of the British in India from mid-eighteenth century till independence.

7. In what ways did the navel mutiny prove to be the last nail in the coffin of British colonial aspirations in India?

8. What were the major political, economic and social developments in the world which motivated the anti-colonial in India?

9. What were the events that led to the Suez Crisis in 1956? How did it deal a final blow to Britain’s self-image as a world power?

10. The New Economic Policy – 1921 of Lenin had influenced the policies adopted by India soon after independence. Evaluate.

IAS Mains History Questions 2015

Q1.The ancient civilization in Indian sub continent differed from those of Egypt , Mesopotamia and Greece in that its culture and traditions have been preserved without breakdown to the present day. Comment (12.5M)

Q2. Mesolithic rock cut architecture of India not only reflects the cultural life of the times but also a fine aesthetic sense comparable to modern painting. Critically evaluate this comment. (12.5M)

Q3. How difficult would have been the achievement of Indian independence without Mahatma Gandhi? Discuss.

Q4. Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. B R Ambedkar, despite having divergent approaches and strategies, had a common goal of amelioration of the downtrodden. Elucidate. (12.5M)

Q5. It would have been difficult for the Constituent Assembly to complete its historic task of drafting the Constitution for Independent India in just three years, but its experience gained with the Government of India Act, 1935 .Discuss.(12.5M)

Q6. Why did the industrial revolution first occur in England? Discuss the quality of life of the people there during the industrialization. How does it compare with that in India at present times?

Q7. To what extend can Germany be held responsible for causing the two World Wars? Discuss critically.

Q8. Describe any four cultural elements of diversity in India and rate their relative significance in building a national identity.

IAS Mains History Questions 2016

1.Early Buddhist Stupa-art, while depicting folk motifs and narratives, successfully expounds Buddhist ideals. Elucidate.

2.Krishnadeva Raya, the king of Vijayanagar, was not only an accomplished scholar himself but was a also a great patron of learning and literature. Discuss.

3.Explain how the upraising of 1857 constitutes an important watershed in the evolution of British policies towards colonial India.

4.Discuss the role of women in the freedom struggle especially during the Gandhian phase.

5.Highlight the differences in the approach of Subhash Chandra Bose and Mahatma Gandhi in the struggle for freedom.

6.Has the formation of linguistic states strengthened the cause of Indian unity?

7.The anti-colonial struggles in West Africa were led by the new elite of Western -educated Africans. Examine.


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