General Awareness : History & Polity

By Asha Gupta|Updated : August 19th, 2021

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Vedic period (1500 BC – 1000 BC)

 The Veda was Finally concluded by KRISHNA DWVAYAPAYANA VEDA VYAS.


  • oldest religious text in the world
  • Consists of 1028 hymns divided into 10 mandalas (books).
  • 2nd to 7th mandala known as vamsha mandala.
  • In IIIrd Mandala, the Gayatri mantra is addressed to the solar system.
  • X Mandala addressed Purusha Sukta which explains four Varna e., Brahman, Kshatriya, Vaishya and shudder.

The history of the later Vedic period is based mainly on the Vedic texts which were compiled after

the age of Rig Veda.


  • The Indus Valley Civilization is one of the world's oldest civilizations along with the Mesopotamia Civilization in Iraq and Ancient Egypt Civilization.
  • The Indus Valley Civilization is also known as the Harappan Civilization as Harappa was the first and the most important site of the Indus Valley Civilization.
  • The Indus Valley Civilization has spread in 12, 60,000 sq. km which includes whole Pakistan some parts of India, Afghanistan, and Iran (Persia).
  • The materials which were found during the excavations and based on the radiocarbon dating it is believed that the Indus Valley Civilization was spread from the year 2500-1750 B.C.
  • The first site discovered was Harappa, which was discovered by Dr. D.R. Sahani in 1921 on the banks of the river Ravi and Mohanjodaro in 1922 by R.D. Banerjee on the banks of the river Indus. Sir John Marshall played important role in both the excavations.
  • Indus Valley Civilization forms part of the Proto History of India and belongs to the Bronze Age.
  • The population of the Indus Valley Civilization consists of the Mediterranean, Proto-Australoid, and Mongoloids.
  • The use of Gold, Silver, Copper, and Bronze was there but the use of Iron was completely unknown.

Important Sites of Indus Valley Civilization:

Harappa- Daya Ram Sahani 1921 Mohanjodaro- R.D. Banerjee-1922 Amri- M.G. Majumdar-1929 Chanhudaro- M.G. Majumdar-1931 Kalibanga- Amlanand Ghosh-1953 Lothal- S.R. Rao-1957

Banwali- R.S. Bisht-1973 Surkotada- Jagat Pal Joshi-1964 Dholavira- Jagat Pal Joshi- 1967 Ropar- Y.D.Sharma- 1953 Rangpur- M.S. Vats- 1931

Mauryan Empire (321- 185 B.C.)

  • Chandragupta Maurya (321- 297 B.C)
  • Bindusara (297-273 B.C
  • Asoka the Great (269-232 B.C)

The Gupta Dynasty:

  • Chandragupta I in the year 319 A.D
  • Chandragupta II became the king in the year 380 A.D
  • Kumaragupta I around 413 A.D to 455 A.D
  • Skandgupta up to 467 A.D
  • Vishnu Gupta to 550 A.D the Gupta Dynasty came to an end.

India- 7th Century -12th Century A.D.:

  • Harsha Vardhana (606 A.D- 647 A.D)
  • Chalukya of Badami
  • Pallavas
  • Pratiharas/ Gurjar Pratiharas
  • Chola Dynasty
  • Rajputs

The Marathas:  

Maratha Families












 Bhakti and Sufi Movement Development in South India between 7th and 12th CE. :

1. Bhakti Movement:

  • Discarded rituals and sacrifices.
  • They emphasized purity of heart and mind, humanism, and devotion.
  • Monotheistic in nature.
  • God has either Saguna or Nirguna form.
  • An egalitarian movement, they denounced casteism.
  • These saints preached in local languages.
  • They rejected the austerities preached by Jainism and Buddhism. These religions saw a decline in their growth due to the Bhakti movement.

Social reforms:

  1. The disregarded caste system.
  2. Attacked institutionalized religion, Brahminical dominance, idol worship, methods of elaborate rituals, etc.
  3. Opposed Sati and female infanticide.
  4. Women were encouraged to join Kirtans.
  5. They aimed at bridging the gulf between Hindus and Muslims.

2. Sufi Movement:

  • The Sufis believed in the concept of Wahdat-ul-Wajud (Unity of Being)
  • The hatha-yoga treatise Amrita Kunda was translated into Arabic and
  • The Sufi saints maintained close contact with the common people
  • The Sufi saints were poets who chose to write in local languages. Amir khusrau wrote in Hindi and developed a new style of sabaq-i-hindi.
  • The liberal views of Sufis influenced the Din-i-Illahi of Akbar

Revolt of 1857:

  • Introduction of Policy of Doctrine of Lapse
  • Nana Sahib was refused pension, as he was the adopted son of Peshwa Baji Rao II
  • Heavy taxation, evictions, discriminatory tariff policy against Indian products, and destruction of traditional handicrafts that hit peasants, artisans, and small
  • Indian soldiers were paid low salaries; they could not rise above the rank of subedar and were racially
  • They were also grieved because of the refusal of the British to pay Foreign Service allowance (batta) while fighting in remote regions such as Punjab and Sindh
  • British social reforms (widow remarriage, abolition of Sati, education for girls, Christian missionaries).
  • The introduction of the Enfield rifle, the cartridge of which was greased with animal fat, provided the spark.
  • Inventions like railway and telegraphs spread of Western education also promoted the


  • The revolt was mainly feudal in character carrying with it some nationalist
  • The control of the Indian administration was passed on to the British crown by the Govt, of India Act, 1858. The army was carefully reorganized to prevent the recurrence of such an event.


  • The most dynamic phase of freedom.
  • Gandhiji became a public figure even before coming to India.
  • Gandhi Ji succeeded in working with an amalgamation of people in South Africa.
  • After 1919, he emerged as a dominant figure in the Indian National Movement.
  • Gandhi Ji's tools for the national movement were worth to be lived for western influences in the formation of his ideas.

Making of the Constitutions:

India was getting close to independence and with this arise the need of the constitution. The idea to have the constitution in India was given in the year 1934 by Mr. M.N. Roy the pioneer of the communist movement in India. 

Constituent Assembly- The Constituent Assembly of India consists of 389 members out of whom 292 members were elected from the various provinces, 93 members were nominated from the princely states and 4 members were from the Chief Commissioner areas of Delhi, Ajmer- Marwar, Coorg, and British Baluchistan.

Major point- 

  1. The Constitution was accepted on 26th November 1949.
  2. The National Song was accepted on 24th January 1950.
  3. The National Anthem was accepted on 24th January 1950.
  4. The National Flag was accepted on 22nd July 1947.
  5. Pingali Venkaiha from Andhra Pradesh was the designer of the National Flag of India.
  6. The elephant was the symbol of the Constituent Assembly of India.
  7. Prem Bihari Raizada was the English Calligrapher of the Constitution.
  8. Vasant Krishna Vaidya was the Hindi Calligrapher of the Constitution.


  • Finance Commission
  • Attorney General and Solicitor General
  • Comptroller and Auditor General of India
  • Union Public Service Commission
  • Election Commission
  • National Commission for Scheduled Caste
  • National Commission for Scheduled Tribe
  • State Public Service Commission
  • Advocate General of the State

Non Constitutional Bodies: 

  • National Commission for Women- 1992 Chairman- Smt Lalita Kumarmagalam National Commission for Minorities- 1993 Chairman- Shri Ghorul Hasan
  • National Commission for backward classes- 1993 Chairman- Justice Vangala Eshwarya National Human Rights Commission- 1993 Chairman- Shri HL Dattu
  • National Commission for protection of Child Rights- 2007 Chairman- Shri Stuti Narain Kocher
  • Planning Commission- 1950-2014 Chairman- PM National Development Council- 1952 Chairman- PM NITI Aayog -2015 Chairman- PM
  • Central Vigilance Commission- 1964 Chairman- Shri KV Chaudhary Central Information Commission- 2005 Chairman- Vijai Sharma Staff Selection Commission-1975 Chairman- Shri Ashim Khurana


1. Panchayats / Rural Local Government: The Panchayats in India were the constitutional status by the 73rd Amendment Act 1992. On 2nd October 1959, Rajasthan became the first state to start the Panchayati Raj which was started from the Nagaur district. The concept of Rajasthan was followed by the state of Andhra Pradesh in the year 1959 and after that, it was implemented by the whole of India. 

2. Municipalities / Urban Local Government: 

  • The Urban Local Government was given the constitutional status during the Narsimha Rao government in the year 1992 by the 74th Amendment Act by the addition of the 12th Schedule in the Constitution of India.
  • The Urban Local Government is mentioned in Part IX-A of the constitution of India and articles 243-P- 243-ZG deal with the provisions of the Urban Local Government (also known as the Municipalities).

Chairmen of the Important Committees:

Name of the Committee            Chairman

Rules of Procedure Committee       Rajendra Prasad

Fundamental Rights, Minorities      Vallabhbhai Patel

Union Powers Committee               Jawaharlal Nehru

Union Constitution Committee       Jawaharlal Nehru

Drafting Committee                      B. R. Ambedkar

Flag Committee                            J. B. Kriplani


The Parliament of India enacted the Citizenship Act in 1955, amended in 1986, 1992, 2003, and 2005. In the constitution, It is mentioned in part II, and articles 5 to 11 deal with the concept of citizenship. 

Citizenship of India can be acquired by:
  • Birth
  • Descent
  • Registration
  • Naturalization
  • Incorporation of territory
  • Termination Renunciation
  • Acquisition of another country
  • Deprivation



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