History Previous Year Questions UPSC Mains – Ancient History Questions in UPSC Mains PDF

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

History Previous Year Questions UPSC Mains are from the topics of Ancient, Medieval, Modern, and World History. The GS Paper 1 of UPSC Mains contains the following subjects – History, Geography, Art and Culture, and Indian Society. Out of which, UPSC Mains History questions are of utmost importance as they carry a high weightage and scoring in nature. The syllabus of history remains the same every year as opposed to geography, polity, and economics which are impacted by current events. So, it becomes slightly easy for candidates to prepare for this subject well in advance with the help of the previous year’s papers and mock tests.

History Mains Questions in UPSC GS-1 are asked from ancient history, world history, freedom struggle, post-independence period, etc. There is no fixed number of questions asked from the history section. That’s why candidates should go through the History previous year questions UPSC Mains to understand the number of questions and their difficulty level. Here we will cover the previous year’s UPSC Mains history questions that would help the candidates during preparation.

History Previous Year Questions UPSC Mains

History is an important topic in the UPSC Exam, with questions being asked from ancient, medieval, modern, and world history topics such as the freedom struggle, the french revolution, the industrial revolution, and post-independence India. History Mains Questions are covered and asked from the UPSC GS Paper 1 Syllabus.

A candidate must review the previous year question papers and make a note of the significant subjects that were frequently asked. It is rare for the History Mains questions UPSC to relate to Current Affairs directly, but to make the answer dynamic, one must relate the answers to recent events.

Below we have tried to cover the History Previous Year Question UPSC Mains, dividing them into year-wise and topic-wise.

Ancient History Questions in UPSC Mains

Ancient history is an important part of the History Syllabus for UPSC. The ancient history questions in UPSC Mains are selective, but require a depth of knowledge. Over the years, only a few questions have been asked from Ancient History in UPSC Mains.

Ancient History Questions in UPSC Mains PDF

The Ancient History Questions in UPSC Mains over the years are:

  1. Discuss the main contributions of the Gupta period and the Chola period to Indian heritage and culture. [2022]
  2. Analyze the salience of ‘sect’ in Indian society vis-a-vis caste, region and religion.[2022]
  3. Evaluate the nature of the Bhakti Literature and its contribution to Indian culture. [2021]
  4. Persian literary sources of medieval India reflect the spirit of the age. Comment. [2020]
  5. Highlight the Central Asian and Greco-Bactrian elements in Gandhara art. [2019]
  6. Assess the importance of the accounts of the Chinese and Arab travellers in the reconstruction of the history of India. [2018]
  7. Safeguarding the Indian art heritage is the need of the moment. Discuss. [2018]
  8. The Bhakti movement received a remarkable re-orientation with the advent of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Discuss. [2018]
  9. How do you justify the view that the level of excellence of the Gupta numismatic art is not at all noticeable in later times? [2017]
  10. Krishnadeva Raya, the King of Vijayanagar, was not only an accomplished scholar himself but was also a great patron of learning and literature. Discuss. [2016]
  11. Early Buddhist Stupa-art, while depicting folk motifs and narratives successfully expounds Buddhist ideals. Elucidate. [2016]
  12. 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. [2015]
  13. The ancient civilization in the Indian sub-continent differed from those of Egypt, Mesopotamia and Greece in that its culture and traditions have been preserved without a breakdown to the present day. Comment. [2015]

World History Questions in UPSC Mains

The World History Questions are asked only in UPSC Mains and not in UPSC Prelims. The World History Previous Year Questions are covered below in detail. It is important to note that World History UPSC Mains Questions are not asked every year. The syllabus of the same is limited, and the questions are more or less asked from the specific sub-topics only.

World History Questions in UPSC Mains PDF

The World History Questions in UPSC Mains are:

  1. “There arose a serious challenge to the Democratic State System between the two World Wars.” Evaluate the statement. [2021]
  2. Explain how the foundation of the modern world was laid by the American and French Revolutions. [2019]
  3. The anti-colonial struggles in West Africa were led by the new elite of Western-educated Africans. Examine. [2016]
  4. Why did the industrial revolution first occur in England? Discuss the quality of life of the people there during industrialization. How does it compare with that in India at present? [2015]
  5. To what extent can Germany be held responsible for causing the two World Wars? Discuss critically [2015]
  6. What were the major political, economic and social developments in the world which motivated the anti-colonial struggle in India? [2014]
  7. 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? [2014]
  8. The New Economic Policy – 1921 of Lenin influenced the policies adopted by India soon after independence. Evaluate. [2014]
  9. “Latecomer” Industrial revolution in Japan involved certain factors that were markedly different from what the west had experienced. [2013]
  10. Africa was chopped into states artificially created by the accident of European competition. Analyse. [2013]
  11. American Revolution was an economic revolt against mercantilism. Substantiate. [2013]
  12. What policy instruments were deployed to contain the great economic depression? [2013]

Modern History Previous Year Questions UPSC Mains [2022-16]

The Modern History Previous Year Questions in UPSC Mains have been covered from 2022 to 2016. The Modern History Mains Questions were well aligned with the UPSC Syllabus. Practising the UPSC Previous Year Question Papers helps a lot in solving the Modern History Mains questions.

Modern History Previous Year Questions UPSC Mains PDF

The Modern History Previous Year Questions asked over the years are:

  1. Why did the armies of the British East India Company – mostly comprising of Indian soldiers – win consistently against the more numerous and better-equipped armies of the Indian rulers? Give reasons. [2022]
  2. Why was there a sudden spurt in famines in colonial India since the mid-eighteenth century? Give reasons. [2022]
  3. Trace the rise and growth of socio-religious reform movements with special reference to Young Bengal and Brahmo Samaj. [2021]
  4. To what extent did the role of the moderates prepare a base for the wider freedom movement? [2021]
  5. Assess the main administrative issues and socio-cultural problems in the integration process of Indian Princely States. [2021]
  6. Bring out the constructive programmes of Mahatma Gandhi during the Non-Cooperation Movement and Civil Disobedience Movement. [2021]
  7. Evaluate the policies of Lord Curzon and their long-term implications on the national movements. [2020]
  8. Since the decade of the 1920s, the national movement acquired various ideological strands and thereby expanded its social base. Discuss. [2020]
  9. The Revolt of 1857 was the culmination of the recurrent big and small local rebellions that had occurred in the preceding hundred years of British rule. [2019]
  10. Many voices strengthened and enriched the nationalist movement during the Gandhian phase. Elaborate. [2019]
  11. Examine the linkages between the nineteenth century’s “Indian Renaissance” and the emergence of national identity. [2019]
  12. Why indentured labour was taken by the British from India to other colonies? Have they been able to preserve their cultural identity over there? [2018]
  13. Throw light on the significance of the thoughts of Mahatma Gandhi in the present times. [2018]
  14. Discuss whether the formation of new states in recent times is beneficial or not for the economy of India. [2018]
  15. Clarify how mid-eighteenth century India was beset with the spectre of a fragmented polity. [2017]
  16. Why did the ‘Moderates’ fail to carry conviction with the nation about their proclaimed ideology and political goals by the end of the nineteenth century? [2017]
  17. The women’s questions arose in modern India as a part of the 19th-century social reform movement. What are the major issues and debates concerning women in that period? [2017]
  18. Highlight the importance of the new objectives that got added to the vision of Indian Independence since the twenties of the last century. [2017]
  19. Distinguish between religiousness/religiosity and communalism in post-independent India giving one example of how the former has got transformed into the latter in independent India. [2017]
  20. Explain how the Uprising of 1857 constitutes an important watershed in the evolution of British policies towards colonial India. [2016]
  21. Discuss the role of women in the freedom struggle, especially during the Gandhian phase. [2016]
  22. Highlight the differences in the approach of Subhash Chandra Bose and Mahatma Gandhi in the struggle for freedom. [2016]

How to Prepare History Previous Year Questions UPSC Mains?

Candidates must plan ahead to prepare for the UPSC Mains History Previous Year Questions on time. The history curriculum is extensive, as we’ve already indicated, and using the following plan will help you successfully complete the Previous Year’s Questions.

  • Build a solid foundation: When answering the history previous year questions, the NCERT Books for UPSC, for grades VII to XII, are essential. After completing the NCERTs, broaden your knowledge by reading other UPSC Books.
  • Cover the curriculum carefully: The events in the UPSC History Syllabus must be completed in order. Maintain a methodical approach to planning.
  • Practice Previous Year Questions: Going through the Ancient and World History PYQ UPSC Mains helps a lot in solving the question papers. In the GS Paper 1 of the Mains, Modern History has the most weightage.
  • Mock Exams: Now that you have completed the History UPSC Mains Previous Year Questions, it is time to advance your preparation with mock tests. Try as many practice exams as you can to evaluate your preparation and learn from your shortcomings.
UPSC Mains Questions of Other Subjects
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