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UPSC > Modern History

Explore popular questions from Modern History for UPSC. This collection covers Modern History previous year UPSC questions hand picked by experienced teachers.

Q 1.

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During the colonial period in India, what was the purpose of the Whitley Commission?

A

To review the fitness of India for further political reforms

To report on existing conditions of labour and to make recommendations

C

To draw up a plan for financial reforms for India

D

To develop a comprehensive scheme for Civil Services in India

Explanation

Whitley chaired the Royal Commission on Labour in India, which reported in 1931.

Q 2.

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With reference to the entry of European powers into India, which one of the following statements is not correct?

The Portuguese captured Goa in 1499

B

The English opened their first factory in South India at Masulipatam

C

In Eastern India, the English Company opened its first factory in Orissa in 1633

D

Under the leadership of Dupleix, the French occupied Madras in 1746

Explanation

The Portuguese captured Goa from rulers of Bijapur in 1510 and not in 1499.

Q 3.

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In India, among the following locations, the Dutch established their earliest factory at:

A

Surat

Pulicat

C

Cochin

D

Cassimbazar

Explanation

Best answer is b. As Dutch established their first factory at Masulipatam (AP) in 1605. Their second factory was established at Pulicat in 1610.

Q 4.

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The aim of education as stated by the Wood’s Despatch of 1854 was:

A

the creation of employment opportunities for native Indians

B

the spread of western culture in India

C

the promotion of literacy among the people using English medium

the introduction of scientific research and rationalism in the traditional Indian education

Explanation

Wood's Despatch of 1854 are considered as the Magna Carta of English education in India. Statement 3 is incorrect as it recommended English as the medium of instructions for higher studies and vernaculars at school level.

Q 5.

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Which one of the following statements is not correct?

Ali Mardan Khan introduced the system of revenue farming in Bengal

B

Maharaja Ranjit Singh set up modern foundries to manufacture cannons at Lahore

C

Sawai Jai Singh of Amber had Euclid’s Elements of Geometry’ translated into Sanskrit

D

Sultan Tipu of Mysore gave money for the construction of the idol of Goddess Sharda in the Shringeri temple

Explanation

Murshid Quli Khan introduced revenue farming in Bengal.

Q 6.

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Which one of the following provisions was not made in the Charter Act of 1833 ?

A

The trading activities of the East India Company were to be abolished

B

The designation of the supreme authority was to be changed as the Governor-General of India in Council

C

All law-making powers to be conferred on Governor-General in Council

An Indian was to be appointed as a Law Member in the Governor-General’s Council

Explanation

Charter Act of 1833 provides for the appointment of a law member but not necessarily an Indian.

Q 7.

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With reference to colonial rule in India, what was sought by the Ilbert Bill in 1883?

To bring Indians and Europeans at par as far as the criminal jurisdiction of courts was concerned

B

To impose severe restrictions on the freedom of the native press as it was perceived to be hostile to colonial rulers

C

To encourage the native Indians to appear for civil service examinations by conducting them in India

D

To allow native Indians to posses arms by amending the Arms Act

Explanation

Ilbert Bill was introduced during the viceroyality of Lord Rippon.

Q 8.

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In India, the first Bank of limited liability managed by Indians and founded in 1881 was:

A

Hindustan Commercial Bank

Oudh Commercial Bank

C

Punjab National Bank

D

Punjab and Sind Bank

Explanation

The first entirely Indian joint stock bank was the Oudh Commercial Bank, established in 1881 in Faizabad. It collapsed in 1958. The next was the Punjab National Bank was established in Lahore in 1895, which has survived to the present and is now one of the largest banks in India.

Q 9.

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Which of the following pairs are correctly matched?

List-I (Period)List-II
1. AD 1767-69First Anglo-Maratha War
2. AD 1790-92Third Mysore War
3. AD 1824-26First Anglo-Burmese War
4. AD 1845-46Second Sikh War

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:
Codes:

A

2 and 4

B

3 and 4

C

1 and 2

2 and 3

Explanation

First Anglo-Maratha War - 1775-1782; First Anglo - Sikh War - 1845-1846; Second Anglo - Sikh War - 1848-1849;

Q 10.

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Which one of the following pairs is not correctly matched?

A

Pitt’s India Act : Warren Hastings

B

Doctrine of Lapse : Dalhousie

Vernacular Press Act : Curzon

D

Ilbert Bill : Ripon

Explanation

Vernacular Press Act was passed by Lord Lytton in 1878 and it was repealed by Ripon in 1882.

Q 11.

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Consider the following Viceroys of India during the British rule:
1. Lord Curzon
2. Lord Chelmsford
3. Lord Hardinge
4. Lord Irwin
Which one of the following is the correct chronological order of their tenure?

1,3,2,4

B

2,4,1,3

C

1,4,2,3

D

2,3,1,4

Explanation

Lord Curzon (1899-1905); Lord Chelmsford (1916-1921); Lord Hardinge (1910-1916); Lord Irwin (1926-1931)

Q 12.

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Consider the following statements:
1. In the Third Battle of Panipat, Ahmed Shah Abdali defeated Ibrahim Lodi
2. Tipu Sultan was killed in the Third Anglo-Mysore War
3. Mir Jafar entered in a conspiracy with the English for the defeat of Nawab Siraj-ud-Daulah in the Battle of Plassey
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

A

1, 2 and 3

3 only

C

2 and 3

D

None

Explanation

In the first Battle of Panipat (1526), Ibrahim Lodi was defeated by Babur. In the Third Battle of Panipat (1761), Ahmed Shah Abdali defeated Marathas. Tipu Sultan was killed in the fourth Anglo-Mysore War (1799).

Q 13.

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Which one of the following places did Kunwar Singh, a prominent leader of the Revolt of 1857 belong to ?

Bihar

B

Madhya Pradesh

C

Rajasthan

D

Uttar Pradesh

Explanation

Kunwar Singh belonged to a royal Ujjaini house of Jagdispur, currently a part of Bhojpur district, Bihar state.

Q 14.

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Which one of the following territories was not affected by the Revolt of 1857 ?

A

Jhansi

Chittor

C

Jagdishpur

D

Lucknow

Explanation

Leader: Jhansi - Rani Laxmibai; Lucknow - Begum Hazrat Mehal; Jagdishpur (Bihar)- Kunwar Singh

Q 15.

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Consider the following statements:
1. Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar founded the Bethune School at Calcutta with the main aim of encouraging education for women.
2. Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay was the first graduate of the Calcutta University.
3. Keshav Chandra Sen's campaign against Sati led to the enactment of a law to ban Sati by the Governor General.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

A

1 only

1 and 2

C

2 and 3

D

1, 2 and 3

Explanation

Statement 3 is incorrect as Raja Ram Mohan Roy's campaign against Sati led to the enactment of Bengal Regulation Act of 1829 to ban Sati by Governor-General William Bentick. Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay and Gattunath Bose were the first graduates of the Calcutta University on Jan 30,1858. JED Bethune founded the Bethune School in Calcutta in 1849. Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was also associated with this. That's why the best possible answer here is option (b).

Q 16.

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Who among the following repealed the Vernacular Press Act?

A

Lord Dufferin

Lord Ripon

C

Lord Curzon

D

Lord Hardinge

Explanation

Lord Lytton brought Vernacular Press Act came in to force in 1878. It was repealed by Lord Ripon in 1882.

Q 17.

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Consider the following statements:
1. Warren Hastings was the first Governor General who established a regular police force in India on the British pattern.
2. A Supreme Court was established at Calcutta by the Regulating Act, 1773.
3. The Indian Penal Code came into effect in the year 1860.
Which of the statements given above are correct?

A

1 and 2

2 and 3

C

1 and 3

D

1, 2 and 3

Explanation

Statement 1 is incorrect as Lord Curzon was the first Governor General who established a regular police force in India on the British pattern. A Supreme Court was established at Fort Williams by the Regulating Act, 1773 with jurisdiction over Bengal, Bihar and Orissa.

Q 18.

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Which one of the following is the correct chronological order of the battles fought in India in the 18th Century?

A

Battle of Wandiwash-Battle of Buxar-Battle of Ambur-Battle of Plassey

Battle of Ambur-Battle of Plassey-Battle of Wandiwash-Battle of Buxar

C

Battle of Wandiwash-Battle of Plassey-Battle of Ambur-Battle of Buxar

D

Battle of Ambur-Battle of Buxar-Battle of Wandiwash-Battle of Plassey

Explanation

Battle of Ambur-1749, Battle of Plassey-1757, Battle of Wandiwash-1760, Battle of Buxar-1764

Q 19.

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Who among the following was a proponent of Fabianism as a movement?

Annie Besant

B

A.O. Hume

C

Michael Madhusudan Dutt

D

R. Palme Dutt

Explanation

The Fabian Society is a British socialist intellectual movement best known for its initial ground-breaking work beginning in the late 19th century and then up to World War I. Fabianism focused on the advancement of socialist ideas through gradual influence and patiently insinuating socialist ideology into intellectual circles and groups with power.

Q 20.

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Consider the following statements:
1. The Charter Act, 1853 abolished East India Company monopoly of Indian trade.
2. Under the Government of India Act, 1858 the British Parliament abolished the rule of East India Company and undertook the responsibility of ruling India directly.
Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

A

1 only

2 only

C

Both 1 and 2

D

Neither 1 nor 2

Explanation

The Charter Act, 1813 (not 1853) abolished East India Company monopoly of Indian trade.

Q 21.

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Which one of the following revolts was made famous by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee in his novel 'Anand Math'?

A

Bhil uprising

B

Rangpur and Dinapur uprising

C

Bishnupur and Birbhum rebellion

Sanyasi rebellion

Explanation

Anand Math is a Bengali novel, written by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee and published in 1882. Set in the background of the Sanyasi Rebellion in the late 18th century.

Q 22.

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With reference to the 'revolt of the year' who of the following was betrayed by 'friend' captured and put to death by the British?

A

Nana Sahib

B

Kunwar Singh

C

Khan Bahadur Khan

Tatya Tope

Explanation

The British forces had failed to subdue him for over a year. He was however betrayed into the hands of the British by his trusted friend, Man Singh, while asleep in his camp in the Paron forest. He was captured on 7 April 1859 by a detachment of native infantry from British General Richard John Meade’s troops led to him by Singh and escorted to Shivpuri where he was tried by a military court.

Q 23.

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Who was the Governor-General of India during the Sepoy Mutiny?

Lord Canning

B

Lord Dalhousie

C

Lord Hardings

D

Lord Lytton

Explanation

Revolt of 1857 is referred as Sepoy Mutiny by many historians. After the mutiny Lord Canning was made the Viceroy and power was transferred from the East India Company to the British crown by Act of 1858.

Q 24.

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Who among the following started the newspaper Shome Prakash?

A

Dayanand Saraswati

Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar

C

Raja Rammohan Roy

D

Surendranath Banerjee

Explanation

It was started by Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar.

Q 25.

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Which one of the following is the correct statement?

A

The modern Kochi was a Dutch colony till India's independence.

B

The Dutch defeated the Portuguese and built Fort Williams in the modern Kochi.

C

The modem Kochi was first a Dutch colony before the Portuguese took over.

None of these

Explanation

No statement is correct. Modern Kochi became a part of the British colony after being a Dutch colony. Kochi was first a Portuguese colony. Fort Williams was built in Calcutta (not in Kochi) by the English.