Time allowed : 3 hours
Maximum marks: 80
- Answer all the questions. Some questions have internal choice. Marks are indicated against each question.
- Answer to questions no. 1 to 3 carrying 2 marks should not exceed 30 words each.
- Answer to questions no. 4 to 9 carrying 4 marks should not exceed 100 words each.
- Answer to questions no. 10 to 12 carrying 8 marks should not exceed 350 words each.
- Questions no. 13 to 15 are source based questions.
- Question no. 16 is a Map question that includes identification and location of significant test items. Attach the map with the answer-book.
** Answer is not given due to change in present syllabus
CBSE Previous Year Question Papers Class 12 History 2016 Delhi Set – I
Part – A
Who was John Marshall ? How did he mark a change in the Indian archaeology ? [1 + 1 = 2] Answer:
John Marshall was the Director General of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) from 1902 to 1928. He was known for excavations in Harappa, Mohenjodaro, Sanchi, Sarnath and Taxila.
Point out one similarity and one dissimilarity between Lingayats and Nayanars. [1 + 1 = 2] Answer:
Both condemned Brahmanical norm like rituals and opposed caste system, but Nayanars worshipped Shiva in both Linga and idol form while Lingayats worshipped only linga forms.
How did Indian hill stations become racial enclaves for the Europeans in the 19th century ? Explain two reasons.  Answer:
- Introduction of the railways made hills accessible to wide range of people.
- Setting up of tea and coffee plantation which caused an influx of immigrant labour from the plain.
Part – B
Mention any two changes that were observed after 1900 BCE in Harappan civilization. What could have brought these changes ? Explain. [2 + 2 = 4] Answer:
- Europeans recreated settlements reminiscent of their homes.
- Buildings were built in European style.
- Churches and educational institutions were set up by the British.
- They were the summer capital for British Government like Simla, Nainital, Ooty etc.
Reasons for changes are :
“The mid first millennium BCE is often regarded as a major turning point in world history.” Justify.  Answer:
The mid millennium BCE a turning point in world history:
- Emergence of various thinkers like Socrates, Buddha etc., in different parts of the world.
- Emergence of Upanishads in India.
- Attempt to understand mystery of existence, ultimate reality etc.
- Attempt to understand life after death.
- To understand relationship between humans and cosmic order.
- Compilation of Rig Veda.
- Sacrificial tradition existed and was questioned,
- Philosophical debates to understand the world in Kutagrashala.
Highlight any four aspects observed by the Portuguese traveller Barbosa on the Urban Core of the Vijaynagar Empire.  Answer:
Barbosa has described a detailed account of Vijaynagar rulers, economic and social life of the empire. Four aspects observed by Barbosa are given below:
- Most of the houses were thatched but well built.
- Houses were arranged according to the occupation of the people in long streets in many open places.
- The whole nagar was surrounded by a mountain, a river, a good wall.
- There were many jewels which were brought from Pegu and Celani and in the country itself many diamonds are found.
State the inherent problems faced by Al-Baruni in the task of understanding Indian Social and Brahamanical practices. Mention any two sources that provided him the support. [2 + 2 = 4] Answer:
Two inherent problems that were faced by Al-Baruni were:
- Language : Al-Baruni was familiar only with Arabic and Persian and could not understand Sanskrit Language.
- Difference in religious beliefs and practices. Two sources that provided him the support were :
- Vedas and Puranas
- The Bhagwad Geeta and Manusmriti.
“The battle between the hoe and the plough was a long one.” Substantiate the statement with reference to the Santhals and Paharias of Rajmahal Hills during 18th century.  Answer:
Paharis were the main residents of the Rajmahal hills. They practised Jhuming cultivation. They were very close to nature. In 1770s, the British embarked on a brutal policy of extermination, hunting the Paharis down and killing them. Then by the 1780s, Augustus Cleveland, proposed a policy of pacification. But this was refused by Paharis. As the Paharia pacification campaign continued, the Paharis withdrew deep into the mountains carrying a war with outsiders. But by this time, there were new intimations of danger from Santhals. Santhals were pouring into the area, clearing forest, cutting down timber, ploughing land and growing rice and cotton. As the lower hills were taken over by Santhal setders, the Paharia receded deeper into the Rajmahal hills. If Paharia life was symbolised by the Hoe, the Santhals came to represent the power of plough.
Examine how Lord Dalhousie’s policy of annexation created dissatisfaction amongst the people of Awadh.  Answer:
British were felt that the soil of Awadh was very good for producing indigo and cotton and the region was ideally located to be developed into the principal market of upper India. Lord Dalhousie had carried out Awadh annexation in 1856 which created the dissatisfaction among the people of Awadh. Here the Nawab Wajid Ali Shah was dethroned and exiled to Calcutta on the plea that the region was being misgoverned. He was widely loved and when he left his beloved Lucknow, there were many who followed him all way to Kanpur singing songs of lament. This emotional upheaval was aggravated by immediate material losses. The removal of Nawab led to the dissolution of the court and its culture. Thus a whole range of people—musicians, dancers, poets, artisans, cooks, retainers, administrative officers so on lost their livelihood. Taluqdars and sepoys were rendered jobless and powerless.
Read the following passage and answer the question that follows : [4 × 1 = 4] Every citizen in a free state should be treated in a manner that satisfied not only his material wants but also his spiritual sense of the self respect and the majority community has an obligation to try and understand the problems of the minorities and empathise with their aspiration. How could a citizen of a free nation express his imbibed values of equality and social justice while dealing with the members of the minority community ? Explain. **
Part – C
“There was more to rural India than the sedentary agriculture.” Explain the statement in the context of Mughal Period.
“In spite of the limitations, the Ain-i-Akbari remains an extraordinary document of its time.” Explain the statement.  Answer:
“There was more to rural India than the sedentary agriculture.” This statement can be explained on the basis of the following points :
- In the contemporary texts, forest dwellers were known as ‘Jangli’. However, it did not mean an absence of civilisation.
- The term Jangli was described for those whose livelihood came from the gathering of forest produce, hunting and shifting agriculture.
- These activities were mainly season specific. For example, among the Bhils, the spring season was reserved for gathering of forest produce.
- Among the Bhils, spring was reserved for gathering forest produce, summer for fishing, the monsoon months for cultivation whereas, winter and autumn for hunting.
- The three factors that accounted for the continuous expansion of agriculture were:
- abundance of land,
- available labour,
- mobility of peasants.
- Though monsoon always remained the backbone of Indian agriculture yet these were crops which required additional water. For this purpose, artificial systems of irrigation had to be devised.
- Irrigation projects got state support. In northern India, digging of new canals and repairing of old ones was undertaken by the state.
- The Indo-Persian sources of the Mughal period frequency used the term ‘raiyat’ to denote a peasant. Sources available in the 17th century AD refer to two types of peasants—
In spite of limitations, that Ain-i-Akbari is an extraordinary document of its time is very true as it provides fascinating glimpses into the structure and organisation of the Mughal Empire and gives us the quantitative information about its products and people. Abul Fazl achieved a major break through in the tradition of medieval chronicles who wrote mostly about remarkable political events, wars conquests political machinations and dynastic turmoil.
The Ain recorded the information about the empire and the people of India and thus constitutes a bench mark for studying India at the turn of the 17th C. The value of the Ain’s quantitative evidence is uncontested where the study of agrarian relation is concerned. The information on the people, their professions and trades and on the imperial establishment and the mansabdars of the empire provided in Ain enables the historians to reconstruct the social fabric of India at that time.
Analyse the distinctive aspects of the oral testimonies to understand the history of the partition of British India.
Examine various events that led to the partition of British India.  Answer:
1. Following are the strengths and limitations of oral history :
- Oral history visits those areas of events which are not included in the formal domain. It also helps us in understanding trials and tribulations of common masses.
- Oral history unfolds those mysterious vistas of events that helps us in graping experiences and memories in detail.
- Oral history spots those points which would have remained in the dark sans oral sources.
- Oral history permits historians to broaden the frontiers of their discipline. This provides information which is impossible to extract from government documents.
- It helps in or succeeds in exploring the experiences of those men and women whose existence till now has been ignored.
2. Following are the limitation of oral history :
- However, many historians remain sceptical of oral history. They out rightly dismiss its veracity and put it in the category of fiction instead of facts.
- In the absence of evidences, oral data seem to lack concreteness and the chronology may be imprecise.
- Oral accounts are related with peripheral issues and that the small individual experiences which remain in memory are irrelevant to the unfolding to larger processes of history.
3. Oral sources helped us in understanding partition in a better way :
- Historians can use oral testimonies to collaborate written sources of the Indian holocaust and thus can help remove internal controversies and contradictions.
- Oral sources have supported the official description of partition by providing a more personal edge.
- The experiences it relates are pivotal to the story, so much so that oral sources should be incorporated to check and justice versa.
The major four events happened that led to partition of British India :
1. Salt March
2. Quit India Movement
3. Hindu-Muslim conflict
4. Indian Independence.
1. Salt March: On 12 March, 1939 Gandhiji began walking from his Ashram at Sabarmati towards the ocean. Gandhiji wanted to say that the salt is made by nature by any effort, then why British make so much tax on it.
2. Quit India Movement: After failure of Cripps Mission, Mahatma Gandhi decided to launch his third major movement against British rule. The Quit India campaign, which began in August 1942. It was a mass movement, bringing into its ambit hundreds of thousands of ordinary Indians.
3. Hindu-Muslim Conflicts : Early in 1946, fresh elections were held to the provincial legislatures. But the seats reserved for Muslims the league won an overwhelming majority Cabinet Mission in 1946 failed to get the Congress and League to agree on a federal system that would keep India together. On the designated day, 16 August 1946, that was Jinnah called for a “Direct Action Day” to press the League’s demand for Pakistan, blood riots broke out in Calcutta and spread to rural Bengal, Bihar, Punjab and all over the country. In some places, Hindu were the main sufferers, in other places, Hindus.
4. Indian Independence Act : In February 1947, Wavell was replaced as viceroy by Lord Mountbatten. Mountbatten called one last round of talks, but when these too proved inconclusive, he common announced that British India would be freed but divided the formal transfer of power was fixed for 15 August.
Explain the system of land grants and trade from c. 600 BCE to 600 CE.
Explain any four sources to reconstruct the history of Mauryas. Examine the system of Mauryan administration. [4 + 4 = 8] Answer:
(i) The system of land grants (C. 600 BCE to CE 600) :
- Grants of land were recorded in inscriptions from the early centuries of the Common Era. Some of these inscriptions were found on stone, but most were on copper plates.
- Land grants were given to religious institutions or to Brahmanas. Grants called agrahara grants were made to Brahmanas.
- Women were not supposed to have independent access to resources such as land. However, the inscription clearly indicates that Prabhavathi had6 access to land.
- Some scholars say, that land grants were indicative of weakening political power, as kings were losing control over their Samantas. Rulers wanted to present themselves as supermen by granting lands.
(ii) The system of trade :
- The land and river router criss-crossed. The subcontinent and extended in different directions from the 6th century BCE. Inland and overland trade existed.
- These routes were traversed by the peddlers who travelled on foot. Whereas, merchants travelled with caravans of bullock carts and pack-animals.
- There were seafarers also. There ventures were full of risks but highly profitable. Merchants designated as masattuwan in Tamil and Sethi’s and Satthava’s has in Prakrit were very rich.
- There was a comprehensive range of goods, which were carried from one place to another such as salt, stone, timber, spices and pepper, medicinal plants etc. All these items were transported across the Arabian sea to the Mediterranean.
Four sources to reconstruct the history of Mauryas are:
- Valuable contemporary works, such as account of Megasthenes
- Arthashastra, parts of which are probably composed by Kautilya.
- Inscriptions of Ashoka on rocks and pillars are most valuable sources.
Mauryan ‘Administration : There were five major political centres in the empire—The capital Patliputra and the provincial centres of Taxila, Ujjayini, Tosali and Suvarnagiri, all mentioned in Ashokan inscriptions. The regions included within the empire were just too diverse. Imagine the contract between the hilly terrain of Afghanistan and the coast of Odisha. It is likely that administrative control was strongest in the areas around the capital and the provincial centres. These centres were carefully chosen, both Taxila and Ujjain being situated on important long distance trade routes, while Suvarnagiri was possible important for tapping the gold mines of Karnataka. Ashoka’s Dhamma spread respect towards elders, generosity towards Brahmins and those who renounced worldly life, treating slaves and servants kindly, respect for religious and traditions other than one’s own.
Part – D
Read the following excerpt carefully and answer the questions that follow:
A Tiger-Like Husband
This is a summary of a story from the Adi Parva of the Mahabharata:
The Pandavas had fled into the forest. They were tired and fell asleep; only Bhima, the second Pandava, renowned for his prowess, was keeping watch. A man-eating Rakshasa caught the scent of the Pandavas and sent his sister Hidimba to capture them. She fell in love with Bhima, transformed herself into a lovely maiden and proposed to him. He refused. Meanwhile, the Rakshasa arrived and challenged Bhima to a wrestling match. Bhima accepted the challenge and killed him. The others woke up hearing the noise. Hidimba introduced herself, and declared her love for Bhima. She told Kunti; “I have forsaken my friends, my dharma and my kin; and good lady, chosen your tiger-like son for my man … whether you think me a fool, or your devoted servant, let me join you, great lady, with your son as my husband.”
Ultimately, Yudhisthira agreed to the marriage on condition that they would spend the day together but that Bhima would return every night. The couple roamed all over the world during the day. In due course Hidimba gave birth to a Rakshasa boy named Ghatotkacha. Then the mother and son left the Pandavas. Ghatotkacha promised to return to the Pandavas whenever they needed him.
Some historians suggest that the term rakshasa is used to describe people whose practices differed from those laid down in Brahmanical texts.
(14.1) How did the story from Adi Parvam play
an important role in shaping the values and ethos of the society ? [2)
(14.2) How was this story a unique example
of exogamy ?  (14.3) How did Hidimba and Yudhishthira interpret dharma in their context ?  Answer:
(14.1) This Adi Parvan story reinforced the moral values and social values prescribed by Brahmanas. Story shows integration of the communities beyond the varnas into the Varna order.
(14.2) Exogamy refers to marriage outside the unit. Hidimba was out of Gotra of the Bheem. So, their marriage is an example of exogamy.
(14.3) Hidimba fell in love with Bhima and transformed herself into, a lovely maiden and proposed to him. She left her dharma, kin for Bheem. It was a definition of love for Hidimba and her dharma. Whereas Yudhishthira agreed for their marriage on a condition because he was keen follower of dharma but to uphold the dignity of Hidimba, marriage and love, he promised for their marriage on a condition.
Read the following excerpt carefully and answer the questions that follow:
The Accessible Emperor
In the account of his experiences, Monserrate, who was a member of the first Jesuit mission, says : It is hard to exaggerate how accessible he (Akbar) makes himself to all who wish audience of him. For he creates an opportunity almost every day for any of the common people or of the nobles to see him and to converse with him; and he endeavours to show himself pleasant-spoken and affable rather than severe towards all who come to speak with him. It is very remarkable how great an effect this courtesy and affability has in attaching him to the minds of his subjects.
(15.1) Who were Jesuits ? How did they establish their network in India ?  (15.2) How did Monserrate accord his experience about the Akbar ?  (15.3) How had Akbar’s courtesy brought affability for his subjects ? Explain.  Answer:
(15.1) Jesuits were the missionaries of the Society of Jesus. They came to India in 15th and 16th century and they were the part of the process of trade and empire building.
(15.2) Monserrate, who was a member of the first Jesuit Mission explains how Akbar makes himself accessible to all who wished audience of him. For he create an opportunity almost everyday for any of the common people or of nobles to see him and to converse with him.
(15.3.) Akbar’s characteristics brought affability for his subjects which includes :
- Relaxation in the taxes which made him popular in the audiences.
- He was religiously very humble and secular.
- He was very keen to meet the public and listen their voices.
Read the following excerpt carefully and answer the questions that follow :
Why the Salt Satyagraha ?
Why was salt the symbol of protest ? This is what Mahatma Gandhi wrote : The volume of information being gained daily shows how wickedly the salt tax has been designed. In order to prevent the use of salt that has not paid the tax which is at times even fourteen times its value, the Government destroys the salt it cannot sell profitably.
Thus, it taxes the nation’s vital necessity; it prevents the public from manufacturing it and destroys what nature manufactures without effort. No adjective is strong enough for characterising this wicked dog-in-the-manger policy. From various sources I hear tales of such wanton destruction of the nation’s property in all parts of India. Maunds if not tons of salt are said to be destroyed on the Konkan coast. The same tale comes from Dandi. Wherever, there is likelihood of natural salt being taken away by the people living in the neighbourhood of such areas for their personal use, salt officers are posted for the sole purpose of carrying on destruction. Thus valuable national property is destroyed at national expense and salt taken out of the mouths of the people.
The salt monopoly is thus a fourfold curse. It deprives the people of a valuable easy village industry, involves wanton destruction of property that nature produces in abundance, the destruction itself means more national expenditure, and fourthly to crown this folly, an unheard-of tax of more than 1,000 per cent is exacted from a starving people. This tax has remained so long because of the apathy of the general public. Now, that it is sufficiently roused, the tax has to go. How soon it will be abolished depends upon the strength of the people.
The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi (CWMG),
(16.1) Why was salt monopoly introduced by
the British considered as a curse by the Indians ?  (16.2) How did Gandhiji illustrate his
tactical wisdom with regard to salt monopoly ?  (16.3) Explain the significance of Gandhiji’s challenge of salt protest.  Answer:
(16.1) Because it deprived the people of a valuable easy village industry, involved wanton destruction of property that nature produced in abundance, the destruction itself means more national expenditure and more starving of people.
(16.2) Gandhiji announced that he would lead a march to break one of the most widely disliked laws in British India, which gave the state a monopoly in the manufacture and sale of salt. For in every Indian household, salt was indispensable, yet people were forbidden from making salt even for domestic use, compelling them to buy it from shops at a high price. To make it target, Gandhiji hoped to mobilise a wider discontent against British rule.
(16.3) Significance of the Gandhiji’s challenge of salt protest includes :
- The march was widely covered by the European and American press. This made Gandhiji popular.
- It was the first nationalist activity in which women participated in large numbers.
- This salt march made people come together and forced upon the British the realisation that their Raj would not last forever.
Part – E
(17.1) On the given political outline map of India, locate and label the following with appropriate symbols : [1 × 2 = 2] (a) Rakhigarhi
(b) Agra, the imperial capital of Mughal
(17.2) On the same outline map of India three centres related to the Indian National Movement have been marked as A, B and C. Identify them and write their correct names on the lines drawn near them. [1 × 3 = 3]
CBSE Previous Year Question Papers Class 12 History 2016 Delhi Set – II
Note : Except for the following questions, all the remaining questions have been asked in previous set.
Part – A
Who was R.E.M. Wheeler ? Mention any one of his contribution in the field of Archaeology. [1 + 1 = 2] Answer:
R.E.M. Wheeler was mainly a British archaeologist. He was the Director General of Indian Archaeology from 1944-48. He did a lot for Harappa excavations. His main contribution involves the use of scientific method in archaeology and cartesian coordinate system.
Point out any two similarities between the philosophy of Kabir and Guru Nanak Dev ?  Answer:
Kabir and Guru Nanak Dev both believed in practice of Nam-Simran. Both were against the polytheism and idol worships.
Part – B
The problems of Archaeological interpretation are perhaps most evident in the attempts to reconstruct religious practices of Harappans. Explain ?  Answer:
The objects found in the excavation in Harappa seem like Hindu God and Goddesses. Archaeologists used the concept of known to unknown that is present to past to relate the things with Hindu deities. Some examples are :
- Terracotta figurines of women, heavy jewelled with elaborate head dresses.
- Stone statuory of men which is seated with one hand on the knee—such as priest king.
- Great Bath and fire altars found in the Kalibangan and Lothal.
- Some animals depicted on seals such as unicorn—one-horned animal seem to be mythical, composite creatures.
- Some seales showing the figure of cross-legged in a logic posture surrounded by animals regarded as depiction of proto Shiva.
- Rudra in the Rigveda neither depicted as Pashupati nor as a yogi. This’depiction does not match with Shiva.
So, these statutory bodies were not the men or women, some scholars suggest that they were be Shaman possibly.
Part – C
“The village panchayat during the Mughal / period regulated rural society.” Explain the
statement.  Answer:
- The village Panchayat was an assembly of elders of important people of the village. They had hereditary landed properties.
- The panchayat represented various castes and communities in the village but it was dominated by the Brahmanas and the Kshatriyas.
- The menial-cum-agricultural worker was unlikely to be represented.
- The Panchayat was headed by a headman known as muqaddam or mandal.
- The headman was chosen by consensus by the village elders. This was ratified by the zamindar.
- The headmen held office as long as they t enjoyed the confidence of the village elders, failing
which they could be dismissed by them.
- The chief function of the headman was to ‘ supervise the preparation of village accounts,
assisted by the accountant or patwari.
- The mandals often misused their positions, for under assessing the revenue from their own lands and passing the burden to the smaller cultivator.
- The funds came from contributions made by the individuals to a common pool.
- This money was used for looking after the state revenue officials who visited the village, community welfare activities during natural calamities like floods, construction of a bund or digging a canal etc.
- The panchayat ensured that caste boundaries among the various communities of the village were upheld to prevent any offence against their caste. In eastern India, all marriages were held in the presence of the mandal.
- Panchayats also had the authority to impose fines. They could give severe punishment like expulsion from the community, thus forcing a person forced to leave the village and losing his right to practice his profession.
- Each caste or jati in the village had its own jati panchayat with considerable power.
- In Rajasthan jati, panchayats took care of civil disputes, land marriages, ritual precedence in village functions regarding members of different castes.
Note : Except for the following questions, all the remaining questions have been asked in previous set.
CBSE Previous Year Question Papers Class 12 History 2016 Delhi Set – III
Part – A
Who was Cunningham ? Mention any one source he collected to understand the Harappa culture.  Answer:
Cunningham was the first Director General of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Cunningham used the accounts left by Chinese Buddhist pilgrims who had visited the subcontinent between the fourth and seventh centuries to understand the Harappan culture.
Point out one difference and one similarity between Be-sharia and Ba-sharia Sufi traditions.  Answer:
The Shari’a is the law governing the Muslim community. The Sufi, traditions which were antisharia are called Be-shari while the tradition of Sufi Vichar Pro-Sharia are called Be-sharia. Similarity between these two is that both are related with Sufi traditions.
Part – B
Why do archaeologist and historians find Harappan script enigmatic ? Explain reasons.
Harappan script is an enigmatic script because of the following reasons :
- Most inscriptions are short and the longest one containing about 26 signs.
- These scripts were not alphabetical as it has too many signs (between 375 to 400).
- The script was written from right to left as some seals show a wider spacing on the right and cramping on then left.
- Harappan seals have a line of writing probably containing the name and title of the owner.
- The motif, generally an animal, conveyed a meaning to those who could not read.
- The writing has been found on variety of objects such as seals, copper tools, rims of jars, copper and terracotta tablets, jewellery and bone rods.