1. Consider the following statements with regards to the Mauryan Empire: (1) The concentration of power in the king characterised the Mauryan rule. (2) The Mauryans may have maintained a naval force. (3) Chandragupta Maurya established the Mauryan dynasty after defeating Mahapadma Nanda. Which of the statements given above is/are correct? (a) 1 and 2 only (b) 1 and 3 only (c) 3 only (d) 1, 2 and 3 Answer: (a) Explanation: The accounts by Megasthenes and Arthashastra suggest that Chandragupta Maurya was an autocrat and concentrated the power onto kings’ hand. Hence, statement 1 is correct. Megasthenes provides details of administration of armed forces under Mauryas. According to Megasthenes, a board of 30 members were divided into six committees. The six wings of armed forces include – the army, the cavalry, the elephants, the chariots, the navy and transport. But as the original account of Megasthenes is now lost and only its fragments have survived so many historians claim that this source is not beyond dispute. Thus the words “may have” in the statement becomes important and makes the statement correct. Hence, statement 2 is correct. Chandragupta Maurya defeated Dhananand. Hence, statement 3 is incorrect.
2. The Harappans procured materials for craft production from various places. Match the material and the place from which they were sourced: Material Place A. Lapis Lazuli 1. Southern Aravali, North Gujarat B. Carnelian 2. Khetri, Rajasthan C. Steatite 3. Shortughai, Afghanistan D. Metal 4. Bharuch, Gujarat Codes A B C D (a) 1 2 3 4 (b) 3 4 1 2 (c) 2 1 4 3 (d) 4 3 1 2 Answer: (b) Explanation: The Harappans procured materials for craft production in various ways and from various places. The Harappans procured materials for craft production in various ways. For instance, they established settlements such as Nageshwar and Balakot in areas where the shell was available. Other such sites were Shortughai, in far-off Afghanistan, near the best source of lapis lazuli, a blue stone that was very highly valued, and Lothal which was near sources of carnelian (from Bharuch in Gujarat), steatite (from southern Aravali, north Gujarat) and metal (from Khetri, Rajasthan). Another strategy for procuring raw materials may have been to send expeditions to areas such as the Khetri region of Rajasthan (for copper) and south India (for gold). These expeditions established communication with local communities.
3. Consider the following statements: (1) James Princep first deciphered this script. (2) It was the script used to write in Prakrit language on earliest inscriptions. (3) Most of the scripts used to write modern Indian languages, are derived from this script. (4) It is the script used in most Ashokan inscriptions. The above statements hold true for which script? (a) Kharoshti (b) Prakrit (c) Devanagri (d) Brahmi Answer: (d) Explanation: Most scripts used to write modern Indian languages are derived from Brahmi, the script used in most Asokan inscriptions. From the late eighteenth century, European scholars aided by Indian pandits worked backwards from contemporary Bengali and Devanagari (the script used to write Hindi) manuscripts, comparing their letters with older specimens. Scholars who studied early inscriptions sometimes assumed these were in Sanskrit, although the earliest inscriptions were, in fact, in Prakrit. It was only after decades of painstaking investigations by several epigraphists that James Princep was able to decipher Asokan Brahmi in 1838.
4. In Ancient India, ‘Kutagarashala’ referred to: (a) a place where the debate between philosophers took place (b) a place where the head of a tribe resided. (c) a place where children of high Brahman family were given education (d) a place where grains were stored. Answer: (a) Explanation: Kutagarashala – literally, a hut with a pointed roof – or in groves where travelling mendicants halted. Debates between philosophers took place here. If a philosopher succeeded in convincing one of his rivals, the followers of the latter also became his disciples. So, support for any particular sect could grow and shrink over time. Buddhist texts, mention as many as 64 sects or schools of thought. Teachers travelled from place to place, trying to convince one another as well as laypersons, about the validity of their philosophy or the way they understood the world. Thus, option (a) is correct.
5. With reference to the Vedic text, the term ‘Satamana’ refers to: (a) A Group of Ministers (b) Coins (c) An Assembly of village elders (d) Weapons Answer: (b) Explanation: The terms ‘Nishaka’ and ‘Satamana’ in the Vedic text refers to coins. Thus, option (b) is correct). Value Addition The life in the Later Vedic period became sedentary, and the domestication of animals and cultivation increased. Cattle were still the currency and principle movable property. The idea of private possession of lands started taking shape. Ironsmiths, weavers, jewellers, dyers, potters, are the new classes of artisans. Trade was also boosted. The Gold piece of specific weight Satamana was used as a currency rate. Use of Gold as currency is mentioned in Satapatha Brahman. Nishka was another popular currency. The other metallic coins were Suvarna and Krishnala. Barter system still existed. Money lending as the trade was prevalent. Money lenders were called Kusidin.