(Notes) Civil Services (Prelims) Examination :Indian History - Quick Revision Notes (I)

Civil Services (Prelims) Examination Special
Quick Revision Notes

Indian History

Indian history forms an important part of the General Awareness paper of Civil Services (Prelims) Examination. Based on analysis of types of questions asked in previous years, we have compiled this feature to help you to be better prepared for the examination, as also to make your preparation easier. This will be a regular feature in the magazine and in coming months we will also provide you with similar notes on Indian Constitution and other topics.

Pre-historic and Vedic Civilisation

1. Ancient geographers referred to Himalayas, as also their less elevated offshoot— the Patkai, Lushai and Chittagong hills in the east and the Sulaiman and Kirthar ranges in the west— as Himavat.

2. Jambu-dvipa was considered to be the innermost of seven concentric island-continents into which the earth, as per Hindu cosmographers, was supposed to have been divided. The Indian sub-continent is said to part of Jambu-dvipa.

3. Sapta sindhavah is the name of the country of the Aryans in the Vedas.

4. In the ancient literature, there are references of India being divided into five divisions. In the centre of the Indo-Gangetic plains was the Madhya-desh, stretching from river Saraswati, which flowed past Thanesar and Pehowa (present-day Haryana) to Allahabad and Varanasi. The western part of this area was known as Brahamrishi-desh, and the entire region was roughly equivalent to Aryavrata as described in the grammar of Patanjali. To the north of Madhya-desh lay Uttarapatha and to its west Aparanta (Western India), to its south Dakshinapath or Deccan and to its east Purvadesh. The term Dakshinapath was in some ancient works restricted to the upper Deccan, north of river Krishna and far south was termed as Tamilakam or the Tamil country.

5. The Negritos were the first human inhabitants of India. Originally, they came from Africa through Arabia, Iran and Baluchistan. They have practically disappeared from the soil of India, except in Andaman Islands.

6. The Munda languages belong to the Austro-Asiatic family and are to be found at present in the eastern half of Central India, southern border of the Himalayas and Kashmir and the territory east of Nepal.

7. Prakit was the single language of Indian sub-continent in third century B.C. Sanskrit came into being a few centuries later.

8. The term Paleolithic is derived from two Greek words meaning Old Stone. This name is applied to the earliest people as the only evidence of their existence is furnished by a number of rude stone implements.

9. Paleolithic men in India are also known as Quartzite men from the fact that majority of chipped stones found in different parts of India are made of hard rock called quartzite.

10. Paleolithic paintings have been found in caverns at Singanpur near Raigarh in Madhya Pradesh, as also in Kaimur ranges and some places in Mirzapur district.

11. With the advent of age of metals, in Northern India, copper replaced stone as ordinary material for tools and weapons. And, it took several centuries for iron to replace copper. In Southern India, however, the Iron Age immediately succeeded the Stone Age.

12. The Indus civilization existed in the same period as those of Egypt, Assyria and Babylonia.

13. Mohenjodaro was discovered by R.D. Banerjee in 1922 and Harappa by R.B. Dayaram Sahni. Later on, the work was taken over by Sir John Marshall, Director- General of Archeology.

14. The fertile surrounding region of Mohenjodaro is called Nakhlistan or the Garden of Sind.

15. It is presumed that Iron was not known to the Indus Valley civilisation as not a single scrap of iron has been found in the excavations at various sites.


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