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Prelims Answer Writing

One of the key components of these exams is the written test, which consists of a number of essay and comprehension questions. Candidates are expected to write clear and well-structured answers that demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the topics being tested.


Q1. In the context of the princely states in India, consider the following statements.

1. The Princely states represented almost one-fourth of the Indian territory.

2. The states were guaranteed protection by the British in case of internal or external threats.

3. The states were promised autonomy in internal affairs. Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a) 1 only
b) 1 and 2
c) 2 and 3
d) 1, 2 and 3


Explanation After the revolt of 1857, the British abandoned the annexation policy, and the Princely states accepted the British paramountcy; in return, they were guaranteed protection against internal and external threats and autonomy in internal affairs, at least in theory. These 600-odd states represented about 1/5th of the Indian population and 1/3rd of the Indian territory. These included states like Hyderabad, Jammu and Kashmir, which were comparable to any European country in terms of size and many smaller states with populations in the thousands.

Q2. Which of the following committees was constituted to investigate the relationship between the princely states and British Empire?

a) Butler Committee

b) Young Hilton Committee

c) Sargent Committee

d) Muddiman committee


Explanation The Butler Committee (1927) was formed in the aftermath of the formation of the All-India states people’s conference. Threatened by the formation of AIPSC, the princely ruler sought British help in this matter, which led to the constitution of the committee. The young Hilton committee, 1926, is related to the establishment of the Reserve Bank of India. Sargent Commission, 1944 is related to education reforms. Muddiman Committee, 1925 was constituted in the wake of nationalists’ demand for Swaraj to study the dyarchy system in the Government of India Act 1919.

Q3. Consider the following statements about the condition of people in the princely states.

1. In general, the situation of people was better off in the princely states as compared to British India.

2. The burden of the tax was less compared to British India.

3. The reformist rulers were not appreciated by the British Indian government.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a) 3 only

b) 1 and 2 only

c) 2 and 3 only

d) 1, 2 and 3


Explanation • Most of the princely states were being run as autocracies, and the power was concentrated in the ruler and a small group of his favourites. • The people in these states were burdened with taxes even more than the British provinces. Moreover, they did not enjoy the protection of their civil liberties. They were largely deprived of the modernisation in the field of communication, transport and education that was happening in the rest of British India. • The reformist among them, like the Maharaja of Baroda, was looked at with extreme disfavour.

Q4. With reference to Congress' policy towards the princely states, consider the following.

1. Initially, the congress did not extend its membership to the people of the princely states.

2. In the Haripura session of 1938, the congress decided to expand the national movement to the Princely states.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2


Explanation • The policy towards the princely states was first pronounced in the Nagpur session in 1920 when a resolution was passed calling upon the princes to grant responsible governments in their states. • Even though the congress allowed membership to the residents of these states, they could not start any political activity in the name of the congress. • While in the 1938 Haripura session, the congress had reiterated its earlier position of non-intervention, things changed in 1939. In the Tripuri session, the congress passed a resolution that removed selfimposed restraints.

Q5. Who among the following was the President of the All India States Peoples Conference in 1939?

a) Jaya Prakash Narayan

b) Jawaharlal Nehru

c) Sheikh Abdullah

d) Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel


Explanation Jawaharlal Nehru was elected as President of the All India State Peoples Conference in 1939 to represent the common National interest of political struggles of the Princely States and British India.

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