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General

Studies
Based on NCERT Syllabus

NCERT Based General Studies


Content
: Amar Ujala Education Books Authors Panel
Contribution
Amar Jyoti , Vikas Dwivedi
Amar Ujala Publications Ltd.
Published by Amar Ujala Publications Ltd.
and printed at C-21, Sector 59, Noida - 201301 (U.P.)
Edition : 2016
Price : ` 275/Due care and diligence has been taken while publishing this book.
However, the publisher does not hold any responsibility for any mistake
that may have inadvertently crept in. The publisher does not accept
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All rights reserved. Neither this publication nor any part of it may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any
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NCERT BASED
GENERAL STUDIES
CONTENTS
HISTORY ............................................................................................................. 5-153
z Ancient History .......................... 6-58

Society, Culture and


Religion (1200 - 1526) .............. 80-88
The Mughals ............................. 89-96
Mughal Architecture ............ 97-100
Mughal Administration
and Economy ........................ 101-105

The Prehistoric Period ............... 6-7


The Vedic Civilisation ................ 8-15
The Vedic Age
(1500 BC - 600 BC) ........................ 16-21
Hinduism, Buddhism
and Jainism .................................. 22-24
Religious Movements ................ 25-29
The Rise of Magadha
Kingdom (600 to 300 BC) .............. 30-34
The Mauryan Empire
(325 to 183 BC) .............................. 35-41
The Sangam Age .......................... 42-43
Gupta Empire
(320 to 550 AD) .............................. 44-48
India During (300 - 700 AD) ..... 49-58

Rise of the Maratha


Power (I) ................................ 106-111
Rise of the Maratha
Power (II) ............................... 112-116

z Modern History .................... 117-158


The Advent of the
Europeans .............................. 117-118
Ascendancy of the British .. 119-120
Social and Cultural Awakening
in 19th Century ..................... 121-128
Rise of Indian Nationalism . 129-140
Gandhian Era (1917 - 1947) . 141-152
Towards Freedom ................ 153-158

z Medieval History ................... 59-116


Delhi Sultanate ........................ 59-68
Vijaynagar & Bahamini
Empire ........................................ 69-75
Administration and
Economy (1200 - 1526) ............. 76-79

z Art and Culture .................... 159-166

GEOGRAPHY ................................................................................................. 167-270


z
z
z
z
z
z

Space .........................................168-176
Lithosphere............................177-188
Atmosphere ............................189-202
South America .......................203-205
Australia ..................................206-208
Antarctica ................................209-209

z
z
z
z
z
z
z
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Asia ............................................ 210-218


India-Location ...................... 219-224
Drainage System .................. 225-229
Climate ..................................... 230-235
Natural Vegetation .............. 236-241
Soils ........................................... 242-246
Land Use and Agriculture ... 247-254

z Transport and
Communication ....................255-261

z Mineral and Energy


resources ................................. 262-270

INDIAN POLITY ........................................................................................... 271-374


z
z
z
z
z
z
z
z
z
z
z

Our Civic Life .......................272-275


Village Panchayat ................276-280
Constitution ...........................281-292
Fundamental Rights ...........293-299
Executives...............................300-307
Legislature .............................308-313
Judiciary .................................314-319
Federalism .............................320-325
Election System ....................326-332
Local Governments .............333-337
National Goals and
Democracy ..............................338-340

z The Caste System and


Other Social Problems ...... 341-343
z Foreign Policy of India
and the United Nation ....... 344-347
z Indian Administration
Organisation and
Functions ................................ 348-352
z Emergency Provisions ...... 353-358
z Important Schedules .......... 359-369
z Amendments of
Constitution ........................... 370-374

INDIAN ECONOMY & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ................... 375-472


z An Overview of the
Indian Economy ...................376-380
z National Income ...................381-385
z Agriculture .............................386-400
z Industrial Sector ................. 401-411
z Budget ......................................412-420
z Economic Planning of
India ..........................................421-434

z Money and Banking ........... 435-444


z Poverty Unemployment
and Employment .................. 445-460
z Population............................... 461-467
z Infrastructure
Development .......................... 468-472

GENERAL SCIENCE ................................................................................... 473-548


z Physics .....................................474-501

Universe .................................
Space Exploration ...............
Atomic Physics .....................
Magnetism and Electricity
Mechanics ..............................
Sound ......................................
Heat Energy ...........................

Acids, Base and Salts .......... 505-511


Chemical Reactions
and Equations ....................... 512-517
Properties of Gases ............. 518-524

474-479
480-482
483-484
485-487
488-491
492-496
497-501

z Biology ...................................... 525-548


The Living World ................. 525-528
Structures and Function
of the Living Body ............... 529-537
Plant Reproduction ............ 538-548

z Chemistry ...............................502-524
Things Around Us ................ 502-504

HISTORY

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History

ANCIENT HISTORY

The Prehistoric Period


The art of hunting and stalking wild animals
individually and later in groups made these
people to construct stone weapons and tools.
First, crudely carved out stones were used in
hunting, but as the size of the groups started to
increase and there was need for more food, these
people started to make "specialized tools" by
flaking stones, which were pointed at one
extreme.
These kind of tools were generally employed to
kill small animals and for tearing flesh the carcass
of the hunted animals.

The prehistoric period in the history can roughly


be dated from 2,00,000 BC to about 3500-2500 BC,
when the first civilisations initiated to take the
form.
History of India is no exception.
The first modern human beings to that existed
on the Indian subcontinent somewhere between
2,00,000 BC and 40,000 BC and soon spread
through a huge part of the subcontinent, along
with peninsular India.
They incessantly flooded the Indian
subcontinent in waves of migration from what is
present-day Iran.
These primitive people moved in groups of few
"families" and lived primarily on gathering and
hunting.

The prime technique of making these crude tools


was by taking a stone and flaking its sides with
a heavier stone.
These tools are features of the Paleolithic Age
and were very rough.
By this time, human beings had begun making
and employing fire.

STONE AGE
The age when the prehistoric man started to use
stones for utilitarian purpose is known as the
Stone Age.
Stone Age is classified three broad divisions
Paleolithic Age or Old Stone Age (from unknown
till 8000 BC), Mesolithic Age or Middle Stone
Age (8000 BC-4000 BC) and Neolithic Age or
New Stone Age (4000 BC -2500 BC).

MESOLITHIC AGE
In the Mesolithic Age, the stone tools started to
be created more pointed and sharp.
In order ensure a life that had plenty of food and
clothing, the stone tools started to come up in
increasingly specialized way.
Besides hand axes, they also produced crude,
stone-tipped wooden spears, borers, and burins.
This period also witnessed the domestication of
animals and cultivation of wild varieties of crops.
Because of farming, small settlements began to

PALEOLITHIC AGE
The human beings living in the Paleolithic Age
were generally food collectors and depended
completely on nature for food.
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History

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take shape. Archaeological excavations have


unearthed Mesolithic sites in Chotta Nagpur
area of central India and the areas south of the
River Krishna. The famous Bhimbetka caves near
Bhopal belong to the Mesolithic Age and are
famous for their cave paintings.

NEOLITHIC AGE
Neolithic Age (4000 BC-2500BC) or New Stone
Age was the last phase of Stone Age and is
known as having very finely flaked small stone
tools.
Neolithic Age also witnessed domestication of
cattle, horses, and other farm animals.

The accurate date of these paintings is not


certain, but few of the paintings are as old as
12,000 years.
The prehistoric artists used natural white and red
pigments in expressing the numerous themes and
thoughts which were close to their heart and
sustenance.

The landmark invention of this time was the


wheel.
Neolithic Age quickly provided way to a number
of small "cultures" which were highly technical.

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History

The Vedic Civilisation

The Harappan culture is older than the


chalcolithic cultures which have been discussed
earlier, but it is greately developed than these cultures.

Archaeological Discoveries
Harappa was the first site to be discovered by
Alexander Cunningham in as early as 1875. He
was the first Director-General of the
Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), often
known as the father of Indian Archaeology.
Harappan site was badly devasted by brick
robbers.
The Harappan civilisation was discovered in
1920-21 after the excavations by R.D. Banerjee
at Mohenjodaro and by D.R. Sahni at Harappa.
Mainly this civilization was given the name of
Harappa, the first site where this unique culture
was discovered. But later known as the Indus
Valley Civilisation due to the discovery of more
and more sites in the Indus Valley. Alternatively
it has also appeared to be known the Harappan
civilisation after the name of its first discovered
site, as more and more sites were discovered far
away from the actual river valley.
Related to the findings of Harappan seals in Ur
and Kish in Mesopotamia, Marshal suggested
that Harappan civilisation developed between
3250 and 2750 B.C. But according to radiocarbon
dating system mature Harappan Civilisation was
flourished during 2350-1750 B.C.
The cities were far more advanced than their
counterparts in prehistoric Egypt, Mesopotamia
or anywhere else in Western Asia.
There were earlier and later cultures, often called
Early Harappan and Late Harappan, in the same
area. The Harappan civilisation is sometimes
called the Mature Harappan culture to distinguish
it from these cultures.On the basis of radiocarbon
dating of this civilisation following chronology
emerges :

It grew in the north-western part of the Indian


subcontinent. It was named Harappan because this
civilization was discovered first in 1921 at the modern
site of Harappa located in the province of West
Punjab in Pakistan. It spread from Jammu in the north
to the Naramada estuary in the south, and from the
Makran coast of Balcuchistan in the west to Meerut
in the north-east. The area created a triangle and
accounted for about 1,299,600 square kilometers.
Approximately 1500 Harappan sites are known
to exist so far in the subcontinent. Of these, the two
most important cities were harappa in punjab and
mohenjodaro in sindh, both making fragments of
Pakistan. Located at distance of 483 kilometres they
were connected together by the indus. A third city
lay at chanhu daro about 130 km south of
mohenjodaro in sindh, and a fourth at lothal in Gujarat
at the head of the gulf of cambay. A fifth city lay at
Kalibangan, which means black bangles, in northern
Rajasthan. A sixth called banawali is located in hissar
district in Haryana.
It witnessed two cultural phases, pre-harappan
and harappan, like that of kalibangan. The harappan
culture is noticeable in its mature and developed
phase at all these six places. It is also found in its
mature phase in the coastal cities of sutkagendor and
surkotada, each one of which is characterised by a
citadel. The later harappan phase is found in rangpur
and rojdi in the kathiawar peninsula in Gujarat. These
phases are also found in rakhigarhi which is located
on the ghaggar in haryana and is much bigger than
dholavira.
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Those cultures which precede Harappan culture


are pre-Harappan cultures, while proto-Harappan
cultures are those pro-Harappan cultures which
have some close similarities with the Harappan
culture or which may be said to have anticipated
certain essential ingredients of Harappan culture.

streets were laid out along an approximate "grid'


pattern intersecting at right angles.
The towns were well planned and the streets
intersect each other at the right angles. Even the
width of these streets was in fixed ratio. Lanes
were considerably narrower.
One of the most distinguished characters
Harappan cities was the carefully planned
drainage system. It apperar that streets with
drains were laid out first and then houses built
along with them.
Small drains composed of burnt bricks were linked
with bathing platforms and latrines of private
houses joined the medium sized drains in the side
streets. These drains flew into larger sewers in
the main streets which were covered with bricks
or dressed stone blocks. Corbelled-arch drains
have also, been found. One of then is around
6 ft. deep which acted as main drain taking the
entire waste water out of the town.

There is every chance that it was in GhaggarHakra system in Cholistan that transition from
early Harappan culture to mature Harappan
civilization was achieved.
Early Harappan settlements were situated in
Kirthar piedmont and Kohistan; it is only during
mature Harappan civilized phase that we find
settlements, one of which was Mahenjodaro in
floodplain.

Area Covered
Harappan Civilisation covers an area of 12,50,000
sq. km. Most of these sites are situated on the
banks of rivers.
Distribution pattern of these settlements in terms
of rivers are/that (i) only 40 settlements are
situated on the Indus and its tributaries and (ii)
as many as 1,100 (80%) settlements are situated
on the vast plain between the Indus and the
Ganga, having mainly the Saraswati river system
which is dry today, and (iii) about 250
settlements are found in India beyond the
Saraswati river system a number of them found
in Gujarat, and some few in Maharashtra.
Its known area in the west is upto Sutkagendor
in Baluchistan. Alamgirpur in (Meerut in Uttar
Pradesh) in the east; Daimabad (Ahmadnagar in
Maharashtra) in south: and Manda (Akhnoor
in'Jammu and Kashmir) in the north.
It covers an area of around 1600km. east-west
and 1400 km. north-south.

Most distinguished characters is number of


burnt-brick drains at Mohenjodaro an
Lothal.There are drains in all larger streets and
smaller lanes also. There is no street drainage
system at Kalibangan.
The average size of brick used for houses was
7 15 30 cm. but forth construction of
fortification walls the size of the brick was of
buyer size viz 10 20 40 cm. Both sizes of bricks
have similar proportions of 1 : 2 : 4, that the width
is double the thickness and the length four
times, the thickness.
Doorways and windows never opened out into
the main street, but faced side lanes. Few houses
have remains of staircases to reach a second
storey or the roof. Often in a room that could be
reached from the outside and perhaps used by
passers-by. Almost each house contained a
bathroom and in some cases there is proof of
having bathrooms on the first floor.
Earlier it was thought that all cities were having
a standard division into high in western citadel

Town Planning
Harappan Civilisation's Town Planning was
immensely well planned. If we look at the plan
of the Lower Town we will notice that roads and
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History

and a lower town to the east reflecting the


division of the cities into rulers and the service
communities with the crafts workshop situated
in the lower city. But this analysis is not accurate
as large public buildings market areas large and
small private houses as well as crafts workshops
have been found to appear in all areas.
Although most Harappan settlements have a
small high western part and a larger lower eastern
section, but there are deviations. At sites such
as Dholavira and Lothal (Gujarat), the whole
settlement was fortified, and sections within the
town were also bifurcated by walls. The Citadel
within Lothal was not walled off, but was created
height.
The most remarkable property of the citadel
mound at Mohenjodaro is the Great Bath. This
finely built brick structure measures 12 m, by 7
m. and is almost 3 m deep from the surrounding
pavement. It is approached at either end by
flights of steps. The floor of the bath was created
of sawn bricks set on edge in gypsum mortar
with a layer of bitumen sandwiched between the
inner outer brick layers.
A group of 27 blocks of bricks work criss-crossed
by narrow lanes was located to the west of the
great bath at Mohenjodaro. Overall it measures
50 m. east-west and 27 m. north-south. Somewhat
similar structures have been found at Harappa,
Kalibangan and Lothal, These structures have
been identified as granaries which were used for
storing grains.
A prominent structure is the dockyard found at
Lothal. It is a huge structure of dimension 223
m. in length, 35 m. in width and 8 m. in depth,
given with an inlet channel (12.30 m. wide) in the
eastern wall and a spillway. The inlet channel was
linked to a river.

associated with the Citadel, a well-to-do middle


Class, and a comparatively weaker section,
occupying the dower town which were usually
fortified.
Whether these bifurcations were based mainly
on economic factors or had a socio-religious
basis which cannot be defined. Some visualized
transformation of petty chief doms into the
organized states.
The Lower Town was also walled. Various
buildings were created on platforms, which
served as foundations. It has been calculated
that if one labourer moved roughly a cubic metre
of earth daily, just to put the foundations in place
it would have required four million person-days.
At Kalibangan it seems that the priests resided
in the upper part of the citadel and performed
rituals on fire altars in the lower part of it.

Religions
It can be concluded from the available evidence,
that the religion of the Indus people had : (i)
worship of trees in their natural state or of their
indwelling spirit; (ii) chrematheism as illustrated
in the worship of the sacred "incense-burners";
(iii) the workship of the Mother Goddess (iv) the
worship of a male deity, probably of Shiva;
(v) worship of animals, natural, semi-human;
(vi) practice of yoga; (vii) faith in amulets and
charms indicative of demono-phobia; and (viii)
worship of inanimate stones or other objects, of
linga and yoni symbols.
These were considered as mother goddesses.
Rare stone statuary of men in an almost
standardised posture, seated with one hand on
the knee - such as the "priest-king" was also
similarly classified. In other instances, structures
have been imparted ritual importance. These
involve the Great Bath and fire altars found at
Kalibangan and Lothal.

Social and Political System


The Harappan society appears to have been
classified into three sections, viz. an elite class
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