GK Question Series-Set 03

Q1. In the last year (2017), archeologists discovered carved stone columns dating back to the 15th century while widening the ancient Kamalapur tank bund road in the core zone of the UNESCO world heritage site Hampi. As per the Archeological Survey of India, the carved stones are from which of the following empire:

A.  Kakatiya empire
B. Samma empire
C. Vijayanagara empire
D. None of the above

Answer: C. Vijayanagara empire

Carved stone columns, dating back to the 15th century Vijayanagar empire period, were unearthed while widening the ancient Kamalapur tank bund road in the core zone of the UNESCO world heritage site Hampi.

Hampi, also referred to as the Group of Monuments at Hampi, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in east-central Karnataka, India. It became the center of the Vijayanagara Empire capital in the 14th century.

Hampi was a prosperous, wealthy and grand city near the Tungabhadra River, with numerous temples, farms and trading markets. By 1500 CE, Hampi-Vijayanagara was the world’s second-largest medieval-era city after Beijing, and probably India’s richest at that time, attracting traders from Persia and Portugal.

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Q2. Who wrote the poem “Amuktamalyda”?

A. Harivara Vipra
B. Amir Khusrow
C. Madhava Kandali
D. Krishnadevaraya

Answer: D. Krishnadevaraya

Krishnadevaraya, the greatest ruler of the Kingdom of Vijayanagara, wrote the poem “Amuktamalyda”. It tells the story of a girl of the same name and how she came to marry the Hindu deity Andravishnu.

The poem was written in the Telugu language.

Learn more: http://www.encyclopedias6.com/encyclopedia-of-renaissance-literature/2920-krishnadevaraya-ruled-1509-1530.html

Q3. A form of government in which two individuals are joint heads of a state is called:

A. diacracy
B. diarchy
C. diacritic
D. Oligarchy

Answer: B. diarchy

Diarchy (or dyarchy)  is a form of government in which two individuals (“diarchs”) are joint heads of state. Most diarchs hold their position for life, passing the position to their children or other family members.

Diarchy is one of the oldest forms of government: examples include ancient Sparta, Rome, Carthage as well Germanic and Dacian tribes.

In modern times, the examples of diarchy are Andorra, San Marino andSwaziland

Diarchy in India

In India, diarchy or system of double government was introduced by the Government of India Act (1919) for the provinces of British India.

It marked the first introduction of the democratic principle into the executive branch of the British administration of India.

Dyarchy was introduced as a constitutional reform by Edwin Samuel Montagu (secretary of state for India, 1917–22) and Lord Chelmsford (viceroy of India, 1916–21).

On 20 August 1917 in the British House of Commons, the newly appointed Secretary of State, Edwin Samuel Montagu, made the “Grand Declaration”, which said that British policy was “increasing association of Indians in every branch of the administration and the gradual development of self-governing institutions with a view to progressive realization of responsible government in British India as an integral part of the British Empire”.

In pursuance of the policy laid down in the announcements by Montagu, the Secretary of State and Frederic Thesiger, 1st Viscount Chelmsford, the Governor-General of India, made an extensive tour of India in 1917 and 1918 and produced the Montague – Chelmsford Report containing recommendations that paved the way for Government of India Act 1919.

That act of 1919 introduced diarchy, or dual government, in the provinces, where the executive was to be headed by a governor appointed by the Secretary of State, who could consult the Governor General. The governor was responsible to the Secretary of State for acts of omission and commission. He was to maintain law and order in the province and ensure that the provincial administration worked smoothly. In respect of transferred subjects, he was to be assisted by his ministers whereas reserved subjects were to be administered by the Governor General and his executive council.

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Q4. In the financial arrangement of Vijayanagara empire, “Shisht” referred to:

A. personal income Tax
B. irrigation tax
C. Land revenue tax
D. grazing tax

Answer: C. Land revenue tax

“Shisht” referred to the Land revenue, a land tax collected by the Land Revenue department named ‘Attalivane’.

Land Revenue was the chief source of income. Land was divided into four categories for purposes of assessment, wet land, dry land, orchards and woods. Usually the share was one sixth of the produce. Land revenue could be paid in cash or kind. The rates varied according to the type of the crops, soil, method of irrigation, etc. 

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Q5. What do you mean by ‘Epigraphy’?

A. the study of inscriptions on rocks
B. the study of another’s handwriting
C. the detection and recording of electrical impulses
D. the study of fossils

Answer: A. the study of inscriptions on rocks

Epigraphy is the study of inscriptions on rocks, pillars, temple walls, copper plates and other writing material.

Learn more: http://www.tnarch.gov.in/epi.htm

Q6. Which son of Shah-Jahan translated Yoga Vasishta and Bhagavad Gita in the Persian language?

A. Muhiuddin
B. Dara Shukoh
C.  Shuja
D. Murad Baksh

Answer: B. Dara Shukoh

Dara Shukoh,  also known as Dara Shikoh (20 March 1615 – 30 August 1659), translated Yoga Vasishta and Bhagavad Gita in Persian language.

He was the eldest son and heir-apparent of the fifth Mughal emperor Shah Jahan.

He was favoured as a successor by his father, Shah Jahan, and his older sister, Princess Jahanara Begum, but was defeated and later killed by his younger brother, Prince Muhiuddin (later, the Emperor Aurangzeb), in a bitter struggle for the imperial throne.

Learn more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dara_Shukoh

Q7. Which is the oldest musical instrument in India?

A. Sarangi
B. Veena
C. Shehnai
D. Flute

Answer: B. Veena

Veena is considered as the oldest musical instrument in India. This can be said with conviction because we even find the goddess of learning, Saraswati, holding the Veena in her hands. 

The Yajurveda includes in the list of occupations the playing veena, venu (flute), and mrdanga (drum), and the blowing of conches for signals and ceremonies. 

Learn more: http://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/13634/9/09_chapter%203.pdf

Q8. Who was the regent of Ahmednagar when it was invaded by the Mughals in November 1595?

A. Mian Manju
B. Ibrahim Shah
C. Chand Bibi
D. Ibrahim Adil Shah II

Answer: C. Chand Bibi

Chand Bibi (The Lady Moon), also known as Chand Sultana, was the daughter of Sultan Hussein Nizam Shah of Ahmednagar (in Maharashtra, India) and his wife Sultana Khanzada Humayun. Chand was married to Sultan Ali Adil Shah of Bijapur.

In 1591, the Mughal emperor Akbar had asked all the four Deccan sultanates to acknowledge his supremacy. All the sultanates evaded compliance, and Akbar’s ambassadors returned in 1593.

In 1595, Ibrahim Shah, the ruler of Bijapur was killed in a severe general action about 40 miles from Ahmednagar. After his death, most nobles felt that his infant son Bahadur Shah should be proclaimed the King under the regency of Chand Bibi (his father’s aunt).

However, the Deccani minister Mian Manju proclaimed the twelve-year old son of Shah Tahir, Ahmad Shah II, as the ruler on August 6, 1594. The Habshi nobles of Ahmednagar, led by Ikhlas Khan, were opposed to this plan. The rising dissent among the nobles prompted Mian Manju to invite Akbar’s son Shah Murad (who was in Gujarat) to march his army to Ahmednagar. Murad came to Malwa, where he joined Mughal forces led by Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana. Raja Ali Khan joined them at Mandu, and the united army advanced on Ahmednagar[8].

However, while Murad was on march to Ahmednagar, many noblemen left Ikhlas Khan and joined Mian Manju. Mian Manju defeated Ikhlas Khan and other opponents. Now, he regretted having invited the Mughals, but it was too late. He requested Chand Bibi to accept the regency, and marched out of Ahmednagar, with Ahmed Shah II. Ikhlas Khan also escaped to Paithan, where he was attacked and defeated by the Mughals[8].

Chand Bibi accepted the regency and proclaimed Bahadur Shah king of Ahmednagar. 

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Q9. Which Indian archaeologist is credited as the discoverer of the ‘Harappa Civilization’?

A. Mohammed Rafique Mughal
B. R. D. Banerji
C. Daya Ram Sahni
D. Madho Sarup Vats

Answer: C. Daya Ram Sahni

The Harappa site was first briefly excavated by Sir Alexander Cunningham,  a British Officer in India, in 1872-73.

The first extensive excavations at Harappa were started by Rai Bahadur Daya Ram Sahni in 1920 in the Larkana district of Sindh province and the Montgomery district of the Punjab.

Later, Mr. R.D. Banerjee discovered the ruins of the pre-historic city of Mohen-jo-Daro in 1922. 

Ancient Harappa was the urban center dominating the upper Indus region, much like Mohenjo-daro dominated the lower Indus Valley and Ganweriwala was the urban center for what is now Rajasthan.

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Q10. Who challenged the sage Yajnavalkya in the ‘brahmayajna’, a philosophic congress organised by King Janak of Videha?

A. Ghosha
B. Gargi
C. Maitreyi
D. Lopamudra

Answer: B. Gargi

Gargi challenged the sage Yajnavalkya with a volley of perturbing questions on the soul or ‘atman’ in the ‘brahmayajna’, a philosophic congress organised by King Janak of Videha.

Gargi was the daughter of sage Vachaknu in the lineage of sage Garga (c. 800-500 BCE) and hence named after her father as Gargi Vachaknavi.

She was as knowledgeable in Vedas and Upanishads as men of the Vedic times and could very well contest the male-philosophers in debates. Her name appears in the Grihya Sutras of Asvalayana.

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