CBSE Class 12 History 2020 Question Paper

This question paper comprises five sections - A, B, C, D and E. All questions are compulsory. Section A from Questions number 1 to 20 are very short-answer type questions, carrying 1 mark each. They are required to be answered in one word or one sentence each.

Section B from Questions number 21 to 24 are short-answer type questions, carrying 3 marks each. Answers to each of them should not exceed 100 words. Section C from Questions number 25 to 27 are long-answer type questions, carrying 8 marks each. Answers to each of them should not exceed 350 words.

Section D from Questions number 28 to 30 are source based questions, carrying 6 marks each. Section E, Question number 31 is a map question that includes identification and location of significant test items.

Section A

1. Which group of scholars among the following reconstructed the dietary practices of Harappa from the remains of charred grains and seeds found in the Harappan sites ? 

  1. Archeo-Zoologists
  2. Archeo-Ethnographists
  3. Geo-Archeologists
  4. Archeo-Botanists

2. Why is the Harappan script called enigmatic ? Choose the correct reason from the following options :

  1. It resembles the Hieroglyphic script of Egypt.
  2. It had too many symbols, between 600 and 1000 in number.
  3. It was written from left to right.
  4. Its writing remains undeciphered to date.

3. Which of the following scripts were deciphered by James Prinsep ?

  1. Bengali and Devanagari
  2. Sanskrit and Prakrit
  3. Brahmi and Kharosthi
  4. Greek and Indo-Greek

4. The Buddha’s foster mother, Mahapajapati Gotami was the first woman to be ordained as a _________.


What was the last message of the Buddha to his followers ?

5. Which one of the following texts contains the teachings of Mahavira or Jaina Philosophy ?

  1. Mahavamsa
  2. Uttaradhyayana Sutta
  3. Dipavamsa
  4. Sutta Pitaka

6. Identify the following image and give it an appropriate title :

7. Study the following statements regarding Buddhism carefully :

  1. Buddhism grew rapidly, both during the lifetime and after the death of Buddha.
  2. Buddhism did not give much importance to conduct and values.
  3. Buddhism appealed to many people who were dissatisfied with the existing religious practices.
  4. Buddhism laid much stress on superiority based on birth.

Which of the above statements are correct ?

  1. I and II
  2. II and IV
  3. I and III
  4. III and IV

8. Given below are two statements, one labelled as Assertion (A) and the other labelled as Reason (R).

Assertion (A) : Bernier was a firm believer in the virtues of private property. He saw crown ownership of land in the Mughal empire as being harmful to both State and the people.

Reason (R) : Landlords could not pass on their land to their children, so they were averse to any long time investment in the expansion of production.

From the above Assertion and Reason, find out which one of the following is true :

  1. Both (A) and (R) are true and (R) is the correct explanation of (A).
  2. Both (A) and (R) are true, but (R) is not the correct explanation of (A).
  3. Both (A) and (R) are false.
  4. Both (A) and (R) are true.

9. Which of the following is not a characteristic of Ibn Battuta’s book, Rihla ?

  1. This book is written in Persian.
  2. It provides rich and interesting details of the social and cultural life in the subcontinent.
  3. This book contains the travel experiences of the author.
  4. This book is an important source of knowledge.

10. Read the following information given in the box carefully : Identify and name the devotee of Saguna Bhakti.

  • She was a Rajput princess from Merta in Marwar.
  • She was married against her wishes to a prince of the Sisodia clan of Mewar.
  • She defied her husband and did not submit to the traditional role of a wife and mother.
  • She considered Lord Krishna as her lover.

11. Identify and name the preceptor or Guru of the Sikh community whose works and contributions are given below :

  • He laid the foundation of the Khalsa Panth.
  • He bestowed the Sikhs with five distinct symbols.
  • He consolidated the community as a socio-religious and military force.
  • He compiled the compositions of the ninth guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur in Guru Granth Sahib.

12. Who was the Guru of Kabir ?


Name the Lingayat devotee who led a new movement in Karnataka in the twelfth century.

13. Study the following statements regarding the Mughal empire carefully :

  1. The Mughal empire comprised of many different ethnic groups and religious communities.
  2. All the religions had absolute freedom of expression.
  3. The emperor stood above all the religions and ethnic groups for peace and stability.
  4. The nobility under Mughals also belonged to different religions and ethnic groups.

Which of the above statements reflects the Sulh-i-kul policy of Akbar ?

  1. I, III and IV
  2. II, III and IV
  3. I, II and III
  4. I, II and IV

14. During the reign of which of the following rulers was Jizya reimposed on non-Muslim subjects ?

  1. Akbar
  2. Jahangir
  3. Shah Jahan
  4. Aurangzeb

15. The Nalayira Divyaprabandham was frequently described as _________.

16. Identify the immediate reason of launching the ‘Quit India Movement’ by Gandhiji against the British rule.

  1. Cabinet Mission
  2. Cripps Mission
  3. Simon Commission
  4. Mountbatten Plan

17. Consider the following ideas regarding the national language carefully :

  1. It should be Hindustani which should neither be Sanskritised Hindi nor Persianised Urdu, but a blend of both Hindi and Urdu.
  2. It should not admit words from other different languages.
  3. The national language must develop into a rich and powerful instrument, capable of expressing the thoughts and feelings of the people.
  4. It could unify Hindus and Muslims and people of the North and the South.

Find out which of these ideas were advocated by Mahatma Gandhi :

  1. I, II and IV
  2. II, III and IV
  3. I, III and IV
  4. I, II and III

18. Study the following statement carefully :

"I believe separate electrorates will be suicidal to the minorities and will do them tremendous harm. If they are isolated for ever, they can never convert themselves into a majority and the feeling of frustration will cripple them even from the very beginning."

Who among the following made the above statement ?

  1. Dr. Ambedkar
  2. Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru
  3. Govind Ballabh Pant
  4. Sardar Patel

19. Why did the Cabinet Mission come to India in 1946 ? Choose the suitable reason from the following options :

  1. To expand the participation of Britishers in the legislature.
  2. To introduce dyarchy at the legislative level.
  3. To suggest a suitable political framework for free India.
  4. To provide a federal court to the Indians.

20. What was the main reason for announcing ‘Direct Action Day’ by the Muslim League in August 1946 ?

Section B

21. Explain with examples the layout design of the Great Bath on the Citadel in Mohenjodaro.

22. Explain the barriers faced by Al-Biruni in understanding the Indian Subcontinent.

23. Examine any three changes brought into the colonial cities after the Revolt of 1857.


Examine the main features of the towns of South India during the medieval period of Indian history.

24. Mention any one provision of the Rowlatt Act. What were the impacts of this Act on the people of Punjab ?

Section C

25. Describe the familial ties and rules of marriage as per the Brahmanical prescription during c. 600 BCE - 600 CE.


Describe the Brahmanical theory regarding kinship and the ideal occupations of the varna order. Give examples to prove that this theory was not universally followed.

26. "The fortification walls not only encircled the city of Vijayanagara but also its agricultural hinterland and forests.’’ In the light of this statement, explain the significance of fortification.


Explain the sources of water for the city of Vijayanagara and also explain the development of trade of the Empire.

27. "Zamindars regularly failed to pay the revenue demand even after the Permanent Settlement of Bengal at the end of the 18th century." Evaluate the statement.


"The jotedars became powerful in the early 19th century in many areas of rural Bengal." Evaluate the statement.

Section D

28. Study the following source carefully and answer the questions that follow :

What the king’s officials did

Here is an excerpt from the account of Megasthenes :

Of the great officers of state, some ... superintend the rivers, measure the land, as is done in Egypt, and inspect the sluices by which water is let out from the main canals into their branches, so that every one may have an equal supply of it. The same persons have charge also of the huntsmen, and are entrusted with the power of rewarding or punishing them according to their deserts. They collect the taxes, and superintend the occupations connected with land; as those of the woodcutters, the carpenters, the blacksmiths, and the miners.

(28.1) For what purpose were the king’s officials appointed ?

(28.2) Explain the types of jobs they carried out.

(28.3) What was the need to superintend the work of the workmen ?

29. Study the following source carefully and answer the questions that follow :

Classification of lands under Akbar

The following is a listing of criteria of classification excerpted from the Ain :

The Emperor Akbar in his profound sagacity classified the lands and fixed a different revenue to be paid by each. Polaj is land which is annually cultivated for each crop in succession and is never allowed to lie fallow. Parauti is land left out of cultivation for a time that it may recover its strength. Chachar is land that has lain fallow for three or four years. Banjar is land uncultivated for five years and more. Of the first two kinds of land, there are three classes, good, middling, and bad. They add together the produce of each sort, and the third of this represents the medium produce, one-third part of which is exacted as the Royal dues.

(29.1) Why was Chachar land left uncultivated for some three to four years ?

(29.2) Explain the basis of this classification.

(29.3) Do you think it was a sound basis to assess the revenue ? Explain.

30. Study the following source carefully and answer the questions that follow :

Villagers as rebels

An officer reporting from rural Awadh (spelt as Oude in the following account) noted :

The Oude people are gradually pressing down on the line of communication from the North ... the Oude people are villagers ... these villagers are nearly intangible to Europeans melting away before them and collecting again. The Civil Authorities report these villagers to amount to a very large number of men, with a number of guns.

(30.1) Examine the problem faced by the British in dealing with these villagers.

(30.2) Why were people of Oude (Awadh) hostile against the British ? Examine the reason.

(30.3) How did the British suppress the rebels ?

Section E

(Map Based Question)

31. (31.1) On the given political outline map of India, locate and label the following with appropriate symbols :

  1. Lothal - a mature Harappan site
  2. Kaushambi - a pillar inscription OR Ajanta - a Buddhist site
  3. Ajmer OR Agra - a territory under Mughals

(31.2) On the same outline map of India, three places have been marked as A, B and C, which are associated with the Revolt of 1857. Identify them and write their correct names on the lines drawn near them.