70 Days WAR Plan

Day#54 Static Flash Cards Revision [70 Days WAR Plan]

Rakhigarhi; Article 214; Technology in Mughal Army; 86th Constitution Amendment Act, 2002; Sake Dean Mahomed; Administration under the Sultan; Terms, places, times of Harappan Civilisation; Functions of State Finance Commissions; Mahajanapadas; Rajya Sabha Committee on Petitions;
By IT's Core Team
May 14, 2019




What is the strength and quorum of Rajya Sabha Committee on Petitions?

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·         The Rajya Sabha committee on Petitions consists of 10 members.

·         The quorum of the Committee is 5.

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Rajya Sabha Committee on Petitions:

·         The Committee on Petitions is one of the oldest committees of Parliament and dates back to the Legislative Assembly of pre-independence period.

·         This committee examines petitions on bills and on matters of general public importance.

·         The Committee is constituted under Rule 147 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Rajya Sabha.

·         Members of the Committee are nomi­nated by the Chairman, Rajya Sabha. The Chairman of the Committee is appointed by the Chairman of Rajya Sabha from amongst the members of the Committee.

·         The quorum of the Committee is five. Normally, the Committee is reconstituted every year. The Committee, however, continues in office till a new Committee is nominated.

·         It also entertains representations from individuals and associations on matters pertaining to Union subjects. 

·         The Rajya Sabha committee on Petitions consists of 10 members.

·         The Report of the Committee is presented to Rajya Sabha by the Chairman of the Committee or in his absence, by any member of the Committee so authorised by the Committee.

Functions and powers of the Committee

·         The functions of the Committee are to examine (i) every petition referred to it; and (ii) to report to the House on specific complaints contained in the petition.

·         The Committee has ample powers not only to make recommendations about specific complaints contained in the petition but also to suggest remedial measures either in a concrete form applicable to the case under consideration or to prevent recurrence of such cases in future.

·         In practice, the Committee orders the circulation of those petitions which deal with Bills or matters pending before the House, in extenso or in summary form.

·         Post function: The Ministries/Departments of the Government are asked to inform the Committee within six months from the date of presentation of the Report about the action taken or proposed to be taken by them on the Reports.




Give two ways in which rajas of the mahajanapadas were different from those mentioned in the Rigveda.

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·         Rajas of Mahajanapadas: (i) They became rajas by performing very big sacrifices where people accepted their supremacy. (ii) They had capital city, which were fortified. They also had large armies. Rajas in Rigveda:   (i) The rulers was chosen by the jana i.e., the people. (ii) They did not have a capital city, places, armies. Also, they did not collect taxes.

Enrich Your Learning:

The sixteen Mahajanapadas

·         The Mahajanapadas were a set of sixteen kingdoms that existed in ancient India.

·         When the tribes (janas) of the late Vedic period decided to form their own territorial communities, it eventually gave rise to new and permanent areas of settlements called ‘states’ or ‘janapadas.’

·         Some janapadas became more important than others, and were known as mahajanapadas.

·         Vajji, Magadha, Koshala, Kuru, Panchala, Gandhara and Avanti were amongst the most important mahajanapadas.

·         While most mahajanapadas were ruled by kings, some, known as ganas or sanghas, were oligarchies, where power was shared by a number of men, often collectively called rajas.

·         Mahavira and the Buddha belonged to such ganas.

·         The Vajji sangha, the rajas probably controlled resources such as land collectively.

·         Although their histories are often difficult to reconstruct due to the lack of sources, some of these states lasted for nearly a thousand years.

·         Each mahajanapada had a capital city, which was often fortified.

·         Maintaining these fortified cities as well as providing for incipient armies and bureaucracies required resources.



·         Rulers were advised to collect taxes and tribute from cultivators, traders and artisans.

·         Raids on neighbouring states were recognised as a legitimate means of acquiring wealth.

·         Gradually, some states acquired standing armies and maintained regular bureaucracies. Others continued to depend on militia, recruited, more often than not, from the peasantry.




What are the functions of State Finance Commissions?

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State Finance Commissions (SFC):

·         Article 243 (I) of the Indian Constitution prescribes that the Governor of a State shall, as soon as may be within one year from the commencement of the Constitution (Seventy-third Amendment) Act, 1992, and thereafter at the expiration of every fifth year, constitute a Finance Commission to review the financial position of the Panchayats and to make recommendations to the Governor as to

1.       The principles which should govern:

·         The distribution between the State and the Panchayats of the net proceeds of the taxes, duties, tolls and fees leviable by the State, which may be divided between them under this Part and the allocation between the Panchayats at all levels of their respective shares of such proceeds;

·         The determination of the taxes, duties, tolls and fees which may be assigned as, or appropriated by, the Panchayats;

·         The grants-in-aid to the Panchayats from the Consolidated Fund of the State;

2.       The measures needed to improve the financial position of the Panchayats;

3.       Any other matter referred to the Finance Commission by the Governor in the interests of sound finance of the Panchayats.

·         Article 243Y of the Constitution further provides that the Finance Commission constituted under Article 243 I shall make similar recommendation vis-a-vis municipalities.

·         The Governor is required to cause every recommendation made by the State Finance Commission together with an explanatory memorandum as to the action taken thereon to be laid before the Legislature of the State.




The Harappa civilization is dated to which time period?

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  • Archaeologists use the term “culture” for a group of objects, distinctive in style, that are usually found together within a specific geographical area and period of time.

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Terms, places, times of Harappan Civilisation:

  • The Indus valley civilisation is also called the Harappan culture.
  • In the case of the Harappan culture, these distinctive objects include seals, beads, weights, stone blades and even baked bricks.
  • These objects were found from areas as far apart as Afghanistan, Jammu, Baluchistan (Pakistan) and Gujarat.
  • Named after Harappa, the first site where this unique culture was discovered, the civilisation is dated between c. 2600 and 1900 BCE.

Early and Mature Harappan cultures:

  • 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.

Major Periods in Early Indian Archaeology

  • 2 million BP Lower Palaeolithic (BEFORE PRESENT)
  • 80,000 Middle Palaeolithic
  • 35,000 Upper Palaeolithic
  • 12,000 Mesolithic
  • 10,000 Neolithic (early agriculturists and pastoralists)
  • 6,000 Chalcolithic (first use of copper)
  • 2600 BCE Harappan civilisation
  • 1000 BCE Early iron,
  • Megalithic burials
  • 600 BCE-400 CE Early Historic




In context of Administration System in the different Periods of Indian History, what were the four pillars of the State Administration under the Sultanate?

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The four pillars of the State Administration under the Sultan were:

  • Diwani-i-Wizarat
  • Diwan- i-Arz:
  • Diwan-i-lnsha:
  • Diwan-i-Risalat

Enrich Your Learning:

Administration under the Sultan:

  • The Sultan administered all the departments and every branch of state.
  • Malik Naib-or deputy sultan was appointed only when a ruler was weak or minor.
  • The Sultan generally discussed all important matters of state in a council, Majlis-i-Khalwat or Majlis-i-Am in which the most trusted and the highest officers were allowed to sit.
  • The sultan ruled through ministers and a group of officials.

The four pillars of the state were:

  1. Diwani-i-Wizarat
  • It was the finance department headed by the wazir (Prime-minister). Naib wazir acted as deputy to wazir.
  • The wazir was assisted by the mushrif-i-mamalik, (accountant) who maintained a record of the accounts and the mustauf-i-mamalik (auditor) who audited this account.
  • Under Firuz Tughluq, wazirs became hereditary.
  1. Diwan- i-Arz:
  • Headed by the Ariz-i-mamalik, it was the ministry of defence.
  • He was responsible for organization and maintenance of the royal army.
  • The review of the army and branding of the horses was done by Ariz-i-mamalik.
  1. Diwan-i-lnsha:
  • The department of correspondence and records of the royal court was held under the charge of a central minister known as dabir-i-mamalik, dabir-i-khas or amir- munshi.
  • The dabir-i-mamalik acted as private secretary of the Sultan and drafted firmans. He was assisted by dabirs (clerks).
  1. Diwan-i-Risalat
  • Under the period of the slave dynasty, the head of the public charities and ecclesiastical department was the sadr-us-sudur.
  • In his capacity as rasul of the Sultan, he received appeals and complaints from public and redressed their grievances.
  • During the reign of Alauddin Khilji, this department was renamed or replaced by the department called Diwan-i-riyasat.




Which is the biggest Harappan site found till date?

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  • Rakhigarhi

Enrich Your Learning:

  • Archiologists believed that Early Harappan civilization phase begin from 3500 BCE, but new sites from Haryana are as old as 5000

Rakhigarhi (The biggest Harappan site)

  • Rakhigarhi, or Rakhi Garhi, is a village in Hisar District in the state of Haryana in India, situated 150 kilometres to the northwest of Delhi.
  • It is the site of a pre-Indus Valley Civilisation settlement going back to about 6500 BCE.

Key Facts of Rakhigarhi:

  • 4500-year-old DNA from Rakhigarhi reveals evidence that will unsettle Hindutva nationalists
  • Rakhigarhi is listed as one of the 10 most endangered heritage sites in the world.
  • It was Industrial centre of Indus valley civilisation.
  • Expert think that Harppan civilization originated from Ghagagar basin in Haryana and then spread towards Indus Valley civilization in Western India and Pakistan.
  • Rakhigarhi is best example for the expert to prove above concept.



  • Ganweriwala is situated near the Indian border on the dry river bed of the Ghaggar-Hakra, now a part of vast desert.
  • First discovered by: Sir Aurel Stein and surveyed by Dr. M. R. Mughal in the 1970’s.
  • Location: Bahawalpur District, Punjab, Pakistan
  • Area: 80 hectares and is almost as large as Mohenjo Daro.
  • Region: Cholistan Desert
  • Founded: 2500 BC
  • Cultures: Indus Valley Civilization
  • It is equidistant from Mohenjo-daro and Harappa
  • Although excavation is yet to begin in this site, a stray find of a terrecotta tablet is a significant find.


  • Sutkagan Dor is the westernmost known archaeological site of the Indus Valley Civilization.
  • It is located about 480 km west of Karachi on the Makran coast near Gwadar, close to the Iranian border, in Pakistan’s Baluchistan Province.
  • Discovered in: 1875 by Major Edward Mockler, who conducted small-scale excavation.
  • Area: approximately 4.5 hectares (300 × 150 m). Along with the typical “citadel” and “lower town”, there is a massive fortification wall of semi-dressed stones. 


  • Dholavira is an archaeological site at Khadirbet in Bhachau Taluka of Kutch District, in the state of Gujarat, which has taken its name from a modern-day village 1 kilometre south of it.
  • Location:KhadirbetKutch DistrictIndia
  • PeriodsHarappa 1 to Harappa 5
  • Area:47 ha (120 acres)
  • Excavation was initiated in 1989 by the ASI under the direction of Bisht, and there were 13 field excavations between 1990 and 2005.
  • The earliest phase of Dholavira between 2650 BCE and 2500 BCE shows evidence of a pre-Harappan cultu…
  • Archaeologists believe that Dholavira was an important centre of trade between settlements in south GujaratSindhand Punjab and Western Asia.


  • Lothal is one of the southernmost cities of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization, located in the Bhāl region of the modern state of Gujarāt.
  • Location: Saragwala, Gujarat, India
  • Founded: Approximately 3700 BCE
  • Cultures: Indus Valley Civilization
  • Excavation dates: 1955–1960

Key Facts:

  • When British India was partitioned in 1947, most Indus sites, including Mohenjo-daro and Harappa, became part of Pakistan.
  • The uniform organization of the town and its institutions give evidence that the Harappans had been a highly disciplined people
  • The people of Lothal made significant and often unique contributions to human civilization in the Indus era, in the fields of city planning, art, architecture, science, engineering and religion. Their work in metallurgy, seals, beads and jewelery was the basis of their prosperity.
  • The people of Lothal worshipped a fire god, speculated to be the horned deity depicted on seals named Atha (Athar) and Arka.
  • The city imported ingots from sites on the Arabian Peninsula.
  • The discovery of etched carnelian beads and non-etched barrel beads in Kish and Ur (modern Iraq), Jalalabad (Afghanistan) and Susa (Iran) attest to the popularity of the Lothal-centric bead industry across West Asia.




Which Indian traveller was known as “Shampooer of kings” and appointed personal “shampoo surgeon” to George IV?

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  • Sake Dean Mahomed was an Indian traveller; He was appointed personal “shampoo surgeon” to George IV.

Enrich Your Learning:

About Sake Dean Mahomed

  • Sake Dean Mahomed was an Indian traveller, surgeon and entrepreneur who was one of the most notable early non-European immigrants to the Western World.
  • Born1759, Patna
  • Died1851, Brighton, United Kingdom


  • He served in the army of the British East India Company as a trainee surgeon.
  • In 1794 he published The Travels of Dean Mahomed, the first book by an Indian author in English. In the book, Mahomed described his service and adventures in the British military, the cities of India, and his controversial marriage to Jane Daly.
  • Her parents opposed the marriage and, at that time, marriage between Protestants such as Daly and non-Protestants was illegal.
  • In 1810, Mahomed set up Britain’s first Indian restaurant, the Hindostanee Coffee House.
  • He described the head massage treatment with oils he introduced using the Hindi word champissage, origin of the English word “shampoo.”
  • Among patrons of the spa were King George IV and King William IV, and Mahomed soon became known as the “shampooer of kings.” He was even appointed personal “shampoo surgeon” to George IV. 




Which articles were inserted under the 86th Constitution Amendment Act, 2002?

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86th Constitution Amendment Act, 2002:

  • Article 45 envisages states to provide free and compulsory education. However, it was not implemented properly. Hence, through 86th constitutional amendment was created in December 2002 which inserted the following articles in the Constitution:
  1. Insertion of new article 21A- After article 21 of the Constitution, the following article shall be inserted, namely:

Right to education:

Article 21A:

  • The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of six to fourteen years in such manner as the State may, by law, determine.”
  1. Substitution of new article 45 of the Constitution, the following article shall be substituted, namely: “Provision for early childhood care and education to children below the age of six years.”

 Article 45:

  • The state shall endeavour to provide early childhood care and education for all children until they complete the age of six years.
  1. Amendment of article 51A- In article 51A of the Constitution, after clause (J), the following clause shall be added, namely: (K) Who is a parent or guardian to provide opportunities for education to his child or, as the case may be, ward between the age of six and fourteen years.




Akbar was the first emperor to initiate and use metal cylinder rockets. Who developed a volley gun, a gun with several barrels for firing a number of shots, during his time?

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  • Fathullah Shirazi

Enrich Your Learning:

Technology in Mughal Army:

  • Akbar was the first to initiate and use metal cylinder rockets known as bans particularly against War elephants, during the Battle of Sanbal.
  • Fathullah Shirazi, a Persian polymath and mechanical engineer who worked for Akbar, developed a volley gun.
  • In the year 1657, the Mughal Army used rockets during the Siege of Bidar. Prince Aurangzeb’s forces discharged rockets and grenades while scaling the walls. Sidi Marjan was mortally wounded when a rocket struck his large gunpowder depot, and after twenty-seven days of hard fighting Bidar was captured by the victorious Mughals.
  • Later, the Mysorean rockets were upgraded versions of Mughal rockets used during the Siege of Jinji by the progeny of the Nawab of Arcot.

Inventions by Fathullah Shirazi:

  • An early anti-infantry volley gun with multiple gun barrels similar to a hand cannon’s.
  • Another cannon-related machine he created could clean sixteen gun barrels simultaneously, and was operated by a cow. He also developed a seventeen-barrelled cannon fired with a matchlock.
  • He designed a carriage praised by Abu’l-Fazl ibn Mubarak for its comfort. It could also be used to grind corn when not transporting passengers.




Currently, which states shares the common high court in India?

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  • Gauhati High Court: Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Mizoram, Nagaland
  • Bombay High Court: Goa, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Maharashtra
  • Punjab and Haryana High Court: Chandigarh, Haryana, Punjab

Before January 2019, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana had common high court.

Enrich Your Learning:

Article 214:

  • The Parliament can establish a common high court for two or more states. For example, Maharashtra and goa or Punjab and Haryana have a common high court.
  • The Constitution of India provides for a high court for each state, but the Seventh Amendment Act of 1956 authorised the Parliament to establish a common high court for two or more states or for two or more states and a union territory.
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