Tuesday, November 22, 2011






For July 2011 and January 2012 Sessions
(For M.A. History 2nd Year Courses)


                        MHI-03     :          Historiography
                   MHI-06     :          Evolution of Social Structures in India
                                      Through the Ages                             
                   MHI-08     :          History of Ecology and Environment: India
                   MPSE-003: Western Political Thought (From Plato to
                   MPSE-004: Social and Political Thought in Modern India

Faculty of History
School of Social Sciences
Indira Gandhi National Open University
Maidan Garhi, New Delhi‑110 068

M.A. History – 2nd Year
Assignments – July 2011 and January 2012 Sessions

Dear Student,

You have to do one assignment in each course of 8 and 4 credits.  The assignments are compulsory.  The assignment will cover the whole course.

It is important that you write the answers to all the assignment questions in your own words. Your answers should be within the approximate range of the word-limit set for a particular question.

The assignments should be submitted to the Coordinator of your Study Centre.  You must obtain a receipt from the Study Centre for the assignments submitted and retain it.  If possible, keep a photocopy of the submitted assignment with you.

The Study Centre will have to return the assignments to you after they are evaluated.  Please insist on this.  The Study Centre in turn will send the marks to the Student Evaluation Division at IGNOU, New Delhi.  These will be entered in your grade card.

Submission of Assignments

You should note that the submission of assignments is compulsory before taking up Term-end Examination.  It is therefore suggested that you do them within time.  In M.A. second year you will have to do a total of 5 assignments.  We have given you a lot of time to do the assignments but we advise you to do them one by one along with your study of the particular course and submit them so that you may get back the marks and comments of the Counsellor with evaluated assignment.  With a proper planning you will be able to do them within the stipulated period.  Please do not wait for the last date to submit all the assignments because it would be difficult to do all of them in one go.

Last Date of Submission of Assignment                    

July 2011 Session Students                                         31st March, 2012

January 2012 Session Students                                             30th September 2012

Where to submit the assignments                               The Coordinator of your Study

Before attempting the assignments please read the detailed instructions provided in the Programme Guide sent to you separately

Now read the following guidelines carefully before answering the questions:


The assignments have two types of questions:

1)         Essay Type Questions which you have to answer in about 500 words each carry 20 marks each.
2)         Short notes which you have to answer in about 250 words each carry 10 marks each.

You will find it useful to keep the following points in mind:

a)         Planning: Read the assignments carefully. Go through the units on which they are based.  Make some points regarding each question and then re-arrange these in a logical order.

b)        Organisation: Be a little more selective and analytical before drawing up a rough outline of your answer.  In an essay-type question, give adequate attention to your introduction and conclusion.  The introduction must offer your brief interpretation of the question and how you propose to develop it.  The conclusion must summarize your response to the question.

            Make sure that your answer:

·      is logical and coherent;
·      has clear connections between sentences and paragraphs;
·      is written correctly giving adequate consideration to your expression, style and presentation;
·      does not exceed the number of words indicated in your question.

c)         Presentation:  Once you are satisfied with your answers, you can write down the final version for submission, writing each answer neatly and underlining the points you wish to emphasize.

d)        Interpretation: Interpretation is a constant process in history writing. It is already reflected in your planning and selection. Explanatory comments with phrases like may be, because, could be, etc., immediately introduce an element of interpretation in writing itself. Here you have to be careful that these comments can be supported by the material you have in the answer.

Course Code: MHI-03
Assignment Code: MHI-03/AST/TMA/2011-12
Total Marks: 100

Note: Attempt any five questions.  The assignment is divided into two Sections ‘A’ and ‘B’. You have to attempt at least two questions form each section in about 500 words each. All questions carry equal marks.

1. Give an analytical account of the various traditions of historiography which constitute the Positivist tradition.                                                                                                          20
2. Discuss the important features of Indo-Persian tradition of history-writing during the Sultanate period.                                                                                                                     20
3. Discuss the distinctive features of traditional Chinese historiography.                                20
4. Who are considered to be the founders of the Annales School of historiography?     Discuss their works.                                                                                                       20
5. Write a note on the historiographical traditions in early India.                                            20

6. What do you understand by the term ‘subaltern’? Discuss the development of the      project of the Subaltern Studies in India.                                                                                20
7. What is colonial historiography? Discuss some of the important historians and their works associated with this trend.                                                                                                           20
8. Write a note on the conflicting views on Indian Renaissance.                                            20
9. What is history from below? Discuss it with reference to the history-writing in India.                                                                                                                                                     20
10. Write short notes in about 250 words each on any two of the following:                                                                                                                                                                 10+10
a) Main concepts of postmodernism
b) D.D. Kosambi and the paradigm shift in Indian history-writing
c) Nationalist historiography
d) Race as political and social construct.


Course Code: MHI-06
Assignment Code: MHI-06/AST/TMA/2011-12
Total Marks: 100

Note: Attempt any five questions.  The assignment is divided into two Sections ‘A’ and ‘B’. You have to attempt at least two questions form each section in about 500 words each. All questions carry equal marks.


  1. Comment on the nature of interpretation in history writing. Should historical problems be discussed with an open mind?                                                                                                                   20

2.         Discuss the archaeological evidence for early food producing villages and Camp sites. What light does this throw on the nature of this society?                                                     20

  1. Elaborate on the structure and function of guilds between 6th century B.C. and 4th century A.D.                                                                                                                   20

  1. Comment on the problematic of the concept of ‘tribe’ in the context of chaityas and viharas.                                                                                                                                   20
  2. Discuss the debates on the term ‘early medieval’                                                         20


  1. Discuss B.D. Chattopadhya’s arguments on the early Rajputs.                                   20
  2. Comment on the ideological roots of the nationalists’ perceptions of the Indian society.                                                                                                                         20
  3. Discuss the non-Brahman movement in the 19th century in the context of an emerging modernity.                                                                                                                    20
  4. Comment on the rise of the Indian middle classes during the colonial period.
  1. How did the various Criminal Tribes Acts affect the wandering and the nomadic groups?                                                                                                                         20

ASSIGNMENT: 2011-2012

Course Code: MHI-08

                                                                                                          Assignment Code: MHI-08/AST/TMA/2011-12
                                                                                                                        Total Marks: 100

Note: Attempt any five questions.  The assignment is divided into two Sections ‘A’ and ‘B’. You have to attempt at least two questions form each section in about 500 words each. All questions carry equal marks.
1.      Write an essay on the nature of writings pertaining to the environmental conditions
             prevailing during the colonial period in India.                                                           20                                  
  1. The beginning of agriculture changed the relationship between human societies and the nature in a significant manner – Do you agree with this view? Give reasons in support.                                                                                                                        20
  1. What are the nature of evidence and the geographical spread of Hunting-Gathering Communities?  Discuss.                                                                                              20
  1. Discuss the main features of resource use practices in early India.                            20
  1. Write Short Notes on any two of the following in about 200 words each:          10+10
    1. The Indian Platea
    2. Agro-Pastoralism in Chalcolithic Cultures 
    3. Principles Defining the Water Rights
    4. Historical Evolution of Metals
                                                SECTION B 
  1. Describe the historical pattern of the use of water in India.                                        20
  1. Describe the main features of the Indian view of Nature Conservation.                     20
  1. Explain the reasons and the form of Chipko Movement.                                            20
  1. Give the main features of the Convention of Biodiversity.                                         20
  1. Write Short Notes on any two of the following in about 200 words each:           10+10
    1. Inter-State Water Disputes
    2. Environmental Discourse of Industrialism
    3. Gandhian Alternative to Development
    4. Deep Ecology

Course Code: MPSE-003
Assignment Code: ASST/TMA/2011-12
Marks: 100

Note:Answer any five questions in about 500 words each. Attempt at least two questions from each section. Each question carries 20 marks.


1.                  Discuss Aristotle’s theory of revolution.

2.                  Write an essay on Machiavelli’s ‘The Prince’.

3.                  Examine Edmund Burke’s critique of natural rights and social contract.

4.                  Describe the salient features of Bentham’s political philosophy.

5.                  Discuss J.S Mill’s views on equal rights for women.



Write a short note on the following in about 250 words each:

6.         a)   Hegel’s dialectical method
b)      Hegel’s theory of freedom of the individual

7.         a)   Marx’s theory of alienation
b)      Dictatorship of the Proletariat

8.         a)   Relevance of Western Political Thought
            b)   Plato’s scheme of education

9.         a)   St. Thomas Aquinas’s views on the law and the state
            b)   Thomas Hobbes on right and duties of the Sovereign

10.       a)   Rousseau’s critique of civil society
            b)   Kant’s concept of perpetual peace


Course Code: MPSE-004
Assignment Code: Asst /TMA/2011-12
Marks: 100

Note: Answer five questions in all, selecting at least two questions from each section. Each question is to be answered in about 500 words. Each question carries 20 marks.


1.                  Write an essay on modes of reformist thought in British colonial India.
2.                  Examine Jyotiba Phule’s role as a social revolutionary.
3.                  Describe the Hindu Nationalism of V.D. Savarkar.
4.                  Comment on Sir Syed Ahmed Khan’s views on Hindu-Muslim Unity.
5.                  Discuss E.V. Ramaswamy Naicker as a social reformer.


Write short notes on the following in about 250 words each:

6.         a)   Philosophical foundations of M. K. Gandhi’s political perspective
            b)   Gandhi’s views on the relationship between religion and politics

7.         a)   Nehru’s scientific temper
            b)   Nehru’s theory of culture

8.         a)   B.R. Ambedkar’s ideological orientation
            b)   Ambedkar’s views on social justice and supportive polity          

 9.         a)  Rabindranath Tagore’s critique of nationalism
             b)  Tagore’s differences with Gandhi

10.        a)  Communist Party of India before independence
             b)  M.N. Roy and Radical Humanism

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