NIOS Class 12 History Chapter 13 Economy

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NIOS Class 12 History Chapter 13 Economy, Solutions to each chapter is provided in the list so that you can easily browse throughout different chapters NIOS Class 12 History Chapter 13 Economy and select need one. NIOS Class 12 History Chapter 13 Economy Question Answers Download PDF. NIOS Study Material of Class 12 History Notes Paper 315.

NIOS Class 12 History Chapter 13 Economy

Also, you can read the NIOS book online in these sections Solutions by Expert Teachers as per National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) Book guidelines. These solutions are part of NIOS All Subject Solutions. Here we have given NIOS Class 12 History Chapter 13 Economy, NIOS Senior Secondary Course History Solutions for All Chapter, You can practice these here.


Chapter: 13




Q. 1. What was the availability of land for agriculture?

Ans: Throughout the course of the medieval Indian history land existed in surplus than the actual land cultivated by peasants. Increase in agricultural production was sought through bringing newer areas under cultivation.

Q. 2. List four food crops and four cash crops of mediaeval India.

Ans: Food crops: Rice, Wheat, Barley, and Jowar. 

Cash crops: Sugarcane, opium, indigo and silk.

Q. 3. List four crops which were introduced in India during the meadieval period.

Ans: Tobacco, Pineapple, Cherry, and Papaya. 

Q. 4. What was a Persian wheel?

Ans: The Persian wheel was the most advanced water lifting device of this period. A garland of pots was attached to the rim of a wheel along with a gear mechanism. With the help of animal power, this wheel was made to rotate thereby lifting water through pots tied in succession.


Q. 1. What was the difference between Khet batai and the Lang batai?

Ans: As crop sharing methods, Khet batai involved division of field between peasants and the state with standing crop. Lang batai involved cutting and stacking of crop in heaps without separating grain.

Q. 2. Name three medieval Indian rulers whose Ind revenue policies contributed to the development of elaborate mechanism of land revenue administration.

Ans: Alauddin Khalji, Sher Shah Suri, and Akbar.

Q. 3. What were Polaj, Parati and Chachar lands?

Ans: (i) Polaj land was land from which two crops were raised every year. 

(ii) Parati land was land to be left uncultivated for some time.

(iii) Chachar land was unfertile land brought to cultivation once in 3 to 4 years. 

Q. 4. What is Patta and Qabuliyat?

Ans: Patta: Patta was a document given to an individual cultivator containing all the details relating to categories of held by him and rate of land revenue on different crops.

Qabuliyat: It was a deed of agreement where by the peasants promised to pay the land revenue due upon him to the state.


Q. 1. Who were Rajaputra, Ranaka and Mahasamanta?

Ans: These were terms applied to the category of hereditary land right holders prior to the establishment of the Delhi Sultanate. These people helped the state in the process of appropriation of land revenue collection.

Q. 2. Who were Muqaddams and Patels?

Ans: The Muqaddams and Patels were village headmen in north and south India respectively who were responsible for collection of land revenue and maintenance of law and order in their respective villages. 

Q.3. List some of the important peasant uprisings of the Mughal period.

Ans: Such uprisings were those of the Jats, Sikhs, Marathas and Satnamis.


Q. 1. Name five important crafts of medieval India.

Ans: Five important crafts of meadieval India were: Textile, dyeing and bleaching, sugar manufacturing, mineral extraction, and metallurgy.

Q. 2. Name three important centres of saltpetre production. 

Ans: Ahmedabad, Baroda and Patna.

Q. 3. Name four important centres of diamond production. 

Ans: Golconda, Bairagarh, Panna and Khokhra.

Q. 4. Name three important technological devices used in the textile production.

Ans: Spinning wheel (charkha), Pitloom and Drawloom.


Q. 1. Name five countries with which India maintained overland trade relations during the meadieval period.

Ans: India maintained overland trade with countries like China, Arabia, Egypt, Persia and Afghanistan

Q. 2. What was a Hat? 

Ans: Hat was a periodic local market, held on fixed days in a week. In these markets local people purchased their articles of daily use.

Q.3. Name some of the important trade centres of medieval Bengal.

Ans: Some of the important trade centres of Bengal were Hugli, Dacca, Murshidabad Satgaon and Patna.

Q. 4. Briefly explain the following terms: Karwanis, Khatris, Komatis, Bohras, Chettis.

Ans: (i) Karwanis, a Persian term, was applied to merchants who moved in groups, transporting grain from one place to another.

(ii) Khatris: Khatris were a leading grain merchant community of Punjab. 

(iii) Komatis: Komatis were a leading (Telugu speaking) merchant group of Golconda.

(iv) Bohras: Bohras were a prominent mercantile community who had a strong presence in Gujarat, Ujjain the Burhanpur.

(v) Chettis: Chettis were the leading mercantile group of South India.


Q.1. What was the extent of cultivation in Medieval India?

Ans: Extent of cultivation in Medieval India: 

(i) Extent of cultivation may be understood in terms of actual area under the plough in relation to the total available cultivable land. There was a favourable ratio of land to man i.e., availability of land is surplus than the actual land cultivated by peasants. In such a situation an increase in production was sought through expansion of agriculture i.e., bringing newer areas under cultivation.

(ii) For example large tracts of land in even such fertile regions as the Ganga-Yamuna Doab were covered by forests and grasslands during the Sultanate period. Land continued to exist in a favourable ratio to man during the Mughal period as well.

(iii) The rulers of this era, therefore, harped on the policy of expansion of agriculture to such areas which were still not under cultivation. Agriculture was introduced to tribal, backward, and outlying areas.

(iv) Forests were cleared and agricultural wastelands were converted into cultivable lands.

(v) Extent of agriculture expanded in good proportions from the Sultanate to the Mughal period. By the Mughal period, agriculture was practised in almost all parts of the empire, yet land still existed in huge surplus than the actual requirement of the Mughal agricultural population.

(vi) The extent of cultivation significantly increased during the reign of Aurangzeb in comparison to Akbar’s reign. The expansion of cultivation in Bihar, Awadh and parts of Bengal is ascribed to clearance of forest, whereas in Punjab and Sind, to the spread of canal network.

Q. 2. What do you understand by Persian wheel? How did it function? 

Ans: (i) The Persian wheel was the most advanced water lifting device of Sultanate period. 

(ii) In this method, a garland of pots was attached to the rim of a wheel, a gear mechanism was also attached to it, and with the help of animal power this wheel was made to rotate. 

Q. 3. Name some of the canals constructed by Firoz Shah Tughlaq for irrigation.

Ans: Some of the canals constructed by Firoz Shah Tughlaq for irrigation were as follows:

(i) From Sutlej to Ghaggar.

(ii) Opening from the Nandavi and Simur hills to Arasani.

(iii) From Ghaggar, reaching upto the village to Hiransi Khera.

(iv) excavated from Yamuna extended upto Firozabad.

Q. 4. Identify various stages of land revenue assessment in its most elaborate form.

Ans: Various stages of land revenue assessment: 

During the mediaeval period different methods of revenue assessment and collection were used. These methods were as follows:

(i) Batai or crop sharing: This was the most simple and basic method. In this method out of the total produce the state share was collected by designated official. Here, the measurement of land had no bearing on revenue collection. The actual produce was the main focus of attention.

(ii) Kankut: In this method land was first measured. After measurement the productivity of land was estimated to fix the revenue demand per unit of measured area. Sher Shah improved the method of assessment. For estimating the productivity sample cutting from three types of land-good, middling and bad lands was taken and an average yield was obtained. The state demand was fixed at one-third of the average yield. Revenue demand per bigha for every crop was declared and was known as rai of Sher Shah. During initial years of Akbar these rates were adopted for the whole empire. Here, the state demand was expressed in kind but could be collected/paid in cash after applying prevalent prices on them.

(iii) Zabt: In this method the assessment) was done on the basis of measurement. The share of the state was decided on the basis of yields. Under Akbar the method was further refined. All the territories were divided into the revenue circles or dasturs. For each dastur circle per bigha revenue rates for different crops in cash based on productivity and prices was worked out.

Q. 5. What was Ain-i-Dahsala ? How did it function?

Ans: (i) Ain-i-Dahsala was ten years revenue rates. This method was adopted to overcome the problem of compiling fresh rates every year for different localities.

(ii) According to this method the average of the rates of last ten years was taken as cash revenue rate for a particular crop. However, these were changed at irregular intervals and not updated every year.

(iii) In the beginning it was implemented in the provinces of Agra, Allahabad, Awadh, Delhi, Lahore and Malwa. Later it was extended to some other However, at no point of time all the land in a particular region was measured. Even in measured territories some territories remained unmeasured. In such a situation even in the zabti region other methods of assessment and collection were followed in almost all parts of the country.

Q. 6. Name some of the important land revenue officials with their specific functions at the paragana and village levels.

Ans: Some of the important land revenue officials with their specific functions at the paragana and village levels are as under:

(i) Amin: He was the head of the surveying party.

(ii) Amil: He was incharge of revenue collections.

(iii) Qanungo: He assisted Amin. He was repository of all revenue records.

(iv) Chaudhari: He assisted the amil in his work of revenue collection.

(v) Patwari: At the village level, the records were maintained by the Patwari.

(vi) Muqaddam: Collections were made by him.

(vii) Potadar: He was treasurer.

(viii) Karkun: He was clerk.

Q. 7. What was a Karkhana? How did it function?

Ans: (i) Karkhana was the Royal workshop. It was another unit of craft production. These Karkhanas were part of the royal establishment. These units produced commodities for the consumption of the royal house-hold and the. court. Generally, expensive and luxury items were produced here.

(ii) The Karkhanas functioned through employed skilled workers. These workers worked under one roof and were supervised by state officials.

(iii) There were two types of Karkhanas: (a) The traditional type of Karkhanas, which produced luxury goods in small quantity, but of high artistic value.

(iv) The second type of Kharkhana was mints or arm manufacturing units, wherein standard oriented and technologically advanced large scale production took place.

Q. 8. Name five leading mercantile communities of mediaeval India. 

Ans: The leading mercantile communities of medieval India are as under:

(i) Karwanis or nayakas: They were specialised in carrying grains from the rural areas. In the centuries they were termed as Banjaras.

(ii) Multani merchants: They were specialised in long distance trade.

(iii) Baniya: community in north India and Deccan. Khatris and Komatis were their counterparts in Punjab and Golconda respectively. Besides’ trade, they were also involved in moneylendings.

(iv) Bohras: During Mughal period.

(v) Chettis: In South India.

(vi) Kling: Along coromandal coast upto Orissa.

(vii) Komatis: Telugu speaking merchant groups.

Q. 9. Who was a Sarraf? What role did they play?

Ans: (i) Sarrafs was a community engaged in monetary transactions. 

(ii) They performed three distinct functions:

(a) Money changers – in this role, a sarraf was considered an expert in judging the metallic purity of coins as well as their weight. He also determined the current’exchange rate of specific coins.

(b) They acted as bankers, received deposits and gave loans on interest.

(iii) As traders, they dealt in gold, silver and jewellery. Besides, they also issued hundis or bills of exchange.

Q. 10. What do you understand by the term Hundi? How did it facilitate trade and commerce?

Ans: (i) Hundi or bills of exchange was a mediaeval commercial practice. A hundi was essentially a paper document promising payment of money after a fixed period of time at a certain place. This practice started because of the problems involved in carrying large amounts of cash from one place to another.

(ii) The sarrafs, who played the key role in hundi transaction, generally had number of establishments across various towns and cities. They issued hundis to merchants after accepting the cash to be transferred. The hundis indicated the amount, period and place of encashment.

(iii) The persons carried hundis to their destinations, presented it to the agents of issuing sarrafs and encashed the value indicated. Apart from merchants state officials and other nobles also used it for transferring money. The hundi system established a safe and convenient method of transferring money. The sarrafs charged a commission for every hundi they issued.

Q. 11. Briefly comment on the role of landed intermediaries in revenue collection.

Ans: Role of landed intermediaries in revenue collection:

(i) Besides state officials various categories of intermediaries existed between the peasants and the state. These intermediaries played a curcial role in land revenue collection. They claimed revenue exemptions on their lands or a share in land revenue in return for the services rendered by them.

(ii) Prior to the establishment of the Delhi Sultanate there were raja, rajaputra, ranaka, mahasamanta etc. These were hereditary right holders connected with land. They collected land revenue from peasants of their respective areas, sent a part of it to the state and kept a part with themselves for their sustenance.

(iii) The state also granted tax-exempt land to Brahmans and temples. Land revenue from such areas were collected by these grantees.

(iv) During the Sultanate period, landed intermediaries continued to play an important role in revenue collection. Khuts (small landlords), Muqaddams (village headmen) and a group of intermediaries, such as rai, rana, rawats etc., enjoyed superior rights over land as compared to an average peasant. Alauddin Khalji tried to curtail the powers and shares of these groups. Later Delhi Sultans like Ghiyassuddin and Firoz Shah Tughlaq gave certain concessions to them.

(v) During the Mughal period rais, ranas, rawats and other such intermediaries were referred as zamindars. They were the people who had hereditary rights over the produce of the land.

(vi) The zamindars claimed a direct share in the peasants produce. Their share varied from 10% to 25% in different parts of the country These claims co-existed in a subordinate capacity with the land revenue demand of the state. Zamindars also assisted the state and jagirdar in the collection of land revenue.

(vii) Iqta of the Sultanate period in a modified form became Jagir under the Mughals. Its holders (jagirdars) were paid through revenue assignments.

(viii) The muqaddams (in north India) and patels (in Deccan) acted as village head-men who were responsible for collection of revenue and maintenance of law and order in the village. For their services, they were granted revenue free village land.

(ix) The patwari (in north India) and kulkarni (in Deccan), who served as village accountants, were also paid similarly.

Q. 12. Comment briefly on the means of irrigation during the Medieval India. 

Ans: Means of irrigation during the medieval India:

(i) Dams, lakes and water reservoirs were some of the important means of irrigation. In south India, the state, local chiefs and temple managements constructed a number of dams over rivers for this purpose. The Madag lake, for instance, was built by the Vijayanagara rulers on the Tungbhadra river to meet the irrigational need of the adjoining territories.

(ii) Lakes and water reservoirs such as the Dhebar, Udaisagar, Rajasamand and Jaisamand (all in Mewar); Balsan (Marwar) and Mansagar (Amber) etc., served as important sources of irrigation in medieval Rajasthan.

(iii) Wells, as a common source of irrigation, were uniformly spread in different parts of the country. A number of artificial devices were used to lift water from wells. Pulleys were employed over wells for this purpose. Another device worked on the lever principle. In this method, fork of an upright beam was kept in a swinging position with its one end tied with a long rope and the other carried a weight heavier than the filled bucket.

(iv) The Persian wheel which began to be used in India from the Sultanate period, however, was the most advanced water lifting device of this period. In this method, a garland of pots was attached to the rim of a wheel, a gear mechanism was also attached to it, and with the help of animal power this wheel was made to rotate.

(v) The Delhi Sultans, in particular, promoted canal irrigation, Ghiyassuddin Tughlaq (A.D. 1320-1325) built a number of canals for this purpose. However, Firoz Shah Tughlaq laid the largest network of canals. Four such canals were: (i) From Sutlej to Ghaggar, (ii) Opening from the Nandavi and Simur hills to Arasani, (iii) from Ghaggar, reaching upto the village to Hiransi Khera, and (iv) excavated from Yamuna and extended upto Firozabad.

(vi) The tradition of Delhi Sultans to construct canals was continued by the Mughal emperors as well. The Nahr Faiz, for instance, built during Shahjahan’s reign carried water from Yamuna and irrigated a large area.

Q. 13. Briefly comment on organization of artisanal production during the medieval period.

Ans: Organisation of artisanal production during the medieval period:

(i) In rural areas, artisans produced articles of daily use. These artisans were part of the village social network called the jajmani system.This system was more organised in Deccan and Maharashtra. In these regions, the village artisans and servants were called balutedars.

(ii) Town based individual artisans formed the nucleus of such commodities which were produced for markets. Almost every craft had specialised artisans who produced articles for the market. The individual artisan himself procured necessary raw materials and tools, manufactured commodities and sold those in the market.

(iii) This mode of artisanal production, however, suffered from a major weakness. Since the production was organised on individual basis, an artisan lacked big resources to invest in the production process. Naturally, the size of final production remained small.

(iv) A revised form of production called the dadni system gradually developed to address this problem. In this system, an artisan was provided with necessary raw materials and advance money by such merchants who traded in those commodities. After the expiry of stipulated time, the merchants collected finished goods and sold them in the market.

Q. 14. Discuss in brief, local, regional and inter-regional trade of medieval India. 

Ans: Local, regional and inter-regional trade in mediaeval India:

(i) Trade at the local level was conducted through periodic markets known as Hats or Penths. These markets were held on fixed days in a week. In these local markets commodities like food grain, salt, wooden and iron equipments, coarse cotton textiles etc., were available.

(ii) The local markets were linked to bigger commercial centres in that particular region. These centres served as markets for products not only from their specific region but also from other regions. Delhi, Agra, Lahore, Multan, Bijapur, Hyderabad, Calicut, Cochin, Patna etc., were some of such trading regions during the Mughal period.

(iii) The inter-regional trade was conducted in commodities. According to Barani the Delhi Sultanate period received distilled wine from Kol (Aligarh), muslin from Devagiri, stripped cloth from Lakhnauti and ordinary cloth from Awadh. During the Mughal period, Bengal with its important trading centres-Hugli, Dacca, Murshidabad, Satagaon, Patna had well developed inter-regional trade with all parts of India. Surat and Ahmedabad in western India and Agra in north India were some of the important centres with fairly developed inter-regional trade.

Q. 15. Comment on the currency system of medieval India. 

Ans: Currency system of Medieval India:

(i) The silver and copper coins were the main coins in circulation for cash transaction. The pure silver tanka with fluctuating proportion of silver was the main coinage during the Sultanate period.

(ii) The jital and dang were copper coins. The value of coinage fluctuated with the change in the prices of metals.

(iii) The purity of metals in coinage of gold, silver and copper was for the first flow established under Sher Shah. The rupaya of silver came to be used as the basic coin for transaction. It was of 178 grains. The same continued under Akbar with minor fluctuation under his successors.

(iv) The copper dam of the Mughal was 323 grains. The value of silver rupee to copper dam fluctuated as per the availability or scarcity of silver. During Akbar’s period 1 silver rupee was equal to 40 copper dams. The gold or ashrafi had a weight of 169 grains.

(v) The coins were minted at the royal mints spread in all parts of the kingdom. During Akbar’s period gold coins were issued from 4 mints, silver coins from 14 mints and copper coins from 42 mints. During Aurangzeb’s period the number of rupee mints increased to 40.

Multiple Choice Questions

Tick (✓) the correct answer. 

Q. 1. Which of the following statement is not true about the Mughal period?

(a) Land continued to exist in a favourable ratio to man.

(b) Agriculture was practiced in almost all parts of the empire.

(c) Land existed in huge surplus than the actual requirement.

(d) None of these.

Ans: (d) None of these.

Q. 2. In which part the expansion of cultivation is ascribed to clearance of forest during the Mughal period?

(a) Bihar. 

(b) Punjab.

(c) Sind.

(d) None of these.

Ans: (a) Bihar.

Q. 3. During the Mughal period in which part the expansion of cultivation is ascribed to the spread of canal networks? 

(a) Punjab.

(b) Sind.

(c) (a) and (b) both.

(d) None of these.

Ans: (c) (a) and (b) both. 

Q. 4. Which of the following food crops were produced by the medieval Indian peasants?

(a) rice.

(b) wheat.

(c) barley.

(d) all of these.

Ans: (d) all of these.

Q. 5. During the Mughal period which of the following cash crop was the most widely grown cash crop? 

(a) Cotton.

(b) Sugarcane.

(c) Indigo.

(d) Silk.

Ans: (b) Sugarcane.

Q. 6. During the Mughal period which of the following produced the best quality indigo?

(a) Bayana.

(b) Sarkhej.

(c) (a) and (b) both.

(d) Bihar.

Ans: (c) (a) and (b) both.

Q. 7. In which period 1200 orchards was laid down in the vicinity of Delhi?

(a) Firoz Shah Tughlaq.

(b) Akbar.

(c) Iltumish.

(d) Aurangzeb. 

Ans: (a) Firoz Shah Tughlaq.

Q. 8. Which of the following fruit was introduced by Portuguese? 

(a) Pineapple. 

(b) Cherry.

(c) Leechi.

(d) Guava.

Ans: (d) Guava.

Q. 9. During the late medieval period which of the following vegetables were introduced?

(a) Potato.

(b) Tomato. 

(c) Chillies. 

(d) All of these.

Ans: (d) All of these.

Q. 10. Which of the following spices was produced by the mediaeval Indian peasants?

(a) Pepper.

(b) Clove.

(c) Turmeric. 

(d) All of these. 

Ans: (a) Pepper.

Q. 11. Ain-i-Akbari was written by:

(a) Abul Fazl. 

(b) Akbar.

(c) Kalhan. 

(d) Amir Khusrau.

Ans: (a) Abul Fazl. 

Q .12. The Madag lake was built by the Vijayanagar rulers on which river? 

(a) Yamuna.

(b) Tungabhadra.

(c) Ganga.

(d) Sutlej.

Ans: (b) Tungbhadra.

Q. 13. The Nahr Faiz was built to carry water from Yamuna during the reign of which Mughal emperor?

(a) Akbar.

(b) Shahjahan.

(c) Babur.

(d) Aurangzeb.

Ans: (b) Shahjahan.

Q. 14. Canal from Sutlej to Ghaggar was built by which Delhi Sultans? 

(a) Firoz Shah Tughlaq.

(b) Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq.

(c) Iltutmish.

(d) Qutubuddin Aibak.

Ans: (a) Firoz Shah Tughlaq.

Q. 15. Among the following who surveyed land for the purpose of’ revenue assessment?

(a) Amil.

(b) Amin.

(c) Jagirdar.

(d) Patwari.

Ans: (a) Amil.

Q. 16. Infertile land unfit for cultivation was known as ______ during the mediaeval period.

(a) Chachar.

(b) Polaj.

(c) Banjar.

(d) Parati.

Ans: (c) Banjar.

Q. 17. The method of crop sharing wherein fields were divided between the peasant and the state revenue agents with crop standing on the field was known as _______.

(a) Khet-Batai. 

(b) Lang-Batai.

(c) Kankut.

(d) None of these.

Ans: (a) Khet-Batai.

Q. 18. A document given by the state to each cultivator was called:

(a) Qaboliat.

(b) Patta.

(c) (a) and (b) both.

(d) None of these.

Ans: (b) Patta.

Q. 19. The Jital and dang were ______ coins under Sultanate:

(a) copper.

(b) silver.

(c) gold.

(d) all of these.

Ans: (a) copper.

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