UPSC Mains History Optional Syllabus - (Paper I & Paper II)

Civil Services Mains Exam Syllabus

(Indian History Optional Paper I and Paper II)

It has two parts, Paper 1 start from early ancient history and goes up to eighteenth century and Paper 2 begins from the European penetration into India and covers the entire modern Indian History up to the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1990.

PART - Ihttp://www.iasplanner.com/civilservices/images/test-small.png


1. Sources: Archaeological sources: Exploration, excavation, epigraphy, numismatics, monuments Literary sources: Indigenous: Primary and secondary; poetry, scientific literature, literature, literature in regional languages, religious literature. Foreign accounts: Greek, Chinese and Arab writers.

2. Pre-history and Proto-history: Geographical factors; hunting and gathering (paleolithic and mesolithic); Beginning of agriculture (neolithic and chalcolithic).

3. Indus Valley Civilization: Origin, date, extent, characteristics, decline, survival and significance, art and architecture.

4. Megalithic Cultures: Distribution of pastoral and farming cultures outside the Indus, Development of community life, Settlements, Development of agriculture, Crafts, Pottery, and Iron industry.

5. Aryans and Vedic Period: Expansions of Aryans in India. Vedic Period: Religious and philosophic literature; Transformation from Rig Vedic period to the later Vedic period; Political, social and economical life; Significance of the Vedic Age; Evolution of Monarchy and Varna system.

6. Period of Mahajanapadas: Formation of States (Mahajanapada) : Republics and monarchies; Rise of urban centres; Trade routes; Economic growth; Introduction of coinage; Spread of Jainism and Buddhism; Rise of Magadha and Nandas. Iranian and Macedonian invasions and their impact.

7. Mauryan Empire: Foundation of the Mauryan Empire, Chandragupta, Kautilya and Arthashastra; Ashoka; Concept of Dharma; Edicts; Polity, Administration; Economy; Art, architecture and sculpture; External contacts; Religion; Spread of religion; Literature. Disintegration of the empire; Sungas and Kanvas.

8. Post - Mauryan Period (Indo-Greeks, Sakas, Kushanas, Western Kshatrapas): Contact with outside world; growth of urban centres, economy, coinage, development of religions, Mahayana, social conditions, art, architecture, culture, literature and science.

9. Early State and Society in Eastern India, Deccan and South India: Kharavela, The Satavahanas, Tamil States of the Sangam Age; Administration, economy, land grants, coinage, trade guilds and urban centres; Buddhist centres; Sangam literature and culture; Art and architecture.

10. Guptas, Vakatakas and Vardhanas: Polity and administration, Economic conditions, Coinage of the Guptas, Land grants, Decline of urban centres, Indian feudalism, Caste system, Position of women, Education and educational institutions; Nalanda, Vikramshila and Vallabhi, Literature, scientific literature, art and architecture.

11. Regional States during Gupta Era: The Kadambas, Pallavas, Chalukyas of Badami; Polity and Administration, Trade guilds, Literature; growth of Vaishnava and Saiva religions. Tamil Bhakti movement, Shankaracharya; Vedanta; Institutions of temple and temple architecture; Palas, Senas, Rashtrakutas, Paramaras, Polity and administration; Cultural aspects. Arab conquest of Sind; Alberuni, The Chalukyas of Kalyana, Cholas, Hoysalas, Pandyas; Polity and Administration; local Govern-ment; Growth of art and architecture, religious sects, Institution of temple and Mathas, Agraharas, education and literature, economy and society.

12. Themes in Early Indian Cultural History: Languages and texts, major stages in the evolution of art and architecture, major philosophical thinkers and schools, ideas in Science and Mathematics.

13. Early Medieval India, 750-1200: - Polity: Major political developments in Northern India and the Peninsula, origin and the rise of Rajputs - The Cholas: administration, village economy and society - “Indian Feudalism” - Agrarian economy and urban settlements - Trade and commerce - Society: the status of the Brahman and the new social order - Condition of women - Indian science and technology

14. Cultural Traditions in India, 750- 1200: - Philosophy: Skankaracharya and Vedanta, Ramanuja and Vishishtadvaita, Madhva and BrahmaMimansa - Religion: Forms and features of religion, Tamil devotional cult, growth of Bhakti, Islam and its arrival in India, Sufism - Literature: Literature in Sanskrit, growth of Tamil literature, literature in the newly developing languages, Kalhan’s Rajtarangini, Alberuni’s India - Art and Architecture: Temple architecture, sculpture, painting

15. The Thirteenth Century: - Establishment of the Delhi Sultanate: The Ghurian invasions – factors behind Ghurian success - Economic, social and cultural consequences - Foundation of Delhi Sultanate and early Turkish Sultans - Consolidation: The rule of Iltutmish and Balban

16. The Fourteenth Century: - "The Khalji Revolution" - Alauddin Khalji: Conquests and territorial expansion, agrarian and economic measures - Muhammad Tughluq: Major projects, agrarian measures, bureaucracy of Muhammad Tughluq - Firuz Tughluq: Agrarian measures, achievements in civil engineering and public works, decline of the Sultanate, foreign contacts and Ibn Battuta’s account

17. Society, Culture and Economy in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries: - Society: composition of rural society, ruling classes, town dwellers, women, religious classes, caste and slavery under the Sultanate, Bhakti movement, Sufi movement - Culture: Persian literature, literature in the regional languages of North India, literature in the languages of South India, Sultanate architecture and new structural forms, painting, evolution of a composite culture - Economy: Agricultural production, rise of urban economy and non-agricultural production, trade and commerce

18. The Fifteenth and Early Sixteenth Century – Political Developments and Economy: - Rise of Provincial Dynasties: Bengal, Kashmir (Zainul Abedin), Gujarat, Malwa, Bahmanids - The Vijayanagra Empire - Lodis - Mughal Empire, First phase: Babur and Humayun - The Sur Empire: Sher Shah's administration - Portuguese Colonial enterprise - Bhakti and Sufi Movements

19. The Fifteenth and early Sixteenth Century – Society and Culture: - Regional cultural specificities - Literary traditions - Provincial architecture - Society, culture, literature and the arts in Vijayanagara Empire.

20. Akbar: - Conquests and consolidation of the Empire - Establishment of Jagir and Mansab systems - Rajput policy - Evolution of religious and social outlook, theory of Sulh-i-kul and religious policy - Court patronage of art and technology

21. Mughal Empire in the Seventeenth Century: - Major administrative policies of Jahangir, Shahjahan and Aurangzeb - The Empire and the Zamindars - Religious policies of Jahangir, Shahjahan and Aurangzeb - Nature of the Mughal State - Late Seventeenth century crisis and the revolts - The Ahom Kingdom - Shivaji and the early Maratha Kingdom.

22. Economy and Society in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries: - Population, agricultural production, craft production - Towns, commerce with Europe through Dutch, English and French companies : a trade revolution - Indian mercantile classes, banking, insurance and credit systems - Condition of peasants, condition of women - Evolution of the Sikh community and the Khalsa Panth

23. Culture in the Mughal Empire: - Persian histories and other literature - Hindi and other religious literature - Mughal architecture - Mughal painting - Provincial architecture and painting - Classical music - Science and technology

24. The Eighteenth Century: - Factors for the decline of the Mughal Empire - The regional principalities: Nizam’s Deccan, Bengal, Awadh - Maratha ascendancy under the Peshwas - The Maratha fiscal and financial system - Emergence of Afghan Power, Battle of Panipat:1761 - State of politics, culture and economy on the eve of the British conquest

PART - II


1. European Penetration into India: The Early European Settlements; The Portuguese and the Dutch; The English and the French East India Companies; Their struggle for supremacy; Carnatic Wars; Bengal -The conflict between the English and the Nawabs of Bengal; Siraj and the English; The Battle of Plassey; Significance of Plassey.

2. British Expansion in India: Bengal – Mir Jafar and Mir Kasim; The Battle of Buxar; Mysore; The Marathas; The three Anglo-Maratha Wars; The Punjab.

3. Early Structure of the British Raj: The early administrative structure; From diarchy to direct control; The Regulating Act (1773); The Pitt’s India Act (1784); The Charter Act (1833); The voice of free trade and the changing character of British colonial rule; The English utilitarian and India

4. Economic Impact of British Colonial Rule: (a) Land revenue settlements in British India; The Permanent Settlement; Ryotwari Settlement; Mahalwari Settlement; Economic impact of the revenue arrangements; Commercialization of agriculture; Rise of landless agrarian labourers; Impoverishment of the rural society. (b) Dislocation of traditional trade and commerce; De-industrialisation; Decline of traditional crafts; Drain of wealth; Economic transformation of India; Railroad and communication network including tele-graph and postal services; Famine and poverty in the rural interior; European business enterprise and its limitations.

5. Social and Cultural Developments: The state of indigenous education, its dislocation; Orientalist-Anglicist controversy, The introduction of western education in India; The rise of press, literature and public opinion; The rise of modern vernacular literature; Progress of science; Christian missionary activities in India.

6. Social and Religious Reform movements in Bengal and Other Areas: Ram Mohan Roy, The Brahmo Movement; Devendranath Tagore; Iswarchandra Vidyasagar; The Young Bengal Movement; Dayanada Saraswati; The social reform movements in India including Sati, widow remarriage, child marriage etc.; The contribution of Indian renaissance to the growth of modern India; Islamic revivalism – the Feraizi and Wahabi Movements.

7. Indian Response to British Rule: Peasant movements and tribal uprisings in the 18th and 19th centuries including the Rangpur Dhing (1783), the Kol Rebellion (1832), the Mopla Rebellion in Malabar (1841-1920), the Santal Hul (1855), Indigo Rebellion (1859-60), Deccan Uprising (1875) and the Munda Ulgulan (1899-1900); The Great Revolt of 1857 - Origin, character, causes of failure, the consequences; The shift in the character of peasant uprisings in the post-1857 period; the peasant movements of the 1920s and 1930s.

8. Factors leading to the birth of Indian Nationalism; Politics of Association; The Foundation of the Indian National Congress; The Safety-valve thesis relating to the birth of the Congress; Programme and objectives of Early Congress; the social composition of early Congress leadership; the Moderates and Extremists; The Partition of Bengal (1905); The Swadeshi Movement in Bengal; the economic and political aspects of Swadeshi Movement; The beginning of revolutionary extremism in India.

9. Rise of Gandhi; Character of Gandhian nationalism; Gandhi’s popular appeal; Rowlatt Satyagraha; the Khilafat Movement; the Non-cooperation Movement; National politics from the end of the Non-cooperation movement to the beginning of the Civil Disobedience movement; the two phases of the Civil Disobedience Movement; Simon Commission; The Nehru Report; the Round Table Conferences; Nationalism and the Peasant Movements; Nationalism and Working class movements; Women and Indian youth and students in Indian politics (1885-1947); the election of 1937 and the formation of ministries; Cripps Mission; the Quit India Movement; the Wavell Plan; The Cabinet Mission.

10. Constitutional Developments in the Colonial India between 1858 and 1935

11. Other strands in the National Movement The Revolutionaries: Bengal, the Punjab, Maharashtra, U.P, the Madras Presidency, Outside India. The Left; The Left within the Congress: Jawaharlal Nehru, Subhas Chandra Bose, the Congress Socialist Party; the Communist Party of India, other left parties.

12. Politics of Separatism; the Muslim League; the Hindu Mahasabha; Communalism and the politics of partition; Transfer of power; Independence.

13. Consolidation as a Nation; Nehru's Foreign Policy; India and her neighbours (1947-1964); The linguistic reorganisation of States (1935-1947); Regionalism and regional inequality; Integration of Princely States; Princes in electoral politics; the Question of National Language.

14. Caste and Ethnicity after 1947; Backward castes and tribes in post-colonial electoral politics; Dalit movements.

15. Economic development and political change; Land reforms; the politics of planning and rural reconstruction; Ecology and environmental policy in post - colonial India; Progress of science.

16. Enlightenment and Modern ideas: (i) Major ideas of Enlightenment: Kant, Rousseau (ii) Spread of Enlightenment in the colonies (iii) Rise of socialist ideas (up to Marx); spread of Marxian Socialism.

17. Origins of Modern Politics: (i) European States System. (ii) American Revolution and the Constitution. (iii) French revolution and aftermath, 1789-1815. (iv) American Civil War with reference to Abraham Lincoln and the abolition of slavery. (v) British Democratic Politics, 1815- 1850; Parliamentary Reformers, Free Traders, Chartists.

18. Industrialization: (i) English Industrial Revolution: Causes and Impact on Society (ii) Industrialization in other countries: USA, Germany, Russia, Japan (iii) Industrialization and Globalization.

19. Nation-State System: (i) Rise of Nationalism in 19th century (ii) Nationalism: state-building in Germany and Italy (iii) Disintegration of Empires in the face of the emergence of nationalities across the world.

20. Imperialism and Colonialism: (i) South and South-East Asia (ii) Latin America and South Africa (iii) Australia (iv) Imperialism and free trade: Rise of neo-imperialism.

21. Revolution and Counter Revolution: (i) 19th Century European revolutions (ii) The Russian Revolution of 1917-1921 (iii) Fascist Counter-Revolution, Italy and Germany. (iv) The Chinese Revolution of 1949

22. World Wars: (i) 1st and 2nd World Wars as Total Wars: Societal implications (ii) World War I: Causes and consequences (iii) World War II: Causes and consequence

23. The World after World War II: (i) Emergence of two power blocs (ii) Emergence of Third World and non-alignment (iii) UNO and the global disputes.

24. Liberation from Colonial Rule: (i) Latin America-Bolivar (ii) Arab World-Egypt (iii) Africa-Apartheid to Democracy (iv) South-East Asia-Vietnam

25. Decolonization and Underdevelopment: (i) Factors constraining development: Latin America, Africa

26. Unification of Europe: (i) Post War Foundations: NATO and European Community (ii) Consolidation and Expansion of European Community (iii) European Union.

27. Disintegration of Soviet Union and the Rise of the Unipolar World: (i) Factors leading to the collapse of Soviet communism and the Soviet Union, 1985-1991 (ii) Political Changes in Eastern Europe 1989-2001. (iii) End of the cold war and US ascendancy in the World as the lone superpower.


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