UPSC Civil Services (Mains) Examination History Syllabus


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.

Pre-history and Proto-history:

Geographical factors; hunting and gathering (paleolithic and mesolithic); Beginning of agriculture (neolithic and chalcolithic).

Indus Valley Civilization:

Origin, date, extent, characteristics, decline, survival and significance, art and architecture.

Megalithic Cultures:

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 Government; Growth of art and architecture, religious sects, Institution of temple and Mathas, Agraharas, education and literature, economy and society.

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.

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

Cultural Traditions in India, 750-1200:

Philosophy: Skankaracharya and Vedanta, Ramanuja and Vishishtadvaita, Madhva and Brahma-Mimansa;�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

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

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;

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

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

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.


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

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.

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

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

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

Paper � II

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.

British Expansion in India:

Bengal�� Mir Jafar and Mir Kasim; The Battle of Buxar; Mysore; The Marathas; The three Anglo-Maratha Wars; The Punjab.

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.

Economic Impact of British Colonial Rule:

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;�Dislocation of traditional trade and commerce; De-industrialisation; Decline of traditional crafts; Drain of wealth; Economic transformation of India; Railroad and communication network including telegraph and postal services; Famine and poverty in the rural interior; European business enterprise and its limitations.

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.

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.; Thecontribution of Indian renaissance to the growth of modern India; Islamic revivalism � the Feraizi and Wahabi Movements.

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.

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.

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.

Constitutional Developments�in the Colonial India between 1858 and 1935

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.

Politics of Separatism:

The Muslim League; the Hindu Mahasabha; Communalism and the politics of partition; Transfer of power; Independence.

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.

Caste and Ethnicity:

After 1947; Backward castes and tribes in postcolonial electoral politics; Dalit movements.

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.

Enlightenment and Modern ideas:

Major ideas of Enlightenment: Kant, Rousseau;�Spread of Enlightenment in the colonies;�Rise of socialist ideas (up to Marx); spread of Marxian Socialism

Origins of Modern Politics:

European States System;�American Revolution and the Constitution;�French revolution and aftermath, 1789- 1815;�American Civil War with reference to Abraham Lincoln and the abolition of slavery;�British Democratic Politics, 1815- 1850; Parliamentary Reformers, Free Traders, Chartists.


English Industrial Revolution: Causes and Impact on Society;�Industrialization in other countries: USA, Germany, Russia, Japan;�Industrialization and Globalization.

Nation-State System:

Rise of Nationalism in 19th century;�Nationalism: state-building in Germany and Italy;�Disintegration of Empires in the face of the emergence of nationalities across the world.

Imperialism and Colonialism:

South and South-East Asia;�Latin America and South Africa;�Australia;�Imperialism and free trade: Rise of neo-imperialism.

Revolution and Counter-Revolution:

19th Century European revolutions,�The Russian Revolution of 1917- 1921,�Fascist Counter-Revolution, Italy and Germany;�The Chinese Revolution of 1949

World Wars:

1st and 2nd World Wars as Total Wars: Societal implications;�World War I: Causes and consequences;�World War II: Causes and consequence

The World after World War II:�

Emergence of two power blocs;�Emergence of Third World and non-alignment;�UNO and the global disputes.

Liberation from Colonial Rule:

Latin America-Bolivar;�Arab World-Egypt;�Africa-Apartheid to Democracy;�South-East Asia-Vietnam

Decolonization and Underdevelopment:

Factors constraining development: Latin America, Africa

Unification of Europe:

Post War Foundations: NATO and European Community;�Consolidation and Expansion of European Community;�European Union.

Disintegration of Soviet Union and the Rise of the Unipolar World:

Factors leading to the collapse of Soviet communism and the Soviet Union, 1985-1991;�Political Changes in Eastern Europe 1989-2001;�End of the cold war and US ascendancy in the World as the lone superpower.

Written by princy

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