UPSC Mains History Optional Syllabus 2018.
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PAPER – I
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 Government; 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 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
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 territtorial 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.
– 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
– Literary traditions
– Provincial architecture
– Provincial architecture- Society, culture, literature and the arts in Vijayanagara Empire.
– Society, culture, literature and the arts in Vijayanagara Empire.
-Conquests and consolidation of the Empire.
-Establishment of Jagir and Mansab systems
-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
-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.
PAPER – 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 telegraph 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 (18991900); 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 reorganization 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 postcolonial 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:
- Major ideas of Enlightenment: Kant, Rousseau
- Spread of Enlightenment in the colonies
- Rise of socialist ideas (up to Marx); spread of Marxian Socialism.
17. Origins of Modern Politics:
- European States System.
- American Revolution and the Constitution.
- French revolution and aftermath, 17891815.
- American Civil War with reference to Abraham Lincoln and the abolition of slavery.
- British Democratic Politics, 18151850; Parliamentary Reformers, Free Traders, Chartists.
- English Industrial Revolution: Causes and Impact on Society
- Industrialization in other countries: USA, Germany, Russia, Japan
- Industrialization and Globalization.
19. 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.
20. Imperialism and Colonialism:
- South and South-East Asia
- Latin America and South Africa
- Imperialism and free trade: Rise of neo-imperialism.
21. Revolution and Counter-Revolution:
- 19th Century European revolutions
- The Russian Revolution of 19171921
- Fascist Counter-Revolution, Italy and Germany.
- The Chinese Revolution of 1949
22. World Wars:
- 1st and 2nd World Wars as Total Wars: Societal implications
- World War I: Causes and consequences
- World War II: Causes and consequence
23. The World after World War II:
- Emergence of two power blocs
- Emergence of Third World and non-alignment
- UNO and the global disputes.
24. Liberation from Colonial Rule:
- Latin America-Bolivar
- Arab World-Egypt
- Africa-Apartheid to Democracy
- South-East Asia-Vietnam
25. Decolonization and Underdevelopment:
- Factors constraining development: Latin America, Africa
26. Unification of Europe:
- Post War Foundations: NATO and European Community
- Consolidation and Expansion of European Community
- European Union.
27. 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.