(Paper) History : Optional Subject of Main Examination

UPSC : History : Optional Subject of Main Examination



1. Sources and approaches to study of early Indian history.

2. Early pastoral and agricultural communities. The archaeological evidence.

3. The Indus Civilization: its origins, nature and decline.

4. Patterns of settlement, economy, social organization and religion in India (c. 2000 to 500 B.C.): archaeological perspectives.

5. Evolution of North Indian society and culture: evidence of Vedic texts (Samhitas to Sutras).
6. Teachings of Mahavira and Buddha. Contemporary society. Early phase of state formation and urbanization.

7. Rise of Magadha; the Mauryan empire. Ashokas inscriptions; his dhamma. Nature of the Mauryan state.

8-9 Post-Mauryan period in northern and peninsular India: Political and administrative history,. Society, economy, culture and religion. Tamilaham and its society: the Sangam texts.

10-11 India in the Gupta and post-Gupta period (to c. 750): Political history of northern and peninsular India; Samanta system and changes in political structure; economy; social structure; culture; religion.

12. Themes in early tndian 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. India, 750-1200: Polity, society and economy. Major dynasties and political structures in North India. Agrarian structures. Indian feudalism- Rise of Rajputs. The Imperial Cholas and their contemporaries in Peninsular India. Village communities in the South. Conditions of women. Commerce mercantile groups and guilds; towns. Problem of coinage. Arab conquest of Sind; the Ghaznavide empire.

14. India, 750-1200: Culture, Literature, Kalhana, historian. Styles of temple architecture; sculpture. Religious thought and institutions: Sankaracharyas vedanta. Ramanuja. Growth of Bhakti, Islam and its arrival in India. Sufism, Indian science. Alberuni and his study of Indian science and civilization.

15. The 13th Century. The Ghorian invasions. Factors behind Ghorian success. Economic, social and cultural consequences. Foundation of Delhi Sultanate. The slave Dynasty. Iltutmish; Balban. The Khalji Revolution. Early Sultanate architecture.

16. The 14th Century. Alauddin Khaljis conquests, agrarian and economic measures. Muhammad Tughluqsmajor projects. Firuz Tughluqs concessions and public works. Decline of the Sultanate. Foreign contacts: Ibn Battuta.

17. Economy society and culture in the 13th and 14th centuries. Caste and slavery under sultanate. Technological changes. Sultanate architecture. [Persian literature: Amir Khusrau, Historiography; Ziya Barani. Evolution of a composite culture. Sufism in North India. Lingayats. Bhakti schools in the south.

18. The 15th and early l6th Century (Political History). Rise of Provincial Dynasties: Bengal, Kashmir (Zainul Abedin), Gujarat, Malwa, Bahmanids. The Vijayanagra Empire. Lodis. Mughal Empire, First phase: Babur, Humayun. The Sur Empire: Sher Shahs administration. The Portuguese colonial enterprise.

19. The 15th and early 16th Century (society, economy and culture). - Regional cultures and literatures, provincial architectural styles. Society, culture, literature and the arts in Vijayanagara Empire.
Monotheistic movements: Kabir and Guru Nanak. Bhakti Movements: Chaitanya. Sufism in its pantheistic phase.

20. Akbar: His conquests and consolidation of empire. Establishment of jagir and mansab systems. His Rajput policy. Evolution of religious and social outlook. Theory of Sulh-i-kul and religious policy. Abul FazI, thinker and historian. Court patronage of art and technology.

21. Mughal empire in the 17th Century. Major policies (administrative and religious) of jahangir, Shahjahan and Aurangzeb. The Empire and the Zamindars. Nature of the Mughal state. Late 17th Century crisis: Revolts. The Ahom kingdom, Shivaji and the early maratha kingdom.

22. Economy and society, 16th and 17th Centuries. Population. Agricultural and craft production! Towns, commerce with Europe through Dutch, English and French companies- a trade revolution. Indian mercantile classes. Banking, insurance and credit systems. Conditions of peasants, famines. Condition of Women.

23. Culture during Mughal Empire. Persian literature (including historical works). Hindi and religious literatures. Mughal architecture. Mughal painting. Provincial schools of architecture and painting. Classical music. Science and technology. Sawai Jai Singh, astronomer. Mystic eclecticism: Dara Shukoh. Vaishnav Bhakti. Maharashtra Dhanna. Evolution of the Sikh community (Khalsa).

24. First half of 18th Century: Factors behind decline of the Mughal Empire. The regional principalities (Nizams Deccan, Bengal, Awadh). Rise of Maratha ascendancy under the Peshwas. The Maratha. fiscal and financial system. Emergency of Afghan Power. Panipat, 1761. Internal weakness, political cultural and economic, on eve of the British conquest.




1. Establishment of British rule in India: Factors behind British success against Indian powers-Mysore, Maratha Confederacy and the Punjab as major powers in resistance; Policy of subsidiary Alliance and Doctrine of Lapse.

2. Colonial Economy: Tribute system. Drain of wealth and de-industrialisation, Fiscal pressures and revenue settlements (Zamindari, Ryotwari and Mahalwari settlements); Structure of the British raj up to 1857 (including the Acts of 1773 and 1784 and administrative organisation).

3. Resistance to colonia rule: Early uprisings; Causes, nature and impact of the Revolt of 1857; Reorganisation of the Raj, 1858 and after.

4. Socio-cultural impact of colonial rule: Official social reform measures (1828-57); Orientalist-Anglicist controversy; coming of English education and the press; Christian missionary activities; Bengal Renaissance; Social and religious reform movements in Bengal and other areas; Women as focus of social reform.

5. Economy 1858-1914: Railways; Commercialisation of Indian agriculture; Growth of landless labourers and rural indebtedness; Famines; India as market for British industry; Customs removal, exchange and countervailing excise; Limited growth of modern industry.

6. Early Indian Nationalism: Social background; Formation of national associations; Peasant and tribal uprising during the early nationalist era; Foundation of the Indian National Congress; The Moderate phase of the Congress; Growth of Extremism; The Indian Council Act of 1909; Home Rule Movement; The Government of India Act of 1919.

7. Inter-War economy of India: Industries and problem of Protection; Agricultural distress; the Great Depression; Ottawa agreements and Discriminatory Protection; the growth of trade unions; The Kisan Movement; The economic programme of the Congress Karachi resolution, 1931.

8. Nationalism under Gandhis leadership: Gandhis career, thought and methods of mass mobilisation; Rowlatt Satyagraha, Khilafat- Non Cooperation Movement, Civil Disobedience Movement, 1940 Satyagraha and Quit India Movement; State Peoples Movement.

9. Other strands of the National Movement:
a) Revolutionary movements since 1905; (b) Constitutional politics; Swarajists, Liberals, Responsive Cooperation; (c) Ideas of Jawharlal Nehru, (d) The Left (Socialists and Communists); (e) Subhas Chandra Bose and the Indian National Army; (f) Communal strands: Muslim League and Hindu Mahasabha; (g) Women in the National Movement.

10. Literary and cultural lmovements: Tagore, Premchand, Su bra many am Bharati, Iqbal as examples only; New trends in art; Film industry; Writers Organisations and Theatre Associations.

11. Towards Freedom: The Act of 1935; Congress Ministries, 1937-1939; The Pakistan Movement; Post-1945 upsurge (RIN Mutiny, Telangana uprising
.etc.,); Constitutional negotiations and the Transfer of Power, 15 August 1947.

12. First phase of Independence (1947-64): Facing, the consequences of Partition; Gandhijis murder; economic dislocation; Integration of States; The democratic constitution, 1950; Agrarian reforms; Building an industrial welfare state; Planning and industrialisation; Foreign policy of Non-alignment; Relations with neighbours.



13. Enlightenment and Modern ideas
1. Renaissance Background
2. Major Ideas of Enlightenment: Kant, Rousseau
3. Spread of Enlightenment outside Europe
4. Rise of socialist ideas (to Marx)

14. Origins of Modern Politics
1. European States System
2. American Revolution and the Constitution.
3. French revolution and after math, 1789-18-15.
4. British Democratic Politics, 1815-1850; Parliamentary Reformers, Free Traders, chartists.

15. Industrialisation
1. English Industrial Revolution: Causes and Impact on Society
2. Industrialization in other countries: USA, Germany, Russia, Japan
3. Socialist Industrialization: Soviet and Chinese.

16. Nation-State System
1. Rise of Nationalism in 19th century
2. Nationalism: state-building in Germany and Italy
3. Disintegration of Empires through the emergence of nationalities.

17. Imperialism and Colonialism
1. Colonial System (Exploitation of New World, Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, Tribute from Asian Conquests)
2. Types of Empire: of settlement and non-settlement: Latin America, South Africa, Indonesia, Australia.
3. Imperialism and Free Trade: The New Imperialism

18. Revolution and Counter-Revolution
1. 19th Century European revolutions
2. The Russian Revolution of 1917-1921
3. Fascist Counter-Revolution, Italy and Germany.
4. The Chinese Revolution of 1949

19. World Wars
1. 1st and 2nd World Wars as Total Wars: Societal Implications
2. World War I: Causes and Consequences
3. World War II: Political Consequence

20. Cold War
1. Emergence of Two Blocs
2. Integration of West Europe and US Strategy; Communist East Europe
3. Emergence of Third World and Non-Alignment
4. UN and Dispute Resolution

21. Colonial Liberation
1. Latin America-Bolivar
2. Arab World-Egypt
3. Africa-Apartheid to Democracy
4. South-East Asia-Vietnam

22. De-colonization and Underdevelopment
1. De-colonization: Break up of colonial Empires: British, French, Duth
2. Factors constraining Development: Latin America, Africa

23. Unification of Europe
1. Post War Foundations: NATO and European Community
2. Consolidation and Expansion of European Community/ European Union.

24. Soviet Disintegration and the Unipolar World
1. Factors in the collapse of Soviet communism and the Soviet Union, 1985-1991
2. Political Changes in East Europe 1989-1992
3. End of the Cold War and US Ascendancy in the World
4. Globalization


Hi all......I am very confused about the optionals to choose, Can i keep geography and geology together? or should i go for chemistry or history with geography?