UPSC History Syllabus

UPSC History Syllabus 2022, UPSC IAS History Syllabus Download PDF

History is a prominent subject that is opted by a large number of candidates preparing for UPSC. The UPSC candidates who wish to select History as their optional subject for the exam should completely familiarize themselves with its syllabus first. The syllabus of History is pretty vast and all the topics are divided into many categories and sub-categories. Care should be taken so as to not leave any topic from the syllabus during exam preparation. This article presents the complete information related to UPSC History Syllabus 2022.

History Syllabus UPSC exam 2022

Candidates preparing for the UPSC exam must carefully check the syllabus of the History subject. There are two different papers related to this subject, paper I and paper II and both must be prepared by the candidates profoundly. Below given is the detail of the UPSC syllabus for the History subject in detail.

Syllabus for Paper I

  1. Sources

Archaeological sources: Exploration, numismatics, monuments, excavation, epigraphy; Literary sources: Indigenous- Primary and secondary, poetry, scientific literature, Foreign account- Greek, Chinese and Arab writers, etc

  1. Pre-history and Proto-history:

Geographical factors, hunting and gathering (Paleolithic and Mesolithic), Beginning of agriculture (Neolithic and Chalcolithic)

  1. Indus Valley Civilization:

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

  1. Megalithic Cultures:

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

  1. 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, etc

  1. Period of Mahajanapadas:

Formation of States (Mahajanapada): Republics and monarchies, Trade routes, Spread of Jainism and Buddhism, Economic growth, Introduction of coinage, Iranian and Macedonian invasions and their impact, etc

  1. 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, etc

  1. 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, etc,

  1. Early State and Society in Eastern India, Deccan and South India:

Kharavela, Satavahanas, Tamil States of the Sangam Age, Administration, Sangam literature & culture, Economy, land grants, coinage, Buddhist centres, Art & architecture, etc

  1. Guptas, Vakatakas and Vardhanas:

Economic conditions, Coinage of the Guptas, Polity and administration, Land grants, Decline of urban centres, Indian feudalism, Caste system, Position of women, etc

  1. Regional States during Gupta Era:

Vedanta, growth of Vaishnava and Saiva religions, The Kadambas, Pallavas, Chalukyas of Badami, Polity and Administration, Trade guilds, Literature, Tamil Bhakit movement, Shankaracharya, etc

  1. 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

  1. Early Medieval India, 750-1200:

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, etc

  1. Cultural Traditions in India, 750-1200:

Philosophy: Skankaracharya and Vedanta, Ramanuja and Vishishtadvaita, Madhva an Brahma-Mimansa, Religion: Forms and features of religion, Tamil devotional cult, growth of Bhakti, Islam and its arrival in India, etc

  1. The Thirteenth Century:

Establishment of the Delhi Sultanate: The Ghurian invasions- factors behind Ghurian success, Economic, Social and cultural consequences, etc

  1. The Fourteenth Century:

Khalji Revolution, Alauddin Khalji, Conquests and territorial expansion, agrarian and economic measure, Major projects, achievements in civil engineering and public works, decline of the Sultanate, foreign contacts and Ibn Battuta’s account, etc

  1. 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, etc

  1. The Fifteenth & Early Sixteenth Century-Political Developments and Economy:

Rise of Provincial Dynasties: Bengal, Kashmir (Zainul Abedin), Gujarat, Malwa, Bahmanids, The Vijayanagara Empire, Lodis, Mughal Empire, first phase: Babur, Humayun, The Sur Empire, etc

  1. The Fifteenth and Early Sixteenth Century- Society and culture:

Regional cultures specificities, literary traditions, Provincial architectural, Society, culture, literature and the arts in Vijayanagara Empire

  1. Akbar:

Conquests and consolidation of 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

  1. 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, etc

  1. Economy and society, in the 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, etc

  1. Culture during Mughal Empire:

Persian histories and other literature, Hindi and religious literatures, Mughal architecture, Mughal painting, Provincial architecture and painting, etc

  1. 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, etc

Syllabus for 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, etc

  1. British Expansion in India:

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

  1. 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, etc

  1. Economic Impact of British Colonial Rule:

Land revenue settlements in British India, The Permanent Settlement, Ryotwari Settlement, Economic impact of the revenue arrangements, Commercialization of agriculture, etc

  1. Social and Cultural Developments:

rise of press, literature and public opinion, The state of indigenous education, Orientalist-Anglicist controversy, introduction of western education in India, rise of modern vernacular literature, Progress of Science, Christian missionary activities in India, etc

  1. Social and Religious Reform Movements in Bengal and Other Areas:

Ram Mohan Roy, Devendranath Tagore, Iswarchandra Vidyasagar, Dayanada Saraswati, social reform movements in India including Sati, widow remarriage, child marriage, etc

  1. Indian Response to British Rule:

Peasant movement and tribal uprisings in the 18th and 19th centuries including the Rangpur Dhing (1783), the Santal Hul (1855), Indigo Rebellion (1859-60), Deccan Uprising (1875) and the Munda Ulgulan (1899-1900), The Great Revolt of 1857, etc

  1. Factors leading to the birth of Indian Nationalism:

The Foundation of the Indian National Congress, Politics of Association, Programme and objectives of Early Congress, The Swadeshi Movement in Bengal, economic and political aspects of Swadeshi Movement, etc

  1. Rise of Gandhi:

Gandhi’s popular appeal, Character of Gandhian nationalism, Rowlatt Satyagraha, Khilafat Movement, Non-cooperation Movement, National politics from the end of the Non-cooperation movement to the beginning of the Civil Disobedience Movement, etc

  1. Constitutional Developments in the Colonial India between 1858 and 1935
  2. 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, etc

  1. Politics of Separatism:

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

  1. Consolidation as a Nation:

Nehru’s Foreign Policy, India and her neighbors (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

  1. Caste and Ethnicity after 1947:

Backward Castes and Tribes in post-colonial electoral politics, Dalit movements

  1. 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

  1. 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

  1. 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, etc

  1. Industrialization:

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

  1. 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

  1. Imperialism and Colonialism:

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

  1. 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

  1. World Wars:

1st and 2nd World Wars as Total Wars: Societal implications, World War I: Causes and Consequences, World War II: Causes and Consequences

  1. The World after World War II:

Emergence of Two power blocs, Emergence of Third World and non-alignment, UNO and the global disputes,

  1. Liberation from Colonial Rule:

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

  1. Decolonization and Underdevelopment:

Factors constraining Development, Latin America, Africa

  1. Unification of Europe:

Post War Foundations, NATO and European Community, Consolidation and Expansion of European Community, European Union

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

Factors leading to the collapse of Soviet Communism and Soviet Union, End of the Cold War and US Ascendancy in the World as the lone superpower, etc


UPSC History Syllabus Download PDF

UPSC Syllabus

Leave a Comment