UPSC Tamil Syllabus

The candidates can select Tamil as their optional paper for the UPSC Civil Services exam. In order to prepare for the subject, the candidates need to gain familiarity with the syllabus. The syllabus will comprise of all the important topics from which the questions will be asked in the exam. There will be two papers related to Tamil and candidates should give equal importance to both during exam preparation. In this post, the candidates can find the complete information related to UPSC Tamil syllabus 2023.

UPSC IAS Syllabus for Tamil Subject

Knowing the syllabus is the first step towards preparation of exam. The syllabus of UPSC optional paper, Tamil, is pretty vast and must be carefully checked by the candidates before starting their exam preparation. The topics include History of Tamil Language, History of Tamil Literature, Recent trends in Tamil Studies, Folk literature in Tamil, etc. All the answers must be written in Tamil.

Syllabus for Paper I (Answers must be written in Tamil)

Section A

Part 1: History of Tamil Language

  • The language of Sangam Literature, The language of medieval Tamil, Pallava Period only Historical study of Nouns, Verbs, Adjectives, Adverbs, Tense markers and case markers in Tamil
  • Major Indian Language Families, The place of Tamil among Indian Languages in general and Dravidian in particular, Enumeration and Distribution of Dravidian languages
  • Borrowing of words from other languages into Tamil, Regional and social dialects, difference between literary and spoken Tamil

Part 2: History of Tamil Literature

The development of Ethical literature, Silappadikaram and Manimekalai, Tolkappiyam-Sangam Literature, The division of Akam and Puram, The secular characteristics of Sangam Literature

Part 3: Devotional Literature (Alwars and Nayanamars)

The impact of various political ideologies on modern writings, bridal mysticism in Alwar hymns, Minor literary forms (Tutu, Ula, Parani, Kuravanji), Social factors for the development of Modern Tamil Literature; Novel, Short Story and New Poetry

Section B

Part 1: Recent trends in Tamil Studies

The concept of comparative literature-the principle of comparative literature, Approaches to criticism: Social, psychological, historical and moralistic, the use of criticism, the various techniques in literature, Ullurai, Iraicchi, Thonmam (Myth) Otturuvagam (allegory), Irunmai (Ambiguity), Angadam (Satire), Meyappadu, Padimam (image), Kuriyeedu (Symbol)

Part 2: Folk literature in Tamil

Songs, proverbs and riddles, Development of journalism in Tamil, Ballads, Sociological study of Tamil folklore, Uses of translation, Translation of Tamil works into other languages,

Part 3: Cultural Heritage of the Tamils

Concept of Love and War, Concept of Aram- the ethical codes adopted by the ancient Tamils in their warfare, customs beliefs, rituals, modes of worship in the five Thinais

Cultural fusion in the medieval period (Janism and Buddhism), Cultural changes as revealed in post sangam literature, role of mass media in the cultural change of contemporary Tamil society, development of arts and architecture through the ages (Pallavas, later Cholas, and Nayaks), impact of various political, social, religious and cultural movements on Tamil Society

Syllabus for Paper II

The paper will require first-hand reading of the text prescribed and will be designed to test the critical ability of the candidate.

Section A

Part 1: Ancient Literature

  • Tirukkural Porutpal: Arasiyalum Amaichiyalum (from Iraimatchi to Avaianjamai)
  • Kuruntokai (1-25 poems)
  • Purananuru (182-200 poems)

Part 2: Devotional Literature

  • Tiruppavai: (Full Text)
  • Tiruvasagam: Neetthal Vinnappam

Part 3: Epic Literature

  • Kambaramayanam: Kumbakarunan Vadhai Padalam
  • Silappadikaram: Madhurai Kandam only

Section B

Modern Literature

Part 1: Poetry and Prose


  • N. Annadurai: Ye! Thazhntha Tamilagame
  • Varadharajanar: Aramum Arasiyalum


  • Naa Kamarasan: Karappu Malarkal
  • Bharathiar: Kannan Pattu
  • Bharathidasan: Kudumba Vilakku

Part 2: Novel, Short Story and Drama

  • Cho: Yaurkkum Vetkamillai
  • Akilon: Chittairappavai
  • Jayakanthan: Gurupeedam

Part 3: Folk Literature

  • Malaiyaruvi, Edited by Ki. Va Jagannathan (Publication: Saraswathi Mahal, Thanjavur)
  • Muthuppattan kathai Edited by Na. Vanamamalai, (Publication: Madurai Kamaraj University)
Literature Tamil

UPSC Tamil SyllabusDownload PDF

UPSC Syllabus

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