History is the main topic in UPSC IAS Prelims and mains Examination. Approximately 10-15 questions are asked in Prelims General studies paper I on History every year. If you are thorough with the dates, place, and events in a chronological order History is an easy subject. It does not contain any principle, theory or any concepts like other general studies subjects. Several aspirants may be nurturing the dream of succeeding the UPSC Civil Service IAS exam but have been being in awe how to begin. To crack the UPSC IAS Prelims exam is the primary step towards the dream of being successful in the three phases of UPSC Civil Services IAS exam.
According to the trend, the questions asked in the UPSC IAS prelims exam were moderate to tough in their difficulty level. The UPSC has frequently asked questions on Modern Indian History. It has also asked some direct question from NCERT books also. To tackle the History in General Studies Paper I of UPSC IAS prelims, the aspirants require knowing the respective significance of different topics in Ancient like Indus Valley Civilization, Vedic Period and Mauryan and Gupta period, various Kingdoms, Delhi Sultanate, Mughal Empire etc. Modern Indian History requires thorough and wide attention for both UPSC IAS prelims and mains exam.
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Here we are giving the entire History syllabus for IAS prelims. This will help you to prepare in a better manner. The history portion of UPSC IAS Prelims Exam General Studies Paper I Syllabus encompasses questions from Ancient, Medieval and Modern Indian History and Indian art and culture.
History syllabus for IAS Prelims Exam
Ancient History syllabus
- Prehistoric cultures in India
- Indus Civilization. Origins- the different phases- society, economy, and culture- Contacts with other cultures- factors lead to the decline.
- Geographical distribution and characteristics of pastoral and farming society.
- Vedic society-Vedic texts- change from Rigvedic to later Vedic phases.
- Vedic society Religion- Upanishad thought-Political and social organization, the evolution of the Varna system and monarchy.
- Formation of the State and urbanization, from the Mahajanapadas to the Nandas.
- Buddhism and Jainism- Factors for the spread of Buddhism.
- The Mauryan Empire- Chandragupta and Megasthenes.
- Asoka and his inscriptions, his dhamma, culture, administration, and art
- Society of Post-Mauryan India, BC 200- AD 300- Evolution of Jatis.
- The Satavahanas and formation of the state in the Peninsula.
- Sangam texts and society.
- Indo-Greeks, Sakas, Parthians, Kushans, Kanishka-Contacts with the outer world.
- Different Religion- Bhagavatism, Saivism, Mahayana Buddhism and Hinayana, Jainism and Culture and art.
- The Guptas and their descendants.
- Literature science, Arts, Economy, and society -Modification in the political organization of empire.
- Early Medieval India. Major dynasties; Political and Agrarian organization. Status of women, Extent of social mobility. The Arabs in Sind and the Ghaznavids.
- Cultural trends, 750-1200, Religious circumstances: significance of temples and monastic institutions; Sankaracharya; Islam; Sufism. Art and architecture. Literature and Science.
- 13th and 14th Centuries: Ghorian invasions reasons and consequences. Delhi Sultanate under the Slave Rulers. Aladdin Khalji: invasion; administrative, agrarian and economic measures. Muhammad Tughlug’s innovations. Firuz Tughluq and the decline of the Delhi Sultanate. Development of urbanization and commerce. Spiritual movements in Hinduism and Islam. Literature. Architecture, Technological changes.
- The 15th and early 16th Century: Key Provincial dynasties; Vijayanagara Empire. The Lodhis, First stage of the Mughal Empire: The Sur Empire and administration. Monotheistic movements: Kabir; Guru Nanak and Sikhism; Bhakti. The spread of regional literature. Art and Culture.
- The Mughal Empire, Akbar: invasion, administrative measures, Policy of Sulh-I-Kul. Jagir and Mansab systems; Jahangir, Shahjahan, and Aurangzeb: extension of Mughal empire in the Deccan; religious policies. Shivaji. Persian and regional literature. Religious idea: Abul Fazl; Maharashtra dharma. Architecture. Painting. Economy: state of affairs of peasants and artisans, escalation in trade; trade with Europe. Social stratification and position of women.
- The decline of Mughal Empire, Reason behind the decline. Maratha power under the Peshwas. The Afghans. Regional states. Most important components of composite culture. Sawai Jai Singh, astronomer. The rise of Urdu language.
Modern India (Modern History Syllabus for IAS)
- British extension: The Carnatic Wars, invasion of Bengal. Mysore and its confrontation to British expansion: The three Anglo-Maratha Wars. Regulating and Pitt’s India Acts. Early composition of the British raj.
- Economic Impact of the British Raj: land revenue settlements like Zamindari, Ryotwari, Mahalwari; Deindustrialization; Railways and commercialization of agriculture; increase of landless labor.
- Cultural encounter and social changes: inception of western education and modern thoughts. Indian Renaissance, religious and social reform movements; Social reforms events before 1857. Development of Indian middle class; the vernacular press and its effects: the rise of modern literature in Indian languages.
- Confrontation to British rule: Early uprisings; The 1857 Revolt-reasons, character, course and result.
- Indian Freedom struggle the first stage: Growth of national consciousness; creation of Associations; Establishment of the Indian National Congress and its Moderate stage; Swadeshi Movement; Economic Nationalism; The development of Extremism and the split in Congress; The policy of Divide and Rule; Congress-League Pact of 1916.
- Gandhian thoughts and techniques of mass mobilization- Civil Disobedience, the Khilafat movement, Non-Cooperation Movement, and Quit India Movement; another strand in the National Movement-Revolutionaries, Subhash Chandra Bose, and the Indian National Army.
- Separatist movements in Indian politics- the Hindu Mahasabha and the Muslim League; Partition and Independence; The post -1945 developments.
- India independent to 1964. A parliamentary, democratic, secular. Jawaharlal Nehru’s vision, Foreign policy of Non-alignment, Planning and state-controlled industrialization. Agrarian modification.
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