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UPSC History Optional Paper 1 – Detailed Syllabus

UPSC History Optional Syllabus

In this blog, we are providing you with the detailed syllabus of UPSC History Optional Paper 1. The UPSC History Optional Paper 1 syllabus covers the Ancient and Medieval Indian History. The Questions asked in the UPSC History Optional paper are of Graduation Level. The UPSC History Optional Syllabus is believed to be one of the lengthiest syllabus when compared to other optional Subjects.

Read on for the Full syllabus of UPSC History Optional.

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UPSC History Optional Syllabus – Paper 1

UPSC History Optional Syllabus – Paper 1 – Part A

  1. Sources Archaeological sources: Exploration, excavation, epigraphy, numismatics, monuments. Literary sources: Indigenous: Primary and secondary; poetry, scientific literature, literature, literature in regional languages, religious literature. Foreign account: Greek, Chinese and Arab writers.
  2. Pre-history and Proto-history: Geographical factors; hunting and gathering (Palaeolithic 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 economic 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 Buddism; 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.

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UPSC History Optional Syllabus – Paper 1 – Part B

  1. 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.

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  1. Cultural Traditions in India, 750-1200: — Philosophy: Shankaracharya 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.

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  1. 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.

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  1. The Fourteenth Century: — “The Khalji Revolution”.

— Alauddin Khalji: Conquests and territorial expansion, agrarian and economic measure.

— Muhammad Tughluq: Major projects, agrarian measures, bureaucracy of Muhammad Tughluq.

— Firuz Tugluq: Agrarian measures, achievements in civil engineering and public works, decline of the Sultanate, foreign contacts and Ibn Battuta’s account.

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  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, literature in the regional languages of North India, literaute 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.

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  1. The Fifteenth and 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: Sher Shah’s administration.

— Portuguese colonial enterprise, Bhakti and Sufi Movements.

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  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.

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  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.

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  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.

— Nature of the Mughal State.

— Late Seventeenth Century crisis and the revolts.

— The Ahom kingdom.

— Shivaji and the early Maratha Kingdom.

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  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, insurance and credit systems.

— Conditions of peasants, Condition of Women.

— Evolution of the Sikh community and the Khalsa Panth

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  1. Culture during Mughal Empire:

— Persian histories and other literature

— Hindi and religious literatures.

— Mughal architecture.

— Mughal painting.

— Provincial architecture and painting.

— Classical music.

— Science and technology.

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  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.

— Emergence of Afghan power Battle of Panipat, 1761.

— State of, political, cultural and economic, on eve of the British conquest.

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The brings us to the end of UPSC History Optional Syllabus.  

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