Optional Pattern & Syllabus
UPSC Syllabus History Optional Paper I:
Exploration, Excavation, Epigraphy, Numismatics, Monuments
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 (Paleolithic and mesolithic); Beginning of agriculture (Neolithic and Chalcolithic)
3. Indus Valley Civilization
4. Megalithic Cultures
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 Economical 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 Mecedonian invasions and their impact.
7. Mauryan Empire
8. Disintegration of the Empire Sungas and Kanvas
8. Disintegration of the empire sungas and Kanvas
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
11. Regional States during Gupta Era
12. Themes in Early Indian Cultural History
13. 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.
14. Cultural Traditions in India, 750-1200
- Philosophy: Skankaracharya 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.
15. The Thirteenth Century:
- Establishment of the Delhi Sultanate: The Ghurian invasions – factors behind Ghurian success.
- Economic, Social and cultural consequences.
16. 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.
17. 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.
18. The Fifteenth and Early Sixteenth Century-Political Developments and Economy:
- Rise of Provincial Dynasties: Bengal, Kashmir (Zainul Abedin) Gujarat.
- Malwa, Bahmanids.
- The Vijayanagara Empire.
- Mughal Empire, first phase : Babur, Humayun.
- The Sur Empire: Sher Shah’s administration.
- Portuguese colonial enterprise, Bhakti and Sufi Movements.
19. The Fifteenth and Early Sixteenth Century- Society and culture
- Regional cultures specificities.
- Literary traditions.
- Provincial architectural.
- Literature and the arts in Vijayanagara Empire.
- Conquests and consolidation of empire.
- Establishment of jagir and mansab systems.
- Evolution of religious and social outlook. Theory of Sulh-i-kul and religious policy.
- Court patronage of art and technology.
21. 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.
22. 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
23. 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.
24. 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.
UPSC Syllabus History Optional Paper II:
1. European Penetration into India
2. British Expansion in India
3. Early Structure of the British Raj
4. Economic Impact of British Colonial Rule
(a) Land revenue settlements in British India; The Permanent Settlement; Ryotwari Settlement; Mahalwari Settlement; Economic impact of the revenue arrangements; Commercialization of agriculture; Rise of landless agrarian labourers; Impoverishment of the rural society.
(b) Dislocation of traditional trade and commerce; De-industrialisation; Decline of traditional crafts; Drain of wealth; Economic transformation of India; Railroad and communication network including telegraph and postal services; Famine and poverty in the rural interior: European business enterprise and its limitations.
5. Social and Cultural Developments:
The state of indigenous education, its dislocation; Orientalist-Anglicist controversy, The introduction of western education in India; The rise of press, literature and public opinion; The rise of modern vernacular literature; Progress of Science; Christian missionary activities in India.
6. Social and Religious Reform Movements in Bengal and Other Areas:
Ram Mohan Roy, The Brahmo Movement; Devendranath Tagore; Iswarchandra Vidyasagar; The Young Bengal Movement; Dayanada Saraswati; The social reform movements in India including Sati, widow remarriage, child marriage etc.; The contribution of Indian renaissance to the growth of modern India; Islamic revivalism-the Feraizi and Wahabi Movements.
7. Indian Response to British Rule:
16. 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
17. 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.
- British Democratic politics, 1815-1850: Parliamentary Reformers, Free Traders, Chartists.
- English Industrial Revolution: Causes and Impact on Society.
- Industrialization in other countries: USA, Germany, Russia, Japan.
- Industrialization and Globalization.
19. 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.
20. Imperialism and Colonialism
- South and
- Latin America and South Africa.
- Imperialism and free trade: Rise of neo-imperialism.
21. 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.
22. World Wars
- 1st and 2nd World Wars as Total Wars: Societal implications.
- World War I: Causes and Consequences.
- World War II: Causes and Consequences.
23. The World after World War II:
- Emergence of Two power blocs.
- Emergence of Third World and non-alignment.
- UNO and the global disputes.
24. Liberation from Colonial Rule
- Latin America-Bolivar.
- Arab World-Egypt.
- Africa-Apartheid to Democracy.
- South-East Asia-Vietnam.
25. Decolonization and Underdevelopment:
- Factors constraining Development; Latin America, Africa
26. Unification of Europe:
- Post War Foundations NATO and European Community.
- Consolidation and Expansion of
- European Union.
27. Disintegration of Soviet Union and the Rise of the Unipolar World:
- Factors leading to the collapse of Soviet Communism and Soviet Union, 1985-1991.
- Political Changes in East Europe 1989-2001.
- End of the Cold War and US Ascendancy in the World as the lone superpower.
Political Science and International Relations (PSIR) Optional Syllabus
Political Theory and Indian Politics
1. Political Theory: meaning and approaches.
2. Theories of state : Liberal, Neo-liberal, Marxist, Pluiralist, post-colonial and Feminist.
3. Justice : Conceptions of justice with special reference to Rawl’s theory of justice and its communitarian critiques.
4. Equality : Social, political and economic; relationship between equality and freedom; Affirmative action.
5. Rights : Meaning and theories; different kinds of rights; Concept of Human Rights.
6. Democracy : Classical and contemporary theories; different models of democracy—representative, participatory and deliberative.
7. Concept of power : hegemony, ideology and legitimacy.
8. Political Ideologies : Liberalism, Socialism, Marxism, Fascism, Gandhism and Feminism.
9. Indian Political Thought: Dharamshastra, Arthashastra and Buddhist Traditions; Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Sri Aurobindo, M. K. Gandhi, B. R. Ambedkar, M. N. Roy.
10. Western Political Thought : Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, John S. Mill, Marx, Gramsci, Hannah Arendt.
Political Theory and Indian Politics
1. Indian Nationalism:
(a) Political Strategies of India’s Freedom Struggle : Constitutionalism to mass Satyagraha, Non-cooperation, Civil Disobedience; Militant and Revolutionary Movements, Peasant and Workers Movements.
(b) Perspectives on Indian National Movement; Liberal, Socialist and Marxist; Radical Humanist and Dalit.
2. Making of the Indian Constitution : Legacies of the British rule; different social and political perspectives.
3. Salient Features of the Indian Constitution : The Preamble, Fundamental Rights and Duties, Directive Principles; Parliamentary System and Amendment Procedures; Judicial Review and Basic Structure doctrine.
4 (a) Principal Organs of the Union Government : Envisaged role and actual working of the Executive, Legislature and Supreme Court.
(b) Principal Organs of the State Government : Envisaged role and actual working of the Executive, Legislature and High Courts.
5. Grassroots Democracy : Panchayati Raj and Municipal Government; Significance of 73rd and 74th Amendments; Grassroot movements.
6. Statutory Institutions/Commissions : Election Commission, Comptroller and Auditor General, Finance Commission, Union Public Service Commission, National Commission for Scheduled Castes, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, National Commission for Women; National Human Rights Commission, National Commission for Minorities, National Backward Classes Commission.
7. Federalism : Constitutional provisions; changing nature of centre-state relations; integrationist tendencies and regional aspirations; inter-state disputes.
8. Planning and Economic development : Nehruvian and Gandhian perspectives; Role of planning and public sector; Green Revolution, land reforms and agrarian relations; liberalization and economic reforms.
9. Caste, Religion and Ethnicity in Indian Politics.
10. Party System : National and regional political parties, ideological and social bases of parties; Patterns of coalition politics; Pressure groups, trends in electoral behaviour; changing socio-economic profile of Legislators.
11. Social Movement : Civil liberties and human rights movements; women’s movements; environmentalist movements.
Comparative Politics and International Relations
Comparative Political Analysis and International Politics
1. Comparative Politics : Nature and major approaches; Political economy and political sociology perspectives; Limitations of the comparative method.
2. State in Comparative Perspective : Characteristics and changing nature of the State in capitalist and socialist economies, and advanced industrial and developing societies.
3. Politics of Representation and Participation : Political parties, pressure groups and social movements in advanced industrial and developing societies.
4. Globalisation : Responses from developed and developing societies.
5. Approaches to the Study of International Relations : Idealist, Realist, Marxist, Functionalist and Systems theory.
6. Key Concepts in International Relations : National interest, security and power; Balance of power and deterrence; Transational actors and collective security; World capitalist economy and globalisation.
7. Changing International Political Order :
(a) Rise of super powers; Strategic and ideological Bipolarity, arms race and cold war; Nuclear threat;
(b) Non-aligned Movement : Aims and achievements.
(c) Collapse of the Soviet Union; Unipolarity and American hegemony; Relevance of non-alignment in the contemporary world.
8. Evolution of the International Economic System : From Brettonwoods to WTO; Socialist economies and the CMEA (Council for Mutual Economic Assistance); Third World demand for new international economic order; Globalisation of the world economy.
9. United Nations : Envisaged role and actual record; Specialized UN agencies—aims and functioning; need for UN reforms.
10. Regionalisation of World Politics : EU, ASEAN, APEC, AARC, NAFTA.
11. Contemporary Global Concerns : Democracy, human rights, environment, gender justice terrorism, nuclear proliferation.
India and the World
1. Indian Foreign Policy : Determinants of foreign policy; the institutions of policy-making; Continuity and change.
2. India’s Contribution to the Non-Alignment Movement Different phases; Current role.
3. India and South Asia :
(a) Regional Co-operation : SAARC-past performance and future prospects.
(b) South Asia as a Free Trade Area.
(c) India’s “Look East” policy.
(d) Impediments to regional co-operation : River water disputes; illegal cross border migration; Ethnic conflicts and insurgencies; Border disputes.
4. India and the Global South : Relations with Africa and Latin America; Leadership role in the demand for NIEO and WTO negotiations.
5. India and the Global Centres of Power : USA, EU, Japan, China and Russia.
6. India and the UN System: Role in UN Peace-keeping; Demand for Permanent Seat in the Security Council.
7. India and the Nuclear Question : Changing perceptions and policy.
8. Recent developments in Indian Foreign Policy : India’s position on the recent crises in Afghanistan, Iraq and West Asia, growing relations with US and Isreal; Vision of a new world order.