Optional Paper Syllabus for History- Paper I 

  1. Sources:
  2. i) Archaeological sources: 
  3. Exploration 
  4. excavation, 
  5. epigraphy, 
  6. numismatics, 
  7. monuments 
  8. ii) Literary sources: 
  9. Indigenous 
  10. Primary and secondary poetry, 
  11. scientific literature, 
  12. literature, 
  13. literature in regional languages, 
  14. religious literature. 

iii) Foreign accounts: 

  • Greek, 
  • Chinese 
  • Arab writers.
  • Pre-history and Proto-history:
  • Geographical factors; 
  • hunting and gathering (paleolithic and mesolithic); 
  • Beginning of agriculture (neolithic and chalcolithic)
  • Indus Valley Civilization: 
  • Origin, date, extent, characteristics, decline, survival and significance, art and architecture.
  • Megalithic Cultures:
  • Distribution of pastoral and farming cultures outside the Indus, 
  • Development of community life, 
  • Settlements, 
  • Development of agriculture, 
  • Crafts, Pottery, 
  • Iron industry.
  • Aryans and Vedic Period:
  • Expansions of Aryans in India. Vedic Period: 
  • Religious and philosophic literature; 
  • The 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.
  • Period of Mahajanapadas: 
  • Formation of States (Mahajanapada)  
  • Republics and monarchies; 
  • Rise of urban centers; 
  • Trade routes; 
  • Economic growth; 
  • Introduction of coinage; 
  • Spread of Jainism and Buddhism; 
  • Rise of Magadha and Nandas. 
  • Iranian and Macedonian invasions and their impact.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Govern-ment; 
  • Growth of art and architecture, religious sects, Institution of temple and Mathas, Agraharas, education and literature, economy and society.
  • 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.
  • Early Medieval India, 750-1200:
  • i) 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 
  • ii) Society: 
  • the status of the Brahman and the new social order 
  • Condition of women 
  • Indian science and technology
  • Cultural Traditions in India, 750- 1200:
  • i) Philosophy:
  • Shankaracharya and Vedanta, 
  • Ramanuja and Vishishtadvaita, 
  • Madhva and BrahmaMimansa 
  • ii) Religion: 
  • Forms and features of religion, 
  • Tamil devotional cult, growth of Bhakti, 
  • Islam and its arrival in India,
  •  Sufism 

iii) Literature: 

  • Literature in Sanskrit, 
  • growth of Tamil literature,
  •  literature in the newly developing languages, 
  • Kalhan’s Rajtarangini, 
  • Alberuni’s India
  • iv)  Art and Architecture: 
  • Temple architecture, 
  • sculpture, 
  • painting
  • The Thirteenth Century:
  • i) Establishment of the Delhi Sultanate: 
  • The Ghurian invasions 
  • factors behind Ghurian success 
  • Economic, social and cultural consequences 
  • ii) Foundation of Delhi Sultanate and early Turkish Sultans 
  • Consolidation: 
  • The rule of Iltutmish and Balban
  • The Fourteenth Century:
  •  “The Khalji Revolution”  Alauddin Khalji: Conquests and territorial expansion, agrarian and economic measures – Muhammad Tughluq: Major projects, agrarian measures, the bureaucracy of Muhammad Tughluq –
  • Firuz Tughluq: Agrarian measures, achievements in civil engineering and public works, 
  • The decline of the Sultanate, 
  • foreign contacts and Ibn Battuta’s account
  • Society, Culture and Economy in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries:
  • i) Society:
  • composition of rural society, ruling classes, town dwellers, women, religious classes, caste and slavery under the Sultanate, 
  • Bhakti movement, 
  • Sufi movement 
  • ii) Culture: 
  • Persian literature, literature in the regional languages of North India, literature in the languages of South India, 
  • Sultanate architecture and new structural forms, 
  • painting, 
  • evolution of a composite culture  

iii) Economy: 

  • Agricultural production, 
  • rise of urban economy and non-agricultural production, 
  • trade and commerce
  • The Fifteenth and Early Sixteenth Century
  • i) Political Developments and Economy:
  • Rise of Provincial Dynasties: 
  • Bengal, Kashmir (Zainul Abedin),
  •  Gujarat, Malwa, Bahmanids 
  • The Vijayanagra Empire 
  • Lodis 
  • Mughal Empire, 
  • ii) First phase: 
  • Babur and Humayun – 
  • The Sur Empire: 
  • Sher Shah’s administration 
  •  Portuguese Colonial enterprise 
  • Bhakti and Sufi Movements
  • The Fifteenth and early Sixteenth Century
  • i) Society and Culture: 
  • Regional cultural specificities 
  • Literary traditions 
  • Provincial architecture 
  • Society, culture, literature, and the arts in the Vijayanagara Empire.
  • Akbar: 
  • Conquests and consolidation of the 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
  • 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.
  • Economy and Society in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries:
  • Population, agricultural production, craft production 
  • Towns, commerce with Europe through Dutch, English and French companies:
  • trade revolution 
  • Indian mercantile classes, banking, insurance and credit systems 
  • Condition of peasants, condition of women  
  • Evolution of the Sikh community and the Khalsa Panth
  • Culture in the Mughal Empire:
  • Persian histories and other literature  
  • Hindi and other religious literature 
  • Mughal architecture 
  • Mughal painting 
  • Provincial architecture and painting 
  • Classical music 
  • Science and technology
  • 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 politics, culture and economy on the eve of the British conquest

Optional Paper Syllabus for History- Paper-II

  1. European Penetration into India: 
  2. The Early European Settlements; 
  3. The Portuguese and the Dutch; 
  4. The English and the French East India Companies; 
  5. Their struggle for supremacy; 
  6. Carnatic Wars; 
  7. Bengal -The conflict between the English and the Nawabs of Bengal; 
  8. Siraj and the English; 
  9. The Battle of Plassey; 
  10. Significance of Plassey.
  11. British Expansion in India:
  12. Bengal – Mir Jafar and Mir Kasim; 
  13. The Battle of Buxar; Mysore; 
  14. The Marathas; 
  15. The three Anglo-Maratha Wars;
  16.  Punjab.
  17. Early Structure of the British Raj: 
  18. The early administrative structure; 
  19. From diarchy to direct control; 
  20. The Regulating Act (1773); 
  21. The Pitt’s India Act (1784); 
  22. The Charter Act (1833); 
  23. The voice of free trade and the changing character of British colonial rule; 
  24. The English utilitarian and India
  25. 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-industrialization; 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Indian Response to British Rule:
  • Peasant movements and tribal uprisings in the 18th and 19th centuries including the Rangpur Dhing (1783), 
  • the Kol Rebellion (1832), 
  • the Mopla Rebellion in Malabar (1841-1920), 
  • the Santal Hul (1855), 
  • Indigo Rebellion (1859-60), 
  • Deccan Uprising (1875) and the Munda Ulgulan (1899-1900); 
  • The Great Revolt of 1857 – Origin, character, causes of failure, the consequences; 
  • The shift in the character of peasant uprisings in the post-1857 period; 
  • the peasant movements of the 1920s and 1930s.
  • Factors leading to the birth of Indian Nationalism
  • Politics of Association; 
  • The Foundation of the Indian National Congress; 
  • The Safety-valve thesis relating to the birth of the Congress; 
  • Programme and objectives of Early Congress; 
  • the social composition of early Congress leadership; 
  • the Moderates and Extremists; 
  • The Partition of Bengal (1905); 
  • The Swadeshi Movement in Bengal; 
  • the economic and political aspects of Swadeshi Movement; 
  • The beginning of revolutionary extremism in India.
  • Rise of Gandhi;
  • Character of Gandhian nationalism; 
  • Gandhi’s popular appeal; 
  • Rowlatt Satyagraha; the Khilafat Movement; 
  • the Non-cooperation Movement; 
  • National politics from the end of the Non-cooperation movement to the beginning of the Civil Disobedience movement; 
  • the two phases of the Civil Disobedience Movement; 
  • Simon Commission; 
  • The Nehru Report; 
  • the Round Table Conferences; 
  • Nationalism and the Peasant Movements; 
  • Nationalism and Working class movements;
  •  Women and Indian youth and students in Indian politics (1885-1947); 
  • the election of 1937 and the formation of ministries; 
  • Cripps Mission; 
  • the Quit India Movement; 
  • the Wavell Plan; 
  • The Cabinet Mission.
  • Constitutional Developments in the Colonial India between 1858 and 1935
  • 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; 
  • the Communist Party of India, 
  • other left parties.
  • Politics of Separatism;
  • the Muslim League; 
  • the Hindu Mahasabha; 
  • Communalism and the politics of partition; 
  • Transfer of power; 
  • Independence.
  • Consolidation as a Nation;
  • Nehru’s Foreign Policy;
  • India and her neighbours (1947-1964); 
  • The linguistic reorganisation of States (1935-1947); 
  • Regionalism and regional inequality; 
  • Integration of Princely States; 
  • Princes in electoral politics; 
  • the Question of National Language.
  • Caste and Ethnicity after 1947;
  • Backward castes and tribes in post-colonial electoral politics; 
  • Dalit movements.
  • 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.
  • Enlightenment and Modern ideas: 

(i) Major ideas of Enlightenment: 

  • Kant, 
  • Rousseau 

(ii) Spread of Enlightenment in the colonies 

(iii) Rise of socialist ideas (up to Marx); 

  • spread of Marxian Socialism.
  • 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.
  • Industrialization: 

(i) English Industrial Revolution: 

  • Causes and Impact on Society 

(ii) Industrialization in other countries: 

  • USA, Germany, Russia, Japan 

(iii) Industrialization and Globalization.

  1. Nation-State System:

(i) Rise of Nationalism in 19th century 

(ii) Nationalism: state-building in Germany and Italy 

(iii) Disintegration of Empires in the face of the emergence of nationalities across the world.

  • Imperialism and Colonialism: 

(i) South and South-East Asia 

(ii) Latin America and South Africa 

(iii) Australia (iv) Imperialism and free trade: Rise of neo-imperialism.

  • Revolution and Counter Revolution: 

(i) 19th Century European revolutions 

(ii) The Russian Revolution of 1917-1921 

(iii) Fascist Counter-Revolution, Italy and Germany. 

(iv) The Chinese Revolution of 1949

  • World Wars: 

(i) 1st and 2nd World Wars as Total Wars: Societal implications 

(ii) World War I: Causes and consequences 

(iii) World War II: Causes and consequence

  • The World after World War II: 

(i) Emergence of two power blocs 

(ii) Emergence of Third World and non-alignment 

(iii) UNO and the global disputes.

  • Liberation from Colonial Rule:

(i) Latin America-Bolivar 

(ii) Arab World-Egypt 

(iii) Africa-Apartheid to Democracy 

(iv) South-East Asia-Vietnam

  • Decolonization and Underdevelopment:

 (i) Factors constraining development: Latin America, Africa

  • Unification of Europe: 

(i) Post War Foundations: NATO and European Community

 (ii) Consolidation and Expansion of European Community 

(iii) European Union.

  • Disintegration of Soviet Union and the Rise of the Unipolar World: 

(i) Factors leading to the collapse of Soviet communism and the Soviet Union, 1985-1991 

(ii) Political Changes in Eastern Europe 1989-2001. 

(iii) End of the cold war and US ascendancy in the World as the lone superpower.