Latest History Optional Syllabus Book pdf for UPSC Exam | History Optional Exam Syllabus Pdf for UPSC India 2021

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1 History Optional Syllabus Book pdf for UPSC Exam
1.5 UPSC History Optional Syllabus Paper – Paper I
1.6 UPSC History Optional Syllabus Paper – Paper II

History Optional Syllabus Book pdf for UPSC Exam

Download Syllabus Of History Optional Subject for UPSC official released on

In the UPSC Exam ,from all the optional subject ,most of the student choose History subject as an optional because of it is important in both the exam Prelims and UPSC Main exam. History subject come in General studies.

Latest UPSC History Optional Syllabus India 2021

History Optional Syllabus Exam Pdf for UPSC

Syllabus of History Optional Subject for UPSC Exam available in PDF, below with all description provided below, go through the article for more details.

History Optional Syllabus Subject (UPSC) & Exam pattern 

If you have applied for the UPSC Exam, then you can download officially updated Syllabus of UPSC which will available to applicants online at the Live Portal of  UPSC.

The UPSC Mains Optional papers is a total 500 marks paper. The optional papers are divided into Papers I & II. Each carrying 250 marks . For the UPSC Main exam, the candidates are required to select one optional subject from the list of subjects given.

History Optional Syllabus Book for UPSC Exam pdf

History Optional UPSC Exam Syllabus is described below in detailed brief format. You can go through and start the preparation for the UPSC Exam.

So, each and every applicant requested to visit official web Panel of UPSC to download their live update regarding UPSC exam.

Complete Paper Syllabus History Optional Syllabus Book pdf for UPSC Exam 
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History Optional Syllabus for UPSC

In the UPSC Optional Subject list include 48 subjects, from that all one can be choose by the candidate for both the papers. Each optional subject divide of two papers(Paper I and Paper II).Each paper is 250 marks , total of 500 marks. Total History Syllabus is divided into 4 section:

  1. Ancient Indian History
  2. Medieval Indian History
  3. Modern Indian History
  4. World History

UPSC History Optional Syllabus Paper – Paper I 

  • Sources : History Optional Syllabus

    • Archaeological sources: Exploration, excavation, epigraphy, numismatics, monuments
    • Literary sources: Indigenous :Primary and secondary poetry, scientific literature, literature, literature in regional languages, religious literature.
    • Foreign accounts: Greek, Chinese, Arab writers.
  • Pre-history and Proto-history: History Optional Syllabus

    • Geographical factors;
    • hunting and gathering ( paleolithic and mesolithic);
    • Beginning of agriculture (neolithic and chalcolithic)
  • Indus Valley Civilization: History Optional Syllabus

    • Origin, date, extent, characteristics, decline, survival and significance, art and architecture.
  • Megalithic Cultures: History Optional Syllabus

    • 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: History Optional Syllabus

    • 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: History Optional Syllabus

    • 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: History Optional Syllabus

    • 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: History Optional Syllabus

    • 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: History Optional Syllabus

    • 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: History Optional Syllabus

    • 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: History Optional Syllabus

    • 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: History Optional Syllabus

    • 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
  • Cultural Traditions in India, 750- 1200: History Optional Syllabus

    • Philosophy: Shankaracharya and Vedanta, Ramanuja and Vishishtadvaita, Madhva and BrahmaMimansa
    • 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
  • The Thirteenth Century: History Optional Syllabus

    • Establishment of the Delhi SultanateThe 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
  • The Fourteenth Century: History Optional Syllabus

    •  “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: History Optional Syllabus

    • 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
    • Society:composition of rural society, ruling classes, town dwellers, women, religious classes, caste and slavery under the Sultanate, Bhakti movement, Sufi movement
    • Economy: Agricultural production, rise of urban economy and non-agricultural production, trade and commerce
  • The Fifteenth and Early Sixteenth Century: Political Developments and Economy: History Optional Syllabus

    • Rise of Provincial Dynasties: Bengal, Kashmir (Zainul Abedin),Gujarat,
    • Malwa, Bahmanids
    • The Vijayanagra Empire
    • Lodis
    • Mughal Empire,
    • 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- Society and Culture: History Optional Syllabus

    • Regional cultural specificities
    • Literary traditions
    • Provincial architecture
    • Society, culture, literature, and the arts in the Vijayanagara Empire.
  • Akbar : History Optional Syllabus

    • 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: History Optional Syllabus

    • 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: History Optional Syllabus

    • 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: History Optional Syllabus

    • 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: History Optional Syllabus

    • 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

Latest UPPSC AE Syllabus 2020 | UPPSC AE Exam Pattern 2020 | Uttar Pradesh PSC Assistant Engineer Exam Pattern 2020

Latest UPSC History Optional Syllabus India 2021

UPSC History Optional Syllabus Paper – Paper II

  • European Penetration into India: UPSC History Optional Syllabus

    • The Early European Settlements;
    • The Portuguese and the Dutch;
    • The English and the French East India Companies;
    • Their struggle for supremacy;
    • Carnatic Wars;
    • Bengal -The conflict between the English and the Nawabs of Bengal;
    • Siraj and the English;
    • The Battle of Plassey;
    • Significance of Plassey.
  • British Expansion in India: UPSC History Optional Syllabus

    • Bengal – Mir Jafar and Mir Kasim;
    • The Battle of Buxar; Mysore;
    • The Marathas;
    • The three Anglo-Maratha Wars;
    •  Punjab.
  • Early Structure of the British Raj: UPSC History Optional Syllabus

    • The early administrative structure;
    • From diarchy to direct control;
    • The Regulating Act (1773);
    • The Pitt’s India Act (1784);
    • The Charter Act (1833);
    • The voice of free trade and the changing character of British colonial rule;
    • The English utilitarian and India
  • Economic Impact of British Colonial Rule: History Optional Syllabus

    1. 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.
    1. 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: UPSC History Optional Syllabus

    • 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: UPSC History Optional Syllabus

    • 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: UPSC History Optional Syllabus

    • 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: UPSC History Optional Syllabus

    • 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: UPSC History Optional Syllabus

    • 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: UPSC History Optional Syllabus

    • 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: UPSC History Optional Syllabus

    • the Muslim League;
    • the Hindu Mahasabha;
    • Communalism and the politics of partition;
    • Transfer of power;
    • Independence.
  • Consolidation as a Nation: UPSC History Optional Syllabus

    • 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: UPSC History Optional Syllabus

    • Backward castes and tribes in post-colonial electoral politics;
    • Dalit movements.
  • Economic development and political change: UPSC History Optional Syllabus

    • Land reforms;
    • the politics of planning and rural reconstruction;
    • Ecology and environmental policy in post – colonial India;
    • Progress of science.
  • Enlightenment and Modern ideas: UPSC History Optional Syllabus

    1. Major ideas of Enlightenment: Kant, Rousseau
    2. Spread of Enlightenment in the colonies 
    3. Rise of socialist ideas (up to Marx); spread of Marxian Socialism.
  • Origins of Modern Politics: UPSC History Optional Syllabus

    1. European States System.
    2. American Revolution and the Constitution. (
    3. French revolution and aftermath, 1789-1815.
    4. American Civil War with reference to Abraham Lincoln and the abolition of slavery.
    5. British Democratic Politics, 1815- 1850; Parliamentary Reformers, Free Traders, Chartists.
  • Industrialization: UPSC History Optional Syllabus

    1. English Industrial Revolution: Causes and Impact on Society
    2. Industrialization in other countries: USA, Germany, Russia, Japan
    3. Industrialization and Globalization
  • Nation-State System: UPSC History Optional Syllabus

    1. Rise of Nationalism in 19th century
    2. Nationalism: state-building in Germany and Italy
    3. Disintegration of Empires in the face of the emergence of nationalities across the world
  • Imperialism and Colonialism: UPSC History Optional Syllabus

    1. South and South-East Asia
    2. Latin America and South Africa
    3. Australia
    4. Imperialism and free trade: Rise of neo-imperialism.
  • Revolution and Counter Revolution: UPSC History Optional Syllabus

    1. 19th Century European revolutions
    2. The Russian Revolution of 1917-1921
    3. Fascist Counter-Revolution, Italy and Germany.
    4. The Chinese Revolution of 1949
  • World Wars: UPSC History Optional Syllabus

    1. 1st and 2nd World Wars as Total Wars: Societal implications
    2. World War I: Causes and consequences
    3. World War II: Causes and consequence
  • The World after World War II: UPSC History Optional Syllabus

    1. Emergence of two power blocs
    2. Emergence of Third World and non-alignment
    3. UNO and the global disputes.
  • Liberation from Colonial Rule: UPSC History Optional Syllabus

    1. Latin America-Bolivar
    2. Arab World-Egypt
    3. Africa-Apartheid to Democracy
    4. South-East Asia-Vietnam
  • Decolonization and Underdevelopment: UPSC History Optional Syllabus

    1. Factors constraining development: Latin America, Africa
  • Unification of Europe: UPSC History Optional Syllabus

    1. Post War Foundations: NATO and European Community
    2. Consolidation and Expansion of European Community
    3. European Union.
  • Disintegration of Soviet Union and the Rise of the Unipolar World: UPSC History Optional Syllabus

    1. Factors leading to the collapse of Soviet communism and the Soviet Union, 1985-1991
    2. Political Changes in Eastern Europe 1989-2001.
    3. End of the cold war and US ascendancy in the World as the lone superpower.

Latest UPSC History Optional Syllabus India 2021

How to Choose the Best Books for History Optional Syllabus for UPSC

  • History Optional Book for UPSC Exam: While choosing the study material for History Optional subject for UPSC exam, you must keep in mind that the books that you choose must cover the entire History Optional subject for UPSC exam syllabus. It must cover all the important topics which can be asked in the History Optional subject for UPSC exam question paper.
  • Edition: The books that you choose should be of the most recent edition which must include the latest topics and syllabus.
  • Solved Sample Papers: A book with solved History Optional subject for UPSC exam sample papers will be of great help. Sample papers give you an insight into the UPSC exam pattern, type of questions and at the same time help you in analyzing your progress.

Paper-wise Best Books for UPSC History Optional Syllabus Book pdf Study Material

Check out the Paper-wise best books for all the paper sections of UPSC History Optional Syllabus in the tables below.

Best Books for Paper I & Paper II

Look at the table below to know the important books for History Optional Syllabus Book for UPSC Exam.

Book name Author/Publisher Checkout
ALL NCERT HISTORY BOOKS FOR Class – 6 TO 12 (ENGLISH MEDIUM) IN COMBO PACK for UPSC Prelims / Main / IAS / Civil Services / IFS / IES / ISS / CISF / CDS / SCRA / IFS / NDA (9 BOOKS) NCERT (Author) Click Here
India’s Struggle for Independence: 1857-1947 Bipan Chandra  (Author) Click Here
A History of Modern India  Ishita Banerjee-Dube (Author) Click Here
India’s Ancient Past R.S. Sharma (Author) Click Here
Indian Art and Culture for Civil Services and other Competitive Examinations Nitin Singhania (Author) Click Here
History Of The Modern World Jain (Author), Mathur (Author) Click Here
Contemporary India: Political, Economic and Social Developments Since 1947 Dietmar Rothermund (Author)  Click Here
From Plassey To Partition and After Sekhar Bandyopadhyay (Author) Click Here
Ancient India | First Edition | By Pearson: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century  Upinder Singh (Author) Click Here
Mastering Modern World History (Palgrave Master Series)  Norman Lowe  (Author) Click Here

Best Books for Previous Year Question Papers

This section of UPSC History Optional Syllabus Book pdf has topics related to previous year question papers . Candidates should also be updated with the latest information .

Book Name Author/ Publisher Checkout
7 Years UPSC IAS/ IPS Mains General Studies Papers 1 – 4 Year-wise Solved (2013 – 2019)  Disha Experts (Author) Click Here

Read More:

15 Years Topicwise Solutions of Previous Years’ Papers (2002-2019) History IAS MAINS Q&A 19 Years Topicwise sotutions of previous years papers History IAS MAINS Q&A

FAQs on History Optional Syllabus Preparation Books

Q: Is history a good optional for UPSC?

A: In the UPSC Exam ,from all the optional subject ,most of the student choose History subject as an optional because of it is important in both the exam Prelims and UPSC Main exam. History subject come in General studies.

Q: How can I cover optional history in UPSC?

A: All books are listed out above.

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