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IAS MAINS Syllabus For Indian History Paper 2

European Penetration into India

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

Bengal – Mir Jafar and Mir Kasim; The Battle of Buxar; Mysore; The Marathas; The three Anglo-Maratha Wars; The Punjab.

Early Structure of the British Raj

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

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.

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 18 th and 19 th 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

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

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.


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

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

1.South and South-East Asia
2.Latin America and South Africa
4.Imperialism and free trade: Rise of neo-imperialism.

Revolution and Counter-Revolution

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

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

1.Emergence of two power blocs
2.Emergence of Third World and non-alignment
3.UNO and the global disputes.

Liberation from Colonial Rule

1.Latin America-Bolivar
2.Arab World-Egypt
3.Africa-Apartheid to Democracy
4.South-East Asia-Vietnam

Decolonization and Underdevelopment

Factors constraining development: Latin America, Africa

Unification of Europe

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

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.




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