UPSC History Syllabus 2022 Paper 1 and 2

UPSC History Syllabus 2022 Paper 1 and 2

UPSC History Syllabus 2022 - Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) prescribes the UPSC IAS syllabus in the official notification. The history syllabus for IAS 2022 prelims and mains is released by the Commission together in DF format. History optional syllabus is mentioned separately for paper 1 and paper 2 in the IAS 2022 notification.

Latest Updates for UPSC Civil Services Exam

  • 24 Sep 2021:

    Final Result of UPSC Civil Services 2020 Exam declared. Check details here. 

  • 13 Aug 2021:

    UPSC Calendar 2022 released. 

  • 10 Jun 2021:

    Check latest preparation tips for UPSC IAS. Download the PDF here.

Stay up-to date with UPSC Civil Services Exam News

Get Updates

With the help of History syllabus for IAS prelims, candidates can know about the important topics and chapters asked in the UPSC CSE 2022 exam. Applicants can also know the difficulty level and questions asked in the UPSC IAS exam from UPSC History syllabus. Along with the IAS History optional syllabus for mains exam, candidates must also check UPSC IAS exam pattern 2022 for their preparations. UPSC IAS 2022 prelims examination is scheduled to be conducted on June 5, 2022. For more details about UPSC History syllabus 2022, candidates must read the article below.

Relevant Articles:

UPSC IAS Answer Key 2022

UPSC IAS Cut Off 2022

UPSC IAS Result 2022

UPSC History Syllabus 2022 - For Paper I




  • Archaeological sources: Exploration, excavation, epigraphy, numismatics, monuments.

  • Foreign account: Greek, Chinese and Arab writers.

  • Literary sources: Indigenous: Primary and secondary; poetry, scientific literature, literature, literature in regional languages, religious literature.

Pre-history and Proto-history

  • Beginning of agriculture (neolithic and chalcolithic)

  • Geographical factors; hunting and gathering (paleolithic and mesolithic)

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 agriculture, Crafts, Pottery, and Iron industry

  • Development of community life, Settlements

Aryans and Vedic Period

  • 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

  • Expansions of Aryans in India

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 Buddhism; Rise of Magadha and Nandas

  • Iranian and Mecedonian 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

Post-Mauryan Period

  • 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 Government strives to have a workforce which reflects gender balance and women candidates are encouraged to apply. 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 Chaluky as 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

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

  • 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

  • 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

The Thirteenth Century

  • Establishment of the Delhi Sultanate: The Ghorian 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

  • “The Khalji Revolution”.

  • Alauddin Khilji: Conquests and territorial expansion, agrarian and economic measure.

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

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

Society, Culture and Economy in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries

  • 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.

  • Economy: Agricultural Production, rise of urban economy and non-agricultural production, trade and commerce

  • Society: composition of rural society, ruling classes, town dwellers, women, religious classes, caste and slavery under the Sultanate, Bhakti movement, Sufi movement.

The Fifteenth and Early Sixteenth Century-Political Developments and Economy

  • Mughal Empire, first phase : Babur, Humayun.

  • The Sur Empire : Sher Shah’s administration.

  • Malwa, Bahmanids.

  • The Vijayanagara Empire.

  • Lodis.

  • Portuguese colonial enterprise, Bhakti and Sufi Movements

  • Rise of Provincial Dynasties : Bengal, Kashmir (Zainul Abedin), Gujarat.

The Fifteenth and Early Sixteenth Century- Society and culture

  • Provincial architecture.

  • Society, culture, literature and the arts in Vijayanagara Empire.

  • Regional cultures specificities.

  • Literary traditions.


  • Rajput policy.

  • Conquests and consolidation of empire.

  • Establishment of jagir and mansab systems.

  • Court patronage of art and technology.

  • Evolution of religious and social outlook. Theory of Sulh-i-kul and religious policy.

Mughal Empire in the Seventeenth Century

  • Government strives to have a workforce which reflects gender balance and women candidates are encouraged to apply.

  • Late Seventeenth Century crisis and the revolts.

  • The Ahom kingdom.

  • Shivaji and the early MarathaKingdom.

  • Religious policies of Jahangir, Shahjahan and Aurangzeb.

  • Nature of the Mughal State.

  • Major administrative policies of Jahangir, Shahjahan and Aurangzeb.

  • The Empire and the Zamindars.

Economy and society, in the 16th and 17th Centuries

  • Towns, commerce with Europe through Dutch, English and French companies : a trade revolution.

  • Conditions of peasants, Condition of Women.

  • Evolution of the Sikh community and the Khalsa Panth.

  • Indian mercantile classes. Banking, insurance and credit systems.

  • Population Agricultural and craft production.

Culture during Mughal Empire

  • Provincial architecture and painting.

  • Persian histories and other literature.

  • Hindi and religious literature.

  • Mughal architecture.

  • Mughal painting.

  • Classical music.

  • Science and technology.

  • Hindi and religious literature.

The Eighteenth Century

  • The regional principalities: Nizam’s Deccan, Bengal, Awadh.

  • Maratha ascendancy under the Peshwas.

  • The Maratha fiscal and financial system.

  • Factors for the decline of the Mughal Empire.

  • Emergence of Afghan power Battle of Panipat, 1761.

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

UPSC Subject-wise Questions for various Subjects

Free download: IAS Prelims Geography Mock Test

Free download: IAS Prelims Polity Mock Test

Free download: IAS Prelims Current Affairs Mock Test

Free download: UPSC Prelims History Mock Test

Free download: IAS Prelims Ecolog. & Env. Mock Test

Free download: IAS Prelims Economics Mock Test

Free download: IAS Prelims Sc. & Tech. Mock Test


UPSC History Syllabus 2022 - For Paper II



European Penetration into India

The Early European Settlements

The English and the French

East India Companies

Siraj and the English

The Battle of Plassey

Significance of Plassey

Their struggle for supremacy

Carnatic Wars; Bengal-The conflict between the English and the Nawabs of Bengal

The Portuguese and the Dutch

British Expansion in India

The three

Anglo-Maratha Wars

The Punjab

Bengal-Mir Jafar and Mir Kasim

The Battle of Buxar; Mysore

The Marathas

Early Structure of the British Raj

The Pitt's India Act (1784)

The Charter Act (1833)

The Voice of free trade and the changing

The English utilitarian and India

The Early administrative structure

From diarchy to direct control

The Regulating Act (1773)

character of British colonial rule

Economic Impact of British Colonial Rule

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

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.

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

Islamic revivalism-the Feraizi and Wahabi Movements.

The Brahmo Movement

The Young Bengal Movement

Dayanada Saraswati

The social reform movements in India including Sati, widow remarriage, child marriage etc.

Devendranath Tagore

Iswarchandra Vidyasagar

The contribution of Indian renaissance to the growth of modern India

Enlightenment and Modern ideas

Major Ideas of Enlightenment : Kant, Rousseau.

Rise of socialist ideas (up to Marx); spread of Marxian Socialism

Spread of Enlightenment in the colonies.

Origins of Modern Politics

American Revolution and the Constitution.

British Democratic politics, 1815-1850 : Parliamentary Reformers, Free Traders, Chartists.

French Revolution and Aftermath, 1789-1815.

American Civil War with reference to Abraham Lincoln and the abolition of slavery.

European States System.


English Industrial Revolution : Causes and Impact on Society.

Industrialization in other countries : USA, Germany, Russia, Japan.

Industrialization and Globalization.

Nation-State System

Rise of Nationalism in the 19th century.

Disintegration of Empires in the face of the emergence of nationalities across the World.

Nationalism : State-building in Germany and Italy.

Imperialism and Colonialism

South and South-East Asia.

Imperialism and free trade: Rise of neo-imperialism

Latin America and South Africa.


Revolution and Counter-Revolution

Fascist Counter-Revolution, Italy and Germany.

19th Century European revolutions.

The Chinese Revolution of 1949.

The Russian Revolution of 1917-1921.

World Wars

World War I : Causes and Consequences.

1st and 2nd World Wars as Total Wars : Societal implications.

World War II : Causes and Consequences

The World after World War II

Emergence of the Third World and non-alignment.

Emergence of Two power blocs.

UNO and the global disputes.

Liberation from Colonial Rule

Latin America-Bolivar.

Arab World-Egypt.

Africa-Apartheid to Democracy.

South-East Asia-Vietnam.

Decolonization and Underdevelopment

Factors constraining Development ; Latin America, Africa

Unification of Europe

Post War Foundations ; NATO and European Community.

European Union

Consolidation and Expansion of European Community

Disintegration of Soviet Union and the Rise of the Unipolar World

Factors leading to the collapse of Soviet Communism and Soviet Union, 1985-1991

End of the Cold War and US Ascendancy in the World as the lone superpower.

Political Changes in East Europe 1989-2001.

Quick Links: UPSC Mock Tests Series for UPSC

Free download: Complete UPSC IAS Prelims Mock Test-1 (100 Questions, Ans. & Explanation

Free download: Complete UPSC IAS Prelims Mock Test-2 (100 Questions, Ans. & Explanation)

Free download: Complete UPSC IAS Prelims Mock Test-3 (100 Questions, Ans. & Explanation)

Free download: Complete UPSC IAS Prelims Mock Test-4 (100 Questions, Ans. & Explanation)

Free download: Complete UPSC IAS Prelims Mock Test-5 (100 Questions, Ans. & Explanation)

UPSC Preparation Strategy 2022

Candidates preparing for UPSC IAS 2022 must check the preparation tips and tricks mentioned below.

  • Make UPSC study plan before starting the preparations

  • Go through the UPSC IAS syllabus and exam pattern

  • Make short notes for last minute revision

  • Study from UPSC IAS preparation books

  • Practice UPSC IAS question papers for effective preparations

UPSC History Optional Books 2022



NCERT Books for History


The Wonder that was India by A.L Basham for Ancient History

A.L Basham

Medieval India

Satish Chandra

Advanced Study in the History of Medieval India all three volumes

J.L Mehta

India's Ancient Past

R.S. Sharma

History of Modern India

Bipan Chandra

India's Struggle for Independence: 1857-1947

Bipan Chandra

History of the World

Arjun Dev and Indira Arjun Dev

Also read: Complete guide for UPSC CSE exam preparation

How to crack UPSC Civil Services Exam: Trend Analysis, Cut off, Preparation Tips & Strategy