WBCS Exe Etc Exam Main Optional Subject History Syllabus




1. Sources :

Archaeological Sources: Exploration, Excavation, Epigraphy, Numismatics, Monuments.
Literary Sources: Indigenous, Biography, Religious Literature, Creative Literature, Scientific
Literature, Literature in Regional Languages. Continue Reading WBCS Exe Etc Exam Main Optional Subject History Syllabus.
Foreign Accounts: Greek, Roman, Chinese and Arab Writers.

2. The Harappan Civilization: Third to Second Millenium B.C.E

Origin, Date, Extent, Characteristics, Decline, Survival and Significance, Art and Architecture.3. The Iron Age in India, Vedic Society and the Megalithic Culture: 1500 B.C.E to 6thCentury B.C.E.Distribution of pastoral and farming cultures outside the Harappan orbit. Early Vedic Society,Polity and Economy. Changes in the later Vedic period.4. Period of Mahajanapadas :
Formation of territorial States (Mahajanapada): Republics and Monarchies; Spread of Jainism
and Buddhism; Rise of Magadha and the Nandas. Iranian and Macedonian invasions and their impact.

5. The Mauryan Empire:

Foundation of the Mauryan Empire, Chandragupta, Kautilya and Arthasastra; Asoka; Concept ofDharma; Edicts; Polity, Administraton; Economy; Art, Architecture and Sculpture; External contacts;Religion; Spread of religion; Literature. Disintegration of the Empire.6. Post-Mauryan Period
Northern India: The Sungas and the Kanvas, The Indo-Greeks, Sakas, Kushanas, Western
Kshatrapas, Contact with the outside world; The Deccan and Southern India: The Satavahanas, the Tamil States of the Sangam Age: Administration, Economy: land grants, trade guilds, and urban centers; Social conditions. Culture and Religion: Rise of Mahayana Buddhism and Buddhist Centres; Literature and culture; Art and architecture and science.

7. Guptas, Vakatakas and Vardhanas:

Samundra Gupta, Chandragupta-II: Gupta Polity and administration, Economic conditions, land,grants, Caste system, Position of women, Education, and educational institutions; Nalanda, Vikramsila and Valabhi, Creative Literature, scientific literature, art and architecture.The decline of the Gupta Empire; changes in Trade network, Decline of urban centers, IndianFeudalism.8. The Post Gupta Period and the Rise of Regional States

The Kadambas, Pallavas, Chalukyas, Palas, Senas, Rashtrakutas, Paramaras, Cholas, Hoysalas,
Regional Polities and Administration, Local Government, Land administration, Economy, Trade
Religion: Proliferation of Religious Sects in Buddhism, Vaishnava and Saiva religions. Tamil
Bhakti Movement, Shankaracharya; Vedanta.
Cultural Aspects, Regional Languages, and texts, Literature, Growth of art and architecture,
Sculpture, Temple Architecture; Education and Literature, major philosophical thinkers and schools, ideas in Science and Mathematics.
Arab conquest of Sind; Alberuni.


1. Major political developments in India during the 13th to 15th Centuries:

Campaigns of Mahmud Ghazni, Muhammad of Ghor — The foundation of the Delhi Sultanate and the early Turkish Sultans ‒ Qutbuddin Aibak to Balban — The Khalji revolution ‒ Alauddin Khalji, conquests and economic reforms — , Muhammad‒bin‒Tughlaq and his projects — Firuz Tughlaq— agrarian measures, public works‒ Decline of the Tughlaqs.
Provincial Kingdoms — Bengal under the Iliyas Shahi and Hussain Shahi Dynasties—Bahmani
and Vijaynagar Empires — Kashmir and Gujarat.

2. Society, Culture, and Economy during the 13th and 15th centuries:

Social and Cultural Assimilation — Sufi and Bhakti Movements—Kabir, Nanak, Chaitanya,
Namdeva, Growth of Regional Languages and Literature — Nature of the State — agriculture, revenue system (iqta) trade and Commerce — art and architecture.

3. Major Political Developments in India during the 16th and 18th Centuries:

Coming of the Mughals —Babur and the foundation of the Mughal Empire, — Afghan — Mughal Contest for supremacy—Humayun and Sher Shah — Consolidation of the Mughal Empire— Akbar, Jahangir and Nur Jahan, Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb — The Mughal Central State and regional powers— Rajputs, Afghans, Marathas, Sikhs, Deccan, Awadh and others. Peasants in Revolt — Jat, Satnami etc.
Later Mughals — Fall and Disintegration of the Empire —Rise of the Regional States ‒ Bengal, Hyderabad, Awadh and the Marathas.

4. Society, Culture, and Economy during the 16th and 18th centuries:

Administrative System- Sher Shah to Akbar, Jagir, and Mansabdari systems, — Evolution of
religion under the Mughals — Sulh-i-Kul and Din-i-Ilahi — Mughal art, architecture, painting, music and literature, Mughal economy and Society—Condition of the peasants — urbanization —trade and commerce and the mercantile classes ‒ Coming of the European merchants and ‘trade revolution’.-Sources of History, Literature, Archaeology, etc. Harappan Civilisation, origin, distribution, religious beliefs and practices, art and architecture, craft production and trade, script.
-Vedic society, economy, polity, and religion.
-Jainism, Buddhism, ideological background, social structure.
-The Mauryan empire. The Guptas.
-The Post Gupta period – History of Bengal, Sasanka, the rise of the Palas, and Senas.
-Political History of the Sultanate, religion, and culture,
-Sufism, Bhakti Movement, Nanak Kavir Nath Panthis, Sant tradition.
-Political History of the Mughals.
-The growth of regional polity, Rise of the Marathas, Mughal-Maratha conflict.
-The decline of the Mughal Empire and the Emergence of the Successor State with special reference to  Bengal.
-The emergence of East India Company and Bengal Renaissance, cultural changes; Consolidation of the British power, the framework of colonial governments, the different acts, and statutes, the permanent settlement.
-The growth of Nationalism – ideas and movements up to 1947.
-Communalism and partition of India; migration and rehabilitation of refugees,
-agrarian reforms, integration of princely states, the framing of the Indian Constitution, Indian foreign policy, non-alignment of the Third World, social movements




1. European Penetration and Rise of British power in India:
• The early European Settlements in India in the 17th and 18th centuries – The Anglo –
French rivalry.
• The British East India Company and the Bengal Nawabs – the EIC as sovereign ruler of
Bengal (From Plassey to Buxar), Grant of Dewani.
• British relations with and subjugation of the other principal Indian powers – Oudh,
Hyderabad, Marathas, Sikhs, and Mysore.

2. Indian economy under the British Colonial Rule:-

(A) Impact of Colonial rule on Indian agrarian economy:-
• Land revenue settlements‒ Permanent, Ryotwari and Mahalwari Settlements.
• Economic Impact of revenue settlements – Commercialization and its consequences.
• Rural Indebtedness and growth of landless labor.
• Famine and poverty.
(B) Changing nature of India’s trade and industry under the colonial rule:-
• Dislocation of traditional trade and commerce
• De-industrialization – a decline of village industries and town handicrafts
• Railways
• The growth of Foreign capital and the rise of modern industries.

3. Indian Society in transition: Cultural Encounter and Socio-cultural changes:

• Introduction of western education and modern ideas
• Reform movements – Ram Mohan Roy, Brahmo Samaj, Young Bengal, Vidyasagar, Arya
Samaj, Vivekananda and Ramakrishna Mission.
• Women’s Question and Indian Reformers
• The Growth of modern vernacular literature, press and public opinion, growth, and
spread of scientific ideas.
• The Faraizi and Wahabi movements; The Aligarh movement, Deoband School.
• Social Reform movements in the late 19th and early 20th centuries (including
depressed caste movements) – a broad overview.

4. Resistance to the British rule:

• Early uprisings against the British rule in the 18th and 19th centuries (1757 – 1856) with
special reference to Bengal and eastern India.
• The Revolt of 1857 – genesis, course, character, causes of its failure and its impact.
• The Act of 1858 and the establishment of the British Raj.

5. The growth of Nationalism (1858 – 1918):

Factors leading to birth of Indian Nationalism – Early Political Associations – The foundation of the Indian National Congress (1885) – The Safety-valve thesis – Programme and objectives of the  early Congress – Economic Nationalism and Drain Theory – The moderates and the extremists – the Partition of Bengal (1905) – The Swadeshi Movement in Bengal and other provinces – the economic, cultural and political aspects of Swadeshi movement.

6. Gandhian Era (1919 – 1947):

The rise of Gandhi – Character of Gandhian nationalism – the Rowlatt Satyagraha – The Khilafat – the Non-Co-operation movement – Simon Commission, Nehru Report and Round Table Conferences – Civil Disobedience Movement – Quit India Movement.
The Left: The Left within the Congress and Jawaharlal Nehru – Subhas Chandra Bose and the INA – the Congress Socialist Party – the Communist Party of India – other left parties.
The Peasant Movement.
The Working Class and Trade Union Movements.
Women’s organizations, development of women issues and the role of women in nationalist
The Peoples’ Movement in the Princely States.
The Post – War upsurge
The growth of Muslim Separatism – Rise of Muslim League – Demand for Pakistan
Hindu Nationalism
Depressed Classes and caste politics with special reference to the role of B. R. Ambedkar.
Communalism, British Policy, Partition, and Independence.

7. The Constitutional Developments (1773 – 1947):

The Regulating Act, Pitt’s India Act, and the Charter Acts.
The Acts of 1861 and 1892 – the Morley Minto Reforms (1909) – the Montague-Chelmsford
Reforms (1919) – Government of India Act (1935) – Working of Provincial Ministries – Cripps Mission,
Wavell Plan and Cabinet Mission – Act of Indian Independence (1947).

8. Consolidation as a Nation after 1947:

The framing of the Indian Constitution – Integration of Princely States – the question of National
Language – the linguistic reorganization of States, making of India’s foreign policy – Non-alignment and the Third World – India and her neighbors.


01. Enlightenment and Modern Ideas:

(i) Major ideas of enlightenment; and its impact
(ii) French Revolution and its aftermath: 1789 – 1815
(iii) The American War of Independence (1776). The American Civil War

02. Industrialization:

(i) Industrial Revolution in England: causes, nature, impact.
(ii) Industrialization in other countries: USA, Germany, Russia, Japan.

03. Nationalism:

(i) The rise of nation-states in Europe: Italy & Germany.

04. Imperialism, Colonialism, and War:

(i) Capitalism, imperialism, scramble for colonies.
(ii) Origins and impact of the First World War
(iii) Making of the Russian Revolution & establishment of a Socialist State.

05. World history from 1919 to 1945:

(i) League of Nations, collective security.
(ii) The rise of Nazism and Fascism: Germany, Italy & Japan.
(iii) Second World War: Causes and consequences.

06. Asia and Africa after World War II:

(i) Chinese Revolution of 1949
(ii) Nationalist movements and decolonization in South and South East Asia.
(iii) Changes in Africa: Egypt and South Africa, End of Apartheid.

07. Cold War & Global scenario:

(i) Origins and Growth of cold War
(ii) UNO and global disputes – Korea, Congo, Cuban crisis.
(iii) The emergence of the Third World and NAM

08. Collapse of Soviet Union

(i) Disintegration of the Soviet Union: Causes & Consequences
(ii) End of the Cold War
(iii) Political Changes in Eastern Europe.

World History: Feudal Society in Europe, the Tenth Century crisis, the collapse of feudal order in Western Europe and the forms of survival in Eastern Europe. The age of discovery, science, and technology, economic expansion of Europe in 16 the century, Renaissance and Humanism. Formation of the early modern state, the making of absolutism and the problem of Church vs. the State-the Anglican compromise, the French religious wars and the political crisis. The 17th-century economic expansion of Europe, civil war in England, settlement of 1688, the beginning of liberalization, the ideas of John Locke. Crisis in France in 1780’s and the role of philosophers, the French Revolution, rise and fall of Napoleon Bonaparte, Emergence of national states in Central Europe, Vienna Congress, unification of Italy and Germany, modernization of Russia, emancipation of the serfs and liberal reforms in Russia, industrialization in Europe, rise of the working class and the socialist thought. American war of Independence – Bill of Rights, Growth of Federalism – The Civil War – Market Economy. The German reign  under Bismarck, European imperialism, the First World War – its origin and impact, the Russian Revolution and the Bolsheviks, Peace settlement in 1919 – the development of the power of the Soviet State – rise of Fascism in Italy – the Economic Depression – the Nazi power – the outbreak of the Second World War. Chinese Revolution of 1949.