#7: Modern history: Booklist, Syllabus and Preparation strategy

Modern History : Booklist , Syllabus & Preparation Strategy

History includes the events of the past which somehow influences or have a greater impact on todays future. Modern history is the beginning of the world after the middle ages. IN Upsc civil service examinations , the History part of the syllabus can be further sub-divided into:

  1. Ancient Indian History
  2. Medieval Indian History
  3. Modern Indian History
  4. World History (only in mains)

Syllabus of modern Indian history:

The history section of IAS Prelims Exam GS Paper I Syllabus comprises questions from Indian art, culture, Ancient, Medieval and Modern Indian History.

Modern India (middle of the 18th century until the present)

  • All the Economic, Administrative & Socio-cultural impacts of the mentioned 
  • European Penetration of India
  • British Conquest of India
  • British Policies & Their Impact 
  • Socio-cultural Reform Movements
  • Growth of Nationalism in India (1858-1905)
  • Freedom Struggle and Movements

India Post Independence

  • Partition and Its Aftermath
  • Integration of Princely States
  • Wars with Pakistan & China
  • Nuclear Policy
  • Green Revolution, Operation Flood & Cooperatives
  • Emergency
  • Popular Movements
  • British expansion: The Carnatic Wars, Conquest of Bengal. Mysore and its resistance to British expansion: The three Anglo-Maratha Wars. Early structure of British raj: Regulating and Pitt’s India Acts.
  • Economic Impact of the British Raj: Drain of Wealth (Tribute); land revenue settlements (zamindari, ryotwari, Mahalwari); Deindustrialization; Railways and commercialization of agriculture; Growth of landless labor.
  • Cultural encounter and social changes: Introduction of western education and modern ideas. Indian Renaissance, social and religious reform movements; growth of Indian middle class; The press and its impact: the rise of modern literature in Indian languages. Social reforms measures before 1857.
  • Resistance to British rule: Early uprisings; The 1857 Revolt- causes, nature, course and consequences.
  • Indian Freedom struggle-the the first phase: Growth of national consciousness; Formation of Associations; Establishment of the Indian National Congress and its Moderate phase;- Economic Nationalism; Swadeshi Movement; The growth of “Extremism” and the 1907 split in Congress; The Act of 1909 – the policy of Divide and Rule; Congress-League Pact of 1916.
  • Gandhi and his thought; Gandhian techniques of mass mobilisation- Khilafat and Non-Cooperation Movement, Civil Disobedience and Quit India Movement; Other strands in the National Movement-Revolutionaries, the Left, Subhas Chandra Bose and the Indian National Army.
  • Separatist Trends in Indian nationalist politics- the Muslim League and the Hindu Mahasabha; The post -1945 developments; Partition and Independence.
  • Indian independence to 1964. A parliamentary, secular, democratic (republic the 1950 Constitution). Jawaharlal Nehru’s vision of a developed, socialist society. Planning and state-controlled industrialization. Agrarian reforms. The foreign policy of Non-alignment. Border conflict with China and Chinese aggression.


A Brief History of Modern India -Spectrum Modern History
NCERT Class XI Modern India- Bipan Chandra Modern History

Preparation strategy for modern India:

  • One should go through all the basic NCERTs before starting of with reference books .
  • Go through the books 4 to 5 times to understand the events which happened 
  • Relate the events further with polity for better understanding. 
  • Modern history deals with administration and reforms one should align these for better revision.
  • Do not read reference books chapter wise, keep your syllabus in handy and refer the same.


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