Exam Strategy for History

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Ancient Indian History

In the new syllabus, there is more focus on sources of early Indian history. The archaeological study of ancient India from the prehistoric times to the Iron Age has gained currency now. In archaeology, it is necessary to keep oneself abreast with the current updates. The politico-administrative history from pre-Mauryan period-rise of Mahajanapadas, to post-Gupta period starting of feudalism and centrifugal trends has been given more relevance in the revised syllabus. You should start from Indus civilisation and trace the evolution upto the post-Gupta period; core Philosophical thinkers and schools, wherein you should take into consideration Brahmanical, Buddhist and Jain philosophical schools. In science and mathematics, you can start from the contribution of the Harappans to Aryabhatta.

Medieval Indian History

The following section is being categorised into into 5 sub-sections: This part of the syllabus gives greater emphasis on contemporary historians and sources of the medieval Indian history. Prepare them for short questions; whereas study the Delhi sultanate in totality. Likewise treat the Mughals holistically, giving special focus on the age of Akbar; in this unit include all the provincial dynasties while the Cholas, the Vijayanagar and the Marathas should be prepared for a core question and for the last which is perhaps the most crucial unit from the examination point of view, you must have a comparative and evolutionary approach. Crucialtopics of this unit are: Society meanwhile medieval times; Bhakti movement: Sankaracharya, Ramanuja, Chaitanya, Kabir, Bhakti movement in South India, Lingayats, Maharashtra Dharma; Sufi-movement; architecture from early Sultanate architecture to the Lodis, to name a few.

Modern Indian History

  • Modern Indian history needs a sequential and logical study. To put it straight and simple, it will be suggested to prepare for the revised themes unit-wise.
  • British conquests and Indian reactions: The syllabus talks about Mysore, Punjab, the Marathas and their resistance against the colonial power. You should study the political, social and economic consequences leading to the 1857 war and other uprisings like tribal, civil and peasants.
  • British economic policy: An crucial aspect of British colonisation was economic exploitation of India and its devastative influence on Indian society. In this context pro-nationalistic and Leftist ideological opinion must be taken into consideration.
  • Socio-cultural aspects: It consist sub-topics like Indian Renaissance, Christian missionary activities, evolution of educational and social policies and the role in enhancing nationalism in India. Other sub-topics such as on literary personalities like Tagore, Premchand, S Bharati and others; film and theatre are crucialas well. It reflects more inclination towards cultural evolution of modern India.
  • Freedom struggle: A well detailed and thorough knowledge of history of Indian nationalism from 1885-foundation of Congress to 1947-partition and freedom is a must. This section accounts for 90 − 100 marks in Main General Studies paper too. Sub-divide the particular unit into following section: 1885 to 1916, which consists early Indian nationalism upto ‘Home Rule’ movement; 1916 to 1945, which is the ‘Gandhian era’ You can start form ‘Champaran experiment’ to ‘Quit India movement’ The Gandhian thought and methods of mass mobilisation should be given special emphasis; 1945 to 1947 − a chronological study of this portion will be the right approach. Judge how and why Indian nationalism, at the end resulted into a paradoxical result, which is partition and freedom together; other strands of national movement, which ran parallel to the Congress movement; rise and growth of the revolutionary terrorism; Swarajist movement; social and communist movements; Indian National Army-role of Subhash Chandra Bose and rise and growth of communalism.
  • Independence to 1964: This section covers the Nehruvian era and development of an independent Indian polity, Constitution, planned economy and foreign policy.

World History

  • There has an inclination in the direction of conceptualisation and generalisation of events than thoroughly study of individual events themselves. You can start with Renaissance, enlightenment and socialist ideas. Similarly undertake a study of all the core revolutions that shaped the modern world history. Moreover, the two World Wars have to be studied as agreggate wars. By learning the new syllabus, one can safely conclude that mastering the European history can fetch more marks now. The second half of this section deals with world history by making it more contemporary and desirable. This section deals with crucialportions of General Studies ′ paper as well.
  • A book international politics or contemporary history is well sufficient. You are now expected to give detailed explaination and possess in-depth understanding of the post-World War II developments like the ‘Cold War’ and division of world into two military blocs, NATO and Warsaw pact; emergence of the ‘Third World’ and their decision to remain nonaligned; United Nations; decolonisation and the various particulars responsible for hindering development of the newly independent Latin American and African countries.
  • You must focus on the circumstances that are moving forwards at the end of the ‘Cold War’ and the US ascendancy in the world, as well as the disintegration of Soviet Union, fall of Berlin wall and the US and the UN victory in the Gulf war. Another crucialstrand of contemporary history is procedure of integration deciding destiny of nations all the world, which is called ‘Globalisation’ Continent-wise, Europe has already achieved a core success in this context in the form of the European Union.

Crucial Topics

Ancient India

Indus Valley Civilization

  • Society, Religion
  • crucialHarappan towns & artifacts excavated
  • Extension
  • Town Planning
  • Economical Importance
  • Political Life
  • Causes of decline

Aryan Civilization: Origin

  • Vedic literature
  • Religion
  • Society
  • Polity
  • Economic Condition
  • Difference between Indus and Aryan

Religions Movements

  • About Mahavira & teachings
  • councils
  • crucialbooks causes for decline
  • Buddha teachings
  • Councils
  • crucialbooks
  • Causes for decline

The Mauryan Empire-About Ashoka in Detail

  • Article and Architecture
  • Administration
  • Society

Central Asian Contacts and Their Results

  • Indo-Greeky
  • The Shakas
  • The pacthians Article and Architecture
  • The Kushans-Kanishka in detail

South Indian History

  • Sangam Age
  • Satavahanas
  • Chola՚s
  • Pallavas art and architecture

Gupta Empire

  • Administration
  • Article and Architecture
  • Social development

Post-Gupta Period

  • Harsha in detail
  • Fendal System

Medieval India

  1. Turkish Invasion
  2. Delhi Sultnate: Rulers and their contribution, Aibek, Iltumish, Balban, Aluddin Khilji, Mohamad bin Tughlug, Feroz Tughlug, Sikandu lodi, Ibrahim Lodi in detail, Administration (crucialterms) and Art and Architecture
  3. Vijayanagar Empire: Krishna Devaraya in detail, crucialtemples and books
  4. Mughals: Babar՚s wars, Akbar in detail, Jehangir, Shahjahan, Aurangazeb in detail, Administration, Society, Causes for decline, crucialbooks (authors) , Art and Architecture

Modern India


  • Shivaji in detail
  • Administration
  • Peshwas and their administration

European Powers

  • Chronologoical order of European powers in India
  • East India Company
  • crucialGovernor General and their contribution Warsen Hastings, Coronwallis, wellesely, William Bentinck, Dalhousie, Lytton, Rippon, Curzon, Mount Patten.
  • British rule impact on India
  • Social and cultural developments/Awakening

Reform Movements

  • In detail
  • Founders and their contribution
  • Books

1857 Revolt

  • In detail

Freedom Struggle

  • Formation of INC.
  • Moderates and Extremist
  • Partition Role of Bengal/Surat Split
  • Muslim league
  • Lucknow pact
  • Minto Morley/Montagu Chelmsford

Ghandhian Era

  • His experiments
  • Non Cooperation Movement
  • Civil dis-obedience movement
  • Gandhi-Irwin Pact
  • August Offer
  • Quit India Movement
  • Cripps mission
  • Cabinet Committee
  • Partition


  • INC meetings and its resolutions
  • President, place


  • Terrorist activites
  • Bengal
  • Maharastra
  • Some other places

Subash Chandra Bose

  • INA formation in detail

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