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History of Bharat is divided into three sections – Ancient, Medieval, and fashionable. a major weightage has been given to History in UPSC over the years.

As per the recent UPSC Prelims trend, at least 15-20% weightage is given to History in UPSC.

But then History may be a terribly ‘vast’ subject. thus, what to try to now? An excess of queries keeps bombarding your head – however do I browse History? What to focus on? can I be able to cowl the whole syllabus?

The answer to any or all your confusion is here – you have got to assume smart! From the previous year papers analysis, we have determined that a lot of weightage is given to ‘Modern History’. thus, to create the utmost profit for the time invested with, ‘prioritize’ during this order- fashionable, Ancient and Medieval History.

In this article, to ease your preparation we have divided History (in UPSC) into four Sections – fashionable, Ancient, Medieval and Culture. below every section we have analysed the weightage given, what aspects to target and the books to refer.

Since, Culture too has been gaining plenty of mileage within the recent times, we’ve return up with a separate section for Culture (In 2014 alone, seven queries had return from this section)

So now let us start with Modern History For UPSC.


Symbol of India’s Struggle of Freedom: The Red Fort Delhi

Emergence of regional powers within the early decades of eighteenth Century is taken as an amendment from the Medieval to fashionable Asian country.

The early fashionable Asian country witnessed the autumn of the nice Mughal Empire, the Marathas and Consolidation of British decree Asian country. The mid-phase marks the struggle of Indians- revolt of 1857 (or the primary War of Independence), organisation of Indian National Congress, role of Moderates and the Extremists. and eventually the last stage stands testimony to numerous National Movements –Civil Disobedience Movements, Quit Asian country Movement, Formation of Constitution Assembly and Sampoorna Swaraj (or Complete Independence) to Asian country.

So, Modern Asian country is that the most vital section from the prelim’s perspective. The weightage given to the current section over the years stands testimony to the importance of this section.

Weightage given since 2011


  • 2011      9
  • 2012      8
  • 2013      6
  • 2014      5
How to read Modern History?.

In this section, we come across various revolts, movements and agitations (like 1857 revolt, Tebhaga Peasant Movement, Home Rule Movement, Quit India Movement).

What one needs to Focus here is:
  • The Purpose of the movement[s]
  • The Reasons which led to the movement[s]
  • The Consequences of the movement[s]
  • The people who participated in this movement[s]
  • Famous Personalities involved in the movement[s] and their contribution
  • The role of Press and Literature

Note: Also note down the ‘chronology’ of the major Movements and Missions sent by the British to gain support of the Indians and extend their rule.

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Example (2013 UPSC Prelims Questions Paper):

 Annie Besant was:

1.      responsible for starting the Home Rule Movement

2.      the founder of the Theosophical Society

3.      once the President of the Indian National Congress

Select the correct statement/statements using the codes given below.

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Solution (c)

Type of Administration (Revenue, Military)

Queen Elizabeth Of Great Britain with British Indian Army


  • Type of Administration followed throughout The Mughal’s rule. For Example: Mansabdari System, Jagirdhari System – its significance and impact.
  • The British rule. Example: Subsidiary alliance, Permanent Settlement, Mahalwari system etc. – its significance and impact. Similarities and variations between the Mughal and the British Administration
  • Consolidation of country rule out India– through enactment of assorted Acts/Laws (Regulation Act, 1773 to Indian Independence Act, 1947).
  • At least 2 to a few vital changes/provisions created below every Act and the Governor Generals concerned ought to be noted down. And conjointly the impact of the Act ought to be importance.
  • Example: below Charter Act, 1833- The East Indian Company’s monopoly over tea and China was finished. Lord William Bentinck was the governor then and he was instrumental in termination of ‘sati’ system.

Colonial Rule in India (History UPSC)


  • Political-Administrative organization, Policies of the British India.
  • Social, Economic setup like Agrarian Systems (Example: Permanent Settlement)
  • Important Reports, Sessions, Acts, Committees setup during the British period
  • Note: Give special importance to Events, Movements (including Tribal, Peasant and Trade Union Movements) and Acts passed after Revolt of 1857. Because of its importance in UPSC Prelims.
Example (2011 UPSC Prelims Questions Paper):

The tendency for increased litigation was visible after the introduction of the land settlement system of Lord Cornwallis in 1793. The reason for this is normally traced to which of the following provisions?

(a.) Making Zamindar’s position stronger vis-a-vis the ryot

(b.) Making East India Company an overlord of Zamindars

(c.) Making judicial system more efficient

(d.) None of the (a), (b) and (c) above

Solution (d)

UPSC IAS 2020 Prelims Paper Completion Solution

Example (2014 UPSC Prelims Questions Paper):

 What was/were the object/objects of Queen Victoria’s Proclamation (1858)?

1.      To disclaim any intention to annex Indian States

2.      To place the Indian administration under the British Crown

3.      To regulate East India Company’s trade with India

Select the correct answer using the code given below

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Solution (a)

Religious and Social Reform Movements (from 1800 AD to 1947 AD)

This is another important section of Indian National Movement from the Prelims point of view.


  • The philosophical base – rationalism, humanism, and also theological doctrine Reform Movements like Brahmo Samaj, Arya Samaj, belief Society, outcast Movement etc.
  • And Also who started these movements?
  • what was the target and stress of those movements?
  • So how these movements were necessary in building a way of nationalism among Indians.
  • Social reforms that had a bearing on Education, standing of ladies, class structure of the society.
Example (2012 UPSC Prelims Questions Paper):

 Which of the following statements is/are correct regarding BrahmoSamaj?

1.      It opposed idolatry.

2.      It denied the need for a priestly class for interpreting the religious texts.

3.      It popularized the doctrine that the Vedas are infallible.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a) 1 only

(b) 1 and 2 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Solution (b)

Famous Personalities (Mahatma Gandhi, Dr B.R. Ambedkar, Subash Chandra Bose, Dada Bhai Naoroji, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bhagat Singh, Annie Besant etc)

Great freedom fighters of India


  • Their contributions – literature, organization of movements and also their role in India’s Freedom Struggle
Example (2012 Prelims Questions Paper):

 Consider the following statements:

The most effective contribution made by Dada bhai Naoroji to the cause of Indian National Movement was that he

1.      exposed the economic exploitation of India by the British

2.     he also interpreted the ancient Indian texts and restored the self-confidence of Indians

3.     stressed the need for eradication of all the social evils before anything else Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Solution (a)

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