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History Notes for UPSC Exam 2024

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NCERT History Notes for UPSC Exam: History is one of the important subjects that UPSC put stress on in their Prelims and Mains exams. History is the knowledge of and study of the past and it’s utmost need to understand what went in the past to create the future. Every year, the UPSC conducts Civil Service exams to select candidates for various Civil Services of the Government of India. The study of Indian history is crucial for these selected individuals in order to comprehend the nature of the past and the challenges that India as a nation may face.

This is why the UPSC Prelims and Mains exams stress on the history subject. If you want to ace your UPSC exam, you need to strengthen your history basics first by covering NCERT History Notes. GeeksforGeeks‘ Important Topics of History is curated with all the important topics of history for UPSC that will help you in the UPSC Prelims.

History Notes for UPSC Exams:

The history syllabus for UPSC Exam can be divided into:

  1. History of Ancient India
  2. History of Medieval India
  3. History of Modern India

Important History Notes for UPSC 2024 Prelims and Mains Exams

You can find the important topics of ancient history for UPSC, important topics of medieval history for UPSC, and important topics of modern history for UPSC – everything in the below list for your easy read:

UPSC Prelims History Syllabus

In the below table, you can check the UPSC Prelims History Syllabus:

Indian Heritage & Culture Indian Art Forms
  • Ancient Indian Literature
  • Classical Sanskrit Literature
  • Literature in Pali and Prakrit
  • Early Dravidian Literature
  • Medieval Literature
  • Women Poets of Bhakti
  • Trends in Medieval Literature
  • Modern Indian Literature
  • Harappan Architecture
  • Temple Architecture
  • Cave Architecture
  • Indo-Islamic Architecture
  • Medieval Architecture
  • Modern Architecture
  • Contribution of Buddhism & Jainism to the Development of Indian Architecture
  • Rock-Cut Architecture
  • Colonial Architecture & the Modern Period
Modern Indian History Middle of the Eighteenth Centurytillthe Present
  • Socio-economic Condition of the People
  • European Penetration of India
  • British Conquest of India
  • Socio-economic Condition of the People
  • European Penetration of India
  • British Conquest of India
The Freedom Struggle The Revolt of 1857  
Growth of Nationalism in India (1858–1905)
Growth of Militant Nationalism & Revolutionary Activities (1905–18)
  • Swadeshi & Boycott Movement
  • Surat Split
  • International Influence
  • Morley-Minto Reforms
  • Growth of Communalism
Beginning of Mass Nationalism (1919–39)
Towards Freedom & Partition (1939–47)
Post-Independence Consolidation Nation Building
Foreign Policy
  • Planned Development
  • Green Revolution
    Operation Flood & Cooperatives
  • Agrarian & Land Reforms
  • Industrial Reforms
  • LPG Reforms
  • The Era of One-Party Dominance
  • The Emergence of Opposition Parties
  • Emergency: Crisis of Democratic Order
  • Rise of Regional Parties
  • Coalition Era
History of the World The outbreakIndustrial Revolution
  • Renaissance
  • Discovery of Sea Routes
  • Reformation
  • Counter-Reformation
  • European Nations Settle North America
  • Rise of the Slave Trade
  • American War of Independence
  • French Revolution
  • Nationalism in Europe
  • Rise of Capitalism, Colonialism, and Imperialism
  World War I
  World Between the Two Wars
  • Europe After the War – Fascism & Nazism
  • The Great Depression
  • Emergence of the Soviet Union
  • Nationalist Movements in Asia & Africa
  • The US as a Strong Power
  World War II
  • Fascist Aggression & Response of Western Democracies
  • Outbreak of the War
  • Theatres of the War
  • US Entry into the War
  • Global Nature of the War
  • The Holocaust
  • Resistance Movements
  • After-effects of the War
  Decolonization & Redrawing of National Boundaries
  • Europe after World War II
  • The Cold War
  • Rise of Asia & Africa
  • Developments in West Asia & North Africa
  • Spread of Communism
  • The Korean War
  • The Vietnam War
  • The Cuban Crisis
  • The Collapse of the Soviet Union
  Concept, Types, and Social Impact of Political Philosophies
  • Communism
  • Capitalism
  • Socialism


Since a substantial portion of the subject overlaps between Prelims and Mains, it is best to learn the UPSC history syllabus comprehensively. Make sure to keep these 2 points in your mind while preparing for the UPSC History exam:

  1. To create a solid foundation in History, read NCERTs from Classes VIII to XII. Reading NIOS/IGNOU notes can help you improve your knowledge. The material presented in little boxes in the NCERTs must also be read because direct questions from those snippets are asked in the Prelims.
  2. It is necessary to study the events of history in order; thus, cover them chronologically. Maintain a strict commitment to the syllabus, especially on this topic. Even while perusing reference materials, it is critical to study just the portions pertinent to the UPSC CSE curriculum. Because the UPSC history syllabus is so broad, it must be taught exactly according to the syllabus offered for the Mains test.

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Last Updated : 04 Oct, 2023
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