NET History Syllabus

1. Concepts, Ideas and Terms

Bharatvarsha, Sabha and Samiti






Doctrine of Karma

Dandaniti / Arthasastra



Stupa / Chaitya

Nagara / Dravida / Vesara

Bodhisattva / Tirthankara

Alvars / Nayanars


Kara / Vishti


Memorial Stones



Sulah - i – kul

Maharashtra – Dharma

Turkan - i – Chahlghani


Baluta  Iqta

Jizyah  Madad - i - maash Amaram Raya - Rekho Jangama   Chauth            Hundi (Bills of Exchange)

Sarraf  Polygars


Dastur Mansab (Rank)




Bengal Valshnavism


Shahna - i – Mandi



Indian Renaissance

Economic Drain


Paramountcy   Dyarehy


Utitttarianism  Filtration Theory

Forward Policy

Doctrine of Lapse




Communalism Orientalism

De – industrialisation

Subsidiary Alliance




Mixed Economy

Indian Left

Hindu Code Bill

2. Ancient Indian History


Archaeological Sources

Exploration, excavation, epigraphy, numismatics, monuments

Literary Sources

Indigenous: Primary and Secondary – problems of dating, myths, legends, poetry, scientific literature, literature in regional languages, religious literature.

Foreign accounts: Greek, Chinese and Arab writers.

Pre – history and Proto – history

Man and Environment – geographical factors. Hunting and gathering  (Paleolithic and Mesolithic ) .; Beginning of agriculture ( Neolithic and Chalcolithic ).

Indus Valley Civilization – origin, date, extent, characteristics, decline, survival and significance.

Iron age; Second urbanization.

Vedic Period

Migrations and settlements ; dating the Vedic – Literary and archaealogical, evidences, evolution of social and political institutions ; religious and philosophical ideas, rituals and practices.

Period of Mahqjanapadas

Formation of States ( Mahajanapadas ) ; Republics and Monarchies ; rise of urban centres ; trade routes ; economic growth ; introduction of coinage ; spread of Jainism and Buddhism ; rise of Magadha and Nandas.

Iranian and Macedonian Invasions and their impact.

Malayan Empire

Foundation of the Mauryan Empire, Chandragupta, Kautilya and Arthashastra ; Ashoka ; Concept of Dharma ; Edicts ; Brahmi and Kharosthi scripts.

Administration ; economy ; architecture and sculpture ; external contacts.

Disintegration of the empire ; Sungas and Kanvas.

Post – Mauryan Period ( Indo – Greeks, Sakas, Kushanas, Western Kshatrapas )

Contact with outside world ; growth of urban centres, economy, coinage, development of religions, Mahayana, social conditions, art and architecture, literature and science.

Early state and society – in Eastern India, Deccan and South India

Kharavela, The Satavahanas, Tamil States of the Sangam Age. Administration ; economy, land grants, coinage, trade guilds and urban centres, Buddhist centres, Sangam literature and culture; art and architecture.

Imperial Guptas and Regional States of India

Guptas and Vakatakas, Harsha, Administration, economic conditions, coinage of the Guptas, land grants, decline of urban centres, Indian feudalism, caste system, position of women, education and educational institutions – Nalanda, Vikramshila and Vallabhi, contact with neighbouring countries – Central Asia, South – East Asia and China, Sanskrit literature, scientific literature, art and architecture.

The Kadambas, Gangas, Pallavas and Chalukyas of Badami – Administration, trade guilds, Sanskrit literature and growth of regional languages and scripts ; growth of Vaishnava and Saiva religions. Tamil Bhakti Movement, Shankaracharya – Vedanta ; Institutions of temple and temple architecture.

Varmanas of Kamrup ; Palas and Senas, Rashtrakutas, Pratiharas, Kalachuri – Chedis ; Paramaras ; Chalukyas of Gujarat. Arab contacts – Ghaznavl Conquest, Alberuni.

The Chalukyas of Kalyana, Cholas, Cheras, Hoysalas, Pandyas – Administration and local Government, growth of art and architecture, religious sects, Institution of temple and Mathas, Agraharas, education and literature, economy and society, contact with Sri Lanka and South – East Asia.

3. Medieval Indian History


Archaeological, epigraphic and numismatic materials and monuments.


Literary sources – Persian, Sanskrit and Regional languages.

Archival materials.

Foreign travellers accounts.

Political Developments

The Sultanate – the Ghorids, the Turks, the Khaljis, the Tughlaqs, the Sayyids and the Lodis.

Foundation of the Mughal Empire – Babur, Humayun and the Suris ; expansion from Akbar to Aurangzeb.

Decline of the Mughal empire – political, administrative and economic causes.

Later Mughals and disintegration of the Mughal empire.

The Vijayanagara and the Bahmanis – rise, expansion and disintegration.

The Maratha movement, the foundation of Swaraj by Shivaji ; its expansion under the Peshwas ; Maratha Confederacy – causes of decline.


Administration under the Sultanate – civil, judicial, revenue, fiscal and military.

Sher Shahs administrative reforms ; Mughal administration – land revenue and other sources of income ; Mansabdari and Jagirdaii.

Administrative system in the Deccan – the Vijayanagara, the Bahmanis and the Marathas.

Economic Aspects

Agricultural production – village economy ; peasantry.

Urban centres and population.

Industries – cotton textiles, handicrafts, agro – based industries, organisation, factories, technology.

Trade and commerce – State policies, internal and external trade ; European trade, trade centres and ports, transport and communication.

Financing trade, commerce and industries ; Hundi ( Bills of Exchange ) and Insurance.


Socio – religious Movements

The Sufis – their orders, beliefs and practices, the leading Sufi saints.

Bhakti cult – Shaivism and its branches ; Vaishnavism and its branches.

The Saints of the medieval period – north and south – their impact on socio – political and religious life.

The Sikh movement – Guru Nanak Dev and his teachings and practices, Adi Granth ; the Khalsa.


Classification – ruling class, major religious groups, the mercantile and professional classes.

Rural society – petty chieftains, village officials, cultivators and non-cultivating classes, artisans.

Position of women.

Cultural Life

System of Educational and its motivations.

Literature – Persian, Sanskrit and Regional languages.

Fine Arts – Major schools of painting ; music.

Architectural developments of North and South India ; Indo-Islamic architecture.

4. Modern Indian History

Sources and Historiography:

Archival materials, biographies and memories, newspapers.

Oral evidence, creative literature and painting.

Concerns in Modern Indian Historiography – Imperialist, Nationalist. Marxist and Subaltern.

Rise of British Power

European traders in India in the 17th and 18th centuries – Portuguese, Dutch, French and the British.

The establishment and expansion of British dominion in India.

British relations with and subjugation of the principal Indian Powers – Bengal, Oudh, Hyderabad, Mysore, Marathas and the Sikhs.

Administration of the Company and Crown

Evolution of central and provincial structure under the East India Company, 1773 – 1853.

Paramountcy, Civil Service, Judiciary, Police and the Army under the Company and Crown.

Local Self – Government

Constitutional changes, 1909 – 1935.

Economic History

Changing composition, volume and direction of trade ; The Tribute. Expansion and commercialisation of agriculture, land rights, land settlements, rural indebtedness, landless labour.

Decline of industries – changing socio – economic conditions of artisans ; De – urbanisation.

British Industrial Policy; major modern industries ; nature of factory legislation ; labour and trade union movements.

Monetary policy, banking, currency and exchange, Railways and Road Transport.

Growth of new urban centres ; new features of town planning and architecture.

Famines, and epidemics and the government policy.

Economic Thought – English utilitarians; Indian economic historians ; the Drain theory.

Indian Society in Transition

Contact with Christianity – the Missions; critique of Indian social and economic practices and religious beliefs ; educational and other activities.

The New Education – Government policy; levels and contents .English language ; modern science ; Indian initiatives in education.

Raja Rammohan Roy ; socio – religious reforms ; emergence of middle class ; caste associations and caste mobility.

Womens Question – Nationalist Discourse; Womens Organisations ; British legislation concerning women ; Constitutional position.

The Printing Press – journalistic activity and the public opinion.

Modernisation of Indian languages and literary forms – reorientation in painting, music and performing arts.

National Movement

Rise of Indian nationalism, social and economic bases of nationalism.

Revolt of 1857 and different social classes.

Tribal and peasant movements.

Ideologies and programs of the Indian National Congress, 1885 – 1920.

Trends in Swadeshi movement.

Ideologies and programs of Indian revolutionaries in India and abroad.

Gandhian Mass Movements.

Ideology and program of the Justice Party.

Left Wing

Movement of the Depressed classes.

Communal politics and genesis of Pakistan.

Towards Independence and Partition.

India after Independence (1947 – 1964)

Rehabilitation after Partition.

Integration of the Indian States ; The Kashmir Question.

The making of the Indian Constitution.

The structure of Bureaucracy and the Policy.

The demographic trends.

Economic policies and the planning process.

Linguistic reorganisation of States.

Foreign policy initiatives.

World History: Concepts, Ideas and Terms

Pre – history

Burial Practices

Mother – Goddess

Law codes

Athenian Democracy  Imperial Rome




Manorial system

Black Death



Enlightened Despotism

Divine Right

Supremacy of Church Holy Roman Empire

Social Contract and General Will

Nation States  Renaissance



Great Depression (1929)


Non - alignment Parliamentary






Balance of Power


Rights of Man Cold War

Post - modernism

Research in History

Scope and value of History

Objectivity and Bias in History

History and its auxiliary sciences

Area of research – proposed

Sources – Primary / secondary in the proposed area of research

Modern Historical Writing in the researchers area of research

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