Our notes for General Studies paper 1 will include the extensive analysis on following topics

We have typically the synthesized the syllabus mentioned by UPSC for mains and prepared notes based on the previous years questioning pattern.

This is static portion of syllabus that won’t change much with the time.

Static doesn’t mean that you will get direct factual questions.

Most of the questions of GS 1 will be based on opinion.



We can divide paper 1 syllabus broadly as 

  1. Indian art and Culture
  2. Modern Indian History
  3. Post Indian Independence History
  4. World History
  5. Indian Society
  6. Physical geography, Economic Geography, World Geography and Indian geography


1. Indian culture : The salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times

Each topic is supported by previous years questions, so as to understand nature of questions that UPSC asks.

 Visual Arts

A.Indian Architecture, Sculpture and Pottery

  • Harappan Art and Architecture
  • Mauryan Art and Architecture
  • Post Mauryan Art and Architecture
  • Gupta age Art and Architecture
  • South Indian Art and Architecture
  • Delhi Sulthanate Art and Architecture
  • Mughal Art and Architecture
  • Indo-Gothic style Art and Architecture
  • Neo- Roman style art and Architecture

B. Prehistoric Rock Paintings and Indian paintings

  • Upper Paleolithic Period paintings
  • Mesolithic Period paintings
  • Chalcolithic Period paintings
  • Mural paintings in India
  • Chola paintings
  • Hoysala paintings
  • Vijayanagara paintings
  • Chera paitings
  • Regional school of paintings( In detail)

C. Indian Handicrafts

  • Various crafts, jewellers , stone wares



Performing ARTS

A. Indian Music

  • Introduction
  • History of Indian Music
  • Anatomy of Indian Music
  • Classification of Indian Music
  • Pop Music
  • Musical Instruments
  • Modern Developments in Music
  • Hindustani Classical Music
  • Carnatic Classical Music
  • Regional Music
  • Musical Instruments

B. Indian Dance Forms

  • Background
  • Aspects of Dance
  • Classical Dances
  • Bharatnatyam Dance
  • Kathakali Dance
  • Kathak Dance
  • Manipuri Dance
  • Odissi Dance
  • Kuchipudi Dance
  • Sattriya Dance
  • Mohiniyattam Dance
  • Folk Dances of India


C. Indian Theatre

  • Classical theatre
  • Folk theatre

D. Indian Puppetry

  • Origin
  • Various types of puppetry

 E. Indian Circus

  • The Great Indian Circus
  • Keeleri Kunhikanan
  • Major Circus Companies in India
  • Circus: A Marginal Industry
  • Possible Remedies

F. Languages in India

  • Introduction
  • Classification of Indian Languages
  • Official Languages of. India
  • Status of Classical Language
  • National Translation Mission

G. Religions in India

  • Introduction
  • Hinduism
  • Jainism
  • Buddhism
  • Islam
  • Christianity
  • Sikhism
  • Zoroastrianism
  • Judaism

H. Indian Literature

  • Introduction
  • Literature in Ancient India
  • Medieval Literature
  • Modern Literature

I. Schools of Philosophy

J. Indian Cinema

  • Introduction
  • History of Indian Cinema
  • Recent Film Controversies
  • Indian Cinematography Act of 1952

K. Science and Technology through the Ages.

  • Introduction
  • Mathematics
  • Medicine
  • Physics and Chemistry
  • Ship Building and Navigation

L. Calendars In India

  • Introduction
  • Classification of Indian Calendar Forms
  • National Calendar of India

M. Fairs and Festivals of India

  • Introduction
  • Religious Festivals
  • Secular Festivals
  • Festivals of North-East India

N. Martial Art in India

O. Cultural Institutions in India

  • Introduction
  • The Archaeological Survey of India
  • Crafts Council of India
  • Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts
  • All India Radio
  • Nehru Memorial Museum & Library
  • Centre for Cultural Resources and Training
  • National Archives of India
  • Indian Council for Cultural Relations
  • Directorate of Film Festivals
  • Indian Council of Historical Research
  • National Mission for Manuscripts
  • Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (Intach)
  • Sahitya Academy
  • Sangeet Natak Academy
  • Lalit Kala Academy


Note: This topic will be updated with recently in news articles . We cover very important updates from The Hindu_ Friday review which contains recent updates on Art , history culture, Dance , Music so on.

Dynamic part of this portion of syllabus is updated regularly in our current affairs as per availability of news.

It is important to study our static materials but it is more important to know and guess what topics are important for the respective year.




  • CCRT ( Indian performing arts)

  • CCRT ( Indian visual arts)

  • Indian Literature through ages

  • Tamil Nadu Class 11th book

  • Old NCERT class 11th Fine arts

    2. Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues. The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country


  • The Portuguese
  • The English
  • The Dutch
  • The French

           Commercial Policy of European East-India Companies

  • Commercial Policy of Portuguese East~India Company
  • Commercial Policy of Dutch East-India Company
  • Commercial Policy of British East-India Company
  • Commercial Policy of French East~India Company

Incorporation of India in to the Capitalist World and Economic Ruin of India

  1. Entry of India into the Capitalist World
  2. Economic Wrecking of India
  3. Commercialization of Agriculture under British
  4. Rural Indebtedness


1. Early Peshwas

  • Balaji Vishwanatha
  • Baji Rao
  • Balaji Baji Rao
  • Third Battle of Panipat

2.Anglo-Maratha Relations

  • First Anglo-Maratha War
  • Second Anglo Maratha War
  • Third Angio-Maratha War

3.Maratha characteristics

4.Sikhs and their cultural developments

  • Ranjith singh
  • British Expansion in Punjab



1. Anglo-French Rivalry for Supremacy

  • First Carnatic War (Arcot)
  • Second Carnatic War (Arcot)
  • Third Camatic War (Arcot)

2. Foundation of British Empire by East India Company

  • Diplomatic Wars and Expansion
  • Expansion under Subsidiary Military Alliances
  • Expansion Through Doctrine of Lapse
  • Kingdoms occupied under Bad Administration

3. British in Bengal and Beginning of Their Administration

  • Battle of Plassey
  • Plunder of Bengal
  • Battle of Buxar
  • Double Government in Bengal (Structure of Govt.)

4. Creation of presidencies

  • Madras Presidency
  • Bombay Presidency
  • Bengal Presidency
  • Governor General and supreme Government in Bengal

5. Anglo-Mysore Relations

  • First Anglo-Mysore War
  • Second Anglo-Mysore War
  • Third Anglo-Mysore War
  • Fourth Anglo-Mysore War

6. British Administrative System

 A. Administrative Reforms

  • i) Civil Administration
  • ii) Military and Police Organisation
  •  iii)Judicial Administration

B. Civil service

C. Rule of law

7. Structure of the Government (Constitutional Development)

  • The Regulating Act of 1773
  • Pits India Act of 1784
  • Charter Act of 1793
  • Charter Act of 1813 K
  • Charter Act of 1833
  • Charter Act of 1853

8. Revolt of 1857 ( First war of Indian independence)

Causes for the Revolt

  • Political Causes ‘ A
  • Economic Causes
  • Religious Causes
  • Social Causes
  • Military Causes
  • Causes for its Failure

9. Queen’s Proclamation of 1858

  • Salient Features of Queen’s Proclamation
  • Importance of Magna-Carta of India
  • Indian Administration under the Queen

10. British Land Revenue System (Policy) or Mechanism

  • Zamindari System
  • Rayatwari System
  • Mirasdari System
  • Mahalwari System

11. British Economic Policies 1757-1947

12. Economic and Commercial Policy

  • Free Trade Policy
  • Protective Trade Policy
  • Economic Impact(Drain of India’s Wealth to Britain)

13. Transport and Communication

  • Roads
  • Ship Ways
  • Indian Railways
  • Air ways
  • Communication

14. Famines and Relief Policy

  • Cause for Famines
  • Major Famines
  • Famine Relief Schemes

14. Spread ‘Of Modern Education

  • William Bentink and English Education
  • Women’s Education

15. Indian Renaissance in the 19th century

  • Brahma Samaj
  • Prarthana Samaj
  • Arya Samaj
  • Ramakrishna Paramahamsa
  • Swami Vivekananda
  • Ramakrishna Mission
  • The Theosophical Society
  • Devaband Movement
  • Pan-Islamic Movement
  • Aligadh Movement
  • Sikh Movement
  • Jyothi Rao Phule
  • Narayana Guru

16. Self-respect Movement in south




1. The Rise of Indian Nationalism

2. Indian National Congress

i) Safety Valve Theory

ii) British Attitude towards the Congress

3. Moderates and Extremists

A) Moderates

B) Extremists

C) Contrast between Moderates and Extremists

4. Swadeshi Movement

5. Reactionary Trend in National Struggle

Aligadh and Muslim Reactionary Trend

Hindu Maha Sabha and Reactionary Trend

6. The Revolutionary Movement (First Stage)

Madanlal Dhingra

Khudiram Bose I

7. Two Home Rule (League) Movements


Moderate Home Rule Movement : Dr. Anne Besant

Extremist Home Rule Movement : B.G. Tilak


5. GANDHIAN ERA : 1919-48

1.Early Life of Gandhiji

2. Gandhiji in South Africa: Natal

3. Early Experiments of Satyagraha in India

4. RowlatAct : Jalianwalabagh Tragedy

5. Non Cooperation Movement

6. Swaraj Party

7. Civil Disobedience Movement (First Phase)

i) Dandi March : Salt Satyagraha

8. Constitutional Efforts in Attaining Independence

Simon Commission

Motilal Nehru Report

Round Table Conferences

9. Revolutionary Movement (Second Phase)

Bhagat Singh

Chandrashekhar Azad

VD. Savarkar

Kalpana Dutt

Kum. ijala

Mrs. Aruna Asaf Ali

Bupendranath Dutta

Aravinda Ghosh

10. Civil Disobedience Movement (Second Phase)

i) Poona Pact

11. Leftist Movements

Congress Socialist Party

Kisan Sabha

The Communist Party

Forward Block

Labour Movements


 12. General Elections of 1937

1. Achievements of Congress Ministers

2.Nationalism During 11 World War

i) Muslim League 1 Demand for Partition

ii) Cripps Mission

iii) Quit India Movement

3.The Role of Social Revolutionaries

INA Trials

Two Nation Theory

4. Lord Mountbatten and his plans

5. Indian Independence Act and Partition

Partition of India

Indian Independence Act

Radcliffe and Two Boundary Commissions

i) Was Partition Inevitable?

ii) Muhammad Ali J innah-and Partition of India

6. Indian Administrative Reforms (Constitutional Development)

Indian Council Act of 1861

Indian Council Act of 1892

Indian Council Act of 1909 (Minto-Morley Reforms)

Indian Council Act of 1919

Indian Government Act of 1935 (The White Paper)

All India Federation

Provincial Autonomy

7. Development of Education and Reforms (1857-1947)

BR. Ambedkar

Ambedkar as the Chief Architect of Constitution

Ambedkar and Dalit Movement

8. The Indian Press

The British Governors and Governor’s General



Spectrum’s Comprehensive History of Modern India

Old and New NCERT books

TamilNadu board books



3. Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country

  1. Partition and Integration of Princely States
  2. Making of the Constitution
  3. The Nehru Era (1947–1964)
  4. Lal Bahadur Shastri (1964–1966)
  5. Indira Gandhi Tenure and Emergency (1969–1984)
  6. The Rajiv Gandhi’s Tenure and Era of Coliation (1984–1991
  7. India From 1991 to 1998
  8. A.B. Vajpayee Tenure (NDA-I)
  9. Manmohan Singh Tenure (UPA I & II)
  10. Overview of Economic & Foreign Policy since 1991
  11. Time Line Since 1947
  12. Post Independence Consolidation and Reorganization



Bipin Chandra’s India Since Independence

Old and New NCERTs


4. History of the world


  • Development of Industrial Revolution
  • Types of industrial Revolution
  • Scientific and Technological Background of industrial
  • Revolution
  • Effects of Industrial Revolution
  • Significance of Industrial Revolution
  • Continuance of Industrial Revolution


  • Background of American Revolution
  • Causes of American Revolution
  • Important Events Leading to Declaration of independence
  • American Constitution and Bill of Rights
  • Significance of American Revolution


  • Introduction of French Society
  • Causes of French Revolution
  • Ideological Basis for Revolution
  • Napoleon as the Child of the Revolution
  • Congress of Vienna (1813)
  • Significance of French Revolution


  • Nationalism in Italy and Germany
  • Hurdles to Italian Unification
  • Unification of Germany
  • Unification of Germany After (1862) and Role of
  • Bismarck
  • Comparison Between Bismarck and Cavour


  • USA
  • Japan
  • Asia, Africa and Latin America
  • Background to First World War
  • Scope of the War
  • Revolutionary Movement in Russia


  • Dictated Peace and Treaty of Versailles
  • Development in Russia
  • Development in Asia
  • Development in Africa and Latin America
  • Development in Europe
  • Development in Britain, France, Portugal and Spain


  • Events Leading to Second World War
  • Causes of Second World War
  • Harsh and Humiliating Treaty of Versailles
  • Impact of the Second World War


  • Dumbarton Oaks Conference
  • Cold War
  • End of Cold War and Break up of USSR
  • Revolt Against Autocracy in Eastern Europe
  • India and the Cold War
  • Israel as a Bone of Contention


  • Imperialism the Concept
  • Different Methods of Control
  • Impact of Colonialism
  • Decolonisation and imperialism
  • Decolonisation
  • Decolonisation in Arab Countries


  • Capitalism
  • Evolution of Capitalism
  • Criticism of Capitalism
  • Corrective Measures
  • Political Philosophies in Modern World
  • Critique of Capitalism
  • Socialism


Mastering World History

Contemporary world History( NCERT)


5. Indian Society

  • Caste System Prevalence
  • Religion
  • Family and Kinship
  • Diversity
  • Gender Specific Practices
  • Impact of Patriarchy on Women
  • Role of Women in Ancient India
  • Role of Women in Medieval India
  • Role of Women in Modern India
  • Role of individual Woman
  • Impact of Culture on Status of Women
  • Role of Women’s Organisation
  • Important Women Organisations
  • Characteristics of Population
  • Demographic Profile of India
  • Causes of Migration
  • Reasons for Migration
  • Issues Related to Sex Ratio
  • Policy Issues
  • Poverty as a Social Problem
  • Types of Poverty
  • Causes of Poverty
  • Concept of Development
  • Indicators of Development
  • Human Development Report 2014
  • Urbanization in India
  • Evolution of the Process of Urbanization
  • Effects of Urbanization in India
  • Problems of Urbanization
  • State Policies of Resolve the Urban Problems
  • Effects of Globalization on Indian Society
  • What is Women Empowerment?
  • Problems of Working Women
  • Actions Taken to Empower Women
  • Economics Empowerment of Women
  • Scheduled Castes and Empowerment
  • Scheduled Tribes and Empowerment
  • Legislative Provisions for Empowerment of STS
  • Schemes for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities

Dynamic part of this portion of syllabus is updated regularly in our current affairs as per availability of news.

It is important to study our static materials but it is more important to know and guess what topics are important for the respective year.


Indian society by Ram Ahuja

Old and New NCERTs


6. Geography



  • Our Solar System
  • Origin and Evolution of the Earth
  • interior of the Earth
  • Earthquake
  • Volcanoes and Volcanic Land forms
  • Distribution of Oceans and Continents
  • Plate Tectonics
  • Rocks
  • Rock Cycle
  • Forces Affecting Earth’s Crust
  • Faulting
  • Glaciers
  • Wind
  • Wave
  • Soils


  • Composition of Atmosphere
  • Insolation and Temperature Variations
  • Heat Budget
  • Atmospheric Pressure
  • Wind System
  • Jet Streams
  • Humidity
  • Evaporation and Condensation
  • Clouds
  • Precipitation
  • Climatic Regions of the World
  • Fronts
  • Mid- Latitude Cyclones or Temperate Cyclones or Extra
  • Tropical Cyclones
  • Mid – Latitude Anti- Cyclones



  • Origin of Ocean Basins
  • General Profile and Relief of Atlantic Ocean
  • General Profile and Relief of Pacific Ocean
  • Temperature of the Oceans
  • Salinity of the Oceans
  • Tides
  • Ocean Currents
  • Tsunami
  • Hydrological Cycle
  • Coral Reefs


  • India as Geographical Unit
  • Rock System Based on Geological History of India
  • Achaean Rock System (Pre-Cambrian Rocks)
  • Dravidian Rock System (Palaeozoic)
  • Aryan Rock System
  • Major Physical Divisions of India
  • Division of the Himalayas
  • Himalayan Ranges
  • Middle or the Lesser Himalaya
  • The Great Himalaya
  • The Trans Himalayas
  • Purvanchal or Eastern Hills
  • Syntaxial Bends of the Himalayas
  • Himalayas – Regional Divisions
  • Important Valleys in Himalayas
  • Snow in Himalayas – Snowline
  • Glaciers in Himalayas
  • Significance of the Himalayas
  • Main Passes of the Himalayas
  • Formation of Indo – Gangetic – Brahmaputra Plain
  • Features of Indo – Gangetic – Brahmaputra Plain
  • Geomorphological features of Indo – Gangetic – Brahmaputra Plain
  • Regional Divisions of the Great Plains
  • Significance of the Plain
  • Peninsular Plateau
  • Minor Plateaus in the Peninsular Plateau
  • Deccan Plateau
  • Hill Ranges of the Peninsular Plateau
  • Coastline of India – Indian Coastline
  • Coastlines
  • Western Coastal Plains of India
  • Eastern Coastal Plains of India
  • Significance of the Coastal Plains
  • Indian Islands
  • Andaman and Nicobar islands
  • Lakshadweep Islands
  • New Moore Island
  • Drainage basin
  • Drainage patterns
  • Discordant drainage patterns
  • Concordant Drainage Patterns
  • Contribution of Water by Various Rivers
  • Classification of Drainage Systems of India
  • Major River System or Drainage Systems in India
  • Himalayan River Systems
  • Indus River System
  • Indus River
  • Major Tributaries of Indus River
  • Indus water treaty
  • Ganga River System
  • Ganga River
  • Right Bank Tributaries of the Ganga
  • Left Bank Tributaries of the Ganga River
  • Brahmaputra River System
  • Peninsular River System or Peninsular Drainage
  • Evolution of the Peninsular Drainage
  • Peninsular River Systems
  • Himalayan River System vs. Peninsular River System
  • East Flowing Peninsular Rivers
  • Mahanadi River
  • Godavari River
  • Krishna River
  • Cauvery River
  • Subarnarekha
  • West Flowing Rivers of The Peninsular India
  • Estuary
  • Narmada River
  • Tapti River
  • Sabarmati River
  • Mahi River
  • Luni River
  • West flowing Rivers of the Sahyadris (Western Ghats)
  • Ghaggar River – Inland Drainage
  • Usability of Rivers
  • Indian Monsoons
  • Mechanism of Indian Monsoons
  • Indian Monsoons – Classical Theory: Sir Edmund Halley’s Theory
  • Indian Monsoons – Modern theory: Air Mass Theory
  • Indian Monsoon Mechanism – Jet Stream Theory
  • Indian Monsoon Mechanism – Role of Sub-Tropical Jet Stream (STJ)
  • Indian Monsoons – Role of Tropical Easterly Jet (TEJ) [African Easterly Jet]
  • Indian Monsoons – Role of Tibet
  • Indian Monsoons – Role of Somali Jet
  • Indian Monsoons – Role of Indian Ocean Dipole
  • How Jet Streams affect the Monsoons in the Indian Sub-Continent?
  • Projects to understand monsoons
  • Western Disturbances
  • Cloudburst in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand
  • What type of Climate Does India Have?
  • Features of Indian Climate
  • Factors Influencing Indian Climate
  • Indian Climate – Seasons
  • Winter Season in India
  • Summer Season in India
  • Rainy Season – South West Monsoon Season
  • North East Monsoon Season – Retreating Monsoon Season
  • Annual Rainfall [South West Monsoons + Retreating Monsoons]
  • Climatic Regions of India
  • Stamp’s Classification of Climatic Regions of India
  • Koeppen’s Classification of Climatic Regions of India
  • Natural Vegetation of India
  • Classification Of Natural Vegetation of India
  • Moist Tropical Forests
  • Dry Tropical Forests
  • Montane Sub-Tropical Forests
  • Montane Temperate Forests
  • Alpine Forests
  • Soil
  • Soil Types – Sandy-Clayey-Loamy
  • Soil Profile – Soil Horizon
  • Factors that influence soil formation in Indian Conditions
  • Major Soil Groups of India
  • Alluvial Soils
  • Black Soils
  • Red Soils
  • Laterite – Lateritic Soils
  • Forest – Mountain Soils
  • Arid – Desert Soils
  • Saline – Alkaline Soils
  • Peaty – Marshy Soils
  • Characteristics of Indian Soils
  • Problems Of Indian Soils
  • Soil Degradation
  • Soil Erosion
  • Extent Of Soil Erosion In India
  • Factors affecting Soil Erosion
  • Effects of Soil Erosion
  • Deforestation
  • Overgrazing
  • Faulty Methods of Agriculture
  • Soil Salinity and Soil Alkalinity
  • Desertification
  • Waterlogging
  • Soil Conservation