For all those appearing in Main Examination in 2017 with history optional:

  1. We will be giving questions for daily practise for 2 months (from 30 July to 30 September) and upload good answers next day.
  2. We will try to cover important chapters which are more useful for exams though I do not promise to cover all topics.
  3. We will also try to give important map based questions which may come in 2017 exam.
  4. Apart from typing in comment box, you can also send your answers on email id in pdf format and we will try to send you feedback asap. Those appearing in test series will get their answers of daily questions certainly evaluated on priority basis. Others might not get their answers evaluated if time and manpower don’t permit.
  5. We are conducting an online test series for history optional for 2017 mains exam with 4 part test (one each of world, modern, ancient and medieval) and 1 full test. It will start from 15th August. (You can send your interest on Those appearing in test series will also be provided solutions of important questions of previous years apart from high quality test paper evaluation and high quality solutions.
  6. A team of anonymous three with outstanding knowledge of history and with high scores in history optional (311, 273 and 272) has been entrusted for the task of all plans. Screenshot of their CSE-2016 marksheet is being attached here:





  1. 30 July to 15 August: World History
  2. 16 August to 31 August: Modern India
  3. 1 September to 15 September: Medieval India
  4. 16 September to 30 September: Ancient India (Map based questions can be given any time during August and September)

World History (30 July to 15 August)

30 July to 31 July

  • Enlightenment and Modern ideas: (i) Major ideas of Enlightenment: Kant, Rousseau (ii) Spread of Enlightenment in the colonies (iii) Rise of socialist ideas (up to Marx); spread of Marxian Socialism.
  • Industrialization: (i) English Industrial Revolution: Causes and Impact on Society (ii) Industrialization in other countries: USA, Germany, Russia, Japan (iii) Industrialization and Globalization.

1 August to 3 August

  • Origins of Modern Politics: (i) European States System. (ii) American Revolution and the Constitution. (iii) French revolution and aftermath, 1789-1815. (iv) American Civil War with reference to Abraham Lincoln and the abolition of slavery. (v) British Democratic Politics, 1815- 1850; Parliamentary Reformers, Free Traders, Chartists.

4 August, 5 August and 7 August

  • Nation-State System: (i) Rise of Nationalism in 19th century (ii) Nationalism: state-building in Germany and Italy (iii) Disintegration of Empires in the face of the emergence of nationalities across the world.
  • Revolution and Counter Revolution: (i) 19th Century European revolutions (ii) The Russian Revolution of 1917-1921 (iii) Fascist Counter-Revolution, Italy and Germany. (iv) The Chinese Revolution of 1949

8 August to 10 August

  • World Wars: (i) 1st and 2nd World Wars as Total Wars: Societal implications (ii) World War I: Causes and consequences (iii) World War II: Causes and consequence
  • The World after World War II: (i) Emergence of two power blocs (ii) Emergence of Third World and non-alignment (iii) UNO and the global disputes.

11 August to 12 August

  • Unification of Europe: (i) Post War Foundations: NATO and European Community (ii) Consolidation and Expansion of European Community (iii) European Union.
  • Disintegration of Soviet Union and the Rise of the Unipolar World: (i) Factors leading to the collapse of Soviet communism and the Soviet Union, 1985-1991 (ii) Political Changes in Eastern Europe 1989-2001. (iii) End of the cold war and US ascendancy in the World as the lone superpower.

13 August: SUNDAY

14 August to 15 August

  • Imperialism and Colonialism: (i) South and South-East Asia (ii) Latin America and South Africa (iii) Australia (iv) Imperialism and free trade: Rise of neo-imperialism.
  • Liberation from Colonial Rule: (i) Latin America-Bolivar (ii) Arab World-Egypt (iii) Africa-Apartheid to Democracy (iv) South-East Asia-Vietnam
  • Decolonization and Underdevelopment: (i) Factors constraining development: Latin America, Africa


MODERN INDIA (16 August to 31 August)

Questions will be asked in the following sequence

16, 17 and 18 August

European Penetration into India: The Early European Settlements; The Portuguese and the Dutch; The English and the French East India Companies; Their struggle for supremacy; Carnatic Wars; Bengal -The conflict between the English and the Nawabs of Bengal; Siraj and the English; The Battle of Plassey; Significance of Plassey.

British Expansion in India: Bengal – Mir Jafar and Mir Kasim; The Battle of Buxar; Mysore; The Marathas; The three Anglo-Maratha Wars; The Punjab.

Early Structure of the British Raj: The early administrative structure; From diarchy to direct control; The Regulating Act (1773); The Pitt’s India Act (1784); The Charter Act (1833); The voice of free trade and the changing character of British colonial rule; The English utilitarian and India.

19, 21 and 22 August

Economic Impact of British Colonial Rule: (a) Land revenue settlements in British India; The Permanent Settlement; Ryotwari Settlement; Mahalwari Settlement; Economic impact of the revenue arrangements; Commercialization of agriculture; Rise of landless agrarian labourers; Impoverishment of the rural society. (b) Dislocation of traditional trade and commerce; De-industrialisation; Decline of traditional crafts; Drain of wealth; Economic transformation of India; Railroad and communication network including tele-graph and postal services; Famine and poverty in the rural interior; European business enterprise and its limitations.

Social and Cultural Developments: The state of indigenous education, its dislocation; Orientalist-Anglicist controversy, The introduction of western education in India; The rise of press, literature and public opinion; The rise of modern vernacular literature; Progress of science; Christian missionary activities in India.

23, 24 and 25 August

Social and Religious Reform movements in Bengal and Other Areas: Ram Mohan Roy, The Brahmo Movement; Devendranath Tagore; Iswarchandra Vidyasagar; The Young Bengal Movement; Dayanada Saraswati; The social reform movements in India including Sati, widow remarriage, child marriage etc.; The contribution of Indian renaissance to the growth of modern India; Islamic revivalism – the Feraizi and Wahabi Movements.

Indian Response to British Rule: Peasant movements and tribal uprisings in the 18th and 19th centuries including the Rangpur Dhing (1783), the Kol Rebellion (1832), the Mopla Rebellion in Malabar (1841-1920), the Santal Hul (1855), Indigo Rebellion (1859-60), Deccan Uprising (1875) and the Munda Ulgulan (1899-1900); The Great Revolt of 1857 – Origin, character, causes of failure, the consequences; The shift in the character of peasant uprisings in the post-1857 period; the peasant movements of the 1920s and 1930s.

Factors leading to the birth of Indian Nationalism; Politics of Association; The Foundation of the Indian National Congress; The Safety-valve thesis relating to the birth of the Congress; Programme and objectives of Early Congress; the social composition of early Congress leadership; the Moderates and Extremists; The Partition of Bengal (1905); The Swadeshi Movement in Bengal; the economic and political aspects of Swadeshi Movement; The beginning of revolutionary extremism in India.

27, 28 and 29  August

Rise of Gandhi; Character of Gandhian nationalism; Gandhi’s popular appeal; Rowlatt Satyagraha; the Khilafat Movement; the Non-cooperation Movement; National politics from the end of the Non-cooperation movement to the beginning of the Civil Disobedience movement; the two phases of the Civil Disobedience Movement; Simon Commission; The Nehru Report; the Round Table Conferences; Nationalism and the Peasant Movements; Nationalism and Working class movements; Women and Indian youth and students in Indian politics (1885-1947); the election of 1937 and the formation of ministries; Cripps Mission; the Quit India Movement; the Wavell Plan; The Cabinet Mission.

Constitutional Developments in the Colonial India between 1858 and 1935

Other strands in the National Movement The Revolutionaries: Bengal, the Punjab, Maharashtra, U.P, the Madras Presidency, Outside India. The Left; The Left within the Congress: Jawaharlal Nehru, Subhas Chandra Bose, the Congress Socialist Party; the Communist Party of India, other left parties.

30 and 31 August

  1. Politics of Separatism; the Muslim League; the Hindu Mahasabha; Communalism and the politics of partition; Transfer of power; Independence.
  2. Consolidation as a Nation; Nehru’s Foreign Policy; India and her neighbours (1947-1964); The linguistic reorganisation of States (1935-1947); Regionalism and regional inequality; Integration of Princely States; Princes in electoral politics; the Question of National Language.
  3. Caste and Ethnicity after 1947; Backward castes and tribes in post-colonial electoral politics; Dalit movements.
  4. Economic development and political change; Land reforms; the politics of planning and rural reconstruction; Ecology and environmental policy in post – colonial India; Progress of science.




  1. sir please dont remove answers of previous years questions… we use it for quick revision after completion of reading a topic and practice accordingly…sir it helped in 2016mains..its humble request to add those answers.


  2. sir please dont remove answers of previous years questions.. we use it for quick revision after completion of a helped in 2016mains immensely. its very humble request to upload those answers back.


  3. Sir may i mail scanned copies of my answers for evaluation?
    Due to paucity of time i may be not able to follow you everyday but will try to start answer writing. I am giving mains this year. Gave mains in 2014, 2016 but got very poor marks 178(p1+p2=99+78)both times.
    As a working professional unable to provide enough time for preparation.
    Please guide me!


  4. Dear Sir,
    We appreciate your efforts highly. Please consider the following two suggestions for this initiative in general and for your follwing comment specifically: “Answers of previous years questions have been removed for this particular exercise. Also these answers were fraudulently used by inscrupulous coaching institutes in their test series for commercial purpose.”
    1. Answers provided for some of the previous year questions were a guide to new entrants who are right now finding it difficult to even relate the question to the topics of syllabus. THE ANSWERS WERE OF GREAT HELP FOR WORKING PROFESSIONALS. In this reference this initiative can be more fruitful if used for answering the questions which were not answered earlier and numerous followers of “selfstudyhistory” have been requesting for the same since a long time.
    2. Coming to inscrupulous coaching institutes – intitiative like yours and others like insightsonindia, mrunal, unacedamy etc. are already making them redundant. If coaching institutes have used your answers in their test series this means that they have already copied all of them. Non-availability of these answers now is only affecting students.
    No doubt you are the best judge for future course of action, but kindly consider our request of enabling back the solutions and solving unanswered questions through daily practice exercise.
    Thanks & Regards.


  5. could you please guide me how to approach History optional sir? I do not have any formal coaching institutes near by my place . i started preparing for UPSC on my own two years back. I am fond of History optional sir but lacking proper guidance. I can not afford coaching due to paucity of time and money.Moreover i could donate what ever i could.


  6. sir pls reintroduce previous years answer…..many part i’hv prepared from these only…..i can’t go for new material due to paucity of time….without these i will be doomed …please sir reconsider


      • sir belonging from a very poor background.. i can not afford 10000…..i’m following you for last 2years… chosen history as optional due to this site… so that i can self prepare( as i can not afford coaching)…relied completely on you ….sir, could clear prelims for the first time in my 4th attempt….pls do something so that all our combined effort are not ruined.


  7. Sir could yo please guide me for taking history as an optional subject…..
    I am taking history as an optional ….But lack of resources I did not attend any coaching classes….so please me proper guidance sir
    Thank you sir


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