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Updated CBSE UGC NET Syllabus for Indian Culture

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CBSE has revised the pattern and scheme of the exam from July 2018. The pattern of the exam has been changed from 3 papers (Paper I, II & III) to 2 papers (Paper I & II). There are no changes in the pattern of paper 1, but paper 2 & paper 3 has been merged into One paper.


Hence, there will be only one question paper in CBSE UGC NET Exam in Indian Culture, called Paper 2. Paper 2 (Paper II) will have 100 Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) with each question carrying two (2) marks i.e. 200 marks in total. All questions are compulsory in the papers. The objective type questions will include multiple choices, matching type, true / false and assertion-reasoning type etc.

For CBSE UGC NET aspirants, we have merged the entire Syllabi of Paper II and Paper III of the subject of Indian Culture.



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Unit – 1. Meaning and process of culture; Sources – Acrhaeology, Literature, Foreign accounts.

Unit – 2. Early Human Settlements in India

Pre – and proto – historic cultures, Rise of India’s main language families Indo – Aryans, Dravidians and others.

Indus Civilization – general characteristics. Indus Civilization – Origin, extent, date, art, architecture, religion, society, economy;

Vedic culture: Veda and Vedangas, political institutions, social and economic conditions, religious practices and ideas. Changes in the later Vedic period.

Unit – 3 Age of Religious Movements and Mauryan Empire

Religious movements in the sixth and fifth centuries BC with special reference to Buddhism and Jainism;

Religious, social and economic conditions, political institutions, Role of Mauryan empire in Indian cultural unification, Mauryan culture, polity, economy, art and architecture, Impact of Persian and Greek invasions , Asoka-his edicts and Dhamma.

Sangam Age: Literature, society, economy.

Unit – 4. Sunga, Satavahana and Kushan Era

New trends in art, literature and religion, Stupa, rock – cut architecture, sculpture, economy, coinage, growth of urban centres, routes, trade and commerce, social life and thought; Literature, Dharmashastra, Natyashastra, Kamasutra, Ayurveda, Panchatantra; Religious Systems and Sects-Hindu, Buddhist and Jain.

Cultural configurations during the Sunga – Satavahana – Kushana era – New trends in art, literature and religion; Stupa and rock – cut architecture, sculpture; Dharmashastra, Natyashastra, Kamasutra, Panchatantra, Ayurveda; Religious sects and schools – Hindu, Buddhist and Jain.

Unit – 5. Age of Guptas, Vakatakas and Pallavas

Literature, education and sciences, religion, society, polity, economy, architecture, sculpture and painting; Cultural contacts with outside world. Developments during the Gupta – Vakataka – Pallava age – Literature, education, science, religion, society, polity, economy, architecture, sculpture, painting; Cultural contacts with outside world. 

Unit – 6. Early Medieval Period

Legacies of classical ideas and patterns and development of new trends in Indian society and thought; Temple styles – Nagara, Vesara and Dravida; Vedanta-Sankara, Ramanuja; Bhakti, Pauranic religion, Tantra, literature, society, polity, feudalism. Efflorescence of Indian cultural contacts; Islam in India; Alberuni on India.

Legacies of classical ideas and patterns and development of new trends in Indian society and thought during the early medieval times; Vedanta – Sankara, Ramanjua; Bhakti, Tantra, Alavars, Nayanars; Temple styles Nagara, Vesara, Dravida; Literature, society, polity feudalism; Effloresence of Indian cultural contacts; Islam in India; Alberuni on India.

Unit – 7. Sultanate Period

Indo – Islamic architecture, regional styles, religious and philosophic developments; Islamic influence on Indian society and culture; Muslim interest in Indian classics; Acharya traditions, Bhakti; Sufism in India; Literary developments-Sanskrit, Persian and regional languages; Cultural contributions of Vijayanagara empire.

Unit – 8. Mughal India

New cultural trends in Mughal India; Social conditions; Akbar and his policies, Persian literature, Religious liberalism – Akbar, Abul Fazl, Dara Shikoh, Growth of Vaishnava Bhakti, Sikhism; Mughal architecture and painting; Regional styles of painting; Classical Indian Music including pre – Mughal antecedents; Development of Hindi and Urdu literature; Sawai Jai Singh’s astronomical contributions. Arrival and spread of Christianity, European studies of India – William Jones and Fort William College, Asiatic Society; Asiatic Society of Bengal; Influence of Christian Missionaries.

Unit – 9. Impact of Western Ideas and Indian Responses

Influx of Western ideas and Indian response; English education and press; Indian education and press; Bengal Renaissance, Reform movements in Bengal and other regions – women, education and social evils, administrative measures for social reforms ( 1828 – 1857 ). Indian reformers – Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Keshav Chandra Sen, Mahagovinda Ranade, Jyotiba Phule, Dayanand Saraswati, Vivekananda, Syed .Ahmad Khan; Indian Nationalism – rise, salient features and its cultural expressions with special reference to literature, art and education, Gandhian ideas. Indian culture since Independence; Tradition and modernity.

Unit – 10. Indian Culture Studies

Indian Classics Objectivity and Bias; Indian culture studies; relationship with ancillary disciplines; Modern writings on Indian culture; Scope of research; Primary and Secondary sources; Heritage of India and world’s debt to Indian culture.

Unit – 11

Vedic Religion – Early and later – mythology, religious practices, ethical and philosophical ideas; Evolution of Pauranic Hinduism and Hindu Religious systems-Vaishnavism, Saivism, Saktism with principal sects; Alvar and Nayanar traditions of South India; Bhagvad Gita, Yoga and Vedanta-Sankara and Ramanuja; Buddhism, Jainism, Tantra; Bhakti movement; Religious reform movements-Brahma Samaj, Arya Samaj, Ram Krishna Mission.

Unit – 12

Indus Valley architecture, town planning and sculpture; Mauryan architecture and sculpture; Origin and evolution of Stupa architecture; Development of rock-cut architecture-Cave, Chaitya, Vihara, Temple; Origin and evolution of Hindu temple-Gupta, Chalukya, Pallava, Rashtrakuta, Khajuraho, Orissan, Chola and later developments in the South India; Sunga-Satavahana sculptures-Bharhut, Bodh Gaya,. Sanchi and Amaravati; Gandhar, Mathura and Sarnath schools of sculpture; Post-Gupta regional styles of sculpture; Cave paintings of Ajanta and Bagh; Iconography of Vishnu, Shiva. Kartikeya, Ganesha, Surya, Sakti, Tirthankara, Buddha, Bodhisattva, Tara.

Unit – 13

Social thought and evolution of Indian society; Varnasrama Dharma; Caste system, Asramas, Purushartas, Samsakaras, family, education, position of women, Parda system, Sati, slavery, untouchability, Festivals and pastimes; Legal Institutions sources of Hindu Law, Proprietory rights, succession, judicial procedure, attempts at social reforms in medieval and modern times.

Indian polity – nature of State, kingship, republics, local self – government, inter State relations; taxation; Economic life – argiculture, trade, commerce, industries, guilds, urbanisation, towns and cities.

Unit – 14

Origin and development of Bhakti, Alvar and Nayanar traditions of South India; Bhakti movement; Islam in India; Sufism, Sikhism; Indo – Islamic architecture – Sultanate and Mughal period; Mughal painting and regional styles; Medieval Indian society, nobility, peasantry and slavery; Economic life – agriculture, trade, commerce, industries, urbanisation, towns and cities.

Unit – 15

Indian renaissance; Social – religious reform movements of the 19th and 20th centuries – Brahma Samaj, Prarthana Samaj, Arya Samaj, Ramkrishna Mission, Wahabi Movement. Dalit Movement; Spread of modern education; Challenges from the west; Nationalism and culture – Bengali literature, Bankim Chandra Chatterji, Ravindra Nath Tagore, Qazi Nazrul Islam; Hindi and Urdu – Prem Chand and Iqbal, other regional languages and literature; British impact on Indian economy; Rise of Indian nationalism – Tilak, Gandhi, Modern art – painting, architecture, dance, music; Indian culture since independence; Tradition and modernity.

Updated CBSE UGC NET Syllabus for Indian Culture in PDF


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