How to Prepare Modern History within 30 Days for UPSC Civil Services Exam

How to Prepare Modern History within 30 Days for UPSC Civil Services Exam

The Civil Services Examination (CSE) is a nationwide competitive examination in India organized by the Union Public Service Commission for recruitment to the Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service, and Indian Police Service.


The UPSC examination is divided into three phases: a preliminary examination, a mains examination, and a personality test (interview).


History can become a very scoring subject for IAS(UPSC CSE) prelims if you are able to memorise well. It is one of the most popular UPSC optional subjects. The UPSC  history civil services exam syllabus can be divided into three broad sections namely- ancient, mediaeval, and modern Indian history.


History is a vast subject, a plethora of questions keep bombarding your head – how to prepare history for upsc prelims? What to focus on? and From where to start?


Modern Indian history is the most important part in Indian history from the prelims and mains exam perspective as it carries the highest weightage among the three.


Though it can take months of extensive study to properly learn and understand the details, most UPSC aspirants do not have the luxury of time. As a result, a sensible strategy for learning quickly must be devised.


On that note, let’s talk about a framework and plan for covering Modern Indian History for the UPSC test in fewer than 30 days.

Six Part Framework for Preparing Indian Modern History

India in the year 1750

Learn about the great mughal rulers in early 1700s, Aurangzeb (the Mughal Empire’s last competent monarch), fall of mughal rule and emergence of autonomic republic states in India.

British Entry and Expansion

Many Europeans came to the Indian subcontinent for trade and later built colonies in India.


The Portuguese, Dutch (Netherlands), French, Danes, and English were among the European powers. In the power battle among European powers, the British were victorious and seized control of several states in India.

Changes introduced by the British

Britishers brought numerous improvements to the Economic, Political, and Social realms as they took power.


Under the Economic arena, aspirants should go through the British agricultural and industrial strategies.


Under the Polity angle, students should study several English Acts that led to constitutional growth, such as the Regulating Act of 1773, Charter Acts, among others. Students should also learn about administration, including revenue, civil services, army, and judiciary.

Popular Uprisings and Revolts against the British

The British implemented a number of policies and measures that were unfavourable to the majority of Indians.


As a result, there were several local uprisings and revolts. The Revolt of I857, also known as the First War of Independence, was a great uprising against the English East India Company. You must be thorough with important details regarding the revolt of 1857.

Socio-Religious Movements

The British policies such as English Education, ushered in a new era in east, west, north, and south India.


While some reform groups were anti-British, others were geared in improving Indian society. Go through the various religious/social reforms that proponents as these movements paved for an organised nationalism in India.

India’s struggle for independence and the rise of Indian nationalism

This can be regarded as the lap in our struggle for freedom, Therefore, it bears great importance in the civil services exam. You advised to learn about:


  • Different political associations in Bombay, Bengal and Madras.


  • Formation of the Indian National Congress (INC) and its early phases.


  • The extremist phase (1905-1918) during the Partition of Bengal, Swadeshi movement, Revolutionary Terrorist movement, Ghadar movement, Home Rule movement etc.


  • Emergence of Mahatma Gandhi as an influential leader in Indian Politics. Learn about all movements in which he was actively involved


  • New political parties and movements emerge both within and outside of Congress.


  • Various acts passed by the British Parliament for constitutional development and development of the legislature, executive, and judiciary in British India.


  • Learn about the Elections of 1937 with the impact of the second world war on India. A comprehensive study of the second world war can also help you in preparation of world history for upsc mains.


  • Quit India Movement in 1942.


  • Partition of India into India and Pakistan.


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