Updated NTA UGC NET Syllabus for Indian Culture (2019)



(w.e.f. June 2019)


The UGC has revised the pattern and scheme of exam from December 2018. The pattern of exam has been changed from 3 papers (Paper I, II & III) to 2 papers (Paper I & II). Now, there are 50 MCQs in Paper 1 and 100 MCQs in Paper 2. Each question carries 2 marks without any NEGATIVE marking for wrong answer.

According to NEW SYLLABUS (June 2019 onwards) and new pattern (since Dec 2018), the exam would be Online Mode. 

The UGC NET exam would be computer based like bank PO, SSC exam. the Paper 2 will have 100 Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) with each question carrying two (2) marks i.e. 200 marks in total. The objective type questions will include multiple choices, matching type, true/false and assertion-reasoning type etc.

The New Syllabus of Indian Culture for UGC NET Exam June 2019 onward will be as follows:


Unit – I: Meaning and concepts of Culture:

Traditional and Modern concepts of Culture-Notions of Culture in textual tradition, anthropological, archaeological and sociological understanding of the term culture. Elements of Culture, concept of Indianness and value system. Relation between culture and civilization. Historiography and approaches to the study of Indian Culture– Stereotypes, Objectivity and Bias, Imperialist, Nationalist, Marxist and Subaltern. Heritage of India and world’s debt to Indian Culture.


Unit –II: Sources of the Study of Indian Culture

Archaeological: cultural remains, Monuments, Numismatics, Epigraphy; Literary sources and Oral traditions; Foreign Accounts; Archival sources.


Unit – III: Pre-historic and Proto-historic Cultures

Stone age cultures- palaeolithic, mesolithic and neolithic; Proto-historic cultures – chalcolithic horizon, Harappan Culture- current debates on nomenclature and scripts, Town planning and architecture, art, social, religious and economic life. Evolution of India’s main language families.


Unit –IV: Vedic and post-Vedic Period

Early Vedic and later Vedic ideas and institutions: social, religious, economic, political and scientific. Post Vedic– Religious Movements and emergence of states, Shramana traditions- Buddhism, Jainism, Ajivikas and other sects. Education system and centres– Taxila and Kashi.

Unit –V: Mauryan and Post-Mauryan period

Ideas and Institutions: Social, Religious, Economic and Political. Ashoka’s Dhamma. Scripts- Brahmi and Kharosthi. Impact of Foreign Invasions. Art and Architecture. Literature- Arthasashtra, Manusmriti, Natyashastra, Panchatantra, Buddhacharit and Saundarananda. Scientific Achievements- Nagarjuna, Sushruta and Charaka. Education System and Centres. Sangam Age- Society and Culture. Contacts with outside world.


Unit – VI: Gupta and Post-Gupta period

Ideas and Institutions: social, religious, philosophical, economic and political. Scientific Achievements- Mathematics, Astronomy, Metallurgy. Art and Architecture- evolution of Temples, Paintings of Ajanta and Bagh. Literature- Kalidasa, Banabhatta, Bharavi, Magha, Bhavabhuti, Dandi. Canonical Texts- Vishnu Dharmottara Purana. Education system and centres- Nalanda, Valabhi. Contacts with outside world.


Unit –VII: Early Medieval Period

Legacies of Classical ideas and emergence of new trends: Society- Proliferation of castes, outcastes, Vishti, Slavery. Position of women. Polity- feudalism. Economy- de-urbanization and agrarian system. Religion: Vedic-Puranic, Shramana tradition, Tantra, Bhakti movements. Philosophical thoughts- Shaddarshana. Philosophers- Shankara, Ramanuja. Pilgrimmage tradition. Art and Architecture- Nagara, Dravida, Bhumija, Vesara. Education system and centres- Vikramashila, Nalanda etc. Scientific achievements- Mathematics, Astronomy. Literature- Kalhana’s Rajatarangini and Al-Birunis’ Kitab-ul Hind. Contacts with Islam. Canonical texts- Samarangana-sutradhara, Manasara, Bhuvanapradeepa, Sadhanamala.


Unit –VIII: Sultanate Period

Delhi Sultanate – Ideas and Institutions: Political- Iqta; impact of the new ruling class on society. Economic- market reforms, growth of new urban centres, percolation of Islam in rural areas, resistance and acceptance. Extent of slavery. Religion- Acharya traditions, Bhakti tradition, Kabir and Ravidas, emergence of Sufism – Chishti and Suhrawardy. Art and Architecture- emergence of Sultanate school of architecture and paintings, regional styles. Religious and secular structures. Literature – Sanskrit, Persian, Regional languages and emergence of Hindawi. Amir Khusrau, Chandabardai. Education system. Vijay Nagar Empire: Ideas and Institutions – political – Nayankara. Art and Architecture, Literature. Educational institutions.


Unit – IX: Mughal Period

Ideas and Institutions: Polity – Mansab and Jagir, Watan Jagir, Economy – Zamindari and Zabt. Society – Aristocracy, emergence of middle classes, labourers, Slaves. Position of Women.

Religion and Philosophy – growth of Vaishnava Bhakti, Panthiesm and Sufi traditions. Sulh-i kul, Naqshabandis. Gurunanaka, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Meerabai, Narayanabhatta, Raghunandana. Literature- development in Sanskrit, Persian and vernacular languages- Tulasidasa, Suradasa, Abdur Rahim Khan-i-khanan, Abdul Fazl, Faizi, Badauni, Banarasidas (Ardhakathanaka). Translation of religious texts by Akbar and Dara-Shukoh. Art and Architecture– Emergence of Mughal Schools; Temples of Vrindavan– Gobinda Deva and Keshava Das Temple; Four Quarter Gardens. Introduction of new education curricullum from Akbar’s period onwards Dars-i-nizami. Religious syncretism in coinage, miniatures and structures. Science and Technology. – Introduction of mechanical devices, pindrum gearing and astrolabe; Sawai Jai Singh’s observatories. Arrival of Europeans and their impact – Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, English, French.


Unit – X: Modern Period

Emergence of successor states and cultural developments: Awadh, Hyderabad, Mysore, Marathas and Rajputana. Impact of Western ideas and Indian responses: European studies of India; William Jones and Asiatic Society; Fort William College; influence of Christian missionaries. Emergence and Development of New Education System. Indian Cultural Renaissance. Socio-Religious reform movements: Reformists- Brahama Samaja, Aligarh Movement, Ramakrishna Mission and Theosophical Society; Revivalist- Wahabi and Arya Samaj Movement. Dalit Movements; Sikh reform movements. Administrative Measures: legislation on women, education and social evils. Literature: emergence of Shahr Ashob; Urdu– Mirza Ghalib, Allama Iqbal; Hindi- Bhartendu Harishchand, Prem Chand; Bengali-Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, Rabindranath Tagore, Qazi Nazrul Islam. Science and Technology: emergence of modern science and technology.


Updated NTA UGC NET Syllabus for Indian Culture (2019) (PDF)



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