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People often have apprehensions about clearing the UPSC exam in one single attempt. They are made to believe that it takes more than an attempt to get the desired service. Therefore, most aspirants start their preparation with a mindset that they will not be able to do it in one attempt. Some spend more than a year or two gathering various materials and trying to by-heart them. This is definitely not the approach to cracking the civil services examination. Smart study coupled with consistency can sail you through this exam. There is no “prescribed time” within which you can complete the IAS syllabus and ace the exam. This is what makes the exam more challenging. There is something new you learn and analyse every single day, even after you have given your interview. Modern History is one subject that will fetch you good marks in both Preliminary examination as well as the mains examination. As the syllabus for Modern History remains the same, unlike subjects like economy which is purely current affairs oriented, it is easier to cover the syllabus and revise multiple times before the examination.

Though Modern History cannot be directly linked to current affairs, it is possible to guess and predict certain questions that could appear for the examination. Events which are in news for centenary celebrations etc. could be probable questions in the prelims or mains exam. Here is a list of 5 important topics of Modern History that should not be missed, while preparing for UPSC Civil Services Examination 2018.

  1. The revolt of 1857 and the leaders associated with it:

The revolt of 1857, popularly regarded as the “First War of Indian Independence” is one of the favourite topics of UPSC. By analysing previous years question papers, it is evident that many questions have appeared from this topic.

  1. The Third Anglo Maratha War:

The third Anglo Maratha war (1817-1818) was the conclusive and decisive conflict between the British and the Maratha Empire in India. 2018 marks 200 years of the third Anglo-Maratha war. Therefore, questions related to Marathas and the Anglo-Maratha wars can be expected.

  1. Khilafat Movement:

The Khilafat movement was an agitation by the Muslims in India, this can be allied with the Indian National Movement. The movement took place between 1919 and 1924. It helped in achieving pan India- Muslim mobilisation for the National Movement.  As 2019 will mark the completion of 100 years of the movement, this topic can be considered as an important one for the IAS mains exam.


  1. Paika Rebellion:

The year 2017 marked the 200 years of completion of the Paika Rebellion in Khurda of Odisha. Though some of the Paik rebels fought a guerrilla war till 1819 they were suppressed. The leader of the rebellion was arrested in 1825.


  1. 33rd Congress Session:

The 33rd Congress session was presided over by Madan Mohan Malviya. A special session was also organised in 1918 soon after the 32nd Congress session. The outcomes and discussions in these sessions become important from the examination point of view.


Various other topics from the Modern Indian history appear in the news for various reasons. For example, it was appraised by the Andaman and Nicobar that a Memorial has been constructed at the entrance of the Water Sports Complex at Port Blair in the memory of those Great Andamanese, who had laid down their lives in the famous Battle of Aberdeen. It is important to keep an eye on such articles and events, as questions related to such topics could appear in the UPSC Civil Services Examination.



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