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How to study post-independence history for UPSC?

Post Independence by Zia Khan @ IQRA IAS

The post-independence history of India is a topic in the UPSC mains GS paper I. The syllabus simply says, ‘Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country’. It does not specify any sub-heading or topics for the candidates to read about. And, since it has been 70 years since 1947 when the country achieved its freedom from colonial rule, there have been many events that have shaped the way India is progressing onwards. In this article, we have created topics and subtopics under the topic post-independence Indian history so that you can streamline your IAS preparation and know exactly what to read for this section of the UPSC syllabus.

One of the best books for the study of this topic is Bipan Chandra’s ‘India since Independence’. You can also watch the episodes of the TV show ‘Pradhan Mantri’ aired on the national channel for valuable information in an interesting manner.

Post Independence: The topics under this section have been divided into various eras as given below.

Nehruvian Era

  • Aftermath of partition
  • Integration of the princely states
  • Issue of the official language (this recurs in most eras)
  • Reorganisation of states
  • Tribal consolidation and issues
  • The foreign policy of Pandit Nehru

Shastri Era

  • Official language issue
  • Food shortage
  • Economic crisis
  • Indo-Pak war

Indira Gandhi Era

  • Official language
  • Split in congress (diminishing of Congress hegemony in regions)
  • Issue of inflation
  • Green revolution
  • Punjab crisis – Operation Blue Star
  • Land reforms
  • Bank nationalisation
  • Emergency
  • Naxal movement
  • 1971 war with Pakistan
  • Janta movement

Rajiv Gandhi Era

  • Environment (focus on this topic for the first time by the government)
  • Anti-defection law
  • Women movements – Dowry Prohibition Act, Shah Bano case
  • Modernisation of army
  • Panchayati Raj


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