Ancient History of India has been designed for aspirants of Civil Services and various State Services examinations. This book comprehensively covers the syllabus of the subject Ancient Indian History and Culture (for both Preliminary and Main exams). As per the demand of the syllabus, the book not only encompasses political, social, and economic history, but also sheds light on cultural aspects such as art forms, literature, and architecture of the ancient period. The chapters have been developed after extensive research and contain well-organized data, information, maps, and images under each topic. Previous years’ questions have been included in the book and practice questions in online resources.
'Indian History' constitutes a core area of General Studies in many entrance examinations conducted across the country for selection into various government posts. In the CSE and SSE preliminary exams, nearly one-fourth questions belong to Indian History section of the syllabus. The knowledge of Indian history also plays an important role in Main exam, Essay Paper, and Personality Test. Thus, it may not be an exaggeration to say that a candidate's hold on Indian History goes a long way in determining their selection in the service of their choice.
This said, it is noteworthy that the UPSC and PSCs have been raising the bar and increasing the difficulty level of questions every year. Even in a 'static' subject like history, questions are being asked related to new trends and perspectives. This has enormously increased the challenge for candidates, who are already burdened with a vast syllabus to be completed in a limited span of time. In this scenario, candidates often restrict themselves to basic sources for each subject, while clearly, the examiners have no such restrictions.
How do the candidates meet the expectations of the examiners then? Clearly, reading reliable exam-centric content emerges as the only solution.
This book on Ancient India is developed as one such exam-centric product. It covers the Ancient History portion of Indian History comprehensively. It is developed after thorough research on past as well as emerging trends. It not only covers facts for prelim, but also analysis for main exam. The most remarkable feature of the book though is the simultaneous coverage of Indian Culture.
Here, it cannot be emphasized enough that developments in Indian Culture (covering Art Forms, Literature, and Architecture) are inseparably interwoven with developments in political history. Nearly all monuments, sculptures, paintings, or literary works belong to some civilization or ruling dynasty, and are not stand-alone items. Hence, it makes greater sense to cover cultural achievements of a king/period simultaneously, along with the political achievements. Having understood this and the requirements of the syllabus, the relevant Indian Culture part of the syllabus is thoughtfully presented in this book in the form of 'Culture Capsule'-i.e., a single table given at the end of relevant chapters and acting as a one-point reference for Indian Culture.
We hope and humbly believe that the content and design of this book will prove to be of utmost help to the aspirants seeking a one-stop solution to Ancient Indian history portion of their syllabus. We hereby thank the entire editorial team at Oxford University Press India for their outstanding support and cooperation without which this title would not have been possible.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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