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HISTORY (Code No. 027)
Class XII, Syllabus (2017-18)

Paper One                                                                                             Max Marks : 100


Units Periods Marks   

Themes in Indian History Part-I

Units 1 - 4

55 25

Themes in Indian History Part-II

Units 5 - 9

65 25

Themes in Indian History Part-III

Units 10 - 15

80 25
Unit 16 : Map Work 10 5
Project work 10 20
  220 100


Note: There is no change in the syllabus. Value Based Question can be from Part-1, 2, 3 of textbooks and
carry 04 marks. Accordingly teacher can reduce weightage of the corresponding section.

Class XII: Themes in Indian History

Themes Objectives


1. The Story of the First Cities:                           Harappan Archaeology.                   (13)


Broad overview: Early urban centres.
Story of discovery: Harappan civilization
Excerpt: Archaeological report on a major
Discussion: How it has been utilized by

2. Political and Economic History: How (14)
    Inscriptions tell a story.

Broad overview: Political and economic
history from the Mauryan to the Gupta period.
Story of discovery: Inscriptions and the
decipherment of the script. Shifts in the
understanding of political and economic
Excerpt: Asokan inscription and Gupta period land grant.
Discussion: Interpretation of inscriptions by

3. Social Histories: Using the Mahabharata (14)

Broad overview: Issues in social history,
including caste, class, kinship and gender.
Story of discovery: Transmission and
publications of the Mahabharata.
Excerpt: from the Mahabharata, illustrating
how it has been used by historians.
Discussion: Other sources for reconstructing
social history.


 4. A History of Buddhism: Sanchi Stupa     (14)

Broad overview:
(a) A brief review of religious histories of Vedic religion, Jainism, Vaisnavism, Saivism.
(b) Focus on Buddhism.
Story of discovery: Sanchi stupa
Excerpt: Reproduction of sculptures from Sanchi.
Discussion: Ways in which sculpture has been
interpreted by historians, other sources for
reconstructing the history of Buddhism.




5. Agrarian Relations: The Ain-i- Akbari             (13)

Broad overview:
(a) Structure of agrarian relations in the 16th and 17th centuries.
(b) Patterns of change over the period.
Story of Discovery: Account of the
compilation and translation of Ain-i-Akbari.
Excerpt: from the Ain-i-Akbari
Discussion: Ways in which historians have used
the text to reconstruct history.

6. The Mughal Court: Reconstructing                 (13)

Histories through Chronicles
Broad overview:
(a) Outline of political history 15th-17th centuries.
(b) Discussion of the Mughal court and politics.
Story of Discovery: Account of the production
of court chronicles, and their subsequent translation and transmission.
Excerpts: from the Akbarnama and Padshahnama.
Discussion: Ways in which historians have use the texts to reconstruct political histories.


7. New Architecture: Hampi                  (13)

Broad overview:
(a) Outline of new buildings during Vijayanagar
    period-temples, forts, irrigation facilities.
(b) Relationship between architecture and the
   political system.
Story of Discovery: Account of how Hampi
was found.
Excerpt: Visuals of buildings at Hampi
Discussion: Ways in which historians have
analyzed and interpreted these structures.


8. Religious Histories: The Bhakti-Sufi Tradition(13)

Broad overview:
(a) Outline of religious developments during this period.
(b) Ideas and practices of the Bhakti-Sufi saints.
Story of Transmission: How Bhakti-Sufi  compositions have been preserved.
Excerpt: Extracts from selected Bhakti-Sufi  works.
Discussion: Ways in which these have been
interpreted by historians.


9. Medieval Society through Travelers'            (13)

Broad overview:
Outline of social and cultural life as they appear in travelers' accounts.
Story of their writings: A discussion of where
they travelled, why they travelled, what they
wrote, and for whom they wrote.
Excerpts: from Alberuni, Ibn Batuta, Bernier.
Discussion: What these travel accounts can
tell us and how they have been interpreted by


PART - III                    ( Periods 80)
10. Colonialism and Rural Society: Evidence from
Official Reports                              (13)

Broad overview:
(a) Life of zamindars, peasants and artisans in
the late 18th century.

(b) East India Company, revenue settlements
and surveys.

(c) Changes over the nineteenth century.

Story of official records: An account of why
official investigations into rural societies were
undertaken and the types of records and
reports produced.

Excerpts: From Firminger's Fifth Report,
Accounts of Frances Buchanan-Hamilton, and
Deccan Riots Report. 

Discussion: What the official records tell and
do not tell, and how they have been used by


11. Representations of 1857              (13)

Broad overview:
(a) The events of 1857-58.
(b) How these events were recorded and narrated.
Focus: Lucknow.
Excerpts: Pictures of 1857. Extracts from
contemporary accounts.
Discussion: How the pictures of 1857 shaped
British opinion of what had happened.


12. Colonialism and Indian Towns:       (13)

Town Plans and Municipal Reports
Broad overview: The growth of Mumbai, Chennai, hill stations and cantonments in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Excerpts: Photographs and paintings. Plans of
cities. Extract from town plan reports. Focus on Kolkata town planning.
Discussion: How the above sources can be used to reconstruct the history of towns. What these sources do not reveal.

13. Mahatma Gandhi through Contemporary       (13)

Broad overview:
(a) The Nationalist Movement 1918 - 48.
(b) The nature of Gandhian politics and leadership. 
Focus: Mahatma Gandhi in 1931.
Excerpts: Reports from English and Indian
language newspapers and other contemporary
Discussion: How newspapers can be a source of history.

14. Partition through Oral Sources            (14)

Broad overview:
(a) The history of the 1940s.
(b) Nationalism, Communalism and Partition.
Focus: Punjab and Bengal.
Excerpts: Oral testimonies of those who
experienced partition.
Discussion: Ways in which these have been
analyzed to reconstruct the history of the

15. The Making of the Constitution          (14)

Broad overview:
(a) Independence and the new nation state.
(b) The making of the Constitution.
Focus: The Constitutional Assembly debates.
Excerpts: from the debates.
Discussion: What such debates reveal and how
they can be analyzed.

16. Map Work on Units 1-15                    (10)


  • Familiarize the learner with early urban centres as economic and social institutions.
  • Introduce the ways in which new data can lead to a revision of existing notions of history.
  • Illustrate how archaeological reports.




  • Familiarize the learner with major trends in the political and economic history of the subcontinent.
  • Introduce inscriptional analysis and the ways in which these have shaped the understanding of political and economic processes.
  • Familiarize the learner with issues in social history.
  • Introduce strategies of textual analysis and their use in reconstructing social history.







  • Discuss the major religious developments in
    early India.
  • Introduce strategies of visual analysis and their use in reconstructing histories of religion.










  • Discuss developments in agrarian relations.
  • Discuss how to supplement official documents with other sources.






  • Familiarize the learner with the major
    landmarks in political history.
  • Show how chronicles and other sources are used to reconstruct the histories of political




  • Familiarize the learner with the new buildings
    that were built during the time.
  • Discuss the ways in which architecture can be analyzed to reconstruct history.






  • Familiarize the learner with religious
  • Discuss ways of analyzing devotional literature as sources of history.





  • Familiarize the learner with the salient features of social histories described by the travelers.
  • Discuss how travelers' accounts can be used as sources of social history.







  • Discuss how colonialism affected zamindars,
    peasants and artisans.
  • Understand the problems and limits of using
    official sources for understanding the lives of people.



  • Discuss how the events of 1857 are being
  • Discuss how visual material can be used by



  • Familiarize the learner with the history of
    modern urban centres. Discuss how urban
    histories can be written by drawing on different types of sources.



  • Familiarize the learner with significant
    elements of the Nationalist Movement and the nature of Gandhian leadership.
  • Discuss how Gandhi was perceived by
    different groups.
  • Discuss how historians need to read and
    interpret newspapers, diaries and letters as
    historical source.



  • Discuss the last decade of the national
    movement, the growth of communalism and the story of partition.
  • Understand the events through the experience of those who lived through these years of communal violence.
  • Show the possibilities and limits of oral sources.



  • Familiarize students with the history of the
    early years after independence.
  • Discuss how the founding ideals of the new
    nation state were debated and formulated.
  • Understand how such debates and discussions can be read by historians.


17. Project Work                                              (10 periods)

Please refer Circular for project work guidelines.
Project work will help students:

  • To develop skill to gather data from a variety of sources, investigate diverse viewpoints and
    arrive at logical deductions.
  • To develop skill to comprehend, analyze, interpret, evaluate historical evidence and understand
    the limitation of historical evidence.
  • To develop 21st century managerial skills of co-ordination, self-direction and time management.
  • To learn to work on diverse cultures, races, religions and lifestyles.
  • To learn through constructivism-a theory based on observation and scientific study.
  • To inculcate a spirit of inquiry and research.
  • To communicate data in the most appropriate form using a variety of techniques.
  • To provide greater opportunity for interaction and exploration.
  • To understand contemporary issues in context to our past.
  • To develop a global perspective and an international outlook.
  • To grow into caring, sensitive individuals capable of making informed, intelligent and
    independent choices.
  • To develop lasting interest in history discipline.


I. Weightage to content

Themes in Indian History (Part I) 25 Marks
Themes in Indian History (Part II) 25 Marks
Themes in Indian History (Part III) 25 Marks
Map Work 5 Marks
Project work 20 Marks
Note:- Value Based Question can be taken from any of the above theme I,II,or III ----04 Marks
Total 100 Marks


II. Weightage to Difficulty level

Estimated Difficulty Level Percentage
(i) Easy (E) 30%
(ii) Average (AV) 50%
(iii) Difficult (D) 20%
Scheme of Option: No internal choice except for blind students.  

III. Division of Question Paper
The Question paper will be divided into A, B, C, D and E

  • Part A will carry 3 very short answer questions of 2 marks each.
  • Part B 'Section-I' will carry 6 short answer questions of 4 marks each, out of which one is a value
    based compulsory question. (Part-B' Section-II', Value based)
    (No change in the syllabus)
  • Part C will carry 3 long answer questions of 8 marks each (word limit '350').
  • Part D will carry three source -based questions. The number of questions will be three, carrying 7
    marks each (no internal choice). The sources will be taken from the textbooks as directed therein.
  • Part E will have 1 map question of 5 marks. Items covered are identification and Location.

IV. Scheme of Option

Part A will have no choice.
Part B will be divided into 2 sections (3 books) +1 Value Based section.

  • Section I will have 6 questions from all the three books, out of which the student will attempt any
    5 questions.
  • Section-II -One question will be a value based question which is a compulsory question.

Part C will carry three Long Answer Questions. The number of questions will be 3, carrying 8 marks
each. (Each question from three themes with Internal Choice).
Part D will be Source-Based Questions. There will be THREE sources, ONE from each book followed by
questions. There will have "no internal choice".
In Part E, there will be one Map Question -Test items will be 'identification' and Location.
There is no change in the list of Maps.


V. Weightage of Marks Book-wise


2 marks
4 marks
7 marks
 Marks Long
8 marks
Book I (Ancient India) 2(1) 4 + 4 7(1)   8(1) 25
Book II (Medieval India) 2(1) 4 + 4 7(1)   8(1) 25
Book III (Modern India) 2(1) 4 + 4 7(1)   8(1) 25
Map         5 x 1   5
Project work -           20
  2 x 3 = 6 4 x 6 = 24 7 x 3 = 21 5 8 x 3 = 24 100

(Note: Value Based Question can be from Part-1, 2, 3 textbooks and carry 04 marks. Accordingly
teacher can reduce weightage of the corresponding sections.)



Book 1

1.      P-2. Mature Harappan sites: Harappa, Banawali, Kalibangan, Balakot, Rakhigarhi, Dholavira,

             Nageshwar, Lothal, Mohenjodaro, Chanhudaro, Kot Diji.

2.       P-30. Mahajanapada and cities :
          Vajji, Magadha, Kosala, Kuru, Panchala, Gandhara, Avanti, Rajgir, Ujjain, Taxila, Varanasi.

3.      P-33.  Distribution of Ashokan inscriptions:

(i) Kushanas, Shakas, Satavahanas, Vakatakas, Guptas
(ii) Cities/towns: Mathura, Kannauj, Puhar, Braghukachchha
(iii) Pillar inscriptions - Sanchi, Topra, Meerut Pillar and Kaushambi.
(iv) Kingdom of Cholas, Cheras and Pandyas.

4.     P-43.   Important kingdoms and towns:

(i) Kushanas, Shakas, Satavahanas, Vakatakas, Guptas
(ii) Cities/towns: Mathura, Kanauj, Puhar, Braghukachchha, Shravasti, Rajgir,
Vaishali, Varanasi, Vidisha

5.    P-95.    Major Buddhist Sites:
         Nagarjunakonda, Sanchi, Amaravati, Lumbini, Nasik, Bharhut, BodhGaya, Shravasti, Ajanta.

Book 2

1.     P-174.   Bidar, Golconda, Bijapur, Vijayanagar, Chandragiri, Kanchipuram, Mysore, Thanjavur,
                     Kolar, Tirunelveli, Quilon
2.     P-214.  Territories under Babur, Akbar and Aurangzeb: Delhi, Agra, Panipat, Amber, Ajmer,
                      Lahore, Goa.

Book 3
1. P-297. Territories/cities under British Control in 1857:

Punjab, Sindh, Bombay, Madras Fort St. David, Masulipatam, Berar, Bengal, Bihar, 

Orissa, Avadh, Surat, Calcutta, Daccan, Chitagong, Patna, Benaras, Allahabad and Lucknow.

2. P-305.  Main centres of the Revolt:

Delhi, Meerut, Jhansi, Lucknow, Kanpur, Azamgarh, Calcutta, Benaras, Gwalior, Jabalpur, Agra, Avadh.

3. P-305.   Important centres of the National Movement:

Champaran, Kheda, Ahmedabad, Benaras, Amritsar, Chauri Chaura, Lahore, Bardoli,
Dandi, Bombay (Quit India Resolution), Karachi.


About the author
Ritu Sagar