(NIOS Syllabus) Class 12 NIOS Syllabus | History



Senior Secondary Course (Syllabus)

History is the scientific study of human beings and the evolution of human society in point of time and in different ages. As such it occupies all important place in the school curriculum. It is, therefore, taught as a general subject forming a part of Social Science both at the Middle and the Secondary Stages. At the Middle Stage, entire Indian History is covered, while at the Secondary Stage, the land marks in the development of human society are taught. At the Senior Secondary Stage, History becomes an elective subject. Its main thrust is to bridge the gap between the presence of change-oriented technologies of today and the continuity of our cultural tradition so as to ensure that the coming generation will represent the fine synthesis between change and continuity. It is, therefore, deemed essential to take up the entire Indian History from the Ancient to the Modem period for Senior Secondary Stage. The rationale for taking up the teaching of History at this stage is :

  1. to promote an understanding of the major stages in the evolution of Indian society through the ages.
  2. to develop an understanding of the historical forces responsible for the evolution of Indian society in the Ancient, Medieval and Modem times.
  3. to develop an appreciation of
    (i) the diverse cultural and social systems of the people living indifferent parts of the country.
    (ii) the richness, variety and composite nature of Indian culture.
    (iii) the growth of various components of Indian culture, legitimate pride in the achievement of Indian people in. different parts of the country.
    (iv) the process of change which evolved as a result of interaction with other cultures.
  4. to identify the fissiparous trends which hampered the growth of the Indian nation in different periods.
  5. to recognize that the Indian culture has not remained and developed in isolation, rather was a result of a synthesis of different cultures and to understand the contemporary process of change, continuity and development.
  6. to remove from the minds of the younger generation prejudices and complexes transmitted from the biased interpretation of History, the social environment and the accident of birth.
  7. to develop an appreciation of the contribution made by the people from all parts of the country in the making of the national heritage.
  8. to foster proper understanding of the contemporary problems of India in historical perspective so as to develop an enlightened citizenship for active participation in the establishment of a just social order.
  9. to inculcate scientific temper and objectivity to the study of India’s past in order to relate to the present.
    The study of History at this stage is intended to initiate and introduce students to the ‘Elements of Historical Methodology’ as also how the historian thinks and works. For this, he should be acquainted with the various types of sources which form the basis of history and develop the competence to evaluate the reliability of the sources.

Keeping in view the implications of the National Policy on Education (May, 1986, PP. 3,4) providing access to education of a comparable quality for all students, irrespective of caste, creed, location or sex and the Programmes of Action (August, 1986, P. 144) emphasizing the immediate need for introducing the curricular change in the content of history essential to nurture national identity, protect, preserve and promote our common cultural heritage, the approach to the teaching-learning of History at the +2 Stage (Senior Secondary) will highlight the following:

  1. The new focus will be on the socio-economic and cultural development of man in society. The political developments and dynastic treatment, which has been hitherto the main thrust in the teaching-learning process, will no longer be given undue emphasis.
  2. The emphasis at this stage will be laid on the development of a composite culture and national integration by highlighting the contribution of the people from all parts of the country through the ages. The development of the components of composite culture has assumed different forms in different periods of Indian History. In Ancient and Medieval India, the cultural identity and unity formed the main basis whereas in Modern India, the political unification during the British rule constituted the main plank of the composite culture which was strengthened further with the integration of the Princely States with the India Union.
  3. It is necessary to highlight the role, the suffering and sacrifice of the people in the struggle for freedom against the British rule irrespective of religion and region.
  4. Other important areas include the removal of social evils and emancipation of women in modern India. The study of History at this stage will not remain confined to the reading material alone. The whole process will be activity oriented with more emphasis on the self-learning activities of the learners. To create further interest in the study of History frequent use will be made of audio-visual aids (T.V.-CCTV), maps, charts, time-line, genealogical tables and the learner will be required to study historical geography of India and undertake field trips wherever feasible. The development of the entire process of learning History will take place with the close co-operation and active participation of the learner during the contact programmes. Each module of the course (Unit and Sub-Unit) has been divided into two parts-the General Foundation Units and the Certification Units. The General Foundation Units provide a comprehensive view of Indian History in chronological sequence for proper understanding of the main events of Indian History in self-contained units. The Certification Units are to be studied in reasonable depth including interpretation critical thinIdng and balanced views for eItemal examination at the Senior Secondary level.


S.No. Module Marks
1 Ancient Indian History 08
2 Climax of Ancient India 10
3 Legacy of Ancient India 12
4 Rise and Fan of the Delhi Sultanate 08
5 The Mughal Empire 10
6 Contribution of Medieval India 12
7 Renascent India 08
8 India’s Struggle for Independence 22
9 Maps 10

The General Foundation units form the base for understanding the Certification-units. All units should therefore be studied. However the examination will be based only on the units marked Certification. The erstwhile Module 9 India Since Independence has now been incorporated as U
nit 65 India Since Independence in Module 8.


Study Time : 25 hrs. Marks : 08

Approach : This module is designed to highlight the continuity and change in the socio-religious life of the Harappan and Vedic cultures followed by the interaction of Brahamanism, Jainism, Buddhism, the impact of Persian and Greek culture and the growth of political unity under Magadh.

Pre-requisite : Knowledge of the historical geography of ancient India.

Knowledge :
A proper perspective of the Dravidian Civilisation.
Knowledge of the beginning of the Age of Metals—use of copper and bronze which produced the earliest urban civilisation in India.


  • Unit 1 Prehistoric India
    General Foundation 1.1 Pre-historic India
    — Impact of geography on Indian History
    — Unity in Diversity
    — Ancient people of India
    — Pre-historic Cultures
    — Palaeolithic Culture
    — Neolithic Culture
    — Chalcolithic Culture
  • Unit 2 The Harappan Civilisation
    General Foundation 2.1 Salient features of the Harappan Civilisation
    — Sites, Extent and Period
    — Town Planning
    — Social Life
    — Crafts and Trade
    — Pottery
    — Seals
    — Terra-cotta figurines
    — Religion
    — Script
    — Weights and Measures
    — Disappearance
    Certification 2.2 Its Significance
    – Legacy of the Harappan Civilization
    – Harappan Civilisation and West Asia
    – Harappans Aryans and the Vedic
  • Unit 3 The Vedic Age
    General Foundation 3.1 The Rig-Vedic Age
    – The Aryan Advent
    – Political Organisation
    – Early Aryan Society
    – Economic Life
    – Rig Vedic Gods
    General Foundation 3.2 The Later Vedic Age
    – Expansion
    – Political Changes
    – Material Life
    – Social Development
    – The Epic Age
    – Religion
    Certification 3.3 Importance of Vedas
    – Schools of Vedic Philosophy
    – Vedic Literature : Samhitas, Brahmanas, Aranyakas
    – The Upanishads and the Puranas
    – Concept of Dharma: Four ends of Life
    – Evolution of the Caste System- The Dharmashastras
    – Varnashrama System (Four Stages of Life)
  • Unit 4 Ancient Indian Religions
    General Foundation 4.1 Jainism
    – Vardhaman Mahavira
    – Doctrine of Jainism
    – Spread of Jainism
    – Rise of Sects
    General Foundation 4.2 Buddhism
    – Life of Gautama Buddha
    – Doctrines of Buddhism
    – Spread of Buddhism
    – Rise of Sects
    – Decline of Buddhism
    Certification 4.3 Contribution of Jainism and Buddhism
    – Importance of Jainism
    – Influence of Buddhism
    – Comparison of Jainism with Buddhism
  • Unit 5 Growth of Political Unity
    General Foundation 5.1 Rise of Magadh
    – Concept of Political Unity
    – Sixteen Mahajanapadas
    – Magadhan Supremacy
    – The Nandas
    General Foundation 5.2 Persian and Greek Invasions
    – Persian Conquest
    – Alexander’s Invasion
    – Extinction of Greek rule in Northwest India
    Certification 5.3 Importance of Magadhan Supremacy and Foreign Invasions
    – Importance of the first Magadhan Empire
    – Results of the Persian Impact
    – Effects of Alexander’s Invasion
    Suggested Activities for
    Extended Learning Prepare a time line showing:
    (1) the period of Harappan Civilisation
    (2) the Rig-Vedic Age
    (3) the Epic Period
    (4) the Jaina-Buddhist period.
    (5) the rise of first Magadhan Empire
    (6) the invasion of Alexander
    – Draw a list of important Vedic, Jaina and Buddhist literature relating to this period.
    – List important archaeological materials of the Harappan civilisation.
    – On a given outline map of India show the following:
    (1) Harappa, Mohenjodaro, Lothal and Kalibangan
    (2) Areas of Mahajanapadas of
    (a) Avanti (b) Gandhara (c) Kosala (d) Magadh
    (e) Vatsa (f) Matsya
    (3) Route of Alexander’s invasion
    (4) Extent of Magadhan Empire under Mahapadma Nanda,
    (5) Kausambi, Mathura, Pataliputra, Rajagriha, Sravasti, Inraprastha, Texila, Ujjain, Vaishali, Viratnagar.
    – A visit to a nearby museum, if there is one, to see the archaeological remains of ancient Indian bricks, pottery, seals, implements, ornaments, toys and idols. Collect available picture postcards relating to the art, sculpture and architecture of ancient Indian Published by the Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi
    – Read about the social and political conditions as reflected in the ‘Epics’ (Ramayan and Mahabharata).


Study Time: 25 hrs. Max. Marks: 10

Approach :This module is designed to highlight the cultural aspects of life in the Maurya, Gupta and Vardhana empires and also the development of culture in Eastern and Southern India.

  • Rise of Mahajanapadas and transition from Republic to the centralised monarchy.
  • Spread of Indian religions: Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.
  • Cultural impact of the Persian and the Greek Invasions.


  • Unit 1 The Age of Mauryas
    General Foundation – Chandra Gupta Maurya
    – Imperial organisation
    – Ashoka; Impact of the Kalinga War
    – Dharma and spread of Buddhism
    – Edicts
    – Cause of Downfall of the Mauryan Empire
  • Unit 2 Kanishka and Satavahanas
    General Foundation 2.1 The Indo-Greeks
    – The Sakas
    – The Parthians
    – The Kushans – Kanishka-Achievements of
    2.2 The Satavahanas
    – Political Developments
    – Foreign Trade and Settlements
    – Pattern of Social Life
    – Religious Life
  • Unit 3 The Gupta Empire and Harsha
    General Foundation 3.1 The Gupta Empire
    – Rise and expansion of the Gupta Empire
    – Chandragupta I
    – Samudragupta
    – Chandragupta II
    – Decline of the Gupta Empire-Invasions of the Hunas
    Certification 3.2 Life in the Gupta Age
    – Administration
    – Social development-Status of women
    – Economic life
    – Religious life
    – Account of Fa-hsien
    Certification 3.3 Harsha
    – Main events
    – The Assembly at Kanauj,
    – Account of Hsuan Tsang
    – Nalanda University
  • Unit 4 Development in Eastern and Southern India
    General Foundation 4.1 Development of Culture in
    – Assam
    – Bengal
    – Kalinga
    General Foundation 4.2 Early Kingdoms of the South
    – Early Cholas, The Cheras and Pandyas
    – The Chalukyas
    – The Rashtrakutas
    – The Pallavas
    – The Cholas
  • Unit 5 Life under the Maurya and The Gupta Empire
    Certification – Asoka’s place in History
    – Contacts with Central Asian Countries
    – Growth of Brahmanism and Buddhism
    – Development of Art, Architecture, Painting,
    Literature under the Guptas
    — Science and Technology under the Gupta
    Suggested Activities for — Visiting nearby museum to prepare list of archaeological remains
    Extended Learning and pieces of the Mauryan, Kushan and Gupta Age
    — Identifying sea-ports of India on a map of India.
    — Studying the contributions of Aryabhatta to the development
    of Science.

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  • syllabus structure of class 12 physics and mathematics and recommended books

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  • Plz help me out with(12th)s HIstory syllabus for 2012-2013.As ill be giving my exams in apr-13,need to know the syllabus as I’ve got the wrong book (guide).

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    Hafiz Nazim on 20 Nov 2012
  • after clearing my 12th from nios am i eligible for any govt job???plz reply me through mail.thanks a lot.

    Hafiz Nazim on 20 Nov 2012
  • is there bengali medium system for arts stream……plz reply me.thnks

    Hafiz Nazim on 20 Nov 2012