The sections Deals with the History part of the syllabus. The recent trend in UPSC questions has undergone a serious shift.Most of the questions are centered around the analysis. For eg- Last year the question was why major battles were fought at Panipat? Questions like Why Buddhism has failed in India was asked before , but the question going forward be more like – Why different Buddhism fluorished in different parts of Asia , for eg- Theravada Buddhsim in Srilanka but Vajrayan Buddhism in Tibet? To answer this question one needs an in-depth understanding of previous cultures of Srilanka and tibet before Buddhism, but given the vast range of the subject it is humanly impossible to read , comprehend and answer the questions properly, however if one knows basic tenets of cultures of mountain dwellers , one can safely answer the Tibet’s adoption of Vajrayan Buddhism (Tantric) , or if one knows about culture of coastal inhabitants , one can answer Srilanka’s Theravada Buddhsim. Of course , there will some inference that are well comprehended and some may be far fetched, given the local factor. However , One will not be blindsided completely. And that is the major goal of this initiative.
Many say History has too much data to consume and too little theories to analyses .Keeping opinions aside, history as a subject is based upon one particular historians interpretation, thus history is comprehended differently by different authors. Best is the author who publishes views of all other authors and allows the reader to comprehend, instead of promoting just one’s view point.Indian Historians by far remained influenced by British authors, i.e. the reason why one see’s the British influenced divisions like Ancient. Medieval and Modern .
The recent trend has been to get rid of this water tight compartments as evident from the recent books by the IGNOU or NCERT .The trend has been shifted to Thematic analysis, and questions are asked from these themes .Moreover the thematic study is well integrated with geography. Thus Geography of History and History of Geography is the recent trend.
The initiative will have articles with mixture of Q & A Patternand Thematic analysis. Al-Biruni’s Kitab-Ul-HInd is written in Q& A fromat i.e beginning with a question, following this up with a description based on Sanskritic traditions, and concluding with a comparison with other cultures. Some present-day scholars have argued that this almost geometric structure, remarkable for its precision and predictability, owed much to his mathematical orientation. On the same vein, scoring high in history needs precision and to the point answers rather than biting around the bush. History usually has a profound impact on our minds and when we analyze of any other subject matter , we usually dive in to history , even though it may have no significance in the present context.
Thus it is very vital to maintain the mathematical and surgical precision without being lost in history. The days of “What happened where and how it happened” has gone, the questions are now “why that happened where it happened and why nowhere else “.
So with precision in mind let begin our journey of thematic history with surgical approach.