Modern History Notes for UPSC Prelims & Mains: Download Modern History of India Notes PDF

By Aarna Tiwari|Updated : October 4th, 2022

Modern History Notes are essential to cover the Modern Indian History Part of the UPSC Syllabus. The Modern History Notes are beneficial for both UPSC Prelims and UPSC Mains. The Modern History Notes range from the middle of the 18th century to India's independence in 1947. Every year, a significant number of questions are asked from the Modern History Notes.

This article focuses on Modern History Notes, its micro-topics, strategy to cover Modern History Notes, and the booklist one should refer to for Modern History Notes. For the ease of the candidates, Modern History Notes for UPSC PDF has also been attached at the end of the article.

Table of Content

Modern History Notes

Modern History Notes are always lengthy because they cover a significant part of the history syllabus that is included in the UPSC Syllabus. But the topics of Modern History become very clear once the candidate keeps revising the topics at regular intervals without fail. The approach to covering Modern History Notes is simple. One should give the first reading of the topics as one is reading a novel. The following reading should proceed with note-taking and revision. If any topic is in the news, that value addition should be through the Current Affairs section.

For UPSC Prelims, one needs to understand that it is the trickiest stage of the UPSC Exam. In the UPSC Prelims Question Paper, one can find a significant chunk of questions from Modern History Notes. The approach to covering Modern History Notes lies in simultaneously covering the UPSC Prelims Syllabus and UPSC Mains Syllabus for History. 

For Mains, one needs to go in-depth about the topic. A critical analysis of each topic is needed. Mains is all about how much a candidate retains and presents at the time of the examination

Modern History Notes for UPSC PDF

The Modern Indian history section of GS 1 Mains Syllabus includes events from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present significant events, personalities, and issues. It also includes the Freedom Struggle, its various stages, and significant contributors/contributions from different parts of the country. 

Modern History Notes PDF

Anglo Maratha War

Battle of Plassey
Pitt’s India Act 1784Permanent Settlement of Bengal
Regulating Act 1773Ryotwari System of Land Revenue
Mahalwari SystemsCharter Act 1813
Charter Act of 1833Charter Act 1853
Revolt of 1857Government of India Act 1858
Indian Council Act 1861Government of India Act 1935
Morley Minto Reforms Government of India Act 1919
Simon CommissionDandi March - Salt Satyagraha Movement
Indian National Congress SessionRaja Ram Mohan Roy
Non Cooperation MovementQuit India Movement
Women Freedom Fighters of IndiaList of Viceroys in India
Rowlatt ActMansabdari System
Champaran SatyagrahaCabinet Mission Plan 1946

Topic in Modern History Notes

The topics that are included in the Modern History Notes for UPSC and should be studied for the upcoming UPSC Exam are as follows. You must also check all the topics covered under UPSC CSE General Studies-Paper-I History of India and Indian National Movement for the mains exam. 

The Advent of Europeans in India

  • Portuguese in India- De Almeida, Albuquerque
  • Dutch in India
  • French in India
  • English in India
  • Anglo-French Rivalry
  • First Carnatic War
  • Rise of the Hyderabad State
  • The Second Carnatic War
  • The Third Carnatic War

British Expansion in India

  • Anglo Maratha War
  • Subsidiary Alliance System
  • Conquest of Sindh
  • Anglo-Sikh Wars
  • Doctrine of Lapse
  • Annexation of Oudh

Administrative before 1857

  • Dual System
  • The Charter Acts
  • Judicial System

Economic Policies of Britishers

  • Phase of Mercantilism
  • The phase of Free Trade
  • The phase of Finance Imperialism
  • Ryotwari Revenue Policy
  • Mahalwari Revenue Policy
  • Permanent Settlement
  • Impact of British Policy on the Indian Economy

Modern Indian History Notes on Revolt of 1857

  • Causes of 1857 Revolt
  • Leaders of the Revolt
  • Causes of Failure of the Revolt
  • Nature and Impact of the Revolt

Development of Civil Services

  • Indian Civil Services Act, 1861
  • Montford Reforms (1919)
  • Lee Commission (1924)
  • Government of India Act, 1935

Modern History Notes on Development of Education

  • Charter Act of 1813
  • Wood's Dispatch (1854)
  • Hunter Education Commission (1882-83)
  • Indian Universities Act, 1904
  • Government Resolution on Education Policy 1913
  • Saddler University Commission (1917-19)
  • Wardha Scheme of Basic Education (1937)
  • Sergeant Plan of Education
  • Development of Vernacular Education
  • Evaluation of British Policy on Education

Development of Press

  • Different Publications and Journals
  • Vernacular Press Act, 1878

Socio-religious movements

Tribal Movements

  • Bhil Uprising
  • Kol Uprising
  • Santhal Rebellion
  • Jaintia and Garo Rebellion
  • Rampa Rebellion
  • Munda Rebellion
  • Khonda Dora Uprisings
  • Tana Bhagat Movement

Peasant Movements

  • Champaran Satyagraha
  • Kheda Peasant Struggle
  • Bardoli Movement
  • Moplah Rebellion
  • Tebhaga Movement
  • Telangana Movement

Revolutionary Nationalism

  • Early Phase Indian National Congress
  • The Moderate Congress (1885-1905)
  • The Extremist (1905-1920)
  • Differences between the Moderates and the Extremists

Modern History Notes on Indian National Movement (1905-1918)

  • Partition of Bengal (1905)
  • Swadeshi Movement
  • Muslim League, 1906
  • Surat Session of INC, 1907
  • Indian Council Act (Morley-Minto Act) 1909
  • Ghadar Party, 1913
  • Komagata Maru Incident 1914
  • The Lucknow Pact (1916)
  • Home Rule Movement (1915-1916)
  • August Declaration, 1917


Indian National Movement (1918-1929)

  • Champaran Satyagraha (1917)
  • Ahmadabad Mill Strike (1918)
  • Kheda Satyagraha (1918)
  • The Government of India Act, 1919
  • Rowlatt Act and Jallianwala Bagh Massacre (1919)
  • Khilafat Movement
  • The Non-Cooperation Movement (1920-22)
  • Nagpur Session of Congress
  • Swaraj Party and its Evaluation
  • Muddiman Committee (1924)
  • Simon Commission (1927)
  • Bardoli Satyagraha (1928)
  • Nehru Report (1928)
  • Jinnah's Fourteen Points
  • Lahore Session, 1929
  • Allahabad Address (1930)

Indian National Movement (1930-1947)

  • Civil Disobedience Movement (1930-1931)
  • First Round Table Conference, 1930
  • Gandhi-Irwin Pact, 1931
  • Karachi session of 1931
  • Second Round Table Conference, 1931
  • Third Round Table Conference
  • Communal Award
  • Poona Pact, 1932
  • Government of India Act, 1935
  • Poona Resolution and Conditional Support to Britain (1941)
  • August Offer of 1940
  • Two-Nation Theory
  • Demand for Pakistan (1942)
  • Cripps Mission (1942)
  • Modern History Notes on Quit India Movement
  • Azad Hind Fauj
  • Indian National Army
  • N.A. Trials
  • Rajagopalachari Formula, 1945
  • Desai - Liaqat Pact
  • Cabinet Mission (1946)
  • Wavell Plan
  • Jinnah's Direct Action Resolution
  • Mountbatten Plan of June 1947
  • Indian Independence Act 1947

Modern History Notes on Constitutional Development in India

  • Regulating Act 1773
  • Pitts India Act of 1784
  • Charter Act of 1793
  • Charter Act of 1813
  • Charter Act of 1833
  • Charter Act of 1853
  • Government of India Act 1858
  • Modern History Notes on The Indian Councils Act 1861
  • Indian Councils Act 1892
  • Indian Councils Act 1909
  • Morley - Minto Reforms Government of India Act 1919
  • Montague - Chelmsford Reforms
  • Government of India Act 1935
  • Indian Independence Act, 1947

Governor Generals and Viceroys of India

How to Prepare Modern History Notes?

To cover Modern History section of the syllabus and prepare Modern History Notes, one can refer to the following books:

  • Refer to NCERT: To have a firm grasp of the Modern History Notes, one should refer to the NCERT Books to make a solid foundation.
  • Follow Preferred Books: After completing the NCERTs, one can refer to the UPSC Books on History to cover all the relevant micro-topics of Modern History. One can also refer to some of the History Books for UPSC to make Modern History Notes.

Below we have compiled a list of all the highly recommended Modern History Books for UPSC to compile the notes:

  • India After Gandhi - Ramchandra Guha
  • India's Struggle for Independence - Bipan Chandra
  • History Of Modern India - Bipan Chandra

One should also practice UPSC Previous Year Questions to understand the UPSC Exam Pattern.


write a comment

FAQs on Modern History Notes

  • To make Modern History Notes follow these steps:

    • Step 1: Know the UPSC Syllabus
    • Step 2: Write micro topics.
    • Step 3: Refer to NCERTs and standard books
    • Step 4: Revise periodically
    • Step 5: Add Sources
    • Step 6: Cut Down Your Notes with subsequent readings
  • Modern Indian History is considered the history from 1850 onwards. It includes British Rule, Freedom Struggle, Independence, and so on.

  • Modern History Notes are the most essential part of the UPSC Exam. For UPSC Mains, one needs to write detailed answers, which is only possible when one is well accustomed to the Modern History Notes.

  • The NCERT of Class 12 is best for Modern History Notes. Other than this, one can refer to the old NCERT, Modern India by Bipan Chandra.

Featured Articles

Follow us for latest updates