CBSE Board History Syllabus for Class 12

CBSE Board Syllabus for Class 12 History

Class XII
Time : 3 hours
Paper One
Marks : 100

Units Periods(180) Marks
Themes in Indian History Part-I
Units 1 - 4 45 25
Themes in Indian History Part-II
Units 5 - 9 55 30
Themes in Indian History Part-III
Units 10 - 15 70 35
Unit 16 : Map Work 10 10
Class XII: Themes in Indian History

Themes Period(45) Objectives
1. The Story of the First Cities: Harappan Archaeology.
Broad overview: Early urban centres
Story of discovery: Harappan civilization
Excerpt: Archaeological report on a major site.
Discussion: how it has been utilized by archaeologists/historians

Familiarize the learner with earlyurban centres as economic and social institutions.
Introduce the ways in which new Story of discovery:
Introduce the ways in which new data can lead to a revision of existing notions of history
Illustrate how archaeological  reports are analyzed and interpreted by scholars.
2. 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 history
Excerpt: Asokan inscription and Gupta period land grant.
Discussion: Interpretation of inscriptions by historians.
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.
3. Social Histories: Using the Mahabharata
Broad overview: Issues in social history, including caste, class, kinship and gender.
Story of discovery: Transmission and publications of the Mahabharat.
Excerpt: from the Mahabharata, illustrating how it has been used by historians.
Discussion: Other sources for reconstructing
social history.
12 Familiarize the learner with issues in social history.

Introduce strategies of textual Introduce strategies of textual reconstructing social history.
4. A History of Buddhism: Sanchi Stupa
Broad overview: (a) A brief review of religious histories of Vedic religion, Jainism, Vaisnavism, Saivism. (b) Focus on Buddhism.

Story of discovery: Sanchi Stupa

Discussion: Ways in which sculpture has been interpreted by historians, other sources for reconstructing the history of Buddhism.
11 Discuss the major religious developments in early India.

Introduce strategies of visual analysis and their use in reconstructing histories of religion.
Part II
5. Agrarian Relations: The Ain-i- Akbari

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.
11 Discuss developments in agrarian relations.

Discuss how to supplement official documents with other sources.
6. The Mughal Court: Reconstructing 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 used the texts to reconstruct political histories. 11 Familiarize the learner with the major landmarks in political history

Show how chronicles and other sources are used to reconstruct the histories of political institutions.
7. New Architecture: Hampi 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. 11 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.
8. Religious Histories: The Bhakti-Sufi tradition 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. 11 Familiarize the learner with religious developments.

Discuss ways of analyzing devotional literature as sources of history.
9. Medieval Society Through Travellers' Accounts

Broad Overview: Outline of social and cultural life as they appear in travellers’ 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 historians. 11 Familiarize the learner with the salient features of social histories described by the travellers.

Discuss how travellers’ accounts can be used as sources of social history
Part III (70)   
10. Colonialism and-Rural Society: Evidence from Official Reports

Broad overview : (a). Life of zamindars, peasants and artisans in the late 18 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 under taken 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 historians. 11 Discuss how colonialism affected Zamindars, peasants and artisans.

Understand the problems and limits of using official sources for understanding the lives of people.
11. Representations of 1857

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.
11 Discuss how the events of 1857 are being reinterpreted.

Discuss how visual material can be used by historians
12. Colonialism and Indian Towns: Town Plans and Municipal Reports

Broad Overview: The growth of Mumbai, Chennai, hill stations and cantonments in the 18th and 19th century.
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.
Familiarize the learner with the history of modern urban centres.
Discuss how urban histories can be written by drawing on different types of sources.
13. Mahatma Gandhi through Contemporary Eyes

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 writings.

Discussion: How newspapers can be a source of history.
13 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.
14. Partition through Oral Sources

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 event. 12 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.
15. The Making of the Constitution

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. 12 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.
16. Map Work on Units 1-15 10 
Recommended text books :
1. Themes in Indian History, Part I, Published by NCERT
2. Themes in Indian History Part-II, Published by NCERT
3. Themes in Indian History Part-III, Published by NCERT