Are you planning on appearing for the UPSC CS Exam in 2021? Have you decided on a subject yet? Is Hindi your first or second language? Is it one of your strongest suits? Have you considered choosing Hindi Literature for your UPSC Mains Optional? Wondering if it would be an apt choice?

If you have decided to opt for Hindi Literature as one of your Optional Subjects for the Mains, read this article for a detailed syllabus of Hindi for UPSC 2021. You can read till the end to find out why Hindi is a good Optional subject, what is the exam pattern, and how it is different from other optional subjects’ syllabus.

Hindi Optional Syllabus for UPSC 2021

Before diving into the UPSC Hindi Literature Optional syllabus, take a look at the rules for language papers as provided by UPSC:

  • The candidates may be required to answer some or all of the questions in the language concerned.
  • The questions that are not indicated to be written in the concerned language, should be written in the medium of language chosen by them for papers on Essay, General Studies, and Optional Subjects.
  • For the Hindi paper, it has been indicated that the answers must be written in Hindi.
Paper 1

The syllabus for Hindi Optional Paper 1 includes-

Section A- History of Hindi Language and Nagari Lipi

  •  Grammatical and applied forms of Apbhransh, Awahatta & Arambhik Hindi.
  •  Development of Braj and Awadhi as literary language during the medieval period.
  •  The early form of Khari-boli in Siddha- Nath Sahitya, Khusero, Sant Sahitya, Rahim, etc. and Dakhni Hindi.
  • Development of Khari-boli and Nagari Lipi during the 19th Century.
  • Standardization of Hindi Bhasha & Nagari Lipi.
  • Development of Hindi as a national Language during the freedom movement.
  • The development of Hindi as a National Language of Union of India.

Section B- History of Hindi Literature

  • The relevance and importance of Hindi literature and tradition of writing History of Hindi Literature.
  • Literary trends of the following four periods of the history of Hindi Literature, that is, Adikal, Bhaktikal, Ritikal, Adhunik Kaal
  • Hindi Prose
  • Drama and Theatre
  • Criticism
  • Other forms of Hindi prose such as Lalit Nibandh, Rekhachitra (Sketches), Sansmaran (Memoirs), Yatra-Vrittant (Travelogues), etc.

Also Read: Detailed Syllabus for UPSC Hindi Compulsory and Optional Paper

Paper 2

The syllabus for Paper 2 includes the following prescribed texts-

Section A

  • Kabir- Kabir Granthavali, Ed, Shyam Sundar Das (First hundred Sakhis)
  • Surdas- Bhramar Geet Sar, Ed. Ramchandra Shukla (First hundred Padas)
  • Tulsidas- Ramcharitmanas
  • Jayasi: Padmawat Ed. Shyam Sundar Das (Sinhal Dwip Khand & Nagmativiyog Khand)
  • Bihari- Bihari Ratnakar Ed. Jagannath Prasad Ratnakar (First 100 Dohas)
  • Maithili Sharan Gupta- Bharat Bharati
  • Prasad- Kamayani (Chinta and Shraddha Sarg)
  • Nirala- Rag Virag, Ed. Ram Vilas Sharma (Ram ki Shakti Puja & Kukurmutta)
  • Dinkar- Kurukshetra
  • Agyeya- Aangan Ke Paar Dwaar
  • Muktibodh: Brahm Rakhashas
  • Nagarjun: Badal ko Ghirte Dekha Hai, Akal Ke Bad, Harijan Gatha

Section B

  • Bharatendu: Bharat Durdasha
  • Mohan Rakesh: Ashad Ka Ek Din
  • Ramchandra Shukla: Chintamani (Part I) (Kavita Kya Hai]
  • Dr. Satyendra: Nibandh Nilaya
  • Premchand: Godan, Premchand ki Sarvashreshtha Kahaniyan, Ed. Amrit Rai/Manjusha – Prem Chand ki Sarvashreshtha Kahaniyan, Ed. Amrit Rai.
  • Prasad: Skandagupta
  • Yashpal: Divya
  • Phaniswar Nath Renu: Maila Anchal
  • Mannu Bhandari: Mahabhoj
  • Rajendra Yadav: Ek Dunia Samanantar 

Exam Pattern

The Hindi Optional Paper includes the following types of essays-

  1. Nibandh (Essay)- 2 essays for 50 marks each
  2. Gadyansh (Reading comprehension)-  12 passages for 5 marks each
  3. Sankshepan (Précis writing)- Condense a piece of prose for 60 marks
  4. Anuvad (Translation) From English to Hindi vice versa for 20 marks each
  5. Other questions including Muhavare; Shudhi; Paryayavachi; Yugm for 40 marks

Is Hindi Literature a Good Optional?

Hindi is considered to be a great optional subject for the following reasons-

  • The syllabus is concise and direct as compared to that of anthropology, sociology, history syllabus in Hindi and English.
  • If you finished your schooling in Hindi Medium or if you are a Hindi graduate/ postgraduate, you might be familiar with a few of the texts in the syllabus. You might find it easy to study the syllabus for the same reason.
  • Literature is a scoring subject, be it in any language.
  • If you practice your answer writing well, the exam would be a cakewalk for you. Your answer structure and content can help you score better and with literature, you can always expand your answers with additional thoughts or valid interpretations.
  • Not a lot of people choose Hindi as optional and you won’t have to face much competition with the subject.


Hindi may not seem like the ideal subject to you but if you look at the UPSC Mains syllabus and the advantages of choosing this paper, you might want to reconsider your decision. It is also a matter of great pride if you are fluent in your mother tongue. It is one of the most sought subjects for Hindi graduates. For more such ideas about scoring subjects for Optionals, keep a watch at this space.

Also Read: How to Prepare for UPSC Mains Hindi Exam?

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Hindi Optional Syllabus for UPSC: What is the Paper Pattern for Hindi Literature?
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Hindi Optional Syllabus for UPSC: What is the Paper Pattern for Hindi Literature?
What is the syllabus for UPSC optional Hindi language and Literature? Is it as vast as that of sociology, geography, or anthropology? Is Hindi Literature a good optional subject?
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UPSC Pathshala
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