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IAS Mains Sanskrit Syllabus

Updated On -

May 24, 2019

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Sahil Sachdeva

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In IAS Main exam there are 2 optional papers in UPSC civil services mains exam. You can choose Sanskrit language as an optional subject, if you have graduated in the literature of Sanskrit language as the main subject. With well-planned strategies, you can easily score well in the Sanskrit literature. Interest should be the prime criteria for choosing any optional. Each Sanskrit paper consists of 250 marks. Duration for each Sanskrit mains paper is 3 hours. Candidates preparing for the exam should take a loook at the syllabus for a better understanding of the questionaire, Check IAS Syllabus

IAS Mains Sanskrit Paper 1

Here will be three questions as indicated in the question paper which must be answered in Sanskrit. The remaining questions must be answered either in Sanskrit or in the medium of examination opted by the candidate.

Section A

  1. Significant features of the grammar, with particular stress on Sanjna, Sandhi, Karaka, Samasa, Kartari and Karmani vacyas (voice usages) (to be answered in Sanskrit).

2.(a) Main characteristics of Vedic Sanskrit language.

(b) Prominent features of classical Sanskrit language.

(c) Contribution of Sanskrit to linguistic studies.

  1. General Knowledge of:-

(a) Literary history of Sanskit,

(b) Principal trends of literary criticism

(c) Ramayana,

(d) Mahabharata

(e) The origin and development of literary geners of:

Mahakavya Rupaka (drama) Katha Akhyayika Campu Khandakavya Muktaka Kavya.

Section B

  1. Essentials of Indian Culture with stress on

a) Purusarthas

b) Samskaras

c) Varnasramavyavastha

d) Arts and fine arts

e) Technical sciences

  1. Trends of Indian Philosophy

a) Mimansa

b) Vedanta

c) Nyaya

d) Vaisesika

e) Sankhya

f) Yoga

g) Bauddha

h) Jaina

i) Carvaka

  1. Short Essay in Sanskrit
  2. Unseen passage with the questions, to be answered in Sanskrit.

Read About IAS Exam

IAS Mains Sanskrit Paper 2

Section A

General study of the following groups:-

Group 1

a) Raghuvamsam-Kalidasa

b) Kumarasambhavam-Kalidasa

c) Kiratarjuniyam-Bharavi

d) Sisupalavadham-Magha

e) Naisadhiyacaritam-Sriharsa

f) Kadambari-Banabhatta

g) Dasakumaracaritam -Dandin

h) Sivarajyodayam-S.B. Varnekar

Group 2

a) Isavasyopanisad

b) Bhagavadgita

c) Sundarakanda of Valmiki’s Ramayana

d) Arthasastra of Kautilya

Group 3

a) Svapnavasavadattam- Bhasa

b) Abhijnanasakuntalam- Kalidasa

c) Mrcchakatikam-Sudraka

d) Mudraraksasam-Visakhadatta

e) Uttararamacaritam- Bhavabhuti

f) Ratnavali-Sriharshavardhana

g) Venisamharam- Bhattanarayana

Group 4

Short notes in Sanskrit on the following:-

a) Meghadutam-Kalidasa

b) Nitisatakam-Bhartrhari

c) Panchtantra


e) Harsacaritam-Banabhatta

f) Amarukasatakam-Amaruka

g) Gitagovindam-Jayadeva

Section B

Questions from Groups 1 & 2 are to be answered in Sanskrit only. (Questions from Groups 3 & 4 are to be answered in Sanskrit or in the medium opted by the candidate).

This Section will require first hand reading of the following selected texts :

Group 1

(a) Raghuvansam-Canto I, Verses 1 to 10

(b) Kumarasambhavam-Canto I, Verses 1 to 10

(c) Kiratarjuniyam-Canto I, Verses 1 to 10

Group 2

(a) Isavasyopanisad-verses-1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 15 and 18

(b) Bhagavatgita II chapter verses 13 to 25

(c) Sundarakandam of Valmiki Canto 15, Verses 15 to 30 (Geeta Press Edition)

Group 3

(a) Meghadutam-verses 1 to 10

(b) Nitisatakam-Verses 1 to 10 (Edited by D.D. Kosambi Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Publication)

(c) Kadambari-Sukanaso-padesa (only)

Group 4

(a) Svapnavasavadattam Act VI

(b) Abhijnansakuntalam Act IV verses 15 to 30 (M.R. Kale Edition)

(c) Uttararamacharitam Act 1 verses 31 to 47 (M.R. Kale Edition)

Sanskrit is the primary sacred language of India. Improve writing skills for IAS Mains Sanskrit literature exam. Handwriting should be legible for IAS Exam. A good command over the language is always helpful. Analytical and unconventional questions are appearing in previous papers so while preparing student should keep IAS Mains Sanskrit Syllabus and previous papers for reference.

Read About IAS Syllabus

Sanskrit Previous year Papers

Candidate can download previous year papers of IAS Mains Sanskrit for a better understanding of the examination and its pattern

YEAR Paper-I Paper-II
2016 Download Download
2017 Download Download
2018 Download


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*The article might have information for the previous academic years, please refer the official website of the exam.