The Bengali language is a popular optional subject and can be chosen for the 2 optional papers in the IAS (UPSC CSE) Main Exam. With well-planned strategies, you can easily score well in the Bengali literature. Interest and knowledge is the primary criteria to choose this topic. Each Bengali paper consists of 250 marks. Duration for each Bengali mains paper is 3 hours.
As per the latest news for 2021, the notification for IAS (UPSC CSE) will be released anytime soon, but the exam dates for prelims remain unchanged and on June 27, 2021.
Who should opt for Bengali in IAS (UPSC CSE) Mains?
Candidates who have studied the Bengali literature can opt for it as an optional subject in the IAS (UPSC CSE) Mains Exam. Some of the factors that one must account for before choosing Bengali as an optional subject are:
Advantages of choosing Bengali
- Lesser competition as less number of aspirants chooses literature (Bengali included) as an optional.
- Stress reliever as an interest in the subject can work as a therapy.
- Quality of answers as there is no limitation to different kinds of answers.
- Updation in the syllabus is rare
- Essay writing and interviews won’t pose much of a problem as the amount of reading will help with these.
Disadvantages of choosing Bengali
- Subjective Nature of the answers can lead to less scoring at times if your views do not match with the evaluator.
- Lack of resources
- No syllabus overlap with GS papers
IAS (UPSC CSE) Mains Bengali Paper 1 Syllabus
Topics from the History of Bangla language-
- The chronological track from Proto Indo-European to Bangla (Family tree with branches and approximate dates).
- Historical stages of Bangla (Old, Middle, New) and their linguistic features.
- Dialects of Bangla and their distinguishing characteristics.
- Elements of Bangla Vocabulary.
- Forms of Bangla Literary ProseSadhu and Chalit.
- Processes of language change relevant for Bangla. Apinihiti (Anaptyxis), Abhishruti (umlaut), Murdhanyibhavan (cerebralization), Nasikyibhavan (Nasalization), Samibhavan (Assimilation), Sadrishya (Analogy), Svaragama (Vowel insertion)-Adi Svaragama, Madhya Svaragama or Svarabhakti, Antya Svaragama, Svarasangati (Vowel hormony), yshruti and w-shruti.
- Problems of standardization and reform of alphabet and spelling, and those of transliteration and Romanization.
- Phonology, Morphology and Syntax of Modern Bangla. (Sounds of Modern Bangla, Conjuncts; word formations, compounds; basic sentence patterns.)
Topics from the History of Bangla Literature-
- Periodization of Bangla Literature: Old Bangla and Middle Bangla.
- Points of difference between modern and pre-modern Bangla Literature.
- Roots and reasons behind the emergence of modernity in Bangla Literature.
- Evolution of various Middle Bangla forms: Mangal kavyas, Vaishnava lyrics, Adapted narratives (Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bhagavata) and religious biographies.
- Secular forms in middle Bangla literature.
- Narrative and lyric trends in the nineteenth century Bangla poetry.
- Development of prose.
- Bangla dramatic literature (nineteenth century, Tagore, Post-1944 Bangla drama).
- Tagore and post-Tagoreans.
- Fiction, major authors: (Bankimchandra, Tagore, Saratchandra, Bibhutibusan, Tarasankar, Manik).
- Women and Bangla literature: creators and created.
IAS (UPSC CSE) Mains Bengali Paper 2 Syllabus
- Vaishnava Padavali (Calcutta University) Poems of Vidyapati, Chandidas, Jnanadas, Govindadas and Balaramdas.
- Chandimangal Kalketu episode by Mukunda (Sahitya Akademi).
- Chaitanya Charitamrita Madya Lila, by Krishnadas Kaviraj (Sahitya Akademi).
- Meghnadbadh Kavya by Madhusudan Dutta.
- Kapalkundala by Bankimchandra Chattarjee.
- Samya and Bangadesher Krishak by Bankimchandra Chatterjee.
- Sonar Tari by Rabindranath Tagore.
- Chhinnapatravali by Rabindranath Tagore.
- Raktakarabi by Rabindranath Tagore.
- Nabajatak by Rabindranath Tagore.
- Grihadaha by Saratchandra Chatterjee.
- Prabandha Samgraha Vol. 1, by Pramatha Choudhuri.
- Aranyak by Bibhutibhusan Banerjee
- Short stories by Manik Bandyo-padhyay : Atashi Mami, Pragaitihasik, Holud-Pora, Sarisrip, Haraner Natjamai, Chhoto-Bokulpurer Jatri, Kustharogir Bou, Jakey Ghush Ditey Hoy.
- Shrestha Kavita by Jibanananda Das.
- Jagori by Satinath Bhaduri.
- Ebam Indrajit by Badal Sircar.
Analytical and unconventional questions are appearing in previous papers so while preparing students should keep IAS Mains Bengali language Syllabus and previous papers for reference.
*The article might have information for the previous academic years, please refer the official website of the exam.