IAS (UPSC CSE) Mains 2021 Tamil Syllabus

Updated On -

Mar 22, 2021

The IAS (UPSC CSE) is conducted in three stages- Prelims, Mains and Interview. The candidates should choose one optional subject for the IAS (UPSC CSE) exam. Optional subject in the mains exam is playing a major role in uplifting the ranking of the aspirants. As per the recent trends, the success rate of Literature subjects is leaping with the passage of time.

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Tamil is one of the oldest languages, which is used in India. The language is usually used in the Davidian family and it has a well documented history. On the other hand, the language is widely used in Tamil Nadu, few parts of Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The language has facilitated in the Indian Constitution and is considered as one of the official languages of the Union of India.

One can choose the Tamil language as an optional subject if they have graduated in the literature of Tamil language as the main subject. With well-planned strategies, individuals can easily score well in Tamil literature. Interest should be the prime criteria for choosing any optional. Each Tamil paper consists of 250 marks. The duration for each Tamil mains paper is 3 hours. Take a look at the detailed IAS Syllabus

Tamil Literature Optional Syllabus for IAS (UPSC CSE) MAins 2021

The Tamil Syllabus includes literary history, recent trends of the studying the language and cultural heritage. Apart from this, the subject includes ancient, medieval and modern Tamil literature and several forms of writing, used by Tamil writers.

IAS (UPSC CSE) Mains Tamil Paper 1

(Answers must be written in Tamil)

Section A

Part: 1

History of Tamil Language Major Indian Language Families- The place of Tamil among Indian languages in general and Dravidian in particular- Enumeration and Distribution of Dravidian languages.

The language of Sangam literature-The language of medieval Tamil: Pallava period only-Historical study of Nouns, Verbs, adjectives, adverbs Tense markers, and case markers in Tamil.

Borrowing of words from other languages into Tamil-Regional and social dialects difference between literary and spoken Tamil.

Part: 2

History of Tamil Literature Tolkappiyam-Sangam Literature-The division of Akam and Puram-The secular characteristics of Sangam Literature-The Employment News 31 May – 6 June 2014 41 development of Ethical literature- Silappadikaram and Manimekalai.

Part: 3

Devotional literature (Alwars and Nayanmars) The bridal mysticism in Alwar hymns-Minor literary forms (Tutu, Ula, Parani, Kuravanji) Social factors for the development of Modern Tamil literature: Novel, Short story and New Poetry-The impact of various political ideologies on modern writings.

Section B


Recent trends in Tamil Studies Approaches to criticism: Social, psychological, historical and moralistic-the use of criticism-the various techniques in literature: Ullurai, Iraicchi, Thonmam (Myth) Otturuvagam (allegory), Angadam (Satire), Meyppadu, Padimam(image), Kuriyeedu (Symbol), Irunmai (ambiguity)- The concept of the comparative literature-the principle of comparative literature.

Part: 2

Folk literature in Tamil: Ballads, Songs, proverbs and riddles-Sociological study of Tamil folklore. Uses of translation- Translation of Tamil works into other languages-Development of journalism in Tamil.

Part: 3

Cultural Heritage of the Tamils Concept of Love and War-Concept of Aram-the ethical codes adopted by the ancient Tamils in their warfare-customs, beliefs, rituals, modes of worship in the five Thinais. The cultural changes as revealed in post-Sangam literature-cultural fusion in the medieval period (Jainism & Buddhism). The development of arts and architecture through the ages (Pallavas, later Cholas, and Nayaks). The impact of various political, social, religious, and cultural movements on Tamil Society. The role of mass media in the cultural change of contemporary Tamil society.

Read About IAS Exam

IAS Mains Tamil Paper 2

(Answers must be written in Tamil)

The paper will require first-hand reading of the Text prescribed and will be designed to test the critical ability of the candidate.

Section A

Part 1: Ancient Literature

  1. Kuruntokai (1-25 poems)
  2. Purananurui (182-200 poems)
  3. Tirukkural Porutpal: Arasiyalum Amaichiyalum (from Iraimatchi to Avaianjamai)

Part 2: Epic Literature

  1. Silappadikaram: Madhurai Kandam only.
  2. Kambaramayanam: Kumbakarunan Vadhai Padalam

Part 3: Devotional Literature

  1. Tiruvasagam: Neetthal Vinnappam
  2. Tiruppavai: (Full Text)

Section B

Modern Literature

Part:1 Poetry

  1. Bharathiar: Kannan Pattu
  2. Bharathidasan: Kudumba Vilakku
  3. Naa. Kamarasan: Karuppu Malarkal


  1. Mu. Varadharajanar. Aramum Arasiyalum
  2. C N Annadurai: Ye! Thazhntha Tamilagame.

Part 2: Novel, Short story and Drama

  1. Akilon: Chittirappavai
  2. Jayakanthan: Gurupeedam
  3. Cho: Yarukkum Vetkamillai

Part 3: Folk Literature

  1. Muthuppattan Kathai Edited by Na. Vanamamalai, (Publication: Madurai Kamaraj University)
  2. Malaiyaruvi, Edited by Ki. Va Jagannathan (Publication: Saraswathi, Mahal, Thanjavur).

Improve writing skills for the IAS Mains Tamil literature exam. Handwriting should be legible for IAS (UPSC CSE) Exam. Good command over the language is always helpful. Analytical and unconventional questions are appearing in previous papers so while preparing students should keep IAS Mains Tamil Syllabus and previous papers for reference.

Tamil Previous Year Papers

Candidate can download previous year papers of IAS Mains Tamil.

Year Paper 1 Paper 2
2016 Download Download
2017 Download Download
2018 Download Download
2019 Download Download
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*The article might have information for the previous academic years, please refer the official website of the exam.