Syllabus Bengali Literature Optional

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UPSC Bengali Literature Optional

Bengali is one of the 28 language literature subjects offered as optional by UPSC. Bengali has a rich literature and illustrious history of translations, original works, and philosophy. Bengali is one of the 22 official languages of India included in the eighth schedule of the Constitution of India. Bengali has a rich literature and illustrious history of translations, original works, and philosophy. This is a highly specialized subject and candidates who have studied Bengali as a part of their curriculum or have learned it as their mother tongue should take up this optional subject. The paper has to be written in the Bengali script.

Syllabus for Bengali Literature Optional Paper-I

Section-A  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 (centralization), Nasikyibhavan (Nasalization), Samibhavan (Assimilation), Sadrishya (Analogy), Svaragama (Vowel insertion)-Adi Svaragama, Madhya Svaragama or Svarabhakti, Antya Svaragama, Svarasangati (Vowel harmony), shruti 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.)

Section-B 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 kavya, 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.
Syllabus for Bengali Literature Optional Paper-II


  • 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 Chatterjee.
  • 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.

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