About Punjabi Language: –

Punjabi language, Punjabi also spelled Panjabi, one of the most widely spoken Indo-Aryan languages. The old British spelling “Punjabi” remains in more common general usage than the academically precise “Panjabi.” In the early 21st century there were about 30 million speakers of Punjabi in India. It is the official language of the Indian state of Punjab and is one of the languages recognized by the Indian constitution.

Punjabi Syllabus Subject For UPSC

Punjabi is the language provided as a Literature Optional which focuses on the candidates’ understanding of the basic concepts of literature. Candidates who have studied the Punjabi literature can opt for it as an optional subject in the IAS (UPSC CSE) Mains Exam. Analytical and unconventional questions are appearing in previous papers so while preparing students should keep IAS Mains Punjabi Syllabus and previous papers for reference. The aspirants who are well versed with the Punjabi language and are familiar with the grammatical aspects can easily score high marks in this optional. 

Punjabi Syllabus Exam Pattern: –

The Punjabi language is one of the optional subjects offered for the 2 optional papers in the IAS (UPSC CSE) Main Exam. Each Punjabi optional paper consists of 250 marks. Duration for each Punjabi mains paper is 3 hours. With well-planned strategies, you can easily score well in the Punjabi literature. Interest should be the prime criteria for choosing any optional. The aspirants have to answer the questions from both the papers in Punjabi language.

Advantages of choosing Punjabi  

· Well defined syllabus and Less subjectivity

  • Direct and straightforward questions
  • Ample scope to score marks with diagrams
  • The inquiries in this subject are immediate and crucial.
  • Room for interpretation in the written answers
  • Quality of answers as there is no limitation to different kinds of answers.
  • Updation in the syllabus is rare

Disadvantages of choosing Punjabi

  • 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 overlaps with GS papers
  • Essay writing and interviews won’t pose much of a problem as the amount of reading will help with these.


Answers must be written in Punjabi in Gurumukhi Script.


  1. a) Origin of Punjabi language : different stages of development and recent development in Punjabi language : characteristics of Punjabi phonology and the study of its tones: classification of vowels and consonants.
  1. b) Punjabi morphology : the number-gender system (animate and inanimate), prefixes, affixes and different categories of Post positions: Punjabi word formation: Tatsam. Tad Bhav, forms: Sentence structure, the notion of subject and object in Punjabi: Noun and verb phrases.
  1. c) Language and dialect; the notions of dialect and idiolect; major dialects of Punjabi; Pothohari, Majhi, Doabi, Malwai, Puadhi; the validity of speech variation on the basis of social stratification, the distinctive features of various dialects with special reference to tones. Language and script; origin and development of Gurmukhi; suitability of Gurmukhi for Punjabi.
  1. d) Classical background; Nath Jogi Sahit

Medieval literature : Gurmat, Sufti, Kissa and Var Janamsakhis.


  1. a) Modern trends Mystic, romantic, progressive and neomystic (Vir Singh, Puran Singh, Mohan Singh, Amrita Pritam, Bawa Balwant, Pritam Singh Safeer, J.S. Neki).

Experimentalist (Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia, Ravinder Ravi, Ajaib Kamal)

Aesthetes (Harbhajan Singh, Tara Singh)

Neo-progressive (Pash. Jagtar, Patar)

Origin and Development of Genres :

  1. b) Folk literature Folk songs, Folk tales. Riddles, Proverbs.

Epic (Vir Singh, Avtar Singh, Azad Mohan Singh)

Lyric (Gurus, Sufis and Modern Lyricists-Mohan Singh Amrita Pritam, Shiv Kumar, Harbhajan Singh)

  1. c) Drama (I.C. Nanda, Harcharan Singh, Balwant Gargi, S.S.Sekhon, Charan Das Sidhu)

Novel (Vir Singh, Nanak Singh, Jaswant Singh Kanwal, K.S. Duggal, Sukhbir, Gurdial Singh, Dalip Kaur Tiwana, Swaran Chandan)

Short Story (Sujan Singh, K.S. Virk. Prem Parkash, Waryam Sandhu).

  1. d) Socio-cultural   Sanskrit, Persian Literary influences and Western.

Essay (Puran Singh, Teja Singh, Gurbaksh Singh)

Literary Criticism (S.S. Sekhon, Attar Singh, Kishan Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Najam Hussain Sayyad).


Answers must be written in Punjabi in Gurumukhi Script.

This paper will require first-hand reading of the texts prescribed and will be designedto test the candidate’s critical ability.


  1. a) Sheikh Farid The complete Bani as included in the Adi Granth.
  2. b) Guru Nanak Japu Ji Baramah, Asa di Var
  3. c) Bulleh Shah Kafian
  4. d) Waris Shah Heer


  1. a) Shah Mohammad Jangnama (Jang Singhan te Firangian)

Dhani Ram Chatrik (Poet) Chandan Vari

Sufi Khana

Nawan Jahan

  1. b) Nanak Singh (Novelist) Chitta Lahu

Pavittar Papi

Ek Mian Do Talwaran

  1. c) Gurbaksh Singh (Essayist) Zindagi di Ras Nawan Shivala Merian Abhul Yadaan.

    Balraj Sahni (Travelogue) Mera Roosi Safarnama

     Mera Pakistani Safarnama

  1. d) Balwant Gargi (Dramatist) Loha Kutt


        Sultan Razia

        Sant Singh Sekhon (Critic) Sahityarth

        Parsidh Punjabi Kavi

        Punjabi Kav Shiromani