About Sanskrit Language: -

Sanskrit language is an Old Indo-Aryan language in which the most ancient documents are the Vedas, composed in what is called Vedic Sanskrit. Sanskrit has been written both in Devanāgarī script and in various regional scripts, such as Śāradā from the north (Kashmir), Bāṅglā (Bengali) in the east, Gujarātī in the west, and various southern scripts, including the Grantha alphabet, which was especially devised for Sanskrit texts.

Sanskrit Syllabus Subject For UPSC

Sanskrit 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 Sanskrit 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 Sanskrit Syllabus and previous papers for reference. The aspirants who are well versed with the Sanskrit language and are familiar with the grammatical aspects can easily score high marks in this optional. 

Sanskrit Syllabus Exam Pattern: -

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

Advantages of choosing Sanskrit  

· 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 Sanskrit

  • 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.

IAS (UPSC CSE) 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

  • Significant features of the grammar, with particular stress on Sanjna, Sandhi, Karaka, Samasa, Kartari and Karmani vacyas (voice usages) (to be answered in Sanskrit).
  • Main characteristics of Vedic Sanskrit language.
    • Prominent features of classical Sanskrit language.
    • Contribution of Sanskrit to linguistic studies.
  • General Knowledge of:-
    • Literary history of Sanskit,
    • Principal trends of literary criticism
    • Ramayana,
    • Mahabharata
    • The origin and development of literary geners of: Mahakavya Rupaka (drama) Katha Akhyayika Campu Khandakavya Muktaka Kavya.

Section B

  • Essentials of Indian Culture with stress on
    • Purusarthas
    • Samskaras
    • Varnasramavyavastha
    • Arts and fine arts
    • Technical sciences
  • Trends of Indian Philosophy
    • Mimansa
    • Vedanta
    • Nyaya
    • Vaisesika
    • Sankhya
    • Yoga
    • Bauddha
    • Jaina
    • Carvaka
  • Short Essay in Sanskrit
  • Unseen passage with the questions, to be answered in Sanskrit.

IAS (UPSC CSE) Mains Sanskrit Paper 2

Section A

General study of the following groups:-

Group 1

  • Raghuvamsam-Kalidasa
  • Kumarasambhavam-Kalidasa
  • Kiratarjuniyam-Bharavi
  • Sisupalavadham-Magha
  • Naisadhiyacaritam-Sriharsa
  • Kadambari-Banabhatta
  • Dasakumaracaritam -Dandin
  • Sivarajyodayam-S.B. Varnekar

Group 2

  • Isavasyopanisad
  • Bhagavadgita
  • Sundarakanda of Valmiki’s Ramayana
  • Arthasastra of Kautilya

Group 3

  • Svapnavasavadattam- Bhasa
  • Abhijnanasakuntalam- Kalidasa
  • Mrcchakatikam-Sudraka
  • Mudraraksasam-Visakhadatta
  • Uttararamacaritam- Bhavabhuti
  • Ratnavali-Sriharshavardhana
  • Venisamharam- Bhattanarayana

Group 4

Short notes in Sanskrit on the following:-

  • Meghadutam-Kalidasa
  • Nitisatakam-Bhartrhari
  • Panchtantra
  • Rajatarangini-Kalhana
  • Harsacaritam-Banabhatta
  • Amarukasatakam-Amaruka
  • 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

  • Raghuvansam-Canto I, Verses 1 to 10
  • Kumarasambhavam-Canto I, Verses 1 to 10
  • Kiratarjuniyam-Canto I, Verses 1 to 10

Group 2

  • Isavasyopanisad-verses-1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 15 and 18
  • Bhagavatgita II chapter verses 13 to 25
  • Sundarakandam of Valmiki Canto 15, Verses 15 to 30 (Geeta Press Edition)

Group 3

  • Meghadutam-verses 1 to 10
  • Nitisatakam-Verses 1 to 10 (Edited by D.D. Kosambi Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Publication)
  • Kadambari-Sukanaso-padesa (only)

Group 4

  • Svapnavasavadattam Act VI
  • Abhijnansakuntalam Act IV verses 15 to 30 (M.R. Kale Edition)
  • Uttararamacharitam Act 1 verses 31 to 47 (M.R. Kale Edition)