UPSC » UPSC – Tamil Syllabus

UPSC – Tamil Syllabus


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 development of Ethical literature—Silappadikaram and Manimekalai. 

Part 3 : Devotional Literature (Alwars and Nayanamars) 

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 

Part 1 : 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),  Meyappadu, Padimam (image), Kuriyeedu (Symbol), Irunmai (Ambiguity)—The concept of 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  (Janism and 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. 


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) Purananuru (182—200 poems) 

(3) TirukkuralPorutpal :ArasiyalumAmaichiyalum(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 : Karappu Malarkal 


(1) Mu. Varadharajanar : Aramum Arasiyalum 

(2) C. N. Annadurai : Ye! Thazhntha Tamilagame. 

Part 2 : Novel, Short Story and Drama 

(1) Akilon ; Chittairappavai 

(2) Jayakanthan : Gurupeedam 

(3) Cho : Yaurkkum 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).