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Art and Culture UPSC Prelims Test Series package includes 15 Mini Tests. All the tests are subject based . Answers with explanation is available for every test.

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Art and Culture UPSC Prelims Test Series

TEST DETAILS 

TEST TYPE : MINI TEST 

TOTAL NUMBER OF TESTS : 15

QUESTIONS PER TEST : 25

Art and Culture is one of the multiple topics under UPSC syllabus that needs thorough preparation for the Preliminary Examination. It’s a topic where a lot of uncertainty is involved. The number of questions asked differ every year. So, one should have a holistic strategy to prepare for this subject.

SUBJECT ANALYSIS/TOPICS

  • Religion and philosophy
  • Architecture and sculptures
  • Indian Paintings
  • Indian Music
  • Indian Dances
  • Indian Theatre
  • Indian Cinema
  • Indian language and literature
  • Arts and crafts
  • Indo Islamic culture

RELIGION AND PHILOSOPHY

The schools of philosophy must be divided into two parts — classical (6) and heterodox schools (3).

The Classical Philosophies (where they believe in the cycle of karma and rebirth) should all be bunched together and then found similarities and differences in. If possible just make a table format so that it can be revised quickly before exam.

Heterodox Philosophies are very important and questions are asked every year either from Jainism Buddhism or Charvaka. The yearly question format demands an understanding of the differences and similarities.

ARCHITECTURE

This is an important topic on which a lot of time has to be invested for covering the entire part. One should study this topic chronologically so as to remember it scientifically. Also, one must have knowledge about how art has evolved from prehistoric rock-cut caves to Chola Pandya temples.

Here are a few guidelines that can be followed for the preparation on this particular section:

Hindu temple architecture and its styles:

  • Divide the topics into NAGARA DRAVIDA and VESARA.
  • Memorize different parts of the temple architecture like MANDAPA, VIHARA etc.

Indus Valley Civilization:

Understand and revise the following for this topic:

  • The buildings and their scientific nature
  • The usage of materials and seals
  • The geography and its relevance
  • Their faiths

Jain and Buddhist Architecture:

Different universities and temples are to be studied here. Also, study the different sects in Buddhism and their respective faiths and architectures belonging to them.

Indo-Islamic Architecture:

Different styles like the imperial style, decani style etc. and their influences on Indian Art and Architecture should be studied.

Every topic under this part can be found with exact points in NCERT Fine Arts Book. It’s a bible for this topic. Make a chronological chart and write different types of architecture that prevailed during those times.

INDIAN PAINTINGS

This is a small topic and includes different genres of Indian paintings like cave, Mughal, miniature, Rajput, etc that need to be studied carefully. Also, Mural paintings need to be stressed. Don’t go deep but find important elements and why such prominence is attributed to each painting.

CCRT Website is an important source for this topic.

INDIAN MUSIC

  • Types of Indian music like Hindustani and Carnatic
  • Different parts and their meaning like Bhajan in Hindustani and Tanam -Pallavi in Carnatic Music
  • Different Instruments used and their uses
  • Also, important personalities need to be studied

For this again, CCRT website is a source. Also Facets of Indian culture is an important book.

Don’t go into details just find differences and remember the meaning.

INDIAN DANCES

There are eight classical dances and some folk dances.

Classical dances are to be read with focus on their similarities and differences.

Find their origins and evolution process too. Different parts of dances and their meaning should also be known. The dresses used, makeup styles and any peculiar thing related to the dance forms is important. Famous personalities related to these dance forms are an important piece of information.

Folk dances like bhangra and any news related topics are to be studied.

INDIAN THEATRE

Not many questions have been asked on this topic lately but it cannot be ignored, especially considering the unpredictable nature of UPSC.

Check out previous papers so as to understand the question pattern. Puppetry, Jatra, koodiyatam and Bhavai are some of the important topics along with each of its regional importance. Find what each theatre form is associated with and what stories they tell.

CCRT website can be used for reference.

INDIAN CINEMA

The origin and important personalities of Indian cinema should be focussed on. The evolution of sound and dialogues is also very important under this topic.

The facets of Indian culture is a source one can refer to. Again, not many questions related to this topic have been asked in the recent times.

INDIAN LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE

Find the news pieces on any author rewarded for any of his/her work in classical languages. Also, know all the classical language names.

Hindi literature and English literature and the ideas of novel and series borrowed from different modern kinds of literature are to be studied.

Famous literary personalities like Tagore, Vikram Seth, Anita Desai and their works need to be given special importance.

Personalities from different languages are also to be memorized.

CCRT website can be used as a source for studying this section.

Arts and Crafts

The culture of India reflects under the crafts section. The history and design should be studied accordingly.

Various types of designs like kalamkari and other forms have been asked in UPSC and this should be studied along with the designs’ regional importance.

The best source for this section is the NCERT book Crafts.

INDO ISLAMIC CULTURE

This involves mostly the previously read topics but with special attention to Islamic culture.

The architecture of tombs and styles, their evolution and the regional differences; Kings who patronized; the materials used, different forts in India, Minars, Masjids, etc- everything needs to be read through carefully.

Islamic Music, Sufi and Sufi saints are also to be studied.

NCERT fine arts book again is an important resource.

Summary:

Previous year questions, textbooks, mock tests, revision should help you summarize the strategy in short.

Resources:

  • NCERT FINE ARTS Class 11
  • NCERT Crafts
  • NCERT RS Sharma OLD
  • The Facets of Indian Culture
  • CCRT website
  • Nitin SInghania notes (selective reading only)
  • Strategy

Course Curriculum

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