The UPSC Civil Services Exam consists of the Prelims, Mains, and Interview stages. As part of their preparation, candidates must select an optional subject for the Mains exam, which significantly impacts their overall ranking. In recent years, literature-based subjects have seen a rising success rate.

Telugu, one of India’s classical languages, belongs to the Dravidian family and is predominantly spoken in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Yanam. With a rich literary tradition, including poetry, drama, novels, and short stories, Telugu is recognized as one of India’s 22 official languages by the Indian Constitution and is included in the list of optional subjects for the UPSC Mains exam.

This article provides the UPSC Mains Telugu Literature Syllabus. The syllabus covers topics such as the evolution of the language, the impact of various factors and other languages on the development of Telugu, its grammar, dialects, and translation processes. Additionally, it covers the history of literature and various other literary genres, as well as major works by prominent Telugu authors.

The optional subject in the UPSC Mains exam is 500 marks, with two papers, each carrying 250 marks. For more information on optional subject syllabi, check the linked article.

Telugu Optional Paper 1

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Answer must be written in Telugu

Section A : Language

1. Place of Telugu among Dravidian languages and itsantiquity—Etymological History of Telugu,Tenugu and Andhra.

2. Major linguistic changes in phonological, morphological, grammatical and syntactical levels, from Proto-Dravidian to old Telugu and from old Telugu to Modern Telugu.

3. Evolution of spoken Telugu when compared to classical Telugu-Formal and functional view of Telugu language.

4. Influence of other languages and its impact on Telugu.

5. Modernization of Telugu language :
(a) Linguistic and literary movements and their role inmodernization of Telugu.
(b) Role of media in modernization of Telugu (Newspapers, Radio, TV etc.)
(c) Problems of terminology and mechanisms incoining new terms in Telugu in various discoursesincluding scientific and technical.

6. Dialects of Telugu—Regional and social variations and problems of Standardization.

7. Syntax—Major divisions of Telugu sentences—simple,complex and compound sentences—Noun and verb predications—Processes of nominalization and
relativization—Direct and indirect reporting-conversion processes.

8. Translation—Problems of translation, cultural, social and idiomatic—Methods of translation—Approaches to translation—Literary and other kinds of translation— Various uses of translation.

Section B : Literature

1. Literature in Pre-Nannaya Period—Marga and Desi poetry.
2. Nannaya Period—Historical and literary background of Andhra Mahabharata.
3. Saiva poets and their contribution—Dwipada, Sataka, Ragada, Udaharana.
4. Tikkana and his place in Telugu literature.
5. Errana and his literary works—Nachana Somana and his new approach to poetry.
6. Srinatha and Potana—Their works and contribution.
7. Bhakti poets in Telugu literature—Tallapaka Annamayya, ramadasu, tyagayya.
8. Evolution of prabandhas—Kavya and prabandha.
9. Southern school of Telugu literature-raghunatha Nayaka, chemakura vankatakavi and women poetsLiterary forms like yakshagana, prose and padakavita.
10. Modern Telugu Literature and literary forms—Novel, Short Story, Drama, Playlet and poetic forms.
11. Literary Movements : Reformation, Nationalism, Neo-classisicism, Romanticism and Progressive, Revolutionary movements.
12. Digambarakavulu, feminist and dalit Literature.
13. Main divisions of folk literature—Performing folk arts.


Telugu Optional Paper 2

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Answer must be written in Telugu
This paper will require first hand reading of the prescribed texts and will be designed to test the candidate’s critical ability, which will be in relation to the following approaches :—
(i) Aesthetic approach—Rassa, Dhawani, Vakroti and Auchitya—Formal and Structural-Imagery and Symbolism.
(ii) Sociological, Historical, Ideological, Psychological approaches.

Section A

1. Nannaya-Dushyanta Chritra (Adiparva 4th Canto verses 5—109).
2. Tikkana-Sri Krishna Rayabaramu (Udyoga parva-3rd Canto verses 1—144).
3. Srinath-Guna Nidhi Katha (Kasikhandam, 4th Canto, verses 76—133).
4. Pingali Surana-sugatri Salinulakatha (Kalapurnodayamu 4 Canto verses, 60—142).
5. Molla-Ramayanamu (Balakanda including avatarika).
6. Kasula Purushothama Kavi—Andhra Nayaka Satakamu.

Section B

7. Gurajada Appa Rao—Animutyalu (Short stories).
8. Viswanatha Satyanarayana—Andhra prasasti.
9. Devulapalli Krishna Sastry—Krishnapaksham (excluding Uravsi and Pravasam).
10. Sri Sri-Maha prastanam.
11. Jashuva-Gabbilam (Part I).
12. C. Narayana Reddy—Karpuravasanta rayalu.
13. Kanuparti Varalakshmamma—Sarada lekhalu (Part I).
14. Atreya—N.G.O.
15. Racha Konda Viswanatha Sastry—Alpajaeevi.


UPSC Telugu Optional Syllabus PDF