CBSE Syllabus | NCERT Syllabus | Social Science Class 8 NCERT Syllabus



Where, When, How

(a) An overview of the period.
(b) Introduction to the new geographical categories.
(c) An outline of the time frame.
(d) An introduction to the sources.

The Establishment of Company Power

(a) Mercantilism and trade-wars.
(b) Struggle for territory, wars with Indian rulers.
(c) The growth of colonial army and civilian administration. Regional focus: Tamil Nadu.

Rural Life and Society

(a) Colonial agrarian policies; their effect on peasants and landlords.
(b) Growth of commercial crops.
(c) Peasant revolts: focus on indigo rebellions. Regional focus: Bengal and Bihar. Some comparison with later developments in Punjab.

Colonialism and Tribal Societies

(a) Changes within tribal economies and societies in the nineteenth century.
(b) Tribal revolts: focus on Birsa Munda. Regional focus: Chotanagpur and North-East.

Crafts and Industries

(a) Decline of handicrafts in the nineteenth century.
(b)Brief reference to growth of industries in the twentieth century.
Case-studies: textiles.

The Revolt of 1857-58

(a) The rebellion in the army and the spread of the movement.
(b) The nature of elite and peasant participation. Regional focus: Awadh.

Education and British rule

(a) The new education system – schools, syllabi, colleges, universities, technical training.
(b) Changes in the indigenous systems.
(c) Growth of ‘National education’. Case-studies: Baroda, Aligarh.

Women and reform

(a) Debates around sati, widow remarriage, child marriage and age of consent.
(b) Ideas of different reformers on the position of women and women’s education.
Regional focus: Maharashtra and Bengal.

Challenging the Caste System

(a) Arguments for caste reform. The ideas of Phule, Veerasalingam, Sri Narayana Guru, Periyar, Gandhi, Ambedkar.
(b) Consequences and implications of the activities of the reformers.
Region: Maharashtra, Andhra.

Colonialism and Urban Change

(a) De-urbanisation and emergence of new towns.
(b) Implications of colonial policies and institutions – municipalities, public works, planning, railway links, police. Case-study: Delhi.

Changes in the Arts: Painting, Literature, architecture

(a) Impact of new technologies and institutions: art schools, printing press.
(b) Western academic style and nationalist art.
(c) Changes in performing arts – music and dance enter the public arena.
(d) New forms of writing.
(e) New architecture.
Case-studies: Mumbai, Chennai.

The Nationalist Movement

(a) Overview of the nationalist movement from the 1870s to the 1940s.
(b) Diverse trends within the movement and different social groups involved.
(c) Links with constitutional changes.
Case study: Khilafat to Non Cooperation.

India after Independence

(a) National and regional developments since 1947.
(b) Relations with other countries.
(c) Looking to the future.



Resources: resources and their types – natural and human.

Natural resources: their distribution, utilisation and conservation, land and soil, water, natural vegetation, wildlife, mineral and power resources (world patterns with special reference to India).

Agriculture: types of farming, major crops, food crops, fibres, beverages, agricultural development – two case studies – one from India and the other from a developed country/a farm in the US/ Netherlands/ Australia.

Industries: classification of industries based on size, raw material, ownership; major industries and distribution; infrastructure and development. Iron and Steel (a comparative study of Jamshedpur and a centre in USA e.g., Detroit).
Textile Industry (Ahmedabad and Osaka).
Information Technology (Bangalore and Silicon Valley).

Human Resources – composition, population change, distribution and density.


UNIT 1: The Constitution

This unit focuses on the Constitution through first highlighting why there is a need for laws and then showing how the Constitution is the framework that determines the making of laws in this country. Aspects of secularism as well as economic justice are highlighted with respect to the Constitution.

Section 1

  • The Role of the Constitution and the Need for Laws
  • On need for laws discussed through an example like dowry,
  • Role of Constitution in determining the authority/ legitimacy of the law,
  • Laws and Dissent: Salt Satyagraha and a post-1947 example such as anti-liquor agitation.

Section 2

  • Vision set forth in the Indian Constitution with a focus on secularism.
  • On how an ideal of the Constitution translates into a law
  • On how ideals of secularism got translated into fundamental rights.
  • On Fundamental rights as human rights.
  • On Fundamental Duties.
  • On whether the fact that a law exists to secure certain rights mean that in effect these rights have been realised for all. This will be discussed wit examples from current efforts of various marginalised communities to realise their rights.

UNIT 2: Parliamentary Government

In this unit the functioning of parliamentary government and the roles and responsibilities of the various individuals involved in explained in context. In addition the workings of the central government are explained through the steps involved in passing a new law that arose out of people’s struggles

Section 1

  • Reasons why parliamentary form chosen in India.
  • Main features of composition of parliament and its role in debating a bill.
  • Accountability of the government to the parliament.
  • Role of President, PM and the Council of Ministers. Case Study: Debate between Nehru and Rajendra Prasad on the real powers of the President.

Section 2

Understand central government through issue of minimum wages or other struggles keeping following in mind:
– Translation of felt need into law and the critical features of the legislation.
– Implication of law.

UNIT 3: The Judiciary

This unit focuses on understanding the judiciary through tracing a case from the lower to the higher courts. It also examines the difference between civil and criminal cases and the difference between the police and the courts as well as provides information on an FIR.

Section 1

  • The structure and process followed by the judiciary: Trace a case from lower to higher courts.
  • Distinguish between civil and criminal cases.
  • Indicate the rationale of the process

Section 2

Difference between the roles of the police and that of the courts.

  • Role of the Public Prosecutor.
  • On an FIR: filing one, on the illegality of the police not accepting an FIR and the Supreme Court’s directive on this.

UNIT 4: Social Justice and the Marginalised

This unit focuses on issues of social justice and the marginalised. It first provides an understanding of what is meant by ‘marginalised’ groups. It then discusses indepth the issue of untouchability and reservations.

Section 1

A brief explanation of what is meant by marginalised. Include how various communities (SC, ST, OBC, minorities) fit in.

  • Forms of social inequality – Constitutional provisions relating to social justice.
  • Effect of social inequalities on economic inequalities.
  • On Reservations.

Section 2

Different forms of untouchability that continue to exist

  • The law on manual scavenging with reference to existing realities in rural and urban areas.

UNIT 5: Economic Presence of the Government

Introduction of various ways by which government is engaged in developmental activities, especially in infrastructure and social sectors.

Explain with an example from this area why we need the government, how is the provision done, how does it impact upon people.

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