BA Honours with a Major in History

Programme Description

The BA Honours Programme with a Major in History introduces students to different ways of accessing the past that make the study of history exciting and rewarding. The programme is designed to stimulate students’ interest in India’s varied pasts in relation to wider global patterns. Through a combination of innovative courses that are thematic and chronological, students will be equipped to understand historical sources and evidence, analyse them, ask new questions and debate stereotypes and interpretations. The programme is inter-disciplinary with several options that enable students to explore new frontiers of knowledge. Special attention is paid to issues of equity, marginality, gender, environment and cultural diversity.

Courses are structured around a number of themes, areas and time spans. A number of core compulsory courses deal with India from the earliest times to the contemporary period. Indian history is studied in conjunction with other core courses that cover world history. Elective courses are offered on specific themes, societies and nations: for example, art and architecture, decolonisation, wars and revolutions, contemporary India, caste, modernity, science and technology, India and China, Japan, Southeast Asia, Africa, and Europe etc. Elective courses provide opportunities to pursue areas of special interest. Issues and questions are framed in historical contexts and critical reading of texts, visual material and artifacts is central to the teaching and learning process. Students taking history courses at AUD are encouraged to participate in field trips and excursions, and undertake projects that enhance critical thinking and develop analytical skills. In short, they are trained to think and practice as historians.

The BA History Honours at AUD is unique in its conception and execution and creates a range of opportunities for students. The programme prepares students to pursue higher studies in history or to choose careers in diverse fields such as administration, law, media, heritage management, conservation and social/development sectors. MA in History and some postgraduate programmes in related disciplines are offered at AUD itself. Further information about History Honours at AUD can be sought by writing to Prof. Dhirendra Dangwal (

Programme Structure

The programme is delivered through a total number of 96 credits over six semesters. The programme consists of two types of courses: Compulsory and Elective.

Students are encouraged to participate in field trips and excursions. They explore cinema and visual culture and undertake projects that enhance critical thinking and develop analytical skills. The elective courses pertain to more specialised areas of application. The course comprises tutorial and lab sessions, field trips, workshops and seminars etc.

Brief descriptions of the core and elective courses of the History Major are provided below:

H01- Ancient Societies

Modern human evolution traces it evolution into the millions of years. From this long human past we have chosen the ancient period as the subject matter of this course. In terms of chronology we will confine ourselves to history up to the period of first millennium A.D. This vast period is divided into two major parts. The earlier period which is referred to as pre-history where we have no written records or literary sources. The second is historical period for which in addition to other sources we have literary evidence also. In view of the vast canvas and long period it would not be possible to undertake the study of every social group and society in this course. We have, therefore, chosen what we feel are representative cultures, societies, regions, civilisations, religions and social, political and economic systems for understanding the growth of human civilisation over time.

H02- Understanding the Past

This course is designed to familiarize students with philosophy of history—that is, the area of knowledge concerned with the past and its meanings. Some key questions we explore are: How are ‘sources of history’ (written, material, oral and other) used? Is History an effort to discover and recover ‘the past’ or is it instead a creative, meaning-making process, or is it both of these at once? While addressing claims about how Scientific History organizes our understanding of past events and experiences, we consider alternative ways of knowing that have characterized the past 3,000 or more years of human life. We examine mythic and epic stories, biographies and cinematic representations of the past as well as ‘proper’ historical texts.

H03- Medieval and Early Modern World: c. 500 CE to 1750 CE

It deals with the characteristics of the medieval world and its evolution into the early modern age. The medieval world no longer refers to a static, insulated, self-sufficient rural economy and polity; nor does it imply an extra-worldly orientation of human life. The expansion of arable and livestock farming occurred all through this period, and the trade and exchanges expanded since the 11th century. These developments led to renewed exchanges among the different civilisations located across the continents. All these informed the spirit of the so-called renaissance in city-states of contemporary Italy in the 14thc. These developments passed through the crises of the 14thc and 15thc in the case of Europe, where the revolts of the serf heralded the march of a fundamental reorganization in the feudal society and economy. The overseas exploration undertaken by Western Europeans laid down the foundation for Early Modern Europe (the mercantile economy and absolutist polity). The course looks at the interaction among the societies in Europe, north-west Africa, and Asia (especially the Islamic world). It highlights the different periodization of medieval and early modern life, as it were, in the different societies.

H04- Early India: Economy, Polity and Society

The course on early India will familiarise students with economy, polity and society of the Indian subcontinent from the pre-historic times up to the 8th century. The course will deal with the reconstruction of early India’s history based on various sources rooted in archaeology, myths, memory, folklore, classical texts and popular literature. The course traces aspects of marginality, hierarchy as well as new religious and philosophical thoughts as they evolved over a period of time. Power relations, social stratification and state structures are analysed in relation to changing modes of production and are discussed with reference to the varna system and gender.

H05- Medieval India I: Polity and Administration

This course familiarises students with the processes of emergence of Indo-Islamic political institutions, that were shaped by continuous interactions between West and Central Asian Immigrants and indigenous communities in India. The impact of these interactions as visible in kingship, governance and statecraft would be explored in the course through study of courtly cultures, texts, architectural traditions, military techniques and innovations and administrative structures.

H06- Modern World 1750-2000

This course focuses on the emergence and progression of the modern world order and implications of the ‘modernity’ for humankind and their habitat. It deals with the great divergence found between the north Atlantics and the Asians. The modernism - enlightenment - is not viewed as a force imposed by the West on ‘The Rest’, but rather as something emerging from interaction between commercial-industrial societies of the northern and western hemispheres and the peoples of the East and South.

H07- Medieval India II: Economy and Society

The course offers an insight into the nature of agrarian and urban economy of medieval India. It takes into account an analysis of the social structures with particular reference to peasantry, trading classes and ruling elites. It provides insights into medieval Indian society through readings on arts, architecture, and language. This course further discusses the debates on religion and state, the evolution of devotional traditions such as Bhakti and Sufi, which shaped the distinctive cultural ethos of medieval India.

H08- India c. 1700 - 1857

This course explores the complex dimensions of the transition in India from the late Mughal period to the ascendancy of British power till the revolt of 1857. It situates this period in the debates on the nature of eighteenth century Indian society and then discusses the pattern of British conquest of India in the global context of trade, warfare and empire building.The advent and consolidation of colonial rule is explored through a study of new systems of revenue extraction, trade and its impact on Indian industries, law and the administration of justice, army, education, modern print culture etc. Key concepts like Orientalism, Utilitarianism, Evangelicalism and race are discussed along with legal and social reform of Indian society. Equal importance is given to the ways in which the subject population of India internalized, questioned and opposed colonial rule by analysing the nature of popular protests from the eighteenth century till the rebellion of 1857.

H09- Introduction to Society and Culture in East Asia

The course aims to encourage students to develop an inter-disciplinary perspective to the study of East Asia. It is designed as a survey course to introduce students to the histories, societies and cultures of China, Japan and Korea covering a period from the 19th century when colonialism was at its peak to the post World War II. The purpose of the course is to enable students to identify, compare and contrast key features of the physical and cultural geography of East Asian countries. The course will help understand the unifying characters of the region as a whole as well as the uniqueness of individual societies and cultures.

H10- Modern India, 1857- 1947

The course intends to familiarise students with the nature of colonial rule and its impact on Indian society and economy. It also explores the nature of anti-colonial struggles. It analyses colonial institutions, policies and tracks the changing nature of Indian economy. It deals with the emergence of new classes and how they responded to the colonial regime. In this context new social and political organizations and their initiatives (social and religious reforms and caste movements) are analysed. The course discusses various dimensions and forms of resistance by sections of Indian society particularly tribals, peasants, workers and women. It examines nationalism and its various manifestations in India. The formation of the Indian National Congress and its early initiatives, and mass mobilization under the leadership of Gandhi are analysed critically. The course also discusses the organisational and ideological aspects of peasant, labour and left movements. Finally, it discusses developments and circumstances that led to India’s independence and partition.

H11- Delhi in History

This course explores the multi-layered pasts of Delhi and its environs through archeological, imperial, architectural, literary and other dimensions. The formation of the modern capital city is viewed through the prism of myth and memory, the cultural remains of the many previous cities contained within Delhi and the continuous role of settlements, migrations, displacements and violence in Delhi’s emergence as a centre of power and authority. The course is designed to give a sense of the long history of Delhi by focusing on certain key themes: Delhi as it is embedded in the Mahabharata epic, the stone age, several historical sites like the Purana Qila, the medieval urban centre of bazaars, Sultans and Mughal emperors, Delhi’s relationship with the hinterland, and its emergence as an imperial city under the British. It also views Delhi’s life and history through the eyes of its residents: traders, artisans, service providers, musicians, poets, writers, devotees, Sufis, and those associated with governance.

H12- Decolonization in History

After an initial survey of European imperialism, this course will look at the important ideas that motivated decolonization in various parts of the world, such as Nkrumah’s ‘consciencism,’ Garvey’s Pan-Africanism and Gandhi’s swaraj. Furthermore, we will ask: How is decolonization related to imperialism and colonialism? What inspired decolonization amongst the colonized as well as the colonizers in the various parts of the world? How was that inspiration implemented in practice? What were the consequences of decolonization? How did the various movements, socialist, nationalist, the women’s movement etc., cohabit in the history of decolonization? How was the process of decolonization different between Latin America and the colonies of the other colonial empires?

H13- Introduction to Indian Art and Architecture

India has had long and diverse traditions of art throughout its history. Moreover, these traditions have not been static and unchanging but have continuously evolved with the corresponding changes in their social and cultural contexts. This course will provide a broad introductory survey of Indian art beginning from the early Buddhist and Hindu traditions through the arts of colonial and contemporary periods. It will focus on the multiple elements that have contributed to the making of the range of art practices in the geographical area covering present-day India and Pakistan with the aim of creating an understanding of the manner in which these were influenced by the different political, cultural and religious aspects of the contemporary society.

H14- Wars and Revolutions in Twentieth Century

The course intends to familarise students with the events that shaped the contemporary world, with focus on nation states as actors. The course shall analyse two world wars that played crucial role in shaping the world in which we live today. Revolutions, particularly Russian and Chinese, are crucial to understand the way global politics unfolded in the 20th century. The course also looks into the factors that gave rise to Fascism and Nazism in the interwar period. An entirely new world order emerged after the Second World War. The course shall explore the nature of cold war between the two superpowers, in this context Korean and Vietnamese wars shall be analysed. Finally, the course shall examine how the cold war ended and how the unipolar world emerged.

H15- Contemporary India, 1947- 1992

The course on Contemporary India aims to provide an overview of the major political and economic changes during the first five decades of independent India. It is essentially a story of the trajectory of India’s social transformation after becoming an independent nation-state. The course examines the nature of India’s social transformation and the enormous complexities involved in this process. Since this is a very vast area, the major themes have been chosen selectively (thought not randomly) and not exhaustively. For the sake of clarity, structures of power and economic processes are treated as the matrix within which major changes will be shown to have taken place. The basic premise of the course is that independent India has been in the midst of a major social transformation, however messy and uneven. The course offers a discussion of some of the major ingredients in this process of social transformation. The Indian constitution as the blueprint of the transformation, making and the unmaking of the Indian nation, changes in the political structure, different stages of the economic development, different protest movements, and the rise in identity assertion are some of the major sub-themes that constitute the building blocks of India’s social transformation.

H16- Caste and Indian Modernity

Modernity is driven with contradictions and despite the mystic of capitalist development notwithstanding, Indian society is grappling to make sense of ‘semi-feudal and semi-colonial remnants’ of modernity. Besides, the exploited people have not relapsed into silence but have challenged the contradictions of modernity. As Ambedkar has observed, throughout its historical trajectory there have been attempts to annihilate the superstructure- the edifice of caste brutality as a precursor to create a modern liberal society. This course seeks to analyse the different perspectives on modernity, the manner in which various social categories in India appropriated modernity and strove to benefit from it.

H17- History of the Indian Ocean World

This upper-level, writing-intensive collaborative seminar revolves around the idea that the Indian Ocean world, through interactions and imagination, constitutes a coherent unit of historical analysis. The class will examine the Indian Ocean world through the sweep of global history, sailing across time in a thematic fashion. It will focus on the western Indian Ocean and how contacts between places like India, Arabia, and eastern Africa have shaped the lives of people who live near the sea and whose existence is affected by the rhythms of the monsoon. It is important to note that it is impossible to conceive of contemporary India without considering the historical impact of its larger region, and even in landlocked Delhi traces of this transnational past remain evident and important.


10 + 2 with 50% marks from a recognised board. Relaxation of 5% will be given to candidates belonging to SC, ST and Physically Disabled (PD) Categories. Meeting the eligibility criteria will not ensure a seat. The admission will be strictly on the basis of merit. However, eligibility is a must for consideration of admission.


Prof. Salil Misra

Prof. Denys P. Leighton

Dr. Ned Bertz, Assistant Professor of History, University of Hawai'i at Manoa (USA). Exchange faculty member at AUD in Monsoon Semester 2013

Dr. Sanjay Sharma

Dr. Dhirendra Dangwal

Dr. Yogesh Snehi

Dr. Tanuja Kothiyal

Dr. Anil Persuad

Dr. Dharitri Narzary

Dr. Shailaj Menon

Dr. Dhiraj Kumar Nite

Dr. Aparna Kapadia

Fee Structure


Rs. 16,800 per semester will be charged as the full semester fees. The total fee payable at the time of admission will be Rs.16,800 (for Semester 1) and a refundable caution deposit of Rs. 5,000 for the use of university facilities along with Rs 500 as contribution for student welfare for the semester.

The vision guiding AUD is the commitment that prospective students learn to value and appreciate the social privileges they enjoy because of the heavy subsidy that goes into public institutions of higher education in India. Therefore, a minimum proportion of the cost actually to be incurred by the University for each of its students is reflected in the fee being set per semester. Based on this philosophy, AUD has instituted a differential fee structure for different programmes, with an understanding that the upper slab is envisaged not to be so high that only a particular segment of society could afford it and the lower slab not so low that the sense of responsibility among the students goes missing.

  • The differential fee structure ranges from Rs1050 per credit of course work for most of the courses.
  • The fees for most programmes is Rs16800/- per semester,
  • In addition students are required to pay Rs.500/- per semester toward Student Welfare Fund
  • Rs.5000/- is to be paid as refundable security deposit.

It may be noted that at present the fee constitutes not more than 10 per cent of the operational cost. At the same time, it is the stated policy of the University to ensure that no deserving prospective student, as far as possible, is denied the opportunity of studying at AUD merely due to her/his inability to pay the fees.


The University offers full and partial fee waivers to students who are in need of support given their economic backgrounds. In fact, 25 per cent of the fees collected from students are returned to the economically disadvantaged students by way of Fee waivers and scholarships. Over the previous 3 years, 229 students have been awarded fee waivers. Most of these have been full fee waivers.

The University has also created a student welfare fund in order to support needy students in bearing the costs of study material, like photocopying, textbooks, and even subsistence.

Procedure for applying for Fee waiver and Scholarships

  • At the time of admission, a student can apply for fee waiver by submitting supporting documents.

  • If provisionally admitted to a programme, s/he will be permitted to take admission without having to pay the fee.

  • Students, whose combined family income is less than Rs 400000/-, will be eligible for fee waiver. A student will continue to receive fee waiver provided he/she is found regular in attending classes and maintains acceptable level of performance in studies.

  • SC/ST/PwD students are advised to submit their application in the month of February for Scholarships under the SC/ST/PwD categories for the academic session of that year.

Student Welfare Fund:

The University has created 'Student Welfare Fund' with the objective of making financial assistance available for meeting the welfare needs of needy students, such as emergent medical assistance, purchase of books & study material, meeting the boarding & lodging expenses equivalent to the amount that is required to avail of AUD hostel facilities, and any other comparable needs of the student.

An amount of Rs.500/- per semester is collected from all students towards 'Student Welfare Fund' and an amount equal to that collected from students shall be contributed by the University to this fund. The Student Welfare Fund is managed and monitored by a committee which includes a nominee of the student community.

Through the fee structure as well as the exemptions offered, AUD hopes to inculcate a social sensitivity in its students – to respect what they enjoy as privileges and to be able to serve society in their future professional capacities.

REFUND OF FEES - University Policy

Time Period for refund in a particular programme of study

Amount to be deducted

Before Orientation Rs. 1,000
After Orientation Only caution deposit would be refunded

  • The decision of the Admission Committee on all matters of admission will be final.

  • The jurisdiction of any dispute will be limited to the NCT of Delhi.

Admission Procedure

Application Procedure

All applications are computerized; there are no paper application forms.

  • A single on-line application form can be used to apply for as many UG programmes as an applicant wishes; similarly one form can be used for as many PG programmes.
  • Applications forms can be filled on-site at the AUD campus in Kashmere Gate or offsite by logging on to and following the links provided there.
  • Application must be completed by 22ndJune 2013.
  • Before you fill the online application form, make sure that you have the following with you:
    • Scanned copy of your recent passport size photograph
    • Scanned copy of your signature

(The scanned copies should be in .jpg format and should not exceed 50 kb (photograph) and 20 kb (signature). If you choose to apply on-site, you are advised to have the scanned copies of your photograph and signature sent to your e-mail account.)

  • A valid e-mail id. The password for the application process will be sent to your e-mail account. After receiving the password, you can log in by entering the e-mail id and the password providedto fill the details in the online application form. Further detailed instructions for filling the form are provided there.

NOTE: For any admission or application related queries please visit the University or call on admission help line numbers (91-11-23863740; 23863743) or send an email enquiry to

Off-Campus Application:

  1. Visit the AUD website; you will be directed to the Online Registration page.
  2. You will be required to register with avalid E-mail ID, to which a password will be sent. You can then log-in to fill your application form by entering the E-mail ID and the password provided.
  3. Fill in required details in the online application form. Further detailed instructions for filling the form are provided on the website.Verify the data entered. No data can be modified after the registration is confirmed.
  4. Thereafter, you will be asked to pay the application fee through Internet Payment Gateway. Confirm payment through credit card / debit card or internet banking.
  5. After successful online payment, you will be directed back to the admission website. A page (Acknowledgement) will appear stating the candidate's name, registration number, address, space for photograph and space for signature. You will need a scanned copy of yourpassport size photo and signature to upload at this point in the application form.
  6. If you are not able to upload your photograph and signature, take a printout of the page, affix your recent passport size colour photograph, and put your signature or thumb impression at appropriate places. Send the completed application form to the address given below in 7).
  7. In case you are paying application fee by DD, you must send the DD (made in favour of 'Ambedkar University Delhi'), along with a print out of the application filled by you to:

The Admissions Office,
Ambedkar University Delhi,
Lothian Road, Kashmere Gate,

The hard copy of your application form, must reach AUD by post, latest by 22 June 2013.

On campus application:

Assistance is available at AUD campus, to help you fill the computerised application form and apply for admission:

  1. Visit the AUD campus at Kashmere Gate with the necessary documents and information required to complete the application form.
  2. You must first make the payment for the application fees at the Admissions office. You may pay your application fee in cash or through a Demand Draft drawn in favour of “Ambedkar University Delhi”, payable at New Delhi. (You are advised to keep the cash payment receipt or demand draft details in hand while filling the application form.)
  3. Proceed to help desk at the admission office to fill your computerised application form. You will be required to follow all the steps that are to be followed in case of off-campus application. Keep ready the scanned copy of your passport size photo and signature and all other information and Caste/Category Certificate (if applicable). You will also need the original passport size photo to affix onthe printed copy of the form.

NOTE: The application process must be completed by 22ndJune 2013 and the Demand Draft paid for application must be submitted in hand or sent by post to reach the University office by 4 p.m. on 22 June 2013.

Selection & Admission Procedure

  1. The final selection for admission will be made on the basis of merit in accordance with the procedures and guidelines of the University.
  2. The Merit List will be prepared on the basis of the marks obtained by the student in the best four subjects, which should not include any vocational subject in the class XII Board Examination. For details of academic and vocational subjects students may consult the table on Page 23-24 of the SUS Bulletin.
  3. In order to obtain parity among the marks secured by students from different streams, while computing marks for the merit list, 4% of marks obtained in 10 + 2 would be deducted in the case of students from Science stream and 5% in the case of students from Commerce stream.
  4. Successful candidates will be required to submit
    1. A certificate of their date of birth
    2. Attested copies of a character certificate from the Head of the Institution last attended
    3. Transcript of marks and certificate of the last examination passed,
    4. Certificates of belonging to a reserved category, where applicable.

They will be required to bring their original certificates for verification at the time of admission. They will also have to submit affidavits, both personal and from their parent/ guardian, in the format provided on the website of the anti-ragging regulations.

Students must note that no acknowledgement or any other communication will be sent to individual candidates. Candidates must consult the website and/or the notice boards of the University for checking the status of their application.

Admission Updates

Online Application Form