GATE 2024 Syllabus for Humanities & Social Sciences (XH): Download PDF and Print

GATE 2024 Syllabus for Humanities & Social Sciences (XH). IISc Bangalore, the exam authority released GATE syllabus for XH along with the official brochure download in PDF.

GATE Syllabus 2024 for XH Paper: The Indian Institute of Science (, Bangalore, the organising institute officially released complete syllabus of Humanities & Social Sciences (XH) Paper for GATE 2024 exams.

The syllabus of paper XH (Humanities & Social Sciences) has been divided into eight parts. The corresponding parts have separate sections and each section of the question paper contain different topics.

You may download GATE admit card and GATE exam schedule for paper Humanities & Social Sciences for appearing in the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering for the year 2024.

GATE 2024 Paper Pattern for Humanities & Social Sciences:

PaperHumanities & Social Sciences
Paper CodeXH
Examination ModeComputer Based Test (CBT)
Duration3 Hours (180 Minutes)
Type of Questions(a) Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ)
(b) Multiple Select Questions (MSQ) and/or Numerical Answer Type (NAT) Questions
Marking SchemeQuestions carry 1 mark and 2 marks
Negative MarkingFor a wrong answer chosen in a MCQ, there will be negative marking.

For 1-mark MCQ: 1/3 mark will be deducted for a wrong answer.
For 2-mark MCQ: 2/3 mark will be deducted for a wrong answer.

NO negative marking for MSQ & NAT.
Number of Questions10 (GA) + 55 (subject) = 65 Questions
General Aptitude (GA) Marks15 Marks
Subject Questions25+60 Marks
Total Marks100 Marks
XH Paper Pattern GATE 2024

B1 Reasoning and Comprehension

(Compulsory for all XH Candidates)

This part is to test the candidate’s ability to comprehend and interpret written information – skills that are critical to research in the Humanities and Social Sciences. The section will not directly test language competence in terms of grammar, vocabulary etc. The focus is instead on critical reasoning (similar to what is often found in exams like LSAT, GRE, GMAT etc.) and analysis of the text and its stylistic and rhetorical structure.

Questions of this section XH-B1 will test the following skills:

  • Reading Comprehension – ability to understand complex language material in short paragraphs and answer questions regarding them.
  • Expression – questions on stylistic and rhetorical aspects of a short passage including corrections or modifications of particular sentences.
  • Analytical reasoning – ability to understand relationships in statements or short passages and being able to draw reasonable conclusions/inferences from them.
  • Logical reasoning – Thinking critically to evaluate or to predict an argument, identify the main and supporting arguments, predict outcomes etc.

C1 Economics


Theory of Consumer Behaviour: Cardinal Approach and Ordinal Approach; Consumer Preferences; Nature of the utility function; Marshallian and Hicksian demand functions; Duality Theorem. Slutsky equation and Comparative Statics. Homogeneous and Homothetic Utility Functions; Euler’s Theorem. The Theory of Revealed Preference: Weak Axiom of Revealed Preference and Strong Axiom of Revealed Preference, Theory of Production and Costs: Short-run and Long-run Analysis, Existence, Uniqueness and Stability of Market Equilibrium: Walrasian and Marshallian Stability Analysis. The Cobweb Model, Decision making under uncertainty and risk. Asymmetric Information: Adverse Selection and Moral Hazard. Theory of Agency costs. The Theory of Search, Non-Cooperative games: Constant sum game, Mixed Strategy & Pure Strategy, Bayesian Nash Equilibrium, SPNE, Perfect Bayesian Equilibria., Theory of Firm: Market Structures — Competitive and Noncompetitive equilibria and their efficiency properties. Structure-Conduct-Performance Paradigm, Factor Pricing: Marginal productivity Theory of Distribution in Perfectly Competitive markets; Theory of Employment in Imperfectly Competitive Markets — Monopolistic Exploitation, General Equilibrium Analysis. Welfare Economics: Fundamental Theorems, Social Welfare Function. Efficiency Criteria: Pareto-Optimality.


National Income Accounting: Closed Economy Concepts and Measurement and Open Economy Issues, Determination of output and employment: Classical & Keynesian Framework, Theories of Consumption: Absolute Income Hypothesis, Relative Income Hypothesis, Life Cycle Hypothesis, Permanent Income Hypothesis and Robert Hall’s Random Walk Model; Investment Function Specifications – Dale Jorgenson’s Neoclassical Theory of Capital Accumulation and Tobin’s, Keynesian Stabilization Policies, (Autonomous) Multipliers and Investment Accelerator, Demand and Supply of Money, Components of Money Supply, Liquidity Preference and Liquidity Trap, Money Multiplier, Interest Rate determination, Central Banking, Objectives, Instruments (Direct and Indirect) of Monetary Policy, Prudential Regulation, Quantitative Easing (Unconventional Monetary Policy), Commercial Banking, Non-Banking Financial Institutions, Capital Market and its Regulation, Theories of Inflation and Expectations Augmented Phillips Curve, Real Business Cycles, Adaptive Expectations Hypothesis, Rational Expectation Hypothesis and its critique. Closed Economy IS – LM Model and Mundell Fleming Model: Monetary and Fiscal Policy Efficacy. The Impossible Trinity.

Statistics, Econometrics and Mathematical Economics

Probability Theory: Concepts of probability, Probability Distributions [Discrete and Continuous], Central Limit Theorem, Index Numbers and Construction of Price Indices, Sampling Methods & Sampling Distribution, Statistical Inferences, Hypothesis Testing, Linear Regression Models and the Gauss Markov Theorem, Heteroscedasticity, Multicollinearity and Autocorrelation, Spurious regressions and Unit roots, Simultaneous Equation Models – recursive and non-recursive. Identification Problem, Differential Calculus and its Applications, Linear Algebra – Matrices, Applications of Cramer’s Rule, Static Optimization Problems and Applications, Input-Output Model, Linear Programming, Difference equations and Differential equations with applications

International Economics

Theories of International Trade, International Trade under Imperfect Competition, Gains from Trade, Terms of Trade, Trade Multiplier, Tariff and Non-Tariff barriers to trade; Dumping and Anti-Dumping Policies, GATT, WTO and Regional Trade Blocks; Trade Policy Issues, Balance of Payments: Composition, Equilibrium and Disequilibrium and Adjustment Mechanisms, Foreign Exchange Market and Arbitrage, Exchange rate determination, IMF & World Bank.

Public Economics:

Market Failure and Remedial Measures: Asymmetric Information, Public Goods, Externality, Regulation of Market – Collusion and Consumers’ Welfare, Public Revenue: Tax & Non-Tax Revenue, Direct & Indirect Taxes, Progressive and non-Progressive Taxation, Incidence and Effects of Taxation, Public expenditure, Public Debt and its management, Public Budget and Budget Multiplier, Tax Incidence, Fiscal Policy and its implications, Environment as a Public Good, Market Failure and Coase Theorem, Cost-Benefit Analysis.

Development Economics

Theories of Economic Development: Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Karl Marx, J. Schumpeter, W. Rostow, Balanced & Unbalanced Growth, Big Push Approach, Indicators of Economic Development: HDI, SDGs, MDGs, Poverty and Inequalities – Concepts and Measurement Issues, Social Sector Development: Health, Education, Gender, Fertility, Morbidity, Mortality, Migration, Child Labor, Age Structure, Demographic Dividend, Models of Economic Growth: Harrod-Domar, Solow, Ramsey, Technical progress – Disembodied & Embodied, Endogenous Growth Models.

Indian Economy

Economic Growth in India: Pattern and Structure, Agriculture, Industry & Services Sector: Pattern & Structure of Growth, Major Challenges, Policy Responses, Rural & Urban Development – Issues, Challenges & Policy Responses, Flow of Foreign Capital, Trade Policies, Infrastructure Development: Physical and Social; Public-Private Partnerships, Reforms in Land, Labour and Capital Markets, Poverty, Inequality & Unemployment, Functioning of Monetary Policy in India, Fiscal Policy in the Indian context: Structure of Receipts and Expenditure, Tax reforms-Goods and Services Tax, Issues of Growth and Equity, Fiscal Federalism, Centre-State Financial Relations and Finance Commissions of India; Sustainability of Deficits and Debt, The Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act 2003, Demonetization and aftermath. India’s balance of payments, Composition of India’s Trade, Competitiveness of India’s exports, India’s exchange rate policy.

C2 English

  1. Multi-genre literatures in English—poetry, the novel and other forms of fiction including the short story, drama, creative non-fiction, and non-fiction prose—with emphasis on the long 19th and 20th centuries
  2. Especially in a comparative context, anglophone and in English translation, literatures from India and, extending to some degree, the larger Indian subcontinent
  3. Literary criticism and theory; critical and cultural intellectual-traditions and approaches widely referred to and used in the discipline of English
  4. History of English literature and English literary studies
  5. Research approaches and methodologies, including interpretive techniques responsive to literary forms, devices, concepts, and genres


(i) The five units above list aspects the question paper will include rather than signal separate modules or sections; these five units listed are not necessarily exclusive to each other either. The question paper will also not be divided into sections corresponding to the above aspects; and,

(ii) While the paper will test candidates for a reasonable breadth of disciplinary knowledge, it would prioritize conceptual depth and methodological sensitivity demonstrative of disciplinary training over information wherever possible.

C3 Linguistics

Language and Linguistics

Language spoken, written and signed; description and prescription; language and cultural heritage; language and social identity; language as an object of inquiry – its structure, units and components; design features; writing systems; biological foundations and language faculty; linguistic competence and performance; levels of grammar; contrast and complementation; rules – context dependent and context free; levels of adequacy for analysis; interdisciplinary approaches; schools of linguistic thought (European, American) and the Indian Grammatical Tradition.

Levels of Grammar and Grammatical Analysis

A. Phonetics and Phonology: vocal tract anatomy; phonation; articulatory parameters; classification of sounds; gestural theory of speech production; cardinal vowels; secondary and co-articulation; suprasegmentals – length, stress, tone, intonation and juncture; IPA; basic physics of sound and of phonation and articulation; acoustic cues for speech sounds; organisation of phones into phonemes; phoneme inventories and cross-linguistic properties; syllable structure and phonological properties; principles of phonological analysis – phonetic similarity, contrastive and complementary distribution, free variation, allophones; linear and non-linear approaches; levels of representation; phonological rules; distinctive features (major class, manner, place, etc.); feature geometry; rule ordering, markedness and unspecified featural values; core principles of lexical phonology, optimality theory, autosegmental phonology and prosodic morphology.

B. Morphology: Concepts of morpheme, morph, allomorph, zero allomorph, conditions on allomorphs; lexeme and word; types of morphemes – structural and functional; affixes vs clitics; grammatical categories; morphological theories – generative, lexicalist, process and distributed morphology; identification of morphemes and parts of speech; alternation; morphophonology; inflection vs. derivation; conjugation and declension; word creation and word formation rules and processes; creativity and productivity, blocking, bracketing paradoxes, constraints on affix ordering; mental lexicon; lexical categories; valency changing operations.

C. Syntax: Basic syntactic units and their types: word, phrase, clause, sentence and their description and generation; grammatical and case relations; key ideas from syntactic theories, Generative Grammars including Minimalist Program, HPSG, Relational Grammar and Lexical Functional Grammar; phrase structure rules (including X-bar theory); universal grammar and cross-linguistic properties; idea of grammaticality judgements; solving the language acquisition problem; diagnostics of structure; syntactic phenomena such as movement, binding, ellipses, case-checking, islands, argument structure etc.; unergatives and unaccusatives.

D. Semantics and Pragmatics: Types of meaning, lexical and compositional; syntaxsemantics interface (semantic roles, binding, scope, LF etc.);sense and reference, connotation and denotation, lexical semantic relations (homonymy, hypo/hypernymy, antonymy, synonymy, ambiguity); prototype theory and componential analysis; sentence meaning and truth conditions, contradictions, entailment; basic set theory; propositions, truth values, sentential connectives; arguments, predicates, quantifiers, variables; in/definiteness, mood and modality; language use in context; sentence meaning and utterance meaning; speech acts; deixis; presupposition and implicature: Gricean maxims; information structure; politeness, power and solidarity; discourse analysis.

Historical Linguistics

Neogrammarian laws of phonetic change such as Grimm’s, Verner’s, Grassmann’s Laws; genesis and spread of sound change; split and merger; conditioned vs. unconditioned change; lexical diffusion of sound change; analogical changes and paradigm levelling; relative chronology of different changes; study of sound change in progress; morphosyntactic (syncretism, grammaticalisation and lexicalisation) and semantic change (extension, narrowing, figurative speech); linguistic reconstruction – external vs. internal: the comparative method; lexicostatistics; language contact and dialect geography – borrowing and impact of borrowing; pidgins and creoles; bi- and multilingualism as the source for borrowing; dialect geography – dialect atlas; isogloss, focal, transition and relic areas.


Micro-and macro approaches to language in society; linguistic repertoire language, dialect, sociolect, idiolect; diglossia; taboo, slang and euphemism; elaborated and restricted codes; speech community and communicative competence; ethnography of speaking; lingua franca; diasporic language; linguistic variables and their co-variation along linguistic/social dimensions; language policies and development (especially in India); language contact and outcomes (language loss, pidginization and creolization); code-mixing and code-switching; language movements – state and societal interventions; script development and modifications; linguistic minorities; language ecology and endangerment linguistic vitality, language endangerment (EGIDS scale), parameters of endangerment, documentation and revitalisation.

Areal Typology, Universals, Cross-linguistic Features

morphological types of languages agglutinative, analytical (isolating), synthetic fusional (inflecting), polysynthetic (incorporating) languages; formal and substantive universals, absolute and statistical universals; implicational and non-implicational universals (Greenberg); linguistic relatedness—genetic, typological and areal classification of languages; universals and parametric variation; word order typology; salient features of South Asian languages – Indo-Aryan, Dravidian, Austro-Asiatic, and Tibeto-Burman language families; Linguistic Survey of India; contact induced typological change.

Methods of analysis

Experimental and non-experimental methods; sampling and tools; identification of variables and their variants; data processing and interpretation; quantitative analysis of data; ethnomethodology; participant observation; field methods and elicitation; document creation; ethics.

Applied Linguistics

Can be expanded to include Interdisciplinary areas that focus on language and Language Teaching depending on interest and requirement.

Example: Psycholinguistics: the study of how humans learn, represent, comprehend, and produce language. Topics include word recognition and storage, sentence production and comprehension, reading, speech perception, language acquisition, neural representation of language, bilingualism, and language disorders.

C4 Philosophy

Classical Indian Philosophy

Orthodox Systems: Sānkhya- Puruṣa, Prakṛti, Guṇas, Satkāryavāda, Mokṣa (Kaivalya), Pramāṇas and Theory of Error, Yoga – Pramāṇas, Theory of Error, Iśvara, Citta, Kleśa, Aṣṭāngayoga, Kaivalya (Mokṣa), Nyāya – Pramāṇas, Hetvābhāsa, Iśvara, Asatkāryavāda, Theory of Error, Navya-Nyāya, Vaiśeṣika – Parataḥprāmāṇya, Padārthas (categories), Theory of Atomism (paramāṇuvāda), Mīmāmsā – Dharma, Apūrva, Mokṣa, Pramāṇas (both in Kumārila and Prabhākara), Anyathākhyāti, and, Vedānta – Advaita (Adhyāsa, Brahman, Iśvara, Ātman, Jīva, Mokṣa, Viśiṣṭādvaita (Tattva-traya, Mokṣa, and Refutation of Māyāvāda), Dvaita, Dvaitādvaita, Śuddhādvaita, Pramāṇa in Advaita and Viśiṣṭādvaita.

Heterodox Systems: Cārvāka – Pramāṇa, Indian marerislism and Hedonism, Jainism-Pramāṇas, Syādvāda, Anekāntavāda, Padārtha (categories), Jīva and Ajīva, Mokṣa, Mahāvrata, Aṇuvrata, and, Buddhism – Ti-piṭaka, Sarvāstivāda, Sautrāntika, Mādhyamika, Yogācāra-Vijñānavāda, Pañca-skandha, Anityavāda, Anātmavāda, Doctrine of Momentariness, Doctrine of Dependent Origination, Pramānas, Doctrine of Two Truths, Doctrine of Tri-kāya, Ṣaḍ-pāramitās, Brahmavihāras, Pāñcaśīla, and Bodhisattva Ideal, and Upāyakauśalya.

Upaniṣads, Bhagavadgītā, and Dharmaśāstras: Philosophy of the Upaniṣads – Pure Monism, Brahmam and Ātman, Pañca-kośa, Parā-vidyā and Aparā-vidyā, Meaning of Dharma, Ṛta, Purusārtha, Śreyas and Preyas, Varṇāśrama-dharma, Dharma- Svadharma and Sādhāraṇa Dharma, Ṛna, Yajña, Karma-yoga, Sthitaprajña, Lokasaṃgraha, and Law of Karma.

Kāṣmira Śaivism, Śaivasiddhānta, Vīra Śaivism, Śāktism and Vaiṣṇavism: Kāṣmīra Śaivism – Pratyābhijña school, Śiva and Śakti, and Conception of Kriyā, Śaivasiddhānta – God (pati) and Divine Power (śakti), Proofs for God’s Existence, Bondage and Liberation, Vīra Śaivism –Philosophical basis of Vīra Śaivism, Śāktism – Philosophical basis of Śāktism, and Vaiṣṇavism –Philosophical basis of Vaiṣṇavism.

Contemporary Indian Philosophy

Vivekananda: Notion of God, Freedom and Karma, Nature of Soul/self, Practical Vedanta, and Universal Religion.

Aurobindo: World Process – Involution and Evolution, Four Theories of Existence, The Supermind, Integral Yoga, and Gnostic Being.

Iqbal: Nature of Intuition, Nature of Self, and Notion of God.

Tagore: Humanism and Nature of Man, Notion of Religion, and Nationalism.

K. C. Bhattacharyya: Concept of Absolute and Its Alternative Forms, and Notion Subjectivity and Freedom.

Radhakrishnan: Nature of Ultimate Reality, Religious Experience, Intellect and Intuition, Hindu View of Life.

J. Krishnamurti: Notion of Freedom, Choiceless Awareness, Truth is a Pathless Land, and Notion of Education.

Gandhi: Notion of Truth, Non-violence, Satyagraha, Swaraj, and Trusteeship.

Ambedkar: Annihilation of Caste, Neo-Buddhism, Democracy, and Natural Rights and Law.

M. N. Roy: Radical Humanism and Materialism.

Classical and Modern Western Philosophy

Metaphysics: Pre-Socratic Philosophy of Thales, Anaxagoras, Anaximenies, Ionians, Pythagoras, Parmenides, Heraclitus and Democritus.

Metaphysics of Plato and Aristotle: The question of Being (to on/ousia): Being as Idea in Plato’s Phaedo, Republic and the Sophist, Being as synthesis of hyle [matter] and morphe [form] in Aristotle’s Metaphysics and Physics. Problem of evil and existence of God in St. Augustine, St. Anselm, and St. Thomas Aquinas Metaphysics in Modern Philosophy: Substance, Mind-Body Dualism, Attribute, Parallelism, Pre-established harmony, the existence of God, Problem of Solipsism, Self and Personal Identity, Rejection of Metaphysics, Phenomena and Noumena, Transcendental Deduction of Categories, Being and Becoming, Absolute Idealism

Epistemology: Plato and Aristotle’s Theory of Knowledge, Doxa, Episteme, and Sophia, Method of Dialectics, Theoretical and Practical Reason, Theory of Causation, Descarte’s Method of Doubt, cogito ergo sum, Innate Ideas and its refutation, Principle of Non-contradiction, Sufficient Reason, and Identity of Indiscernible, Locke’s Three Grades of Knowledge, Berkeley’s Critique of Abstract Ideas, Hume’s Impressions and Ideas, Induction and Causality, Kant’s Copernican Revolution, Forms of Sensibility, Possibility of Synthetic a priori Judgments. Hegel’s Dialectics, Spirit, and Absolute Idealism.

Ethics: Concepts of Good, Right, Justice, Duty, Obligation, Cardinal Virtues, Eudaemonism; Intuition as explained in Teleological and Deontological Theories; Egoism, Altruism, Universalism, Subjectivism, Cultural Relativism, Super-naturalism, Ethical realism and Intuitionism, Kant’s moral theory, Postulates of Morality, Good-will, Categorical Imperative, Duty, Means and ends, Maxims;

Utilitarianism: Principle of Utility, Problem of Sanction and Justification of Morality, Moral theories of Bentham, J. S. Mill, Sidgwick; Theories of Punishment; Ethical Cognitivism and Non-cognitivism, Emotivism, Prescriptivism, Descriptivism.

Social and Political Philosophy: Plato’s theory of Justice and State, Aristotle’s definition of State and Political Naturalism; Classical Liberalism and Social Contract Theory (Hobbes, Rousseau, Locke); Marx’s Dialectical Materialism, Alienation, and critique of Capitalism.

Logic: Truth and Validity, Nature of Propositions, Categorical Syllogism, Laws of Thought Classification of Propositions Square of Opposition, Truth-Functions and Propositional Logic, Quantification and Rules of Quantification;

Symbolic Logic: Use of symbols; Truth Table for testing the validity of arguments; Differences between Deductive and Inductive Logic, Causality and Mill’s Method.

Contemporary Western Philosophy

Frege’s Sense and Reference; Logical Positivism’s Verification theory of meaning, Elimination of Metaphysics; Moore’s Distinction between Sense and Reference, Defense of common-sense, Proof of an External World; Russell’s Logical Atomism, Definite Descriptions, Refutation of Idealism; Wittgenstein on Language and Reality, the Picture Theory, critique of private language, Meaning and Use, Forms of life; Gilbert Ryle on Systematically Misleading Expressions, critique of Cartesian dualism; W.V.O. Quine’s Two Dogmas of Empiricism; P.F. Strawson’s concept of Person; Husserl’s Phenomenological Method, Philosophy as a rigorous science, Intentionality, Phenomenological Reduction, Inter-subjectivity; Heidegger’s concept of Being (Dasein), Being in the world; Sartre’s Concept of Freedom, Bad-faith, Humanism; Merleau-Ponty on Perception, Embodied Consciousness; William James’s Pragmatic Theories of Meaning and Truth, Varieties of Religious experience; John Dewey on Pragmatist Epistemology with focus on Inquiry, fallibilism and Experience, Education; Nietzsche on the Critique of Enlightenment, Will to Power, Genealogy of Moral; Richard Rorty’s Critique of Representationalism, Against Epistemological method, Edifying Philosophy, Levinas: Ethics as a first philosophy, Philosophy of ‘other’; Rawls’ Veil of Ignorance, Principle of Justice; Nozick’s critique of Rawls, Libertarianism: Charles Taylor’s Communitarianism, critique of the Liberal Self, Politics of recognition; Martha Nussbaum’s Liberal Feminism and Capability Approach; Simone de Beauvoir on Situated Freedom and Ethics of Ambiguity; Code and Harding on Situated Knowledge and Strong and Weak Objectivity; Gilligan and Noddings on Ethics of Care, Debate between Care and Justice.

C5 Psychology

Research Methods and Statistics

Approaches to research: Philosophical worldviews & criteria involved in approach. Research design: quantitative & qualitative, mixed methods.

Designing research: Research problems, purpose statement, Variables and Operational Definitions, Hypothesis, Sampling.

Nature of quantitative & qualitative research: Structured, semi-structured interviewing, self-completion questionnaires (Survey), observation, Experimental, Quasi-experimental, Field studies, Focus groups discussions, Narratives, Case studies, Ethnography.

Ethics in conducting and reporting research

Statistics in Psychology: Measures of Central Tendency and Dispersion. Normal Probability Curve. Parametric and Non-parametric tests Effect size and Power analysis.

Correlational Analysis: Correlation [Product Moment, Rank Order], Partial correlation, multiple correlation. Special Correlation Methods: Biserial, Point biserial, tetrachoric, phi coefficient. Regression: Simple linear regression, Multiple regression. Factor analysis: Assumptions, Methods, Rotation and Interpretation.

Experimental Designs: ANOVA [One-way, Factorial], Randomized Block Designs, Repeated Measures Design, Latin Square, Cohort studies, Time series, MANOVA, ANCOVA. Single-subject designs.


Foundations of Psychological measurement; Basic components: scales and items’ Construction and analysis of items: Intelligence test items, performance tests, Ability & Aptitude test, Personality questionnaires. Method of test construction, Standardization of measures: Reliability, Validity, Norms, Application of assessment and measurements in Tests— Applications of psychological testing in various settings-educations, counselling and guidance, clinical, organizational and developmental.

Biological and evolutionary basis of behaviour

Heredity and behaviour Evolution and natural selection, Nervous system, structures of the brain and their functions, Neurons: Structure, functions, types, neural impulse, synaptic transmission. Neurotransmitters. Hemispheric lateralization, The endocrine system types and functions, Biological basis of Motivation: Hunger, Thirst, Sleep and Sex. Biological basis of emotion: The Limbic system, Hormonal regulation of behaviour. Methods of Physiological Psychology: Invasive methods – Anatomical methods, degeneration techniques, lesion techniques, chemical methods, microelectrode studies, Noninvasive methods – EEG, Scanning methods, Muscular and Glandular system: Genetics and behaviour: Chromosomal anomalies; Nature-Nurture controversy [Twin studies and adoption

Perception, Learning, Memory and Forgetting

What is sensation, sensory thresholds and sensory adaptations, Vision, hearing, touch and pain, smell and taste, kinesthesis and vestibular sense, Perception: role of attention; organizing principles of perception, gestalt perception, depth perception and illusions, Theories of learning: classical conditioning, operant conditioning, social learning theory, cognitive learning, Memory: encoding, storage, retrieval, Information processing theories of memory, Retrieval in Long term memory, reconstructive nature of long-term memory, Forgetting: encoding failure, interference theory, memory trace decay theory, the physical aspects of memory.


Thinking, Intelligence and Language: Basic elements of though: Concepts, Propositions, Imagery. Current paradigms of cognitive psychology – Information processing approach, ecological approach, Problem solving: Methods of problem solving, Strategies and obstacles, Role of Metacognitive processing, decision-making: choosing among alternatives, Intelligence: Theories of intelligence (Spearman; Thurstone; Jensen; Cattell; Gardner; Stenberg) and Emotional Intelligence; Measuring intelligence, Individual differences in Intelligence; Role of heredity and environment, Difference between Intelligence, Aptitude and Creativity.


Theories of personality: Psychoanalytic, behaviourist, social cognitive view, humanism and trait and type theories, Biology of personality and Assessment of personality.

Motivation, Emotion and Stress and Coping

Approaches to understanding motivation: instinct, drive-reduction, arousal, incentive, humanistic, Achievement motivation, Intrinsic motivation, aggression, curiosity and exploration, Emotions: nature of emotions; biological basis of emotions, Theories of emotions: James-Lange, Canon-Bard, Schachter and Singer, Lazarus, Definition of stress; what are stressors; cognitive factors in stress, Factors in stress reaction: General adaptation syndrome; effect of stress, Coping with stress: problem-focused coping; emotion-focused coping, REBT and meditation

Social psychology

Social perception: Attribution; impression formation; social categorization, implicit personality theory, Social influence: conformity, compliance and obedience, Attitudes, beliefs and values: Evaluating the social world, attitude formation, attitude change and persuasion, cognitive dissonance, Prejudice, discrimination, Aggression, power and prosocial behaviour, Belief systems and value patterns. Group dynamics, leadership style and effectiveness, Theories of intergroup relations and conflicts.

Development across the life span

Nature versus nurture in human development, Prenatal development: Chromosomes, Genes and DNA. Physical, cognitive and psychosocial development in infancy, childhood, adolescence and adulthood, Theories of aging, Moral development.

Applications of Psychology

Psychological disorders: Conceptions of mental disorders; Assessment and diagnosis, DSM and Other tools, PTSD and Trauma; Psychotherapies: Psychodynamic, Phenomenological/Experiential therapy; Behaviour therapy; cognitive therapy; biological therapy, Applications of theories of motivation and learning in School: Factors in educational achievement; counselling & guidance in schools, Application of theories of motivation, learning, emotions, perceptions, group dynamics & leadership to organizational set up, Issues of Personal space, crowding, and territoriality.

C6 Sociology

Sociological Theory

Classical Sociological Traditions: Emile Durkheim (Social Solidarity, Social Facts, Religion, Functionalism, Suicide, Anomie, Division of Labour, Law; Max Weber (Types of authority, Social action, Protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism, Bureaucracy, Ideal type, Methodology); Karl Marx: Class and class conflict, dialectical and historical materialism, capitalism, surplus value, alienation)

Structural-Functionalism and Structuralism: Bronislaw Malinowski; A.R. Radcliffe- Brown, Talcott Parsons (AGIL, Systems approach), Robert K. Merton (Middle range theory, reference groups, latent and manifest function), Claude Levi Strauss (Myths, Structuralism)

Hermeneutic and Interpretative Traditions: G.H. Mead, Alfred Schutz (Phenomenology); Harold Garfinkel (Ethnomethodology); Erving Goffman (Symbolic interaction, dramaturgy); ∙Clifford Geertz (Culture, thick description)

Post-Modernism, Post-Structuralism and Post-Colonialism: Pierre Bourdieu, Michel Foucault, Jurgen Habermas, Anthony Giddens, Frankfurt School C6.1.5 Conflict theory: Ralf Dahrendorf; C Wright Mills

Indian Thinkers, M.K. Gandhi, B.R. Ambedkar, Radha Kamal Mukherjee, G. S. Ghurye, M.N. Srinivas, Irawati Karve,

Research Methodology and Methods

Conceptualizing Social Reality: Philosophy of Science; ∙Scientific Method and Epistemology in Social Science; Hermeneutic Traditions; Objectivity and Reflexivity in Social Science; Ethics and Politics of research;

Research Design: Reading Social Science Research, Data and Documents; Induction and Deduction; Fact, Concept and Theory;∙Hypotheses, Research Questions, Objectives;

Quantitative and Qualitative Methods: Ethnography; Survey Method; Historical Method; Comparative Method;

Research Techniques; Sampling; Questionnaire and Schedule; Statistical Analysis; Observation, Interview and Case study; Interpretation, Data Analysis and Report Writing

Sociological Concepts

Sociological Concepts: Social Structure; Culture; Network; Status and Role; Identity; Community; Socialization; Diaspora; Values, Norms and Rules; Personhood, Habitus and Agency; Bureaucracy, Power and Authority; Self and society C6.3.2 Social Institutions: Marriage, Family and Kinship; Economy; Polity; Religion; Education; Law and Customs

Social Stratification: Social Difference, Hierarchy, Inequality and Marginalization: Caste and Class; Status and Power; Gender, Sexuality and Disability; Race, Tribe and Ethnicity

Social Change: Evolution and Diffusion; Modernization and Development; Social Transformations and Globalization; Social Mobility –Sanskritization, Educational and Occupational change

Agrarian Sociology and Rural Transformation

Rural and Peasant Society; Caste-Tribe Distinction and Continuum; Agrarian Social Structure and Emergent Class Relations; Land Ownership and Agrarian Relations; Decline of Agrarian Economy, De-Peasantization and Agrarian Change; Agrarian Unrest and Peasant Movements; Feudalism, Mode of production debate; Land reforms; Panchayati Raj; Rural development programmes and community development; Green revolution and agricultural change; Peasants and farmers movements

Family, Marriage and Kinship; Theoretical Approaches

Structural-Functionalist, Alliance and Cultural; Gender Relations and Power Dynamics; Inheritance, Succession and Authority; Gender, Sexuality and Reproduction; Children, Youth and Elderly; Emotions and Family; Emergent Forms of Family; Changing Marriage Practices; Changing Care and Support Systems; Family Laws; Domestic Violence and Crime against Women; Honour Killing

Indian Society/ Sociology of India

Colonial, Nationalist, Indological perspectives (G.S.Ghurye); Structural-Functional approach (M. N. Srinivas); Dialectical approach (A. R. Desai); Subaltern studies (R. Guha); Non Brahmin perspectives (Phule, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar); Feminist perspectives (Leela Dube, Sharmila Rege); Social Institutions – Family, Kinship, Household, Village and Urban Settings; Social Stratification – Caste, Class, Tribe and Gender; Tradition and Modernity (M.N.Srinivas, Yogendra Singh, Dipankar Gupta); Peasants and agrarian sociology (Andre Beteille, AR Desai, D.N.Dhanagare); Village studies; Communalism and Secularism

Social Movements

Introduction to social movements: Nature, Definitions, Characteristics; Social Movement and Social Change; Types of social movements (Reform, Rebellion, Revival, Revolution, Insurrection, Counter Movement)

Theories of Social Movements: Structural –functional; Marxist; Resource Mobilization Theory; New Social Movements

Social Movement in India with specific reference to social basis, leadership, ideology and actions: Peasant movement; Labour movement; Dalit movement; Women’s movement, Environmental movement

Social Movements, civil society and globalization: Social movement and its relationship with state and civil society; Social movements and impact of globalization: Debates; Issues of citizenship

Sociology of Development

Perspectives on the Study of Development: Definitions and Indices; Liberal, Marxist, and Neo-Marxist Perspectives (Dependency theory, World Systems); Epistemological Critiques of Development

State and Market: Institutions and ideologies: Planned Development and Society; Globalisation and Liberalization

The Micro-Politics of Development: Transforming Communities: Maps and Models; Knowledge and Power in Development; Re-inventing Development: Subaltern Movements; Post-colonial development; Decentralization and devolution; Participatory approaches

Sustainable development: Post-sustainable development; Development, violence and inequality; Post-structural perspectives (Escobar); Alternative development paradigms; Feminist critique; Human development.

You may download complete GATE syllabus 2024 for XH Humanities & Social Sciences in PDF. For more detail, please visit official website

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