Introduction to Modern Indian Political Thought

By Prof. Mithilesh Kumar Jha   |   IIT Guwahati
Learners enrolled: 1222
Modern Indian political thought is one of the fascinating areas of scholarly debates and discussions in contemporary India. It also signifies a shift away from excessive reliance upon Eurocentric views, methods and concepts to study and interpret Indian society and its politics. The major objective of this course is to introduce the students to some of the key modern Indian thinkers and their ideas which helped in shaping the society and politics of modern India.

INTENDED AUDIENCE  : UG and PG students of Humanities and Social Sciences, Sciences and Engineering
Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 12 weeks
Category :
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit Points : 3
Level : Undergraduate/Postgraduate
Start Date : 24 Jan 2022
End Date : 15 Apr 2022
Enrollment Ends : 07 Feb 2022
Exam Date : 23 Apr 2022 IST

Note: This exam date is subjected to change based on seat availability. You can check final exam date on your hall ticket.

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1  :  Introduction to the course: general outline & methods
Week 2  :  Raja Rammohan Roy: religious reforms, modern education & freedom of press
Week 3  :  Rabindranath Tagore: nationalism and cosmopolitanism, idea of man
Week 4  :  Aurobindo Ghosh: self, community and religion 
Week 5 
 :  Vivekananda: revitalisation of Indian life
Week 6  :  M. K. Gandhi: Hind swaraj and the critique of modern civilisation, India of his dreams
Week 7  :  Muhammad Iqbal: community, religion and nation
Week 8  :  Savarkar: Hinduism and Hindutva
Week 9  :  Jawahar Lal Nehru: Discovery of India, secularism and Internationalism
Week 10  :  B. R. Ambedkar: caste, liberal democracy and constitutional morality
Week 11  :  Pt. Ramabai: gender and caste
Week 12  :  Lohiya: caste & class, and views on Indian languages

Books and references

1.Guha, Ramchandra, Makers of Modern India, Penguin: Delhi, 2010. 
2.Pantham, Thomas and K. L. Deutsch eds., Political Thought in Modern India, Sage: Delhi, 1986.  
3.Singh, M. P. and Himanshu Roy eds., Indian Political Thought: Themes and Thinkers, Pearson: Delhi, 2011.
4.Verma, V. P., Modern Indian Political Thought, Lakshmi Narayan Agarwal: Agra, 2005.
5.Datta, P. K. and Sanjay Palshikar eds., Indian Political Thought, ICSSR & Oxford University Press: New Delhi, 2013.
6.Mcdermott, Rachel Fell et. al., Sources of Indian Traditions, Penguin: Gurgaon, 2014.  
7.Mehta, V. R., Foundations of Indian Political Thought, Manohar: Delhi, 2013. 
8.Singh, Aakash and Silika Mohapatra eds., Indian Political Thought: A Reader, Routledge: London & New York, 2012. 
9.Vajpeyi, Ananya, Righteous Republic: The Political Foundations of Modern India, Harvard University Press: Cambridge, 2012

Instructor bio

Prof. Mithilesh Kumar Jha

IIT Guwahati
Dr. Mithilesh Kumar Jha teaches Political Science in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati. His research interests are - political thought in comparative perspective particularly Indian and Western political thought, political theory, Indian politics especially language and related issues of state formations in modern India. His important publications are Language Politics and Public Sphere in North India: Making of the Maithili Movement, Oxford University Press, New Delhi (2018); Glimpses of Mithila and Maithili: The Correspondence of George Abraham Grierson, Kalyani Foundation: Darbhanga (2013).

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 23 April 2022 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 8 assignments out of the total 12 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Guwahati .It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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