How to Prepare UPSC Maithili Language Paper 2022 – IAS Mains

Maithili is one of the three main languages of Bihar State including Magdahi and Bhojpuri. It is the language of old Mithila ( the area of the ancient Videha, currently Tirhut). It is an Indo-Aryan language of the Indo-European language family. It is also the only Bihari language with a script of its own, named Tirhuta.

The success rate of candidates opting for literature subjects is consistently rising. Everyone is aware of the importance of the optional subject in the UPSC mains exam. Before opting for an optional subject, candidates must keep a few things in mind. What is the current demand and scope of the subjects, and how much effort do they need to put in to get a good score in the optional subject. 

Tips to Prepare for the UPSC Maithili language papers 2022  

  • Go through the syllabus of the optional subject thoroughly.
  • Prepare a study plan.
  • Identify the standard books and notes required to prepare for this subject.
  • Work on timeline and deadlines.
  • Prepare your notes for preparation.
  • Practice previous year’s question papers.
  • Give mock exams.

1. Syllabus  




(Answers must be written in Maithili) PART A

History of Maithili Language

  1. Place of Maithili in Indo-European Language family.
  2. Origin and development of Maithili language. (Sanskrit, Prakrit, Avhatt, Maithili)
  3. Periodic division of Maithili Language. (Beginning, Middle era, Modern era).
  4. Maithili and its different dialects.
  5. Relationship between Maithili and other Eastern languages (Bengali, Asamese, Oriya)
  6. Origin and Development of Tirhuta Script.
  7. Pronouns and Verbs in Maithili Language.


History of Maithili Literature

  1. Background of Maithili Literature (Religious, Economic, Social, Cultural).
  2. Periodic division of Maithili literature.
  3. Pre-Vidyapati Literature.
  4. Vidyapati and his tradition.
  5. Medieval Maithili Drama (Kirtaniya Natak, Ankia Nat, Maithili dramas written in Nepal).
  6. Maithili Folk Literature (Folk Tales, Folk Drama, Folk Stories, Folk Songs).
  7. Development of different literary forms in modern era :
    • Prabandh-kavya
    • Muktak-kavya
    • Novel
    • Short Story
    • Drama
    • Essay
    • Criticism
    • Memoirs
    • Translation
  1. Development of Maithili Magazines and Journals. 


(Answers must be written in Maithili)

The paper will require first-hand reading of the prescribed texts and will test the critical ability of the candidates.



  1. Vidyapati Geet-Shati—Publisher : Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi (Lyrics— 1 to 50)
  2. Govind Das Bhajanavali—Publisher : Maithili Acadamy, Patna (Lyrics— 1 to 25)
  3. Krishnajanm—Manbodh
  4. Mithilabhasha Ramayana—Chanda Jha (only Sunder-Kand)
  5. Rameshwar Charit Mithila Ramayan—Lal Das (only Bal-kand)
  6. Keechak-Vadh—Tantra Nath Jha.
  7. Datta-Vati—Surendra Jah ‘Suman’ (only 1st and 2nd Cantos).
  8. Chitra-Yatri
  9. Samakaleen Maithili Kavita—Publisher: Sahitaya Akademi, New Delhi.


  1. Varna Ratnakar—Jyotirishwar (only 2nd Kallol)
  2. Khattar Kakak Tarang—Hari Mohan Jha
  3. Lorik—Vijaya Manipadma
  4. Prithvi Putra—Lalit
  5. Bhaphait Chahak Jinagi—Sudhanshu ‘Shekhar’ Choudhary
  6. Kriti Rajkamlak—Publisher: Maithili Acadamy, Patna (First Ten Stories only)
  7. Katha–Sangrah–Publisher: Maithili Acadamy, Patna 

2. Reference books 

Recommended books for Maithili:

  • Maithili Sahityak Itihas –  Dr. Durganath Jha “Shreesh”, Jaykant Mishra, Dr. Dinesh Kumar Jha
  • Maithili Patrakaritak Itihas – Chandranath Mishra Amar
  • Tirhuta Lipik Vikas – Dr. Rajeshwar Jha
  • Maithili Kathak Vikas – Sahitya Academy, New Delhi
  • Maithili Padyak Vikas – Sahitya Academy, New Delhi
  • Maithili Gadyak Vikas – Sahitya Academy, New Delhi
  • Maithili Parichayika

3. Prepare a study plan

  • Make a monthly, weekly, and daily plan based on the number of hours you have in a day to devote to preparation.
  • Stick to this plan modifying it when needed.
  • Usually, it takes around 3-4 months to complete the optional subject so use this time wisely.

4. Practice previous year’s Mains exam question papers

  • Use the previous year’s papers as your guide to predicting the questions that can be asked in future. 
  • UPSC has a tendency to repeat questions by changing certain keywords. 
  • Candidates who have a strong grip on the past papers have higher chances of scoring good marks in the actual examination.

5. Important topics from Paper 1 and 2 

Paper 1 contains History of Maithili Language and History of Maithili Literature. The topics from for Paper 2 in Optional Languages ​​will require first-hand reading and will be designed to test the critical ability of the candidate.

We all know that in the final list, optional paper marks are crucial to deciding rank.

Students have to perform well on the preferred paper. Since the rest of the papers are compulsory for all, it’s only the optional paper that can make or break your fortune. So don't go for the selective reading, as there is a single optional paper.

6. Who can opt for the Maithili language paper for the IAS Exam?

This language is spoken by the people of the Indian state of Bihar in the northern and eastern regions. As an optional subject, candidates can opt for the Maithili language if they have graduated in the literature of Maithili language as the main subject. It is highly recommended for people who are good in the language. The syllabus is more or less static and limited.  

If the candidate is creative and has a good conceptual understanding of the subject this optional is good for them. Good writing skill is also required.

7. Preparation tips for candidates 

  • Clear the basic concepts of the Maithili language to handle paper 2 
  • Every language demands good writing skills, so don’t forget to work on it.
  • Attempt the essay question at least with at least 40 minutes to spare. Write it in a simple and effective language. Write the essay after winding up the other sections. so, candidates write and elaborate the essay accordingly, without wasting time. 
  • Developing a reading habit of newspapers of the Maithili language, at least 15-20 minutes every day improves writing skills and gives students the awareness of the recent and modern writing patterns of their language and vocabulary.