HSEE-2020: Registration, Dates, Syllabus, Eligibility, Pattern, Papers

The Humanities and Social Sciences Entrance Examination (HSEE) is a national level entrance test conducted every year by Indian Institute of Technology Madras for admission to the master programme offered by the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) of the Institute. The Department of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) is one of the earliest departments at IITM. The department is essentially multi-disciplinary in nature and has faculty from diverse streams, such as Development Studies, Economics, English, Environmental Studies, Film Studies.

The HSEE started in the year 2006 coinciding with the launch of the M.A. programme at IIT Madras. This is the only test of its kind, which admits students to a five year integrated masters programme in humanities and social sciences subjects offered by an IIT. Since 2006-07, the department has been offering a five-year integrated Master of Arts (M.A.) programme. With the launch of this programme, the IITM has crossed a milestone in fulfilling its role in higher education in liberal arts and social sciences in the country.

About M.A. Programme

Excellence in higher education in the humanities and social sciences is evidently of growing importance around the world. By imparting quality education through this programme the Institute aims at producing well-rounded individuals with sound training in the humanities and social sciences to answer the needs of universities, research institutes and commercial and public sector enterprises. The programme draws its strength from the unique mix of streams.
Integrated M.A. in Development Studies
Integrated M.A. in English Studies

HSEE-2020: Exam Overview

ExaminationHSEE-2020 Entrance exam
Article categoryAdmissions
Exam typeNational level exam
Conducting AuthorityIndian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM)
LevelNational Level
Academic session2020-2021
Course offeredMaster programme offered by the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS)
Date of examination2020
Mode of examinationOnline (Computer Based Test)
Official websitehttp://hsee.iitm.ac.in/index.php

HSEE-2020: Important Dates

Online Application and Payment of Examination Fee – Starts
Payment Option A:
Net Banking / Credit Card / Debit Card – Starts
Payment Option B:
Indian Bank Challan – Starts
December 11, 2019
Last Date for submission of online application1) January 22, 20202) January 23, 2020
1) for payment made by Option A – Ends
2) for payment made by Option B (step -2 must have been completed by January 22, 2020) – Ends
Application Status can be Checked from the HSEE website by Candidates – StartsFebruary 17, 2020
Application Status can be Checked from the HSEE website by Candidates – EndsMarch 06, 2020
Admit Card can be Downloaded from the HSEE Website by Candidates – StartsMarch 18, 2020
Admit card can be downloaded from the HSEE Website by Candidates – EndsApril 19, 2020
Examination Date for HSEE-2020April 19, 2020
Declaration of Result on HSEE WebsiteMay 15, 2020
Offer letter can be downloaded from the HSEE website by Successful Candidates – StartsMay 16, 2020

HSEE-2020: Eligibility Criteria

Candidates applying for HSEE-2020 must have passed any one of the following qualifying examinations for the first time in 2019 or should be appearing in 2020.

• The final examination of the 10+2 system, conducted by a Central or State Board recognized by the Association of Indian Universities (www.aiuweb.org).

• Intermediate or two-year Pre-University examination conducted by a Board or University recognized by the Association of Indian Universities.

• Final examination of the two-year course of the Joint Services Wing of the National Defense Academy.

• Senior Secondary School Examination conducted by the National Institute of Open Schooling with a minimum of five subjects.

• Any Public School, Board or University examination in India or in a foreign country recognized as equivalent to the 10+2 system by the Association of Indian Universities.

• H.S.C. vocational examination.

• Class XII skill courses of CBSE.

• General Certificate Education (GCE) examination (London, Cambridge or Sri Lanka) at the Advanced (A) level.

• High School Certificate Examination of the Cambridge University or International Baccalaureate Diploma of the International Baccalaureate Office, Geneva.

Candidates who have completed Class XII (or equivalent) examination outside India or from a Board not specified above should produce a certificate from the Association of Indian Universities to the effect that the examination they have passed is equivalent to the Class XII examination.

In case the Class XII examination is not a public examination, the candidate must have passed at least one public (Board or Pre-University) examination earlier.

Percentage of Marks in Qualifying Examination

Candidates belonging to the General, GEN-EWS and OBC-NCL category must secure a minimum of 60% aggregate marks in the qualifying examination. Candidates belonging to SC, ST and PwD categories must secure a minimum of 55% aggregate marks in the qualifying examination. Where only letter grades are mentioned in the grade sheet, the candidate should obtain a certificate from the Board specifying equivalent marks, and submit it at the time of joining. In case the candidate does not provide such a certificate, the decision of the HSEE admission committee regarding his/her eligibility shall be final.

Date of Birth

Candidates whose date of birth falls on or after October 01, 1995 are eligible for HSEE-2020. However, in the case of SC, ST and PwD candidates, upper age limit is relaxed by 5 years, i.e., candidates belonging to SC, ST, and PwD and born on or after October 01, 1990 are eligible. The date of birth as recorded in the High School (10th std./12th Std.) first Board/ Pre-University Certificate will be taken as authentic. Candidates must produce a scanned copy of this certificate along with the completed Application Form as proof of their age and at the time of admission original certificate has to be produced failing which they will be disqualified.

HSEE-2020:Admission Process

Admission is solely through Humanities and Social Sciences Entrance Examination (HSEE). The programme has a total of 52 seats; each stream will have 26 seats. Allocations of seats to individual Streams will be made based on the academic performance of students (CGPA) during the first three semesters, students’ preferences, and availability of seats under each discipline.

HSEE 2020 Examination Fee

All OthersRs.2400/-

HSEE Admission Fee

Candidates admitted through HSEE-2020 will have to pay the following fees at the time of admission:

Indian NationalsForeign Nationals
1One Time PaymentRs. 3,550Rs. 18,500
2Semester Fees*Rs. 11,400Rs. 3,07,900
3Refundable Caution DepositRs. 2,000Rs. 2,000
4Estt.’A’ chargesRs. 6,000Rs. 6,000
5Gymkhana feeRs. 1,500Rs. 1,500
6Medical Insurance Premium (subject to revision)Rs. 1,600Rs. 1,600
7Refundable Hostel DepositRs. 3,000Rs. 3,000
5Hostel and other Fees #Rs. 21,115Rs. 21,115

All fees are subject to vary time to time.
* SC/ST and PwD students are exempted from payment of tuition fees of Rs. 3,000/- per semester irrespective of the parental income.
# Includes mess advance of Rs. 19,365/- for 6 months.

The fee structure for subsequent semesters will be made available at the time of admission.

How to Apply for HSEE-2020

Step 1: Click on http://hsee.iitm.ac.in/index.php

Step 2: Click on HSEE-2020 link on the homepage

Step 3: Enter your personal details

Step 4: Upload the scanned documents

Step 5: Pay the application fee

Step 6: Submit the application form of HSEE-2020

Step 7: Take a printout and keep it for future use

Important Links for HSEE-2020

Official WebsiteClick Here
Information BrochureClick Here
Application LinkClick Here

HSEE-2020: Syllabus

HSEE-2019 has two parts: Part I and Part II. Syllabus for Part I consists of English (25% marks of Part I), Analytical and Quantitative Ability (25% marks of Part I), and General Studies (in four sub-parts; 50% marks of Part I). Part II involves essay writing.



This section tests the candidate’s ability to understand and use standard English, and to appreciate literary language. Questions are related to the following areas:

Reading skills: Candidates will be required to read the given passage(s) that aim(s) to test their comprehension skills and answer the comprehension questions.

(Or This section tests candidates’ reading comprehension skills of a given passage.)

Grammar: This section tests the candidate’s knowledge of English grammar, including sentence structure and usage, the use of tenses, verb patterns, articles, and active and passive constructions, etc.

Vocabulary: This section is a test of vocabulary and the ability to understand meaning, structure and collocation of words.

Analytical and Quantitative Ability

This section tests the candidate’s analytical skills and quantitative abilities. Questions are related to the following areas:

Numbers, Algebra, Highest Common Factor (HCF) and Lowest Common Multiple (LCM), Calendar, Basic Statistics – Average, Ratio and proportion, Profit and Loss, Percentages, Simple and Compound Interest, Work and time, Discount, Age sums, linear equations, elementary trigonometry.

Data interpretation, Analytical reasoning, Logical reasoning, Brainteasers, and Patterns.

General Studies

a) Indian Economy:

This section is intended to test the understanding of some basic economic concepts and awareness of key issues pertaining to the Indian economy with a focus on the developments after independence. The concepts and issues covered are:

Understanding the Economy: Scarcity, opportunity cost, resource allocation, economic systems and their characteristics, features of market economies, forces of demand and supply, elasticity of demand and supply.

Main Features of Indian Economy: Natural resources; human resources -population size and composition, literacy and education, occupational distribution.

Major Economic problems: Poverty, Unemployment and Inequality -concepts, measurement, trends, sectoral distribution and policies, inflation – trends, causes and remedies.

Economic Growth and Development: Meaning and measurement of economic growth, stages of development, national income concepts and trends, trends in savings and investment; human development index, national policy on education, health and health care policies. Planning in India: Five-Year Plans – objectives, priorities and problems.

Sectoral Development: agriculture – Green Revolution and technological changes, current issues and policies; industry-evolution of industrial policies in India (from 1948), strategies for industrial development, public and private sectors, small and medium industries, infrastructure, transport and communication, service sector etc.

Foreign Trade and International Economy: balance of payments, foreign exchange reserves and trade policy, I.M.F., W.T.O., international aid.

Money, Banking and Public Finance: Concepts of money and measures of money supply.

b) Indian Society and Culture:

Structure of Indian Society: Caste, Class and Tribe, Institutions of Marriage, Family and Kinship, Political institutions, Demographic Indicators and Trends.

Social Change in India: Sanskritization, Modernisation, Westernization and Secularization, Social Movements and Regionalism, Panchayati Raj Institutions & Governance, Affirmative Action Programme of the Government, Commissions and Policy Interventions.

Medieval and Modern Indian History: Delhi Sultanate and Mughal era; British Raj; Uprising of 1857; (Social) Reform, and Resistance Movements; Indian National Movement and the Emergence of the Indian nation.

Indian Philosophy and Thinkers: Jainism, Buddhism, Orthodox Systems, Sikhism, Sufism, Gandhi, Swami Vivekananda, Rabindranath Tagore, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan.

Indian Traditions and Knowledge Systems: Classical dance forms, Architecture, Education, Ethics, Language and Grammar, Painting, Music, Theatre, Textiles Indian Literature, Mathematical and Medical systems.

c) World Affairs:

Emergence of the US and USSR; emergence of UN system; the Cold War and nuclear race; disintegration of Soviet Union, decline of Communism and rise of nationalism; Arab-Israel conflict; India and the World; NAM and role of India; India-China and India- Pakistan relations, China and the World, conflict and wars.

Democracy and Development; Challenges to democracy; North-South divide on issues of development; UN and its various developmental and peacekeeping operations; Nuclearisation and Non-proliferation; India in SAARC and ASEAN; International terrorism, fundamentalism and the War on Terror; Indo-US relations; New centres of power in Asia, Latin America and Africa.

Hunger and Poverty; Human Rights, Democracy and Development; Environmental degradation and green politics; Issues of Race, Ethnicity and Gender; Deprived Classes and minority politics; Religion in the contemporary world; Culture and Civilization; Globalization and changing economic, cultural and political landscape; Mass media and cultural change; Emergence of various popular mass movements.

d) Environment and Ecology:

Global Environmental Picture: Population Growth, Degradation of Soils, Global Atmospheric Changes, Loss of Biodiversity.

Ecosystems: Structure of Ecosystems, Biotic Structure, Categories of Organisms, Feeding and Non-feeding Relationships, Ecosystems and how they work, Elements in Living and Non-living Systems, Energy Laws, Nutrient Cycling.

Pollution: Major forms of Pollution and their Impact, Primary and Secondary Pollutants, Control Strategies, Indoor Pollutants, Global Warming, International Treaties.

Principles of Solar Energy, Hydropower, Wind Power, Biomass Energy, Ocean Thermal Energy, Geothermal Energy, and Tidal power.


Topics for the essay writing in Part II will be based on current affairs and general knowledge. The essay should build an argument, demonstrate a clear perspective and be substantiated with examples, wherever possible.

HSEE-2020 Previous & Model Question papers Download pdf

Solving NIFT Question papers is one of the important way to prepare for NIFT Entrance exam.  Question papers solving is always recommended to refine one’s caliber. As the paper pattern keeps changing frequently, students are advised to solve NIFT Question papers of past 2 to 3 years. Solving question papers helps you to analyze your potential area of strength and weakness. Student are advised to concentrate on areas which they are weak and improve ones skills by taking help of experts who can make them learn in shorter duration.

YearQuestion Paper
20192019 Question Paper
20182018 Question Paper
20172017 Question Paper

Related News

More hsee.iitm.ac.in Articles

  • IITM Recruitment 2018 – Apply 11 Project Scientists, Section Officer & UDC Posts @ tropmet.res.in

    IITM Recruitment 2018: Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology has released the official notification for the 11 vacancies of Project Scientists, Section Officer & UDC. Eligible and skilled candidates are able to send Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology Jobs 2018 Application Form through the Online mode from its official website tropmet.res.in. Interested Candidates may Apply Online for IITM Project Scientists, Section Officer … Read more

More from Admission Section