Aakar Foundation


UPSC Optional Batch

How to Choose Optional Subject?

The selection of a proper and better optional subject for the Civil Service Exam is a difficult problem for the aspirants of Civil Service in the present competitive scenario. It could be decided only on the basis of proper information regarding the subject.

You can follow the methodology given below for selecting your optional subject:

Step 1: Go through the list of all 26 optional subjects. The list is mentioned in UPSC notification.
Step 2: Shortlist at least 3-4 optional subjects which you feel like opting.
Step 3: You can think about your degree subject as an optional subject or any other subject you find interesting.
Step 4: Read one good basic book of a shortlisted optional subject.
Step 5: Finalise your optional subject on the basis of what you like and what you understand.


UPSC optional subject’s syllabus

1.   Political Science and International Relations

  1. History
  2. Geography
  3. Public administration
  4. Anthropology
  5. Sociology


Political Science and International Relations



Section A: Political Theory and Indian Politics

  1. Political Theory:meaning and approaches.
  2. Theories of the State:Liberal, Neo-liberal, Marxist, Pluralist, Post-colonial and feminist.
  3. Justice:Conceptions of justice with special reference to Rawl’s theory of justice and its
    communitarian critiques.
  4. Equality:Social, political and economic; the relationship between equality and freedom; Affirmative action.
  5. Rights:Meaning and theories; different kinds of rights; the concept of Human Rights.
  6. Democracy:Classical and contemporary theories; different models of democracy – representative, participatory and deliberative.
  7. Concept of power, hegemony, ideology, and legitimacy.
  8. Political Ideologies:Liberalism, Socialism, Marxism, Fascism, Gandhism, and Feminism.
  9. Indian Political Thought:Dharamshastra, Arthashastra, and Buddhist traditions; Sir Syed
    Ahmed Khan, Sri Aurobindo, M.K. Gandhi, B.R. Ambedkar, M. N. Roy.
  10. Western Political Thought:Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, John S. Mill, Marx, Gramsci, Hannah Arendt.
Section B: Indian Government and Politics:
  1. Indian Nationalism:
    (a) Political Strategies of India’s Freedom Struggle: Constitutionalism to mass Satyagraha,
    Non-cooperation, Civil Disobedience; Militant and revolutionary movements, Peasant and
    workers’ movements.
    (b) Perspectives on Indian National Movement: Liberal, Socialist, and Marxist; Radical
    humanist and Dalit.
  2. Making of the Indian Constitution:Legacies of the British rule; different social and political perspectives.
  3. Salient Features of the Indian Constitution:The Preamble, Fundamental Rights and Duties, Directive Principles; Parliamentary System and Amendment Procedures; Judicial Review and Basic Structure doctrine.
  4. (a) Principal Organs of the Union Government:Envisaged role and actual working of the
    Executive, Legislature and Supreme Court.

(b) Principal Organs of the State Government: Envisaged role and actual working of the
Executive, Legislature and High Courts.

  1. Grassroots Democracy:Panchayati Raj and Municipal Government; the significance of 73rd and 74th Amendments; Grassroot movements.
  2. Statutory Institutions / Commissions:Election Commission, comptroller and Auditor General, Finance Commission, Union Public Service Commission, National Commission for Scheduled Castes, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, National Commission for Women; National Human Rights Commission, National Commission for Minorities, National Backward Classes Commission.
  3. Federalism:Constitutional provisions; changing nature of center-state relations; integrationist tendencies and regional aspirations; inter-state disputes.
  4. Planning and Economic Development:Nehruvian and Gandhian perspectives; the role of planning and public sector; Green Revolution, land reforms and agrarian relations; liberalization and economic reforms.
  5. Caste, Religion, and Ethnicity in Indian Politics.
  6. Party System:National and regional political parties, ideological and social bases of parties; patterns of coalition politics; Pressure groups, trends in electoral behavior: changing socio-economic profile of Legislators.
  7. Social Movements:Civil liberties and human rights movements; women’s movements; environmentalist movements.


Section A: Comparative Politics and International Relations

Comparative Political Analysis and International Politics:

  1. Comparative Politics:Nature and major approaches; political economy and political sociology perspectives; limitations of the comparative method.
  2. State in comparative perspective:Characteristics and changing nature of the State in capitalist and socialist economies, and advanced industrial and developing societies.
  3. Politics of Representation and Participation:Political parties, pressure groups, and social movements in advanced industrial and developing societies.
  4. Globalization:Responses from developed and developing societies.
  5. Approaches to the Study of International Relations:Idealist, Realist, Marxist, Functionalist and Systems theory.
  6. Key concepts in International Relations:National interest, Security and power; Balance of power and deterrence; Transnational actors and collective security; World capitalist economy and globalization.
  7. Changing International Political Order: 
    (a) Rise of superpowers, strategic and ideological Bipolarity, arms race and Cold War; nuclear threat;
    (b) Non-aligned movement: Aims and achievements;
    (c) The collapse of the Soviet Union; Unipolarity and American hegemony; relevance of non-alignment in the contemporary world.

(8) Evolution of the International Economic System: From Bretton woods to WTO; Socialist economies and the CMEA (Council for Mutual Economic Assistance); Third World demand for new international economic order; Globalisation of the world economy.

  1. United Nations:Envisaged role and actual record; specialized UN agencies-aims and functioning; the need for UN reforms.
  2. Regionalization of World Politics:EU, ASEAN, APEC, SAARC, NAFTA
  3. Contemporary Global Concerns:Democracy, human rights, environment, gender justice, terrorism, nuclear proliferation.

Section B: India and the World

  1. Indian Foreign Policy:Determinants of foreign policy; institutions of policy-making; continuity and change.
  2. India’s Contribution to the Non-Alignment Movement:Different phases; current role.
  3. India and South Asia :
    (a) Regional Co-operation: SAARC-past performance and future prospects.
    (b) South Asia as a Free Trade Area.
    (c) India’s ‘Look East’ policy.
    (d) Impediments to regional co-operation: river water disputes; illegal cross-border migration; ethnic conflicts and insurgencies; border disputes.
  4. India and the Global South:Relations with Africa and Latin America; leadership role in the demand for NIEO and WTO negotiations.
  5. India and the Global Centres of Power:USA, EU, Japan, China, and Russia.
  6. India and the UN System:Role in UN Peace-keeping; demand for Permanent Seat in the Security Council.
  7. India and the Nuclear Question:Changing perceptions and policy.
  8. Recent developments in Indian Foreign policy:India’s position on the recent crisis in Afghanistan, Iraq and West Asia, growing relations with the US and Israel; a vision of new world order.

2. History

Paper I

  1. Sources:
    Archaeological sources: Exploration, excavation, epigraphy, numismatics, monuments
    Literary sources:
    Indigenous: Primary and secondary; poetry, scientific literature, literature, literature in regional
    languages, religious literature.
    Foreign accounts: Greek, Chinese and Arab writers.
  2. Pre-history and Proto-history:Geographical factors; hunting and gathering (paleolithic and Mesolithic); Beginning of agriculture (Neolithic and Chalcolithic).
  3. Indus Valley Civilization:Origin, date, extent, characteristics, decline, survival and significance, art and architecture.
  4. Megalithic Cultures:Distribution of pastoral and farming cultures outside the Indus, Development of community life, Settlements, Development of agriculture, Crafts, Pottery, and Iron industry.
  5. Aryans and Vedic Period:Expansions of Aryans in India.
    Vedic Period: Religious and philosophic literature; Transformation from Rig Vedic period to the
    later Vedic period; Political, social and economical life; Significance of the Vedic Age; Evolution of Monarchy and Varna system.
  6. Period of Mahajanapadas:
    Formation of States (Mahajanapada): Republics and monarchies; Rise of urban centers; Trade routes; Economic growth; Introduction of coinage; Spread of Jainism and Buddhism; Rise of Magadha and Nandas.
    Iranian and Macedonian invasions and their impact.
  7. Mauryan Empire:Foundation of the Mauryan Empire, Chandragupta, Kautilya, and Arthashastra; Ashoka; Concept of Dharma; Edicts; Polity, Administration; Economy; Art, architecture, and sculpture; External contacts; Religion; Spread of religion; Literature.
    The disintegration of the empire; Sungas and Kanvas.
  8. Post – Mauryan Period (Indo-Greeks, Sakas, Kushanas, Western Kshatrapas) :
    Contact with the outside world; growth of urban centers, economy, coinage, development of religions, Mahayana, social conditions, art, architecture, culture, literature, and science.
  9. Early State and Society in Eastern India, Deccan, andSouth India:Kharavela, The Satavahanas, the Tamil States of the Sangam Age; Administration, economy, land grants, coinage, trade guilds, and urban centers; Buddhist centers; Sangam literature and culture; Art and architecture.
  10. Guptas, Vakatakas and Vardhanas: Polity and administration, Economic conditions, Coinage of the Guptas, Land grants, Decline of urban centers, Indian feudalism, Caste system, Position of women, Education and educational institutions; Nalanda, Vikramshila and Vallabhi, Literature, scientific literature, art, and architecture.
  11. The regional States during Gupta Era:The Kadambas, Pallavas, Chalukyas of Badami; Polity and Administration, Trade guilds, Literature; growth of Vaishnava and Saiva religions. Tamil Bhakti movement, Shankaracharya; Vedanta; Institutions of temple and temple architecture; Palas, Senas, Rashtrakutas, Paramaras, Polity and administration; Cultural aspects. Arab conquest of Sind; Alberuni, The Chalukyas of Kalyana, Cholas, Hoysalas, Pandyas; Polity and Administration; local Government; Growth of art and architecture, religious sects, Institution of temple and Mathas, Agraharas, education and literature, economy and society.
  12. Themes in Early Indian Cultural History:Languages and texts, major stages in the evolution of art and architecture, major philosophical thinkers and schools, ideas in Science and Mathematics.
  13. Early Medieval India, 750-1200:
    – Polity: Major political developments in Northern India and the Peninsula, origin and the rise of Rajputs
    – The Cholas: administration, village economy, and society
    – “Indian Feudalism”
    – Agrarian economy and urban settlements
    – Trade and commerce
    – Society: the status of the Brahman and the new social order
    – Condition of women
    – Indian science and technology
  14. Cultural Traditions in India, 750-1200:
    – Philosophy: Skankaracharya and Vedanta, Ramanuja and Vishishtadvaita, Madhva and Brahma-Mimansa
    – Religion: Forms and features of religion, Tamil devotional cult, growth of Bhakti, Islam and its arrival in India, Sufism
    – Literature: Literature in Sanskrit, growth of Tamil literature, literature in the newly developing languages, Kalhan’s Rajtarangini, Alberuni’s India
    – Art and Architecture: Temple architecture, sculpture, painting
  15. The Thirteenth Century:
    – Establishment of the Delhi Sultanate: The Ghurian invasions – factors behind Ghurian success
    – Economic, social and cultural consequences
    – Foundation of Delhi Sultanate and early Turkish Sultans
    – Consolidation: The rule of Iltutmish and Balban
  16. The Fourteenth Century:
    – “The Khalji Revolution”
    – Alauddin Khalji: Conquests and territorial expansion, agrarian and economic measures
    – Muhammad Tughluq: Major projects, agrarian measures, a bureaucracy of Muhammad Tughluq
    – Firuz Tughluq: Agrarian measures, achievements in civil engineering and public works, decline of the Sultanate,
    foreign contacts and Ibn Battuta’s account
  17. Society, Culture, andEconomy in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries:
    – Society: composition of rural society, ruling classes, town dwellers, women, religious classes, caste and slavery under the Sultanate, Bhakti movement, Sufi movement
    – Culture: Persian literature, literature in the regional languages of North India, literature in the languages of South India, Sultanate architecture and new structural forms, painting, an evolution of a composite culture
    – Economy: Agricultural production, a rise of the urban economy and non-agricultural production, trade, and commerce
  18. The Fifteenth and Early Sixteenth Century – Political Developments and Economy:
    – Rise of Provincial Dynasties: Bengal, Kashmir (Zainul Abedin), Gujarat, Malwa, Bahmanids
    – The Vijayanagara Empire
    – Lodis
    – Mughal Empire, First phase: Babur and Humayun
    – The Sur Empire: Sher Shah’s administration
    – Portuguese Colonial enterprise
    – Bhakti and Sufi Movements
  19. The Fifteenth and early Sixteenth Century – Society and Culture:
    – Regional cultural specificities
    – Literary traditions
    – Provincial architecture
    – Society, culture, literature and the arts in the Vijayanagara Empire.
    Chanakya Mandal Pariwar / UPSC Comprehensive 2017-18 / 3
  20. Akbar:
    – Conquests and consolidation of the Empire
    – Establishment of Jagir and Mansab systems
    – Rajput policy
    – Evolution of religious and social outlook, a theory of Sulh-i-kul and religious policy
    – Court patronage of art and technology
  21. Mughal Empire in the Seventeenth Century:
    – Major administrative policies of Jahangir, Shahjahan, and Aurangzeb
    – The Empire and the Zamindars
    – Religious policies of Jahangir, Shahjahan, and Aurangzeb
    – Nature of the Mughal State
    – Late Seventeenth-century crisis and the revolts
    – The Ahom Kingdom
    – Shivaji and the early Maratha Kingdom.
  22. Economy and Society in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries:
    – Population, agricultural production, craft production
    – Towns, commerce with Europe through Dutch, English and French companies: a trade revolution
    – Indian mercantile classes, banking, insurance, and credit systems
    – Condition of peasants, condition of women
    – Evolution of the Sikh community and the Khalsa Panth
  23. Culture in the Mughal Empire:
    – Persian histories and other literature
    – Hindi and other religious literature
    – Mughal architecture
    – Mughal painting
    – Provincial architecture and painting
    – Classical music
    – Science and technology
  24. The Eighteenth Century:
    – Factors for the decline of the Mughal Empire
    – The regional principalities: Nizam’s Deccan, Bengal, Awadh
    – Maratha ascendancy under the Peshwas
    – The Maratha fiscal and financial system
    – The emergence of Afghan Power, Battle of Panipat:1761
    – State of politics, culture and economy on the eve of the British conquest

Paper 2

  1. European Penetration into India:The Early European Settlements; The Portuguese and the Dutch; The English and the French East India Companies; Their struggle for supremacy; Carnatic Wars; Bengal -The conflict between the English and the Nawabs of Bengal; Siraj and the English; The Battle of Plassey; Significance of Plassey.
  2. British Expansion in India:Bengal – Mir Jafar and Mir Kasim; The Battle of Buxar; Mysore; The Marathas; The three Anglo-Maratha Wars; Punjab.
  3. Early Structure of the British Raj:The early administrative structure; From diarchy to direct control; The Regulating Act (1773); The Pitt’s India Act (1784); The Charter Act (1833); The voice of free trade and the changing character of British colonial rule; The English utilitarian and India.
  4. Economic Impact of British Colonial Rule:
    (a) Land revenue settlements in British India; The Permanent Settlement; Ryotwari Settlement; Mahalwari Settlement; Economic impact of the revenue arrangements; Commercialization of agriculture; Rise of landless agrarian laborers; Impoverishment of the rural society.
    (b) Dislocation of traditional trade and commerce; De-industrialisation; Decline of traditional crafts; Drain of wealth; Economic transformation of India; Railroad and communication network including telegraph and postal services; Famine and poverty in the rural interior; European business enterprise and its limitations.
  5. Social and Cultural Developments:The state of indigenous education, its dislocation; Orientalist-Anglicist controversy, The introduction of western education in India; The rise of press, literature and public opinion; The rise of modern vernacular literature; Progress of science; Christian missionary activities in India.
  6. Social and Religious Reform movements in Bengal and Other Areas:Ram Mohan Roy, The Brahmo Movement; Devendranath Tagore; Iswarchandra Vidyasagar; The Young Bengal Movement; Dayananda Saraswati; The social reform movements in India including Sati, widow remarriage, child marriage, etc.; The contribution of Indian renaissance to the growth of modern India; Islamic revivalism – the Feraizi and Wahabi Movements.
  7. Indian Response to British Rule:Peasant movements and tribal uprisings in the 18th and 19th centuries including the Rangpur Dhing (1783), the Kol Rebellion (1832), the Mopla Rebellion in Malabar (1841-1920), the Santal Hul (1855), Indigo Rebellion (1859-60), Deccan Uprising (1875) and the Munda Ulgulan (1899-1900); The Great Revolt of 1857 – Origin, character, causes of failure, the consequences; The shift in the character of peasant uprisings in the post-1857 period; the peasant movements of the 1920s and 1930s.
  8. Factors leading to the birth of Indian Nationalism; Politics of Association; The Foundation of the Indian National Congress; The Safety-valve thesis relating to the birth of the Congress; Programme and objectives of Early Congress; the social composition of early Congress leadership; the Moderates and Extremists; The Partition of Bengal (1905); The Swadeshi Movement in Bengal; the economic and political aspects of Swadeshi Movement; The beginning of revolutionary extremism in India.
  9. Rise of Gandhi; Character of Gandhian nationalism; Gandhi’s popular appeal; Rowlatt Satyagraha; the Khilafat Movement; the Non-cooperation Movement; National politics from the end of the Non-cooperation movement to the beginning of the Civil Disobedience movement; the two phases of the Civil Disobedience Movement; Simon Commission; The Nehru Report; the Round Table Conferences; Nationalism and the Peasant Movements; Nationalism and Working-class movements; Women and Indian youth and students in Indian politics (1885-1947); the election of 1937 and the formation of ministries; Cripps Mission; the Quit India Movement; the
    Wavell Plan; The Cabinet Mission.
  10. Constitutional Developments in Colonial India between 1858 and 1935
  11. Other strands in the National Movement:-
    The Revolutionaries: Bengal, the Punjab, Maharashtra, U.P, the Madras Presidency, Outside India.
    The Left; The Left within the Congress: Jawaharlal Nehru, Subhas Chandra Bose, the Congress Socialist Party; the Communist Party of India, other left parties.
  12. Politics of Separatism; the Muslim League; the Hindu Mahasabha; Communalism and the politics of partition; Transfer of power; Independence.
  13. Consolidation as a Nation; Nehru’s Foreign Policy; India and her neighbors (1947-1964); The linguistic reorganization of States (1935-1947); Regionalism and regional inequality; Integration of Princely States; Princes in electoral politics; the Question of National Language.
  14. Caste and Ethnicity after 1947; Backward castes and tribes in post-colonial electoral politics; Dalit movements.
  15. Economic development and political change; Land reforms; the politics of planning and rural reconstruction; Ecology and environmental policy in post-colonial India; Progress of science.
  16. Enlightenment and Modern ideas:
    (i) Major ideas of Enlightenment: Kant, Rousseau
    (ii) Spread of Enlightenment in the colonies
    (iii) Rise of socialist ideas (up to Marx); spread of Marxian Socialism.
  17. Origins of Modern Politics:
    (i) European States System.
    (ii) American Revolution and the Constitution.
    (iii) French revolution and aftermath, 1789-1815.
    (iv) American Civil War with reference to Abraham Lincoln and the abolition of slavery.
    (v) British Democratic Politics, 1815-1850; Parliamentary Reformers, Free Traders, Chartists.
  18. Industrialization:
    (i) English Industrial Revolution: Causes and Impact on Society
    (ii) Industrialization in other countries: USA, Germany, Russia, Japan
    (iii) Industrialization and Globalization.
  19. Nation-State System:
    (i) Rise of Nationalism in the 19th century
    (ii) Nationalism: state-building in Germany and Italy
    (iii) Disintegration of Empires in the face of the emergence of nationalities across the world.
  20. Imperialism and Colonialism:
    (i) South and South-East Asia
    (ii) Latin America and South Africa
    (iii) Australia
    (iv) Imperialism and free trade: Rise of neo-imperialism.
  21. Revolution and Counter-Revolution:
    (i) 19th Century European revolutions
    (ii) The Russian Revolution of 1917-1921
    (iii) Fascist Counter-Revolution, Italy and Germany.
    (iv) The Chinese Revolution of 1949
  22. World Wars:
    (i) 1st and 2nd World Wars as Total Wars: Societal implications
    (ii) World War I: Causes and consequences
    (iii) World War II: Causes and consequence
  23. The World after World War II:
    (i) The emergence of two power blocs
    (ii) Emergence of Third World and non-alignment
    (iii) UNO and global disputes.
  24. Liberation from Colonial Rule:
    (i) Latin America-Bolivar
    (ii) Arab World-Egypt
    (iii) Africa-Apartheid to Democracy
    (iv) South-East Asia-Vietnam
  25. Decolonization and Underdevelopment:
    (i) Factors constraining development: Latin America, Africa
  26. Unification of Europe:
    (i) Post War Foundations: NATO and European Community
    (ii) Consolidation and Expansion of European Community
    (iii) European Union.
  27. Disintegration of Soviet Union and the Rise of the Unipolar World: (i) Factors leading to the collapse of Soviet communism and the Soviet Union, 1985-1990

3. Geography 


Geomorphology, Climatology, Oceanography, Biogeography and Environment Geography are the true scientific headings. They also form the most fundamental avenue of the study.

Section – A: Physical Geography

  1. Geomorphology
  2. Climatology
  3. Oceanography
  4. Biogeography
  5. Environmental Geography

Section – B: Human Geography

  1. Perspective in Human Geography
  2. Economic Geography
  3. Population & Settlement Geography
  4. Regional Geography
  5. Model, Theories & Laws In Human Geography


Physical Geography:

  1. Geomorphology:Factors controlling landform development; endogenetic and exogenetic forces;
    Origin and evolution of the earth’s crust; Fundamentals of geomagnetism; Physical conditions of
    the earth’s interior; Geosynclines; Continental drift; Isostasy; Plate tectonics; Recent views on
    mountain building; Vulcanicity; Earthquakes and Tsunamis; Concepts of geomorphic cycles and
    Landscape development ; Denudation chronology; Channel morphology; Erosion surfaces; Slope
    development; Applied Geomorphology : Geohydrology, economic geology and environment.
  2. Climatology:Temperature and pressure belts of the world; Heat budget of the earth; Atmospheric
    circulation; atmospheric stability and instability. Planetary and local winds; Monsoons and jet
    streams; Air masses and fronto genesis, Temperate and tropical cyclones; Types and distribution
    of precipitation; Weather and Climate; Koppen’s, Thornthwaite’s and Trewartha’s classification
    of world climates; Hydrological cycle; Global climatic change and role and response of man in
    climatic changes, Applied climatology and Urban climate.
  3. Oceanography:Bottom topography of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans; Temperature and
    salinity of the oceans; Heat and salt budgets, Ocean deposits; Waves, currents and tides; Marine
    resources: biotic, mineral and energy resources; Coral reefs, coral bleaching; sea-level changes;
    law of the sea and marine pollution.
  4. Biogeography:Genesis of soils; Classification and distribution of soils; Soil profile; Soil erosion,
    Degradation and conservation; Factors influencing world distribution of plants and animals;
    Problems of deforestation and conservation measures; Social forestry; agro-forestry; Wild life;
    Major gene pool centres.
  5. Environmental Geography:Principle of ecology; Human ecological adaptations; Influence
    of man on ecology and environment; Global and regional ecological changes and imbalances;
    Ecosystem their management and conservation; Environmental degradation, management and
    conservation; Biodiversity and sustainable development; Environmental policy; Environmental
    hazards and remedial measures; Environmental education and legislation.

Human Geography:

  1. Perspectives in Human Geography:Areal differentiation; regional synthesis; Dichotomy and
    dualism; Environmentalism; Quantitative revolution and locational analysis; radical, behavioural,
    human and welfare approaches; Languages, religions and secularisation; Cultural regions of the
    world; Human development index.
  2. Economic Geography:World economic development: measurement and problems; World
    resources and their distribution; Energy crisis; the limits to growth; World agriculture: typology
    of agricultural regions; agricultural inputs and productivity; Food and nutrition problems; Food
    security; famine: causes, effects and remedies; World industries: locational patterns and problems;
    patterns of world trade.
  3. Population and Settlement Geography:Growth and distribution of world population;
    demographic attributes; Causes and consequences of migration; concepts of over-under-and
    optimum population; Population theories, world population problems and policies, Social wellbeing
    and quality of life; Population as social capital.
    Types and patterns of rural settlements; Environmental issues in rural settlements; Hierarchy of
    urban settlements; Urban morphology: Concepts of primate city and rank-size rule; Functional
    classification of towns; Sphere of urban influence; Rural – urban fringe; Satellite towns; Problems and remedies of urbanization; Sustainable development of cities.
  4. Regional Planning:Concept of a region; Types of regions and methods of regionalisation; Growth centres and
    growth poles; Regional imbalances; regional development strategies; environmental issues in regional planning;
    Planning for sustainable development.
  5. Models, Theories and Laws in Human Geography:Systems analysis in Human geography; Malthusian, Marxian and demographic transition models; Central Place theories of Christaller and Losch;Perroux and Boudeville; Von Thunen’s model of agricultural location; Weber’s model of industrial location; Ostov’s model of stages of growth. Heartland and Rimland theories; Laws of international boundaries and frontiers.



  1. Physical Setting:Space relationship of India with neighboring countries; Structure and relief; Drainage system and watersheds; Physiographic regions; Mechanism of Indian monsoons and rainfall patterns, Tropical cyclones and western disturbances; Floods and droughts; Climatic regions; Natural vegetation; Soil types and their distributions.
  2. Resources:Land, surface and ground water, energy, minerals, biotic and marine resources; Forest and wild life resources and their conservation; Energy crisis.
  3. Agriculture:Infrastructure: irrigation, seeds, fertilizers, power; Institutional factors: land holdings, land tenure and land reforms; Cropping pattern, agricultural productivity, agricultural intensity, crop combination, land capability; Agro and social-forestry; Green revolution and its socio- economic and ecological implications; Significance of dry farming; Livestock resources and white revolution; aqua – culture; sericulture, apiculture and poultry; agricultural regionalisation; agro-climatic zones; agro- ecological regions.
  4. Industry:Evolution of industries; Locational factors of cotton, jute, textile, iron and steel, aluminium, fertilizer, paper, chemical and pharmaceutical, automobile, cottage and agro – based industries; Industrial houses and complexes including public sector undertakings; Industrial regionalisation; New industrial policies; Multinationals and liberalization; Special Economic Zones; Tourism including eco -tourism.
  5. Transport, Communication and Trade:Road, railway, waterway, airway and pipeline networks and their complementary roles in regional development; Growing importance of ports on national and foreign trade; Trade balance; Trade Policy; Export processing zones; Developments in communication and information technology and their impacts on economy and society; Indian space programme.
  6. Cultural Setting:Historical Perspective of Indian Society; Racial, linguistic and ethnic diversities; religious minorities; major tribes, tribal areas and their problems; cultural regions; Growth, distribution and density of population; Demographic attributes: sex-ratio, age structure, literacy rate, work-force, dependency ratio, longevity; migration (inter-regional, intra- regional and international) and associated problems; Population problems and policies; Health indicators.
  7. Settlements:Types, patterns and morphology of rural settlements; Urban developments; Morphology of Indian cities; Functional classification of Indian cities; Conurbations and metropolitan regions; urban sprawl; Slums and associated problems; town planning; Problems of urbanization and remedies.
  8. Regional Development and Planning:Experience of regional planning in India; Five Year Plans; Integrated rural development programmes; Panchayati Raj and decentralised planning; Command area development; Watershed management; Planning for backward area, desert, drought prone, hill, tribal area development; multilevel planning; Regional planning and development of island territories.
  9. Political Aspects:Geographical basis of Indian federalism; State reorganisation; Emergence of new states; Regional consciousness and inter state issues; international boundary of India and related issues; Cross border terrorism; India’s role in world affairs; Geopolitics of South Asia and Indian Ocean realm.
  10. Contemporary Issues:Ecological issues: Environmental hazards: landslides, earthquakes, Tsunamis, floods and droughts, epidemics; Issues relating to environmental pollution; Changes in patterns of land use; Principles of environmental impact assessment and environmental management; Population explosion and food security; Environmental degradation; Deforestation, desertification and soil erosion; Problems of agrarian and industrial unrest; Regional disparities in economic development; Concept of sustainable growth and development; Environmental awareness; Linkage of rivers; Globalisation and Indian economy.

4. Public Administration 

PAPER – I Administrative Theory

  1. Introduction:Meaning, scope, and significance of Public Administration; Wilson’s vision of Public Administration; Evolution of the discipline and its present status; New Public Administration; Public Choice approach; Challenges of liberalization, Privatisation, Globalisation; Good Governance: concept and application; New Public Management.
  2. Administrative Thought:Scientific Management and Scientific Management movement;
    Classical Theory; Weber’s bureaucratic model – its critique and post-Weberian Developments;
    Dynamic Administration (Mary Parker Follett); Human Relations School (Elton Mayo and
    others); Functions of the Executive (C.I. Barnard); Simon’s decision-making theory; Participative Management (R. Likert, C.Argyris, D.McGregor).
  3. Administrative Behaviour:Process and techniques of decision-making; Communication;
    Morale; Motivation Theories – content, process and contemporary; Theories of Leadership:
    Traditional and Modern.
  4. Organizations:Theories – systems, contingency; Structure and forms: Ministries and
    Departments, Corporations, Companies, Boards and Commissions; Ad hoc and advisory bodies;
    Headquarters and Field relationships; Regulatory Authorities; Public-Private Partnerships.
  5. Accountability and control:Concepts of accountability and control; Legislative, Executive and Judicial control over administration; Citizen and Administration; Role of media, interest groups, voluntary organizations; Civil society; Citizen’s Charters; Right to Information; Social audit.
  6. Administrative Law:Meaning, scope, and significance; Dicey on Administrative law; Delegated legislation; Administrative Tribunals.
  7. Comparative Public Administration:Historical and sociological factors affecting administrative systems; Administration and politics in different countries; Current status of Comparative Public Administration; Ecology and administration; Riggsian models and their critique.
  8. Development Dynamics:Concept of development; Changing profile of development
    administration; ‘Anti-development thesis’; Bureaucracy and development; Strong state versus
    the market debate; Impact of liberalization on administration in developing countries; Women and development – the self-help group movement.
  9. Personnel Administration:Importance of human resource development; Recruitment, training, career advancement, position classification, discipline, performance appraisal, promotion, pay and service conditions; employer-employee relations, grievance redressal mechanism; Code of conduct; Administrative ethics.
  10. Public Policy:Models of policy-making and their critique; Processes of conceptualization,
    planning, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and review, and their limitations; State theories
    and public policy formulation.
  11. Techniques of Administrative Improvement:Organisation and methods, Work study and work management; e-governance and information technology; Management aid tools like network analysis, MIS, PERT, CPM.
  12. Financial Administration:Monetary and fiscal policies; Public borrowings and public debt
    Budgets – types and forms; Budgetary process; Financial accountability; Accounts and audit.

PAPER – II Indian Administration

  1. Evolution of Indian Administration:Kautilya’s Arthashastra; Mughal administration; Legacy of British rule in politics and administration – Indianization of public services, revenue administration, district administration, local self-government.
  2. Philosophical and Constitutional framework of government:Salient features and value premises; Constitutionalism; Political culture; Bureaucracy and democracy; Bureaucracy and development.
  3. Public Sector Undertakings:Public sector in modern India; Forms of Public Sector Undertakings; Problems of autonomy, accountability, and control; Impact of liberalization and privatization.
  4. Union Government and Administration:Executive, Parliament, Judiciary – structure, functions, work processes; Recent trends; Intragovernmental relations; Cabinet Secretariat; Prime Minister’s Office; Central Secretariat; Ministries and Departments; Boards; Commissions; Attached offices; Field organizations.
  5. Plans and Priorities:Machinery of planning; Role, composition, and functions of the Planning Commission and the National Development Council; ‘Indicative’ planning; Process of plan formulation at Union and State levels; Constitutional Amendments (1992) and decentralized planning for economic development and social justice.
  6. State Government and Administration:Union-State administrative, legislative and financial relations; Role of the Finance Commission; Governor; Chief Minister; Council of Ministers; Chief Secretary; State Secretariat; Directorates.
  7. District Administration since Independence:The Changing Role of the Collector; Union-state-local relations; Imperatives of development management and law and order administration; District administration and democratic decentralization.
  8. Civil Services:Constitutional position; Structure, recruitment, training, and capacity-building; Good governance initiatives; Code of conduct and discipline; Staff associations; Political rights; Grievance redressal mechanism; Civil service neutrality; activism.
  9. Financial Management:Budget as a political instrument; Parliamentary control of public expenditure; Role of finance ministry in the monetary and fiscal area; Accounting techniques; Audit; Role of Controller General of Accounts and Comptroller and Auditor General of India.
  10. Administrative Reforms since Independence:Major concerns; Important Committees and Commissions; Reforms in financial management and human resource development; Problems of implementation.
  11. Rural Development:Institutions and agencies since independence; Rural development programs: foci and strategies; Decentralization and Panchayati Raj; 73rd Constitutional amendment.
  12. Urban Local Government:Municipal governance: main features, structures, finance, and problem areas; 74th Constitutional Amendment; Global-local debate; New localism; Development dynamics, politics and administration with special reference to city management.
  13. Law and Order Administration:British legacy; National Police Commission; Investigative agencies; Role of central and state agencies including paramilitary forces in maintenance of law and order and countering insurgency and terrorism; Criminalisation of politics and administration; Police-public relations; Reforms in Police.
  14. Significant issues in Indian Administration :Values in public service; Regulatory Commissions; National Human Rights Commission; Problems of administration in coalition regimes; Citizen-administration interface; Corruption and administration; Disaster management



1.1 Meaning, scope and development of Anthropology.

1.2 Relationship with other disciplines: History, Economics, Sociology, Psychology, Political Science, Life Science, Medical Science.

1.3 Main branches of Anthropology, their scope and relevance:
(a) Social- cultural Anthropology.
(b) Biological Anthropology.
(c) Archaeological Anthropology.

1.2 Human Evolution and emergence of Man:
(Organic Evolution-Theories of evolution in historical perspective, pre-Darwinian, Darwinian and Post-Darwinian period. Modern synthetic theory of evolution; brief outline of terms and concepts of evolutionary biology (Doll’s rule, Cope’s rule, Gause’s rule, parallelism, convergence, adaptive radiation, mosaic evolution); Principles of systematics and taxonomy, major primate taxa, tertiary and quaternary fossil primates, Systematics of Hominoidea and Hominidae, Origin and evolution of man-‘Homo erectus and Homo sapiens’.

1.3 Phylogenetic status, characteristics and geographical distribution of the following:
a) Prepleistocence fossil primates-Oreopithecus.
b) South and East African hominids-Plesianthropus/Australopithecus Africaus, Paranthropus, Australopithecus.
c) Paranthropus-Homo erectus-Homo erectus javanicus, Homo erectus pekinensis.
d) Homo Heidelbergensis.
e) Neanderthal man-La-chapelle-aus-saints (Classical type), Mt. Carmelites types (Progressive type).
f) Rhodesian man
g) Homo sapiens-Cromognon, Grimaldi, Chancelede.
Recent advances in understanding the evolution, distribution and multidisciplinary approach to understand a fossil type in relation to others

1.4 Evolutionary trend and classification of the order Primates, Relationship with other mammals, molecular evolution of Primates, Comparative anatomy of man and apes, primate locomotion;-terrestrial and arboreal adaptation, skeletal changes due to erect posture and its implications

1.5) Cultural Evolution- broad Outlines of Prehistoric cultures:
a) Paleolithic
b) Mesolithic
c) Neolithic
d) Chalcolithic
e) Copper-Bronze Age
f) Iron Age

2.1 Family: Definition and typology of family, household and domestic groups. Basic structure and functions; stability and changes in family. Typological and processual approaches to the study of family. Impact of urbanization, industrialization, education and feminist movements. Universality of family-a critique.

2.2 Concept of kinship : Definition of kin, incest prohibition exogamy and endogamy. Principles of descent-types and functions. Political and jural aspects of kinship. Unilineal, bilateral and double descent. Descent, filiation and complementary filiation. Kinship terminology, typology and approaches to the study of terminology Alliance and descent.

2.3 Marriage: Definition, types and variation of marriage systems. Debates on the universal definition of marriage. Regulation of marriage-preferential, prescriptive, proscriptive and open systems. Types and form of marriage Dowry, bride-price, pestation and marriage stability.

3.1 Study of culture, patterns and processes. Concept of culture, patterns of culture, relationships between culture and civilization and society.

3.2 Concept of Social Change and Cultural Change:

3.3 Social structure and social organization, Role-analysis and social network. Institutions, groups community. Social stratification: principles and form, status, class and power, gender. Nature and types of mobility.

3.4 Concept of Society.

3.5 Approaches to the study of culture and society-classical evolutionism, neo-evolutionism, culture ecology, historical particularism and diffusionism, structural-functionalism, culture and personality, transaction-alism, symbolism, congnitive approach and new ethnography, post structuralism and post-modernism

4.1 Definitions and functions of religion. Anthropological approaches to the study of religion-evolutionary, psychological and functional. Magic, witchcraft and sorcery; definitions and functions and functionaries: priest, saman, medicine man and sorcerers. Symbolism in religion and rituals. Ethnomedicine. Myths and rituals: definitions and approaches to their study-structural, functional and processual Relation with economic and political structures.

5.1 Meaning, scope and relevance, principles governing production, distribution and consumption in communities subsisting on hunting-gathering, fishing, pastoralism, horticulture and other economic pursuits. Fomalist and substantivist debate-Dalton, Karl-polyanny and Marx approach and New Economic Anthropology. Exchange: gifts, barter, trade, ceremonial exchange and market economy.

5.2 Theoretical foundations. Types of political organisations-band, tribe, chiefdom, state, concept of power, authority and legitimacy. Social control, law and justice in tribal and peasant societies.

6.1 Concepts of developmental Anthropological perspective. Models of development. Critiques of classical developmental theories. Concepts of planning and planned development. Concept of participatory development. Culture ecology and sustainable development. Displacement and rehabilitation.

7.1 Concept of research in anthroplogy, subjectivity and reflexivity in terms of gender class, ideology and ethics. Distinction between methodology, methods and techniques. Nature and explanation in anthropological research. Positivistics and non-positivistic approaches. Comparative methods; nature, purpose and methods of comparison in social and cultural anthroplogy. Basic techniques of data collection. Interview, participant and other forms of observation, schedules, questionnaire, case-study methods, extended casestudy methods, life histories and seconday sources, oral history, genealogical method, participatory, learning and assessment (PLA). Participatory rapid assessment (PRA). Analysis, interpretation and presentation of data.

8.1 Concept, scope and major branches of human genetics. Its relationship with other branches of science and medicine.

8.2 Method for study of genetic principles in man-family study (pedegree analysis, twin study, foster child, co-twin method, cytogenetic method, chromosomal and karyotype analysis), biochemical methods, immunological methods, D.N.A. technology and recombinant technologies.

8.3 Twin study method-zygosity, heritability estimates, present status of the twin study method and its applications.

8.4 Mendelian genetics in man-family study, single factor, multifactor, lethal, sub-lethal, and polygenic inheritance in man.

8.5 Concept of genetic polymorphism and selection, Mendelian population, Hardy-Weinberg law; causes and changes which bring down frequency-mutation, isolation, migration, selection, inbreeding and genetic drift. Consanguineous and non-consanguineous mating, genetic load, genetic effect of consanguineous and cousin marriages (statistical and probability methods for study of human genetics).

8.6 Chromosomes and chromosomal aberrations in man, methodology.
a) Numerical and structural aberrations (disorders)
b) Sex chromosomal aberrations-Klinefelter (XXY), Turner (XO), Super female (XXX), intersex, and other syndromic disorders.
c) Autosomal aberrations-Down syndrome, Patau, Edward and Cri-du-chat syndromes.
d) Genetic imprints in human disease, genetic screening, genetic counselling, human DNA profiling, gene mapping and genome study.

8.7 Concept of race in histrogical and biological perspective. Race and racism, biological basis of morphological variation of non-metric and metric characters. Racial criteria, racial traits in relation to heredity and environment; biological basis of racial classification, racial differentiation and race-crossing in man.

8.8 Ethnic groups of mankind-characteristics and distribution in world, racial classification of human groups. Principal living peoples of world. Their distribution and characterisicts.

8.9 Age, sex and population variation in gentic marker-ABO, Rh blood groups, HLA, Hp, transferrin, Gm, blood enzymes. Physiological characteristics-Hb level, body fat, pulse rate, respiratory functions and sensory perceptions in different cultural and socio-economic groups. Impact of smoking air pollutions, alcoholism, drugs and occupational hazards on health.

9.1 Concepts and Methods of Ecological Anthropology. Adaptation-social and cultural Deterministic theories-a critique. Resources-biological, non-biological and sustainable development. Biological adaptation-climatic, environmental, nutritional and genetic.

10.1 Relevance in understanding of contemporary society. Dynamics of ethnicity at rural, tribal, urban and international levels. Ethric conflicts and political developments. Concept of ethnic boundaries. Ethnicity and concept of nation state.

11.1 Concept of human growth and development-stages of growth-prenatal, natal, infant, childhood, adolescence, maturity, senescence.

Factors affecting growth and development genetic, environmental, biochemical, nutritional, cultural and socio-economic.

– Ageing and senescence. Theories and observations-biological and chronological longevity. Human physique and somatotypes. Methodologies for growth studies.

12.1 Reproductive biology, demography and population study. Reproductive physiology of male and female. Biological aspects of human fertility. Relevance of menarche, menopause and other bioevents to fertility. Fertily patterns and differentials.

12.2 Demographic theories-biological, social and cultural.

12.3 Demographic methods-census, registration system, sample methods, duel reporting system.

12.4 Population structures and population dynamics.

12.5 Demographic rates and ratios, life table-structure and utility.

12.6 Biological and socio-ecological factors influencing fecundity, fertility natality and mortality.

12.7 Methods of studying population growth.

12.8 Biological consequences of population control and family welfare.

13.1 Anthropology of sports

13.2 Nutritional Anthropology.

13.3 Anthropology in designing of defence and other equipments.

13.4 Forensic Anthropology.

13.5 Methods and principles of personal identification and reconstruction.

13.6 Applied human genetics-Paternity diagnosis genetic counselling and eugenics.

13.7 DNA technology-prevention and cure of diseases.

13.8 Anthropo-gentics in medicine

13.9 Serogenetics and cytogenetics in reproductive biology.

13.10 Application of statistical principles in human genetics and Physical Anthropology.

Paper – 2

  1. Evolution of the Indian Culture and Civilization-Pre historic (Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic), Protohistoric (Indus Civilization). Vedic and post-Vedic beginnings. Contributions of the tribal cultures.
  2. Demographic profile of India – Ethnic and linguistic elements in the Indian population and their distribution. Indian population – factors influencing its structure and growth.
  3. The basic structure and nature of traditional Indian social system-a critique. Varnasharam, Purushartha, Karma, Rina and Rebirth. Theories on the origin of caste system, Jajmani system. Structural basis of inequality in traditional Indian society. Impact of Buddhism, Jainism, Islam and Christianity on Indian society. .
  4. Emergence, growth and development of anthropology in India-contributions of the 19th Century and early 20th Century scholar-administrators. Contributions of Indian anthropologists to tribal and caste studies. Contemporary nature of anthropological studies in India.
  5. Approaches to the study of Indian society and culture-traditional and contemporary.

5.1 Aspects of Indian village-Social organisations of agriculture, impact of market economy on Indian villages.

5.2 Linguistic and religious minorities-social, political and economic status.

  1. Tribal situation in India-biogenetic variability, linguistic and socio-economic characteristics of the tribal populations and their distribution. Problems of the tribal Communities-land alienation, poverty indebtedness, low literacy, poor educational facilities, unemployment, underemployment, health and nutrition. Developmental projects-tribal displacement and problems of rehabilitation: Development of forest policy and tribals, Impact of urbanisation and industrialization on tribal and rural populations
  2. Problems of exploitation and deprivation of Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes. Constitutional safeguards for Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes. Social change and contemporary tribal societies: Impact of modern democratic institutions, development programmes and welfare measures on tribals and weaker sections. Emergence of ethnicity, tribal movements and quest for identity. Pseudo-tribalism.
  3. Social change among the tribes during colonial and post-Independent India.

8.1 Impact of Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and other religions on tribal societies.

8.2 Tribe and nation state – a comparative study of tribal communities in India and other countries.

9 History of administration of tribal areas, tribal policies, plans, programmes of tribal development and their implementation. The concept of PTGs (Primitive Tribal Groups), their distribution, special programmes for their development. Role of N.G.O.s in tribal development.

9.1 Role of anthropology in tribal and rural development.

9.2 Contributions of anthropology to the understanding of regionalism, communalism, and ethnic and political movements.

Sociology – Main Syllabus

Paper – I


  1. Sociology – The Discipline
    • Modernity and social changes in Europe and emergence of sociology.
    • Scope of the subject and comparison with other social sciences.
    • Sociology and common sense.
  1. Sociology as Science:
    • Science, scientific method and critique.
    • Major theoretical strands of research methodology.
    • Positivism and its critique.
    • Fact value and objectivity.
    • Non- positivist methodologies.
  1. Research Methods and Analysis:
    • Qualitative and quantitative methods.
    • Techniques of data collection.
    • Variables, sampling, hypothesis, reliability and validity.
  1. Sociological Thinkers:
    • Karl Marx- Historical materialism, mode of production, alienation, class struggle.
    • Emile Durkheim- Division of labour, social fact, suicide, religion and society.
    • Max Weber- Social action, ideal types, authority, bureaucracy, protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism.
    • Talcolt Parsons- Social system, pattern variables.
    • Robert K. Merton- Latent and manifest functions, conformity and deviance, reference groups.
    • Mead – Self and identity.
  1. Stratification and Mobility:
    • Concepts- equality, inequality, hierarchy, exclusion, poverty and deprivation.
    • Theories of social stratification- Structural functionalist theory, Marxist theory, Weberian theory.
    • Dimensions – Social stratification of class, status groups, gender, ethnicity and race.
    • Social mobility- open and closed systems, types of mobility, sources and causes of mobility.
  1. Works and Economic Life:
    • Social organization of work in different types of society- slave society, feudal society, industrial /capitalist society.
    • Formal and informal organization of work.
    • Labour and society.
  1. Politics and Society:
    • Sociological theories of power.
    • Power elite, bureaucracy, pressure groups, and political parties.
    • Nation, state, citizenship, democracy, civil society, ideology.
    • Protest, agitation, social movements, collective action, revolution.
  1. Religion and Society:
    • Sociological theories of religion.
    • Types of religious practices: animism, monism, pluralism, sects, cults.
    • Religion in modern society: religion and science, secularization, religious revivalism, fundamentalism.
  1. Systems of Kinship:
    • Family, household, marriage.
    • Types and forms of family.
    • Lineage and descent.
    • Patriarchy and sexual division of labour.
    • Contemporary trends.
  1. Social Change in Modern Society:
    • Sociological theories of social change.
    • Development and dependency.
    • Agents of social change.
    • Education and social change.
    • Science, technology and social change.

Paper – II: Sociology Syllabus


(i) Perspectives on the study of Indian society:

    • Indology (GS. Ghurye).
    • Structural functionalism (M N Srinivas).
    • Marxist sociology (A R Desai).

(ii) Impact of colonial rule on Indian society :

    • Social background of Indian nationalism.
    • Modernization of Indian tradition.
    • Protests and movements during the colonial period.
    • Social reforms.
  1. Social Structure:
    (i) Rural and Agrarian Social Structure:
    • The idea of Indian village and village studies.
    • Agrarian social structure – evolution of land tenure system, land reforms.

(ii) Caste System:

    • Perspectives on the study of caste systems: GS Ghurye, M N Srinivas, Louis Dumont, Andre Beteille.
    • Features of caste system.
    • Untouchability – forms and perspectives.

(iii) Tribal communities in India:

    • Definitional problems.
    • Geographical spread.
    • Colonial policies and tribes.
    • Issues of integration and autonomy.

(iv) Social Classes in India:

    • Agrarian class structure.
    • Industrial class structure.
    • Middle classes in India.

(v) Systems of Kinship in India:

    • Lineage and descent in India.
    • Types of kinship systems.
    • Family and marriage in India.
    • Household dimensions of the family.


(vi) Religion and Society:

    • Religious communities in India.
    • Problems of religious minorities.
    • Patriarchy, entitlements and sexual division of labour
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