IAS (UPSC CSE) Mains exam is going to start on September 17, 2021. There are 25 optional subjects in the IAS (UPSC CSE) Mains along with 26 optional subjects for Literature. Therefore, there are 51 optional subjects in total. Anthropology is quite a popular choice among aspirants in IAS (UPSC CSE) Mains exam. Approx. 500 candidates choose this subject in IAS (UPSC CSE) Mains as the optional subject every year.
This subject focuses on the study of humans and their biological aspect, cultural aspects, and social aspects. As it is mostly chosen by the candidates who have an engineering or science background. Moreover, the subject is really interesting and can be quite scoring. However, Anthropology for IAS Exams mostly concentrates on the Tribes of India. Thus, candidates have to study the diversity of India.
The Anthropology optional paper will be of descriptive type. The optional paper is divided into 2 papers and there is a total of 250 marks on each paper. In the following article, highlights, recommended books, preparation tips, and exam paper analysis have been discussed.
As a popular optional subject, Anthropology is chosen by over 500 candidates in the IAS (UPSC CSE) exam. It is suitable for both who may or may not have a science or engineering background. The following list gives an overview of Anthropology optional along with its advantages and disadvantages.
To begin with, candidates need to have a strong grasp or understanding of the subject. For this, they need to follow the study materials mentioned in the above table. Thereafter, follow the tips given below.
Go through the online resources mentioned in the previous section. This will help you to brush up on the latest statistics and news related to Anthropology.
Do not forget to go through the Xaxa committee report for studying the topics related to Tribes in India. The online resource for Genetics is important as well.
There are a few diagram questions in Anthropology Optional that can be quite scoring. You should also attempt these questions before attempting others.
Hence, you need to practice diagram questions extensively. These include flowcharts as well. Generally, their answers are static, direct, and factual in nature.
Make sure that you practice previous year question papers and mock tests as well. This can help to identify the important sections of the Anthropology optional subject.
For diagrams, you have to practice it enough to make it clean and attractive. Using colored pencils can help to score additional marks due to neatness.
Additionally, you can practice answer writing to make your time management better. Make notes of important things and quote the examples, illustrations, and definitions as said by that particular anthropologist.
Case studies have a huge role in Anthropology optional in the IAS (UPSC CSE) exam. They are often scoring and quite easy as well. However, one needs to be aware of the latest news and articles regarding these case studies. For this, you can follow the instructions provided below.
Most candidates can easily benefit from the book titled ‘Anthropology’ by Ember and Ember. In addition to that, here are a few books that can help the candidates to score high in the IAS (UPSC CSE) Exam.
|An Introduction to Social Anthropology||D. N. Majumdar & T. N. Madan|
|Anthropology||Ember and Ember|
|Biology Book (12th Standard)||NCERT|
|Introduction to Sociology (11th Standard)||NCERT|
|Measuring Time of Indian Prehistory(Chapter 2)||D. K. Bhattacharya|
|Physical Anthropology||P. Nath|
|Name of Books||Author/ Publishers|
|Indian Society (12th Standard)||NCERT|
|Indian Prehistory||D. K. Bhattacharya|
|Social Change and Development in India (12th Standard)||NCERT|
|Tribal India||Nadeem Hasnain|
|The Tribal Culture of India||LP Vidyarthi|
|Indian Anthropology||Nadeem Hasnain|
Although it is interesting, there can be some degrees of confusion while studying this subject. Therefore, candidates can go through some of the following resources to further strengthen their understanding of Anthropology.
The latest information and other topics related to the subject can be found on government websites for the same. The most popular ones have been listed below.
Candidates can find detailed information on Genetics and related topics from https://learn.genetics.utah.edu. The website has numerous resources and study materials to help the candidates understand the subject.
The XAXA Committee report is the most popular online resource for Anthropology optional. It covers various topics and the latest updates as well. You can easily find it on the official website of UPSC or by searching on Google.
Another popular platform for clearing doubts related to Anthropology is YouTube. Here, professors and other students help to clear concerns and teach the subject in a friendly way. Additionally, there are various channels and videos that can help clear a specific topic. Thus, candidates can do some research and find the best instructor that is suitable for them.
IGNOU is a reputed institute that is recognized and authorized by the government to provide online and distance learning. There are many degrees available and are situated across the country. The MA Course for Anthropology covers all the topics for Anthropology optional of the UPSC exams. Hence, candidates can choose to buy the study materials for this course from the nearest regional center.
Writing answers for Anthropology optional can be a tricky process. It is also important to know the correct way to score higher marks in the subject. Hence, go through the following tips given below.
Though it may seem like the number of aspirants who choose Anthropology as IAS (UPSC CSE) Mains Optional paper is not very large, the success rate of this subject is very consistent. The success rate of this subject is presented in the following tabular:
|Year||No. of appeared candidates||No. of recommended candidates||Success rate (%)|
The previous year papers of Anthropology Optional is essential to prepare for the exam. In the following tabular, the link to the previous years' papers has been provided free of cost.
|Year of IAS (UPSC CSE) Exam||Name of Paper||Link|
In summary, anthropology is a very interesting optional subject. In comparison to others, it has very little overlap with General Studies and other main subjects of the IAS Exam.
However, it can be easy and scoring for people who are genuinely interested in it. Just make sure to quote anthropologists in your answers, interlink it with other topics, and practice diagrams. Following the advice given above will surely help you to score good marks in the optional subject.
Ques. Which is better anthropology or sociology?
Ans. The number of candidates for sociology is higher in comparison to Anthropology. Anthropology deals with the study of humans. On the other hand, Sociology is less science compared to anthropology making it more popular with humanities graduates. Check preparation tips for UPSC Sociology
Ques. Where can I find the syllabus of Anthropology Optional for the IAS (UPSC CSE) Mains exam?
Ans. Here is the complete syllabus of Anthropology Optional. Click here to read more.
Ques. Are IGNOU MA Coursebooks enough to prepare for IAS Anthropology Optional preparation?
Ans. IGNOU MA Coursebooks are very help fur to cover the syllabus of Anthropology Optional. However, they will not be sufficient for the exam.
*The article might have information for the previous academic years, please refer the official website of the exam.