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Home » IAS Exam Subjects » Civil Services Syllabus » Political Science

Political Science - Optional


Preliminary Examination of Civil Services Exam

1. Political Science :
Nature & scope of the discipline, relationship with allied disciplines like History, Economics, Philosophy, Sociology, Psychology.
2. Meaning of Politics :
Approaches to the study of Politics.
3. Key Concepts :
State, Soceit

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y, Sovereignty, Power, Citizenship, Nation, Global order and Imperialism.
4. Political Ideas :
Rights, Liberty, Equality, Justice, Rule of Law. Civil Soceity Swaraj, Revolution, Democratic Participation.
5. Democracy :
Meaning and Theories of Democracy, Electoral system, Forms of Representation & Participation, Political accountability.
6. Political Ideologies :
Liberalism, Neoliberalism, Marxism, Socialism, Fascism, Gandhism.
7. Party System and Political Process :
Therories of Party System, National and regional parties, Political Parties in the Third World. Patterns of coalition politics, interest and pressure groups.
8. Forms of Government :
Parliamentary and Presidential. Federal & unitary Modes of decentralisation.
9. Bureaucracy Concept :
Theories, Weber and critiques of Bureaucracy.
10. Theories of Development :
Meaning and various approaches. Concept and Theories of underdevelopment Debates in the Third World.
11. Social Movements :
Meaning, Theories & Forms, Role of Environmental Feminist Peasant & workers movements, Role of Non Government organization.
12. Nationalism and Internationalism :
13. Major theories of International relations :
Realist Marxist, Systems & Decision making & Game theory.
14. State & the Global order :
Neo-Liberalism, globalisation, structural adjustment, regional economic integration, Nature and Impact of globalisation.

Indian Government and politics
1. Approaches to the study of Governments :
Comparative historical, legal institutional, political economy and political sociology, approaches.
2. Classification of Political systems :
Democratic and Authoritarian, characteristics of Political systems in the third world.
3. Typologies of constitutions : Basic features of these constitutions & governments : including U.K., USA. France, Germany, China, and South Africa.
4. Constitutional development :
in India during British Rule-A historical perspective.
5. Constituent Assembly :
philosophical and socio-economic dimensions. Salient features of the Indian Constitution.
6. Nature of Indian federalism :
Centre-state relations, legislative, administrative, financial and political; politics of regional move and National Integration.
7. Fundamental Rights :
Constitutional provisions and political dynamics. Judicial Interpretations and socio political realities; Fundamental Duties.
8. The Union Executive :
President, Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers, Constitutional provisions & framework and political trends.
9. Parliament :
Powers and functions of the Lok Sabha & Rajya Sabha; Parliamentary Committees; Functioning of the Parliamentary system in India.
10. The Judiciary : The Supreme Court , Judicial Review Judicial Activism, Public Intrest Litigation; Judicial Reforms.
11. The State Executive :
Governor, Chief Minister and the Council of Ministers; Constitutional Provisions and Political trends.
12. Indian Party System :
Evolution and Contemporay trends; coalition government at the Centre and States, pressure groups in Indian politics.
13. The interaction of Government & Scientific & Technology business :
Previous and now their inter relationship and changing roles in Society, Elites, Role of Pressure groups class and voluntary associations in society.
14. Local Government & Politics :
Panchayti Raj and Municipal Government, structure power & functions. Political realities, significance of 73rd and 74th Amendements, role of women in Panchayats.
15. Bureaucracy and Development : Post-colonial India; its changing role in the context of liberatis after, bureauratic Accountability.
16. Challenges to Indian Democracy :

a) Communalism Regionalism violence, criminalisation and corruption.
b) Regional disparities, environmental degradation, illiteracy, Mass Poverty, Population, growth, caste oppressions and socio economic inequalities among backward classes.

Main Examination of Civil Services Exam

Political Theory and Indian Politics

1. Approaches to the study of political theory: historical, normative and empirical.
2. Theories of state: Social contract, Liberal, Neo-liberal, Marxist, communitarian, post-colonial.
3. State Sovereignty: Marxist and pluralistic theories; globalisation and the State.
4. Democracy and Human Rights: Democratic theory-classical and contemporary. Theories of Human Rights; Theories of Justice, Equality and Revolution, political obligation; New Social Movements.
5. Theories of Political Culture; Culture and politics in Third World countries.
6. Theories of Political Economy-Classical and contemporary.
7. Political Ideologies: Nature of Ideology; Liberalism, Socialism, Marxism, Fascism, Gandhism and Anarchism.
8. Theories of Power and Hegemony: Pareto, Mosca, Mitchels, C. Wright Mills, Weber, Gramsci, Hannah Arendt.
9. Indian Political Thought: Manu, Kautilya M.N. Roy Gandhi Ambedkar and E V Ramswami Naicker.
10. Political Thought: Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, J S Mill, Hegel and Marx, Lenin, Rosa Luxemberg and Mao Zedong.


Indian Government and Politics
1. Indian Nationalism: Dadabhai Naoroji, Tilak, Savarkar, Gandhi, Jayaprakash Narain, Nehru, Subhas Bose, Ambedkar, Ram Manohar Lohia.
2. Nature and struggle of Indian freedom struggle : From constitutionalism to Mass Satyagraha, Revolutionary movements Non Co-operation, Civil disobedience and Quit India, Indian Naval uprising, Indian National Army; role of women in freedom struggle.
3. Socio- economic dimensions of the nationalist movement: The communal question and the demand for partition; backward caste movements, Trade union and Peasant movements, Civil rights movement.
4. Landmarks in Constitutional Development during British Rule: Morley-Minto Reforms; Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms; Simon Commission; Government of India Act, 1935; Cripps Mission : Indian Independence Act, 1947.
5. Salient Features of the Indian Constitution: The Preamble, Fundamental Rights and Duties, Directive Principles; federalism, parliamentary system; amending procedures; judicial review.
6. The Executive System in theory and practice: President, Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers; Governor, Chief Minister and the State Council of Ministers. The Bureaucracy.
7. Role and function of the Parliament and Parlimentary Committee-Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha; changing socio economic profile.
8. The Supreme Court and the High Courts; Judicial Activism; PIL.
9. Statutory institutions/commis sions-UPSC, Election Commission, Comptroller and Auditor General, Backward Classes Commission, National Commission for women; National Human Rights Commission; Minorities Commission.
10. Party system : ideology and social base of parties; fragmentation and regionalisation. Pressure groups; patterns of coalition politics; trends in electoral behaviour.
11. Class, caste, ethnicity and gender in Indian politics; politics of regionalism, communalism, backward class and Dalit movements, Tribal people movements, struggle for gender justice.
12. Planning and Economic Development : Role of the Planning Commission; Planning in the era of liberalisation; political dimensions of economic reforms.
13. Grassroots democracy : Panchayati Raj and municipal government; significance of 73rd and 74th Amendements. Grass root movement and womens empowerment.

Paper - II
Comparative Politics and International Relations

Comparative Analysis and International Politics

1. Approaches to the study of comparative politics :
traditional approaches; political economy, political sociology or political system approaches; Nature of political process in the Third World.
2. The Modern State :
Evolution, the contemporary trends in the advanced industrial countries and the third world.
3. Development :
Strategies and contemporary discourse.
4. Concepts of International politics :
Power, national interest, balance of power, national security, collective security and peace.
5. Theories of International politics Marxist, Realist, Systems, Decision-making and Game Theory.
6. Determinants of foreign policy : Domestic compulsions, geopolitics, geoeconomics and global order.
7. Origin and contemporary relevance of the Cold War, nature of the post-cold war global order.
8. Major issues of world politics : Cuban Missile Crisis; Vietnam War, Oil Crisis, Afghan Civil War, Gulf War, Collapse of the Soviet Union, Yugoslav Crisis.
9. Non-alignment :
Concept and movement; Third World Movements for global justice, Non-alignment in the post cold war era.
10. The evolution of the international economic system-from Bretton woods to WTO, the North-South dimension.
11. International organisations UN and its specialized agencies :
International Court of Justice; ILO, UNICEF, WHO UNESCO.
12. Regional, organizations such as the ASEAN, APEC, EU, SAARC, NAFTA
13. Contemporary Global Concerns : Democracy, Human Rights, Ecology, Gender Justice, Global commons, Communication.

India and the World

1. Indian Foreign Policy :
Historical origins, determinants; the institutions of policy-making; continuity and change.
2. India and the Non-Alignment Movement :
Evolution and contemporary relevance. Socio- political basis of non-alignment-domestic and global.
3. Major issues in Indian foreign policy :
Sino-Indian Border War (1962); Indo-Pakistan War (1971) and the liberation of Bangladesh; IPKF in Sri Lanka; India as military nuclear power (1998).
4. Conflict and co-operation in South Asia :
Indias relations with Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal. Regional co-operation and SAARC. Kashmir question in Indias foreign policy.
5. Indias relation with Africa and Latin America.
6. India and South East Asia; ASEAN.
7. India and the major powers : USA, EU, China, Japan and Russia.
8. India and the UN System : Indias role in UN Peace Keeping and global disarmament.
9. India and the emerging international economic order; multilateral agencies-WTO, IMF, IBRD, ADB.
10. India and the question of nuclear weapons : NPT and CTBT.

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