UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam Optional Subject consists of 2 papers. Each paper is of 250 marks, making a total of 500 marks.
Political Science and International Relations Syllabus – Civil Services Mains Exam UPSC :
PAPER – I
Political Theory and Indian Politics:
1. Political Theory: meaning and approaches.
2. Theories of the State: Liberal, Neoliberal, 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: Dharmashastra, 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.
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.
5. Grassroots Democracy: Panchayati Raj and Municipal Government; the significance of 73rd and 74th Amendments; Grassroot movements.
6. 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.
7. Federalism: Constitutional provisions; changing nature of center-state relations; integrationist tendencies and regional aspirations; inter-state disputes.
8. 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.
9. Caste, Religion, and Ethnicity in Indian Politics.
10. 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.
11. Social Movements: Civil liberties and human rights movements; women’s movements; environmentalist movements.
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. Globalisation: 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) 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.
9. United Nations: Envisaged role and actual record; specialized UN agencies-aims and functioning; the need for UN reforms.
10. Regionalisation of World Politics: EU, ASEAN, APEC, SAARC, NAFTA.
11. Contemporary Global Concerns: Democracy, human rights, environment, gender justice, terrorism, nuclear proliferation.
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 US and Israel; a vision of new world order.