Anthropology as an Optional and Books required for UPSC Civil Services

Anthropology books for UPSC

With a drastic cut in the Anthropology optional syllabus, it has emerged to be one of the safest optional that a UPSC Civil service aspirant can opt for. The new syllabus is much more streamlined and compared to the previous syllabus; a lot of vagueness and discrepancies has been removed, though some still persist. In this article, we give you a list  from which to choose the best book for anthropology for IAS.

Candidates with Biology as a subject in graduation or even Doctors definitely have an upper hand when it comes to Anthropology as an optional subject. Nonetheless, any aspirant with the keen interest in learning this subject can fare well in this optional. The key step is to primarily read and understand the syllabus as it is important to gauge one’s interest before proceeding with the optional preparation.

Know more about the UPSC exam pattern and UPSC Syllabus

Also find the complete IAS Anthropology Syllabus before starting with the optional preparation.

Anthropology consists of 2 papers. Listed below are the books for anthropology optional UPSC: (Best book for Anthropology UPSC)

Anthropology books for UPSC optional:

  • Physical Anthropology – P.Nath / S.Das
  • Fossil Evidence – S Das
  • Anthropology Theories – Makhan Jha’s
  • Social Anthropology – Maunder/Madan
  • Indian Anthropology – R.N Sharma / Nadeem Hasnain

Preparation Approach for Anthropology:

  • With a good understanding of Anthropology, an aspirant can fare well in Essay paper as well.
  • Coaching has quite a limited role here. Anthropology optional preparation can be done without intensive coaching as long as an aspirant is willing to put in smart work and study according to the syllabus. One can rely on good sources, printed notes from good institutes and regular practice.
  • The sources mentioned above need not be completed cover to cover. It is important to be selective based on the topics mentioned in the syllabus. It is advised to select one source as a base and then just extract certain information, examples, diagrams and case studies regarding that topic from other relevant books in case the content for that particular topic needs to be enriched.
  • An early start with a systematic and focused approach can assist in successful completion of the syllabus.
  • For both the papers, it is advised to make short and precise notes which can aid in further revision later on. The physical Anthropology part of paper 1 can be very scoring, hence attempt as many questions from this area.
  • Owing to the dynamic nature of paper 2, it is suggested to keep a close watch on the current happenings in newspapers related to the Anthropology optional syllabus. Include any recent developments such as governmental programs into the answers especially for paper two.
  • To get an extra edge in terms of scoring, it is very crucial to focus on the presentation of answers. Along with adhering to the basic rules of answer writing like a crisp introduction and compelling conclusion, concentrate on various detailing features like side headings, an inclusion of flow charts, diagrams, maps etc. This brings some authenticity to your answer and makes your answer more readable and presentable. The conclusion should be optimistic and contemporary.
  • Diagrams are catchier and thus provide an edge over others. It saves an examiner’s time and provides more information. Diagrams with relevant information can be more appealing.

Even an aspirant from a non-science background can fare well in this optional if one finds the subject interesting.

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