Anthropology or Public Administration for UPSC?

Anthropology and Public Administration are diverse disciplines and have different needs, hence there is nothing to compare between both. This article shares a comprehensive list of 14 reference books for anthropology and a list of 9 reference books for Public Administration. However, it is advised to stick to 1 or 2 books and not to overburden yourself.

Aspirants would find this article very helpful while preparing for the IAS Exam.


It has been observed that Anthropology is one of the steady performers and has shown steady results with good success-rate. If you have studied biology with interest in your earlier days, you can grasp the concepts of Anthropology easily. Though the syllabus looks huge, it has some predictable questions from the topic that will make the Anthropology syllabus concise and easy and furthermore the questions being asked in the UPSC exam are straightforward. It is also recommended to look at the syllabus and study a few chapters from the books mentioned below.

Recommended Anthropology Book Lists 

1. An Introduction to Social Anthropology by Mazumdar & Madan

2. Physical Anthropology by B M Das

3. Anthropological Thoughts by Upadhyay & Pandey

4. NCERT Books (XI & XII) Indian Society and Social Changes

5. Anthropology by Ember & Ember

6. Indian Tribes by R C Verma

7. Human Biology by Harrison Et. al

8. In search of Ourselves by N K Vaid

9. Who Cares for Tribal Development by N K Vaid

10. Modernization of Indian Traditions by Yogendra Singh

11. Other Cultures by John Beattie

12. Social Change in Modern India by M N Srinivas

13. An Outline of Indian Pre-history by D K Bhattacharya

14. Tribal India By Nadeem Hussnain 15. Indian Anthropology by Nadeem Hussnain

Aspirants can find the relevant links related to Anthropology optional subject below to prepare for the upcoming UPSC exam even better-

Public Administration

Public Administration is in the list of most preferred optional subject and it is also considered as an interesting and good subject to opt. From Civil Service Exam point of view, this subject has become the most popular as optional paper as it is highly dynamic in nature and is comprehended. Of course, it is the closest subject to the job in question. The subject has ruled the UPSC arena for many decades and in recent years it seems like it’s losing its sheen.

Recommended Book Lists for Public Administration

1. New Horizons in Public Administration by Mohit Bhattacharya

2. Public Administration in Theory and Practice by Dr. M P Sharma and Dr B L Sadana

3. Administrative Thinkers by R Prasad, V S Prasad and P Satyanarayana

4. ARC Reports

5. IIPA Notes

6. IGNOU Notes

7. Indian Public Administration Institutions and Issues by Ramesh K Arora & Rajni Goyal

8. Management of Organizational Behaviours by Paul Hersey

9. Administrative Reforms in India by S R Maheshwari

However, it is highly recommended to choose a subject which you feel you are good at, also read few chapters from the books to see which among these two interests and you can also compare the success rate of these optional subjects then choose the one that is right for you. Byju’s also provides the most adaptive and effective learning materials and helps you in choosing the right subject.

Go through the links provided below for your assistance in the preparation-

The above details would help candidates prepare for UPSC 2022.

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