Of late, regional languages have gained some prominence among IAS aspirants. Traditionally, languages like Hindi and Tamil always had some takers. But today, a few candidates are also going for not-so-popular languages like Maithili as their mains exam optional subject. In the 2015 UPSC civil services exam, a total of 18 candidates who had cleared the exam had Maithili Literature as their optional subject. Even some non-native speakers have taken up this language as their optional.
The reason for the growing popularity of regional languages could be the relatively less syllabus. Check out the UPSC Maithili Literature optional syllabus here. Also the fact that knowledge of regional languages can be helpful in your tenure as IAS officers in a region is an added advantage. If you study hard and with dedication and interest, you will be able to score well, at least 240 out of 500. This would be sufficient to pull you through if you do well in your other papers as well.
There are several advantages of taking a literature optional in the UPSC mains exam. One of them is the fact that there is relatively less competition for these subjects. Also, candidates might enjoy reading literature portions which are mostly less heavy on the mind.
The book list for UPSC optional Maithili Literature:
Maithili Sahityak Itihas – Dr. Durganath Jha “Shreesh”, Jaykant Mishra, Dr. Dinesh Kumar Jha
Maithili Patrakaritak Itihas – Chandranath Mishra Amar
Tirhuta Lipik Vikas – Dr. Rajeshwar Jha
Maithili Kathak Vikas – Sahitya Academy, New Delhi
Maithili Padyak Vikas – Sahitya Academy, New Delhi
Maithili Gadyak Vikas – Sahitya Academy, New Delhi