“Our language is the reflection of ourselves. A language is an exact reflection of the character and growth of its speakers.”- Cesar Chavez
Malayalam is fast becoming a popular optional subject among candidates who know the language. In 2014, Renu Raj bagged the all-India rank 2 in the UPSC civil services with Malayalam Literature as her optional. In 2012, the first rank was secured by Kerala girl, Haritha Kumar, who again had Malayalam Literature as one of her optionals. The previous first ranker from Kerala was way back in 1991, with Raju Narayana Swamy who also had Malayalam as one of his optionals. In fact, this is an optional subject that many Malayalis opt for because it is generally considered scoring and also has a short syllabus. In recent times, Sreedhanya Suresh made headlines when she cleared the IAS exam 2018, being the first Kerala tribal girl to do so. She also had Malayalam Literature as her optional subject. In this article, you can read all about the Malayalam literature optional subject for IAS exam.
Pros of Malayalam Literature Optional
- It has a well-defined and relatively short syllabus.
- Most of the stories and poems in the syllabus would have been covered in your schooldays itself if you had Malayalam as one of your subjects in school. This would significantly reduce the time you take to complete the syllabus, thereby giving you more time for GS and revision.
- You do not have to be a scholar in the language to score high marks. Thorough reading and systematic revision, along with answer writing practice can help you ace this paper.
- It is a scoring subject.
Malayalam Optional UPSC Toppers
|Sathish B Krishnan||2017||125|
|Haritha V Kumar||2012||1|
Malayalam optional Paper I and Paper II
- UPSC Malayalam Paper I – Paper I is theoretical in nature. Deep reading and an understanding of the characteristics of the language, its origin, etc. is necessary to do well in this paper.
- UPSC Malayalam Paper-II – This deals with many literary compositions. Most of them would have been covered by students in school or college if they had the subject. For this paper, it is important to understand the subtle nuances of the stories, understand the characters in all their shades, and also critically evaluate the work. For this, you can read critical reviews of the works by eminent critics. This is important to develop a holistic understanding and that too from multiple perspectives.
- Answer writing practice – This is of utmost importance in the language papers. You must develop speed in answer writing. For this, you should practice writing answers on a daily basis. Additionally, your presentation should be neat, structured and well-balanced.
- You can make short notes on various topics relevant to the papers. This will help in easy revision.
- Previous years’ question papers – To understand what kind of questions are asked, what are the areas UPSC repeatedly asks questions, what are the choices you get, it is necessary to go through the previous years’ IAS question papers and also solve them.
To download the UPSC Question Papers, check the linked page.
UPSC Malayalam Optional Books
- All the novels, short stories, poems and biographies prescribed in the syllabus.
- Malayalam magazine such as Bhashaposhini which talks about contemporary issues in the Malayalam Literature world.
- Kairaliyude Katha – M. Krishna Pillai
- Malayala Sahithya Charithram – Kalaghattangalilude – Erumeli
- Civil Service exam Malayalam Optional paper I – Jobin S Kottaram
- Civil Service exam Malayalam Optional paper II – Jobin S Kottaram, Renu Raj, Aswathy