Public administration and political science & international relations are both popular optional subjects in the UPSC Mains Exam. Both the subjects have a large number of takers although public administration trumps the other if you go by the absolute number of candidates taking public administration.
These subjects can be taken by candidates from different educational backgrounds because they are social sciences and easy enough to understand. This article compares public administration versus political science as optional subjects for the UPSC mains exam.
The Pros and Cons of Public Administration and Political Science.
The pros and cons of the two optional subjects have been highlighted below:
Political Science & International Relations
As you see, both subjects have their pros and cons. If you have a background or interest in either of these subjects, you would be better off taking that as your IAS optional. Otherwise, if both are neutral subjects to you, you should go through the syllabus of both. See for yourself the overlap with general studies. Also, see what subject interests you and excites you the most. If you go by the past data, more successful aspirants have taken public administration. But political science and IR is also fast emerging as a popular optional. GS overlap is more here, although public administration has a higher success rate.
The decision has to be taken by you after weighing the pros and cons of both subjects vis-à-Vis your own strengths and weaknesses.
In the event that you decide to go for either of the optional subjects, the following links will help you in studying them better:
- Strategy for UPSC Political Science Optionals
- UPSC Political Science and International Relations Syllabus
- Difference Between Political Science and Polity
- UPSC Public Administration Optional
- Public Administration UPSC Syllabus
You can find out about other civil services posts, by visiting the linked article. For more exam-related preparation materials, refer to the links given in the table below: