One of the most significant subjects for the UPSC Civil Services Exam is Indian Politics. In all three phases of the Civil Service examination, questions directly relevant to the constitutional framework were posed. We have summarised the topic-by-topic Indian Polity syllabus for UPSC in this article to assist you in covering this subject thoroughly. The term polity refers to the system or pattern of government. Polity is a subject that covers the entire operation of the government in the country. This provides an in-depth grasp of the country’s executive, legislative, and judicial institutions, as well as the numerous constitutional powers. Aside from understanding the Indian Constitution, aspirants aspiring to appear in the civil services test must be well-versed in the fundamentals of our political system. This article will help you to prepare polity for UPSC CSE.
Importance of Polity in UPSC
The Constitution is unquestionably the most important topic in Indian politics, but it also covers themes such as government policies, center-state relations, new bills, laws, governance concerns, social justice, and so on. It is critical for a candidate to keep up with local events because this fosters understanding of one’s rights, duties, and responsibilities and allows one to make an informed decision. If you want to pass the UPSC, you must have a thorough awareness of Indian politics and a methodical approach to it.
Polity is one of the easiest subjects to score because the syllabus is factual and straightforward. Expect a number of uncomplicated questions in the UPSC Prelims Polity section, and if thoroughly prepared, you should be able to get the majority of the answers accurately. Preliminary exam questions on Indian politics may include both static and dynamic aspects of the subject. There will certainly be a lot of questions in this area. Over the years, it has been discovered that the questions are mostly direct, and they range in difficulty from easy to moderate.
Some book Suggestions for Polity
- Indian Polity – M. Laxmikanth
- Class X NCERT textbook – Democratic Politics-II
- Class XI NCERT textbook – Indian Constitution at work
- Introduction to the Constitution of India – D.D. Basu
- India Year Book
- Class IX NCERT textbook – Democratic Politics-I
A UPSC Civil Services Exam applicant is fully aware of the relevance of “Indian Polity” in both the Prelims and the Mains GS Paper II. Laxmikant’s “Indian Polity” is considered a bible for preparing the polity part for both examinations. It’s worth noting that the book simplifies the concept of the Constitution and its numerous schedules for aspirants’ ease of comprehension. While the book contains every little and crucial item that must be learned and retained until the exam, the aspirants are frequently overwhelmed by the volume of the book.
Link for resources of Polity:
How to Prepare for UPSC Prelims by Studying Polity
The Indian Constitution, which lays out the complete functioning framework, is the bedrock of Indian polity. As a result, everything from the desire for a constituent assembly to the construction of the constitution must be thoroughly researched. In the UPSC CSE, questions focusing on analytical ability have recently been posed. As a result, you need completely prepare each of the above-mentioned topics in order to answer questions from the UPSC polity curriculum. Here are some UPSC preparation recommendations for Indian politicians:
- Solve previous years’ papers: it will give you a good understanding of the types of questions that have been posed recently. It will also assist you in properly and efficiently revising.
- NCERTs should be read: To strengthen your essential principles, read the NCERTs of Political Science for Classes XI and XII. You can also enrol in Career Launcher’s NCERT programme, which focuses on laying a solid foundation for all of the UPSC CSE courses.
- Basic books to read include: To have a thorough understanding of the subject, read basic texts such as M. Laxmikanth’s Indian Polity and D.D Basu’s Introduction to Indian Constitution.
- Read newspapers: Because many issues have been raised about recently announced plans, it is crucial in keeping up with current affairs by reading newspapers such as ‘The Hindu.’ Make short notes on relevant themes that you can use to augment your UPSC Main answers.
- Give mock tests: At least two mock tests should be given each week. This will not only allow you to measure the level of your preparation, but it will also help you evaluate your preparation plan. As a result, you’ll be able to make the necessary changes.
Important Tips for Polity
D.D. Basu’s Introduction to the Constitution of India can be quite valuable for mains, as it provides a thorough examination of the subject. NCERT textbooks are fun to read because of their clarity and simplicity, and they provide a strong foundation for beginners. They don’t take up a lot of a candidate’s time in terms of preparation. To begin, start with Class IX NCERT, Democratic Politics-I, and then move on to Class X NCERT, Democratic Politics-II, where one can gain conceptual clarity regarding politics as well as some concepts necessary to understanding the constitution.
Finally, move on to the Class XI NCERT textbook, Indian Constitution at Work, which is a must-read and serves as a requirement for reading other standard texts. It is suggested that you study the NCERT books attentively and make a habit of underlining essential points as you read them for future reference.
The next natural step in improving one’s preparation is to read M. Laxmikanth’s India Polity, which can help a candidate score higher in this part in the Prelims stage. It is the most complete and resourceful book for preparing for the prelims of Indian Polity. This book will cover almost all of the topics stated in the syllabus. The language employed in the book is clear, and even a novice may understand it.
Candidates do not require to memorise all of the Indian Constitution’s articles. Only a few essential things are required. If someone is familiar with the fundamentals and has revisited the subject a sufficient number of times, the majority of relevant articles will automatically be recorded.
Polity questions in prelims can get complicated as in the first look of it, all options look similar and this may lead to confusion and ambiguity. Regular reviews and MCQ practise might help to reinforce the fundamentals and increase one’s confidence in the subject. Solving previous year’s prelims question papers can help a candidate understand the type of questions that will be asked and prepare accordingly.
It is vital to read a national daily such as The Hindu or The Indian Express, paying special attention to news stories and editorials that are related to the Indian Constitution or the national and international political systems. All new bills, actions, and associated provisions must be kept track of.
In polity, there are a few basic areas where you should concentrate:
Constitution of India
- Basic understanding of all articles
- Historical context
- Drafting committee and the creation of the Constitution
- Influence of previous constitutions
- Its distinguishing features
- Union and its Territories
- Basic understanding of Articles 1-4
- State reorganisation and several Commissions
- Current issues
- Features of preamble
- 42nd Amendment
- Swaran Singh committee
- Fundamental understanding of Article 5-11
- PIO, NRI, OCI, and Pravasi Bharathiya Divas
- Privileges available to Indian citizens and foreigners
- Citizenship Amendment Act of 2016
- New policies, programmes, and recent voting changes
- Basic idea about 12 schedules
Fundamental Rights (FR)
- Basic grasp of Articles 12-35
- Thorough comprehension of Articles 14-30 and 32
- Rights and privileges available to Indian citizens solely and to both citizens and foreigners
- 44th Amendment Act
- Different types of Writs
- Enforcement and exceptional situations involving FR’s
- RTE and recent FR concerns
Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP)
- Fundamental understanding of Articles 36-51 and 368
- DPSP sources and important features o DPSP classification
- Minerva Mills, Golaknath Case, Keshavananda Bharathi, Maneka Gandhi Case Comparison/Conflicts between Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles
- Significant Amendments – the 42nd, 44th, and 97th amendments
Fundamental Duties (FD)
- Article 51A
- Difference between FR and FD
- Significance and Criticism
- Enforcement of FD’s
- Recent issues about FD
- Fundamental concept of article-related
- The Parliament’s Role and Functions
- Motions, Sessions, Parliamentary Procedure – Summoning, Prorogation, Joint Sitting
- Parliamentary Procedures such as Question Hour, Zero Hour, and Adjournment Motion, etc.
- Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha,
- Rajya Sabha’s special powers,
- Anti-defection law and 10th schedule,
- Parliamentary Privileges,
- Bill and lawmaking method,
- Budget, funding, and their summary,
- Parliamentary Committees
- Fundamental understanding of Article 52-73
- Qualification and Election
- Function and Powers (Executive, Legislative, Financial, Judicial, Diplomatic, Military, and Emergency Powers)
- Resignation and Impeachment
- Role and responsibilities, as well as relationships with the Prime Minister, the Council of Ministers, and Cabinet ministers
- Prime Minister and Ministerial Council
- Fundamental concept of Articles 74-75
- Capabilities and Functions
- Attorney General
- Resignation and Removal
State Government- State Executive
- Appointment, removal, and special powers of the Governor
- Governor’s executive, legislative, financial, judicial, and discretionary powers
- 7th constitutional amendment
- The Prime Minister and the Ministerial Council
- Chief Minister Authority
- Basic understanding of an article pertaining to the judiciary.
- Supreme and high court powers
- Qualification and appointment
- Removal procedure
- Current debates, verdicts, and constitutional provisions.
- The powers, composition, and functions of the state legislature differ from those of the Parliament.
- Bicameral legislatures
- Establishment and dissolution of Legislative Councils
Administration of Special Areas
- Fundamental understanding of the 5th and 6th Schedules
- Recent difficulties concerning the Administration of Special Areas
- Special provision for Jammu and Kashmir-Article 370
- Distinction between constitutional provisions pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir
Administration of Union Territories (UT)
- Special provision for Delhi
- Administration and jurisdiction in UT’s
State-Centre and interstate relations
- Basic understanding of Articles 262 and 263
- Composition and functions of the Interstate Council and the Zonal Council
- Inter-State Trade and Commerce
- Recent conflicts, debates, etc.
- New policies or programmes affecting interstate relations
- National emergency- Article 352
- President’s rule or state emergency- Article 356
- Financial emergency- Article 360
- 44th Amendment Act
- Emergency effects and ramifications
- The President’s Role in an Emergency Situation
- The Status of the FR, Lok Sabha, and Rajya Sabha
Panchayati Raj and municipalities
- Elections, auditing, powers and authority of panchayats
- 3 tier structure
- 73rd Amendment Act and 74th Amendment Act
- Relation with FR and DPSP
- Schemes introduced
- Metropolitan planning committee and urban development
- Basic understanding of the composition, functions, and operations of non-constitutional bodies such as the National Human Rights Commission, the Central Information Commission, the Central Vigilance Commission, the State Human Rights Commission, the Central Bureau of Investigation, and the State Information Commission, among others.
- Current issues in the aforementioned categories
- Important government plans, programmes, missions, laws, and policies.
- Recent Government Bills and Governance-actions.
- Finance Commission
- National Commission for SCs and STs,
- Composition, Powers and Functions, Removal of Constitutional Bodies
Special Provisions for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Backward Classes, Minorities, and Anglo-Indians
- Rights and privileges granted to SCs, STs, Backward Classes, Minorities, and Anglo-Indians
- Concerns for vulnerable groups such as women, children, SCs, STs, Backward Classes, Minorities, and Anglo-Indians
- Basic understanding of Article 323A and tribunals under Article 323B
- Recent contentious tribunal problems
- Different tribunals and their significance
NCERTs contain reliable and authentic information. These books explain the subject matter in a simple language. NCERT notes are a must-read because they contain the important gist of facts and concepts in a crisp and point-wise manner. All the 3 rounds of the IAS exam, preliminary, mains, and interview, have focused on Indian politics and constitution. In addition to knowing the Indian Constitution, applicants for the civil services exam should be familiar with the principles of our political system.