Benefits of choosing Political Science and International Relations (PSIR) Optional
Choosing PSIR as an optional subject can offer several advantages to an aspiring bureaucrat. In this article – UPSC PSIR Optional Syllabus, we will discuss why PSIR is a suitable optional for both Prelims and Mains, how it can help in building current affairs, and provide tips from the toppers.
Understanding politics: UPSC PSIR optional syllabus helps in gaining knowledge of the political environment, which is crucial for a bureaucrat to make informed decisions.
- General concepts:
The concepts in PSIR are understandable for people from diverse backgrounds.
- Overlapping syllabus:
- Building current affairs:
Preparing for PSIR can help in building current affairs.
- Better decision-making:
Knowledge in PSIR can help a bureaucrat in making better decisions.
- Interrelated concepts:
Most concepts in PSIR are interrelated and can be easily understood.
- Successful results:
PSIR has worked for many toppers and helped them secure top ranks.
Answer Writing Tips:
- Current affairs questions:
Provide a brief description of the event, explain it, mention arguments for and against the issue with the names of the people who quoted them, analyze the situation, suggest possible solutions or give an opinion, and mention scholars.
- Conceptual questions:
Cite the founder of the idea, explain the concept using diagrams, give criticism and support from various scholars, and mention the implication of the concept in the contemporary world.
- One-sided questions:
Follow the method mentioned above unless the question asks for a one-sided answer. Practice PYPs.
- Paper 2 suggestions:
Depict the connect this issue had with various other issues, give a stance of scholars on this issue or their quotes, analyze and then conclude.
Tips from Toppers on UPSC PSIR Optional:
- Attempt all questions and write three average answers instead of one excellent answer.
- Practice writing with strict time and get suggestions from experts.
- Read everything from the syllabus and revise at least 4-5 times.
- Use minimum sources and maximize answer writing practice.
- Emphasize on Indian political thought and understand how to interlink concepts.
- Be ready with factual data to complement your claims and keep up with current affairs.
- Prepare for Prelims, Mains, and Interview simultaneously.
- Decide upon which questions to attempt once you get the paper and cite the names of about 3 scholars for each question.
- Write like you are writing an editorial and don’t use bullet points.
- Change handwriting to make sure the size is good enough to fill all the answer sheets.
- Inculcate web-based thinking and prepare short notes to cover everything before the examination.
- Make answers India-centric and mention criticism whenever possible.
- Follow 4 Cs- Compare, Criticize, Contemporary, and Conclude and check after every question.
- Develop a unique strategy that suits you best through trial and error.
- Finally, stay positive and work hard to achieve your dreams.
The following table gives the names and ranks of a few toppers with political science optional:
|Keerthi Kiran Pujar||2017||115|
|K Dinesh Kumar||2016||6|
Political Science Books for UPSC – Optional Paper – I
|Book Name||Publisher/Author Name|
|An Introduction To Constitution||D.D. Basu|
|An Introduction To Political Theory||O.P. Gauba|
|Fifty Major Political Thinkers||Ian Adams And R W Dyson|
|A History Of Political Thought: Plato To Marx||Subrata Mukherjee And Sushila Ramaswamy|
|An Oxford Companion To Politics In India||Niraja Gopal Jayal And Pratap Bhanu Mehta|
|Foundations Of Indian Political Thought||V. R. Mehta|
|A New Look At Modern Indian History||B.L Grover And Alka Mehta|
|India’s Struggle For Independence||Bipin Chandra|
|Indian Government And Politics||B L Fadia|
|Western Political Thought: From Socrates to the age of Ideology||Brian R Nelson|
|Modern Indian Political Thought: Text and Context||Bidyut Chakrabarty and Rajendra Kumar Pandey|
Political Science Books for UPSC – Optional Paper – II
|Book Name||Publisher/Author Name|
|India’s Foreign Policy||V P Dutt|
|International Organizations||Spectrum Books Publication|
|International Relations||V N Khanna|
|Challenge And Strategy: Rethinking India’s Foreign Policy||Rajiv Sikri|
|Does The Elephant Dance?: Contemporary Indian Foreign Policy||David M. Malone|
|Global Politics||Andrew Heywood|
|MPS-004 Comparative Politics: Issues And Trends||Expert Panel Of GPH|
|The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations||John Baylis, Steve Smith and Patricia Owens|