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UPSC Anthropology Syllabus 2024, Mains Optional Paper PDF

UPSC Anthropology Syllabus: Among the 48 optional subjects listed by UPSC for the IAS Exam, Anthropology is notably popular among students. The Anthropology syllabus emphasizes understanding the subject as a science and applying that knowledge to real-world challenges. Anthropology is one of the optional subjects in the UPSC mains examination, covering topics such as human evolution, social structures, cultural evolution, and development.

Anthropology ranks among the top 10 most demanding subjects in the UPSC exam. Its popularity among students as an optional subject is largely due to its reputation for being scoring. The UPSC Anthropology Syllabus comprises two papers, Optional Paper I and Paper II, forming part of the Mains stage of the IAS Exam, which comprises a total of nine papers. Below, we delve into the comprehensive Anthropology optional syllabus for the Mains examination.

UPSC Anthropology Syllabus 2024

Opting for Anthropology as an optional subject for the UPSC Mains exam is well-suited for candidates possessing robust skills and a genuine interest in the discipline. A plethora of books are accessible to aid students in their preparation for the UPSC Anthropology optional subject. The Anthropology subject comprises two papers, each carrying 250 marks, making a total of 500 marks. Each paper is divided into two sections, with a total of 8 questions in the exam.

Students need to answer five questions out of the given eight, with one compulsory question from the last three. A strong performance in the Anthropology optional exam can significantly boost the overall score of an IAS aspirant in the UPSC Mains.

Aspect Details
Exam Type Civil Service Examination
Mode Offline
Total Duration 3 Hours
Total Papers 2 Papers
Marks per Paper 250 Marks
Total Marks 500 Marks
Impact on Overall Score
A strong performance in Anthropology can significantly boost the overall score in the UPSC Mains exam

UPSC Anthropology Syllabus 2024 for Mains

Anthropology is a favoured choice among science graduates as an optional subject for the UPSC mains exam. The syllabus for Anthropology is released annually by the UPSC Commission in conjunction with the UPSC Notification Below we shared a detailed overview of the UPSC Anthropology Syllabus 2024.

UPSC Anthropology Syllabus 2024 for Paper 1

The UPSC Syllabus 2024 for Anthropology optional subject Paper 1 is divided into 12 parts, each covering specific topics. The Anthropology syllabus for UPSC encompasses the following areas:

Anthropology Syllabus for Paper 1
Topic  Details
1) Meaning, Scope, and Development of Anthropology Study of human beings and their societies from a holistic perspective.
1.1) Relationships with Other Disciplines Interdisciplinary connections with sociology, psychology, biology, history, and linguistics.
1.2) Main Branches of Anthropology and Their Scope Physical Anthropology, Archaeological Anthropology, and Social/Cultural Anthropology.
1.3) Human Evolution and the Emergence of Man Study of human evolution, hominid fossils, and the emergence of modern humans.
1.4) The Biological Basis of Life Examination of genetics, human growth and development, and the biological aspects of human life.
1.5) Principles of Prehistoric Archaeology Study of archaeological investigation, principles, and chronology of prehistoric cultures.
1.6) Cultural Evolution Analysis of cultural changes and transformations across time and societies.
2) Nature of Culture, Society, Marriage, Family, and Kinship Exploration of culture, society, marriage, family, kinship, and their variations in different cultures.
3) Economic Organization Study of economic systems, modes of production, exchange, and consumption in societies.
4) Political Organization and Social Control Analysis of political systems, governance structures, power relations, and mechanisms of social control.
5) Religion Examination of religious beliefs, practices, rituals, and their cultural significance.
6) Anthropological Theories Study of various theoretical perspectives used in anthropology, including evolutionism and functionalism.
7) Culture, Language, and Communication Exploration of the relationship between culture, language, and patterns of communication.
8) Research Methods in Anthropology Utilization of methods such as participant observation, interviews, surveys, and data analysis.
9) Human Genetics Study of genetics and its application to understanding human variation and genetic diseases.
10) Concept of Human Growth and Development Examination of the processes and factors influencing human growth and development.
11) Relevance of Menarche, Menopause, and Other Bioevents Study of the implications of menarche, menopause, and biological milestones for fertility patterns and differentials.
12) Applications of Anthropology Practical applications of anthropological insights in fields such as development, public health, and policy-making.

UPSC Anthropology Syllabus 2024 for Paper 2

The UPSC Anthropology Optional Syllabus for Paper 2 consists of 9 units, which are as follows:

UPSC Anthropology Syllabus 2024 for Paper 2
Evolution of the Indian Culture and Civilization
  1. Prehistoric (Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, and Neolithic
  2. Chalcolithic
  3. Protohistoric (Indus Civilization): Pre- Harappan, Harappan and post- Harappan cultures.Contributions of tribal cultures to Indian civilization.
Palaeo Anthropological evidence from India with special reference to Siwaliks and Narmada basin (Ramapithecus, Sivapithecus, and Narmada Man).
Ethno-archaeology in India
  1. The concept of ethnoarchaeology;
  2. Survivals and Parallels among the hunting, foraging, fishing, pastoral, and peasant communities including arts and crafts producing communities.
Demographic Profile of India
  1. Ethnic and linguistic elements in the Indian population and their distribution.
  2. Indian population – factors influencing its structure and growth.
The structure and nature of the traditional Indian social system
  1. Varnashrama,
  2. Purushartha,
  3. Karma,
  4. Rina and Rebirth.
Caste system in India
  1. Structure and characteristics,
  2. Varna and caste,
  3. Theories of the origin of the caste system,
  4. Dominant caste,
  5. Caste mobility,
  6. Future of the caste system,
  7. Jajmani system,
  8. Tribe-caste continuum.
Sacred Complex and Nature
  1. Man
  2. Spirit Complex.
  3. Impact of Buddhism, Jainism, Islam, and Christianity on Indian society.

Emergence and growth of anthropology in India-Contributions of the 18th, 19th, and early 20th Century scholar-administrators. Contributions of Indian anthropologists to tribal and caste studies.

Indian Village:
  1. Significance of village study in India;
  2. Indian village as a social system;
  3. Traditional and changing patterns of settlement and inter-caste relations;
  4. Agrarian relations in Indian villages;
  5. Impact of globalization on Indian villages.
Linguistic and religious minorities and their social, political, and economic status.
Indigenous and exogenous processes of socio-cultural change in Indian society: Sanskritization, Westernization, Modernization;
  1. Inter-play of little and great traditions;
  2. Panchayati Raj and social change;
  3. Media and social change.
The Tribal situation in India Bio-genetic variability, linguistic and socio-economic characteristics of tribal populations and their distribution.
Problems of the tribal Communities land alienation, poverty, indebtedness, low literacy, poor educational facilities, unemployment, underemployment, health, and nutrition.
Developmental Projects and their impact on tribal displacement
  1. problems of rehabilitation.
  2. Development of forest policy and tribals.
  3. Impact of urbanization and industrialization on tribal populations.
Problems of Exploitation and Deprivation of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Other Backward Classes. Constitutional safeguards for Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes.
Social Change and contemporary tribal societies Impact of modern democratic institutions, development programs, and welfare measures on tribals and weaker sections.

The concept of ethnicity

  1. Ethnic conflicts and political developments;
  2. Unrest among tribal communities;
  3. Regionalism and demand for autonomy;
  4. Pseudo-tribalism;
  5. Social change among the tribes during colonial and post-independent India.
Impact of Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and other religions on tribal societies.
Tribe and nation-state – a comparative study of tribal communities in India and other countries.
History of administration of tribal areas, tribal policies, plans, programs of tribal development, and their implementation. The concept of PTGs (Primitive Tribal Groups), their distribution, and special programs for their development. Role of N.G.O.s in tribal development.
Role of anthropology in tribal and rural development.
Contributions of anthropology to the understanding of regionalism, communalism, and ethnic and political movements.

UPSC Anthropology Syllabus PDF

Anthropology UPSC Syllabus PDF contains the detailed syllabus for Anthropology optional subjects in the UPSC examination. It provides a comprehensive overview of the topics and sub-topics covered, enabling candidates to plan their preparation accordingly. By referring to the UPSC Anthropology Syllabus PDF, aspirants can gain a clear understanding of the subject’s scope and focus their efforts on specific areas. Below you can check the Anthropology UPSC Syllabus PDF link.

UPSC Anthropology Syllabus PDF Download

UPSC Anthropology Syllabus Preparation Tips

Candidates can check some of the preparation resources added to you like using books and newspapers. You can use online resources through different web portals and platforms. Solve UPSC previous year’s questions to build a strong understanding of these topics.

  • Read NCERT Books
  • Analyze Previous Years’ Papers
  • Create a Study Plan
  • Current Affairs
  • Focus on Key Concepts
  • Practice Answer Writing

Note that consistency, discipline, and a thorough understanding of concepts are key to success in the UPSC Mains Anthropology examination. Good luck with your preparation.

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What is the Anthropology Syllabus for UPSC Mains Exam?

The Anthropology Syllabus for UPSC Mains Exam covers a wide range of topics related to human culture, society, evolution, and development.

How should I approach studying the Anthropology syllabus for UPSC Mains Exam?

To effectively study the Anthropology syllabus, start by building a strong foundation in the basic concepts of anthropology.

Are there any specific resources or books recommended for studying Anthropology for UPSC Mains Exam?

There are several recommended resources and books for studying Anthropology for the UPSC Mains Exam. Some popular ones include "An Introduction to Social Anthropology" by D.N. Majumdar, "Physical Anthropology" by P. Nath, "Indian Anthropology" by R.N. Sharma, and "Indian Anthropology" by Nadeem Hasnain.

Is it necessary to have a background in anthropology or science to opt for Anthropology as an optional subject?

No, it is not necessary to have a background in anthropology or science to opt for Anthropology as an optional subject.

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