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UPSC Political Science Syllabus 2024 - Download CSE Syllabus PDF

UPSC Political Science Syllabus 2024 - Download CSE Syllabus PDF

Edited By Soujanya K | Updated on Feb 14, 2024 05:23 PM IST | #UPSC CSE

UPSC released the official IAS Syllabus and Exam Pattern 2024 online. The IAS Political Science Optional Syllabus PDF can be downloaded on the official website- The UPSC IAS Political Science Optional syllabus describes in detail the topics covered by papers 1 and 2 in the Political Science Optional subject of IAS Exam 2024.

Candidates are encouraged to make themselves familiar with the topics presented in the Political Science IAS optional syllabus to allow for thorough preparation for the IAS 2024 PSIR Exam. This will help candidates know exactly what to prepare and the types of questions they may expect from these papers. The UPSC releases the IAS Syllabus 2024, detailing all the topics covered in both the Prelims and the main exams. The optional subject, IAS PSIR, consists of two papers.

Candidates can go through the material below regarding the Political Science and International Relations syllabus for IAS exam to understand the topics covered by the exam, the benefits of taking Political Science as a subject and get an idea of how to prepare effectively for this subject.

IAS Political Science Syllabus 2024

Political Science is an optional subject in the IAS exam. There are two papers in Political Science (Paper 1 & 2). The exam is held in descriptive mode. Both papers are of 250 marks each. IAS Optional Political Science syllabus Paper 1 covers topics such as - political theory, Indian government, Indian politics, etc. Whereas the optional IAS PSIR syllabus for IAS paper 2 has topics like international politics, comparative political analysis, Indian policy, etc. Check the detailed Political Science and International Relations optional syllabus from the table here.

IAS Optional Politics Science Syllabus- Paper 1

Political Theory and Indian Politics

  • Equality: Social, political and economic; relationship between equality and freedom; Affirmative action

  • Theories of state: Liberal, Neo-liberal, Marxist, Pluralist, Post-colonial, and Feminist.

  • Justice: Conceptions of justice with special reference to Rawl’s theory of justice and its communitarian critiques

  • Rights: Meaning and theories; different kinds of rights; Concept of Human Rights

  • Political Theory: Meaning and approaches

  • Democracy: different models of democracy - representative, Classical and contemporary theories; participatory and deliberative.

  • Concept of power: hegemony, ideology and legitimacy

  • Political Ideologies: Socialism, Liberalism, Marxism, Gandhism, Feminism, and Fascism

  • Western Political Thinkers: Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, John S. Mill, Marx, Gramsci, Hannah Arendt

  • Indian Political Thinkers: Dharamshastra, Arthashastra and Buddhist Traditions; Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Sri Aurobindo, M. K. Gandhi, B. R. Ambedkar, M. N. Roy

Indian Government and Politics

  • Indian Nationalism:

    • Political Strategies of India’s Freedom Struggle:: Constitutionalism to mass Satyagraha, Noncooperation, Civil Disobedience; Militant and Revolutionary Movements, Peasant and Workers Movements

    • Perspectives on Indian National Movement: Liberal, Socialist and Marxist; Radical Humanist and Dalit.

  • Salient Features of the Indian Constitution: Fundamental Duties, DPSP, The Preamble, Fundamental Rights, Parliamentary System and Amendment Procedures; Judicial Review and Basic Structure doctrine.

  • Making of the Indian Constitution: Legacies of the British rule; different social and political perspectives

  • Principal Organs of the Union Government: working of the Executive, Legislature and Supreme Court.

  • Principal Organs of the State Government: working of the Executive, Legislature and High Courts.

  • Grassroots Democracy: Panchayati Raj and Municipal Government

  • Statutory Institutions/Commissions: Election Commission, Finance Commission, Comptroller and Auditor General, Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, National Commission for Scheduled Castes, National Commission for Women; National Commission for Minorities, National Human Rights Commission, National Backward Classes Commission.

  • Planning and Economic Development: Nehruvian and Gandhian perspectives; Role of planning and public sector; Green Revolution, land reforms and agrarian relations; liberalization and economic reforms.

  • Federalism: Constitutional provisions; changing nature of centre-state relations; integrationist tendencies and regional aspirations; inter-state disputes.

  • Caste, Religion and Ethnicity in Indian Politics.

  • Party System: National and regional political parties, ideological and social bases of parties; Patterns of coalition politics; Pressure groups, trends in electoral behaviour; changing socio-economic profile of Legislators.

  • Social Movement: Women’s movements; Civil liberties and human rights movements; environmentalist movements

IAS Optional Politics Science Syllabus- Paper 2

Comparative Political Analysis and International Politics

  • State in Comparative Perspective: Characteristics and changing nature of the State in capitalist and socialist economies, and advanced industrial and developing societies.

  • Comparative Politics: Nature and major approaches, Limitations of the comparative methods.

  • Politics of Representation and Participation: Political parties, pressure groups and social movements in advanced industrial and developing societies.

  • Approaches to the Study of International Relations: Idealist, Realist, Marxist, Functionalist and Systems theory.

  • Globalisation: Responses from developed and developing societies.

  • Key Concepts in International Relations: National interest, security and power; Balance of power and deterrence; Transnational actors and collective security; World capitalist economy and globalisation.

  • Changing International Political Order:

    • Rise of superpowers

    • Non-aligned Movement

    • Collapse of the Soviet Union

  • United Nations: Envisaged role and actual record; Specialized UN agencies—aims and functioning; need for UN reforms.

  • Regionalisation of World Politics: EU, ASEAN, APEC, AARC, NAFTA.

  • Evolution of the International Economic System: From Brettonwoods to WTO; Socialist economies and the CMEA (Council for Mutual Economic Assistance); Third World demand for new international economic order; Globalisation of the world economy.

  • Contemporary Global Concerns: Democracy, human rights, environment, gender justice terrorism, nuclear proliferation.

India and the World

  • India’s Contribution to the Non-Alignment Movement: Different phases; Current role

  • Indian Foreign Policy: Determinants of foreign policy; the institutions of policy-making; Continuity and change.

  • India and South Asia:

    • Regional Cooperation

    • South Asia as a Free Trade Area.

    • India’s “Look East” policy.

    • Impediments to regional cooperation

  • India and the Global Centres of Power: USA, EU, Japan, China and Russia.

  • India and the Global South: Relations with Africa and Latin America; Leadership role in the demand for NIEO and WTO negotiations.

  • India and the UN System: Role in UN Peace-keeping; Demand for Permanent Seat in the Security Council.

  • Recent developments in Indian Foreign Policy: India’s position on the recent crises in Afghanistan, Iraq and West Asia, growing relations with the US and Israel; and Vision of a new world order.

  • India and the Nuclear Question: Changing Perceptions and Policy.

Best Books for Political Science for IAS

There are a lot of books for Political Science optional subject, from the following table we have shared some of the best books. Candidates who have picked Political Science as their optional subject can choose them.

IAS PSIR Books for Paper 1

Books for Paper 1


An Introduction To Constitution

Dd Basu

Fifty Major Political Thinkers

Ian Adams And R W Dyson

A History Of Political Thought: Plato To Marx

Subrata Mukherjee And Sushila Ramaswamy

An Introduction To Political Theory

O.P Gauba

An Oxford Companion To Politics In India

Niraja Gopal Jayal And Pratap Bhanu Mehta

IAS PSIR Books for Paper 2

Books for Paper 2


Global Politics

Andrew Heywood

Challenge And Strategy: Rethinking India’s Foreign Policy

Rajiv Sikri

International Relations

V N Khanna

Does The Elephant Dance?: Contemporary Indian Foreign Policy

David M. Malone

IAS Optional Political Science Preparation Tips

Candidates planning to choose Political Science as their optional subject in the main IAS exam, must prepare it in a better way especially considering the tight competition, as Political Science is highly preferred by candidates. Here we are sharing some IAS preparation tips that will help candidates score well. Check the tips here.

  • Refer to NCERT books to prepare for Political Science, this will help in building the foundation.

  • Make a perfect IAS study plan and stick to it. Download the IAS PSIR Optional Syllabus PDF from the official website and refer to it while drafting your study plan.

  • IAS Exam Political Science difficulty level is that of a graduation paper, hence candidates must start the preparations as early as possible, and not dive into too many books.

  • Solve previous year's questions papers of the Political Science mains exam to know about the type of questions asked. Also, look for IAS question papers for Political Science and solve mocks/test series.

  • Consult the previous year's IAS exam analysis, to know about the difficulty level of the exam and question trends. This has the added benefit of enabling you to work on your weaker subjects.

UPSC CSE Preparation Strategy and Best Books
UPSC CSE preparation strategy along with best books for prelims as well as mains exam for sure success.
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IAS Political Science Optional Paper Benefits

Often, candidates have a hard time picking out their subjects for the optional papers for the IAS exam. Discussing the pros and cons of each optional paper can provide candidates with some clarity. Below are some of the benefits of picking the Political Science optional paper.

  • There is a wide range of study material readily available for Political science preparation.

  • Preparing for the Political Science paper will simultaneously acquaint you with Current Affairs.

  • The knowledge of many of the topics covered by the Political science syllabus will give you an added advantage during the interview round.

  • The topics covered in the Political Science optional syllabus for UPSC are relevant to topics covered in other areas of the UPSC exam.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

1. Is Political Science a good optional subject?

Yes, but only if you have an interest in Political Science as a subject.

2. How to prepare for Political Science?

The question paper will be of graduation level. Hence the preparation takes a lot of time, aspirants must refer to the best books, and prepare at least 7-8 months in advance to prepare for Political Science.

3. Which is the easiest optional subject for UPSC CSE?

There is no easy or difficult subject, it all depends on the interest and likeability as well as how candidates can prepare and qualify it.

4. What degree is required to appear for UPSC?

To apply for UPSC, aspirants must be a graduate.

5. Where can I download the Political Science syllabus for UPSC?

The UPSC Political Science syllabus pdf download link is available on the official website.

6. Will the commission release the UPSC Political Science optional syllabus?

Yes, the commission releases the UPSC Political Science optional syllabus pdf for option subjection on the official notification.

7. Can I get the IAS political science syllabus in hindi pdf?

Candidates will not be able to get the IAS political science syllabus in Hindi pdf. The IAS political science syllabus can be download in English only.


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Questions related to UPSC CSE

Have a question related to UPSC CSE ?


I assume you want to know the eligibility criteria to becoming an IAS. First of all, to become an IAS,  one has to clear UPSC CSE examiner. There are certain eligibility criteria for applying in this examination and they are as follows:

  • Bachelor's degree from any recognised college.
  • Age between 21-32; with some relaxation for reserved categories.
  • Citizen of India ora subject of Nepal/ Bhutan or Tibetan refugee who came to India, to permanently settle here before January 1, 1962, or People of Indian origin who migrated from Uganda, Burma, Pakistan, Zambia, the United Republic of Tanzania, Malawi, Sri Lanka, East African Countries of Kenya, Zaire, Ethiopia and Vietnam to permanently settle in India.

For more information, please visit the website by clicking on the link given below:

And other government jobs, the eligibility test is different for different jobs. It would have been if you could mention the government job you are interested in.

Hope this answers your query. Thank you

Dear aspirant !!

Hope you are doing good !

Yes it will be considered because Bachelor in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (BASLP) is a 4-year degree course . It is a multi-disciplinary profession with core subjects including speech pathology, language pathology, and audiology.

Hope it helps you ;

Thank you

Dear Aspirant !

Hope you are fine!

The main subjects for the UPSC Exam are Indian Politics, Indian Economy, International Relations, Science and Technology, Geography, History, Environment and Ecology, and related Current Affairs . There are 25 subjects and 23 literature optional that one can choose from in addition to this..

Thank you

Hello aspirant,

With the help of the IAS Answer Key 2024, applicants can estimate their potential score for the IAS preliminary exam, learn about the various IAS question types, gauge the exam's difficulty, and much more.

To get the answer key, you can visit our website by clicking on the link given below.

Thank you

Hope this information helps you.

Dear aspirant !!

Hope you are doing good !!

The syllabus of these papers includes subjects like Modern Indian History, World Geography, International Relations, Indian Economic development, Disaster Management and Ethics, Aptitude and Integrity . To know all the subjects in detail, you can check UPSC syllabus 2024 for CSE in the given link below ;- .

Hope it helps you !

Thanking you

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