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CHOOSING POLITICAL SCIENCE AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AS AN OPTIONAL | Chahal Academy

"There’s a way to do it better. Find it." :THOMAS ALVA EDISON

A UPSC aspirant is often faced with the dilemma of choosing the right optional.

A right optional is the one which helps you to outperform in mains, the one the which fetches you maximum marks, the one which comes to your rescue when you fail to score well in General Studies and last but not the least, the one which brings out the best in you.

POLITICAL SCIENCE AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

It deals with political and foreign affairs around the world.

In UPSC Civil Services Mains Examination, Political Science Optional consists of 2 papers (Paper I and Paper II).

Each paper is of 250 marks with a total of 500 marks

POLITICAL SCIENCE AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS can prove to be a smart choice considering a number of factors.

  • It overlaps with almost the entire GENERAL STUDIES syllabus.
  • It has also witnessed many successful candidates.
  • Study material is easily available.
  • Helpful in preliminary exam as around 15 to 20 questions from Indian Polity and governance section are asked every year for sure.
  • Political Science integrates your prelims and mains preparation. Thus, saving time for other topics.
  • Most of the topics of GS paper II of Civil Services Main examination are covered under Political Science optional itself.
  • In GS paper 4 of Civil Services Main examination (Ethics, Integrity and aptitude), most of the thinkers are Political Science scholars.
  • Again, in the UPSC- Civil Services interview, some questions are asked from international relations irrespective of your academic background

WHO SHOULD CHOOSE POLITICAL SCIENCE AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS?

  • Interest: Interest in a particular subject should be given top priority while deciding an optional subject. If you are having interest in political science, you can go for it. 
  • Background: If you are not having any educational background in technical subject and wish to opt for a non-technical subject, you must go for political science & IR optional subject. Many of the topics will also overlap with your GS syllabus of civil services examination. 
  • In case you choose any other optional subject, then also, you would have to read considerable amount of PSIR chapters in Indian Polity, Ethics, History, current affairs, etc.
  • If you are left with lesser time, it is advisable to opt for PSIR. It will reduce your burden and will save your time.

IS POLITICAL SCIENCE AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS A SCORING SUBJECT?

Many candidates are opting for PSIR as their optional on the basis of the success ratio that this subject has to offer. Many candidates have been able to score 300+ in PSIR and many have managed to bag top ranks. However, UPSC does not discriminate between any of its optional subjects and one should consider his/her interest a top priority while choosing an optional.

Name of the candidate Year of passing Total marks (500) Paper I PSIR (250 MARKS) Paper II PSIR (250 MARKS)
TINA DABI CSE- 2015 299 128< 171
AISHWARYA DONGRE CSE-2016 327 175 152
MIRANT PARIKH CSE-2016 307 158 149
KEERTHI KIRAN PUJAR CSE-2017 303 153 150
DHANANJAY SINGH YADAV CSE-2018 283 144 139

WHY ONE SHOULD JOIN CHAHAL ACADEMY FOR PSIR?

  1. Detailed coverage of both political science paper I & II for UPSC mains exam
  2. Current Affairs updated teaching for dynamic sections of PSIR. 
  3. Explanation of the interlinks between PSIR and GS papers  
  4. Availability of topic-wise module with coverage of each topic 
  5. Special lecture series on answer writing practice 
  6. Access to the best lecturers anytime and anywhere 
  7. 150+ hours of Offline/online lectures by Delhi based faculty members

REASONS TO JOIN ONLINE COACHING FOR PSIR BY CHAHAL ACADEMY

Super Affordable fees:

Usually, the cost of PSIR optional coaching fee is approx. Rs.50,000/- to Rs.75,000/- whereas online coaching costs very less.

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Your time, Your Place:

While offline IAS coaching has a fixed time schedule, online coaching is flexible. Aspirants can save time from travelling between home, college and other places.

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Rescheduling

One of the biggest advantages of online PSIR optional coaching is that no lecture or topic will be missed as you can watch it anytime anywhere on your laptop or mobile.

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PSIR OPTIONAL SUBJECT ONLINE COURSE BY CHAHAL ACADEMY

This course has been specially designed for those who are,

  • Interested in opting Political Science as optional with or without academic background in PSIR.
  • Facing problems in correlating and connecting theories and concepts.
  • Studied the subject on their own and facing problem in writing standard answers.
  • Facing challenges in unfolding their knowledge to clear basic notions and theories.

ANSWER WRITING IN PSIR

  • While writing PSIR optional paper, candidates must keep in mind that your answer for political science should look different from the GS answers.
  • Scholar views, facts & technical words can be added in the optional subject to score well in political science.
  • Supreme Court and High Court judgements can be sited in the answer wherever necessary.
  • Type of questions based on thinkers; start with books and quotations written by them. A brief life history of the thinker can also be added.
  • Usually, type of questions asked in Paper I are of static type and that of Paper II are of dynamic type. For optional Paper II, try to interlink your answer with current events.

SYLLABUS

PAPER – I

Section A

POLITICAL THEORY AND INDIAN POLITICS

POLITICAL THEORY AND INDIAN POLITICS

POLITICAL THEORY
  • Political Theory: Meaning and approaches 
  • Theories of the state:
    1. Liberal
    2. Neo-liberal
    3. Marxist
    4. Pluralist
    5. Post-colonial
    6. Feminist
  • Justice: Conceptions of justice with special reference to Rawl’s theory of justice and its communitarian critiques. 
  • Equality:
    1. Social, political and economic;
    2. Relationship between equality and freedom;
    3. Affirmative action.
  • Rights:
    1. Meaning and theories
    2. Different kinds of rights;
    3. Concept of Human Rights.
  • Democracy:
    1. Classical and contemporary theories;
    2. Different models of democracy – representative, participatory and deliberative.
  • Concept of :
    1. Power,
    2. Hegemony,
    3. Ideology and

POLITICAL IDEOLOGIES

  • Liberalism,
  • Socialism,
  • Marxism,
  • Fascism,
  • Gandhism and
  • Feminism.

INDIAN POLITICAL THOUGHT

  • Dharamshastra,
  • Arthashastra,
  • Buddhist traditions;
  • Sir Syed Ahmed Khan,
  • Sri Aurobindo,
  • M.K. Gandhi,
  • B.R. Ambedkar, M.N. Roy.

POLITICAL IDEOLOGIES

  • Plato,
  • Aristotle
  • Machiavelli,
  • Hobbes,
  • Locke,
  • John S. Mill,
  • Marx.

Section B

INDIAN GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS

INDIAN GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS

NATIONALISM AND CONSTITUTION

Political Strategies of India’s Freedom Struggle:

  • Constitutionalism to mass Satyagraha,
  • Non-cooperation,
  • Civil Disobedience;
  • Militant and revolutionary movements,
  • Peasant and workers’ movements.

Perspectives on Indian National Movement

  • Liberal
  • Socialist and Marxist;
  • Radical humanist and
  • Dalit.

Making of the Indian Constitution

  • Legacies of the British rule.
  • Different social and political perspectives.
POLITICAL THEORY AND INDIAN POLITICS

Salient Features of the Indian Constitution:

  • The Preamble,
  • Fundamental Rights and Duties,
  • Directive Principles;
  • Parliamentary System and Amendment Procedures;
  • Judicial Review and Basic Structure doctrine. 

Principal Organs of the Union Government: Envisaged role and actual working of the Executive, Legislature and Supreme Court.

Principal Organs of the State Government: Envisaged role and actual working of the Executive, Legislature and High Courts.

Grassroots Democracy:

  • Panchayati Raj and Municipal Government;
  • Significance of 73rd and 74th Amendments;
  • Grass root movements.

Statutory Institutions/Commissions:

  • Election Commission,
  • Comptroller and Auditor General,
  • Finance Commission,
  • Union Public Service Commission,
  • National Commission for Scheduled Castes,
  • National Commission for Scheduled Tribes,
  • National Commission for Women;
  • National Human Rights Commission,
  • National Commission for Minorities,
  • National Backward Classes Commission.

Federalism:

  • Constitutional provisions;
  • Changing nature of centre-state relations;
  • Integrationist tendencies and regional aspirations;
  • Inter-state disputes.
VARIOUS DIVERSE TOPICS

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.

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 behavior;
  • Changing sociology- economic profile of Legislators.

Social Movements:

  • Civil liberties and human rights movements;
  • Women’s movements;
  • Environmentalist movements.

PAPER – II

Section A

COMPARATIVE POLITICAL ANALYSIS AND INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

COMPARATIVE POLITICAL ANALYSIS AND INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

COMPARATIVE POLITICS
  • Nature and major approaches
  • Political economy and political sociology perspectives
  • Limitations of the comparative method.

State in comparative perspective: Characteristics and changing nature of the State in capitalist and socialist economies, and, advanced industrial and developing societies.

Politics of Representation and Participation:

  • Political parties,
  • Pressure groups and
  • Social movements in advanced industrial and developing societies.
THEORIES AND CONCEPTS IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

Globalisation: Responses from developed and developing societies.

Approaches to the Study of International Relations:

  • Idealist,
  • Realist,
  • Marxist,
  • Functionalist and
  • Systems theory.

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:

(a) Rise of super powers; strategic and ideological Bipolarity, arms race and Cold War; nuclear threat;

(b) Non-aligned movement: Aims and achievements;

(c) Collapse of the Soviet Union; Unipolarity and American hegemony; relevance of non-alignment in the contemporary world.

GLOBAL INSTITUTIONS AND GROUPS

Evolution of the International Economic System:

  • From Bretton woods 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.

United Nations:

  • Envisaged role and actual record;
  • Specialized UN agencies-aims and functioning;
  • Need for UN reforms.

Regionalisation of World Politics:

  • EU,
  • ASEAN,
  • APEC,
  • SAARC,
  • NAFTA.

Contemporary Global Concerns:

  • Democracy,
  • Human rights,
  • Environment,
  • Gender justice,
  • Terrorism,
  • Nuclear proliferation.

 

India and the world:

1. Indian Foreign Policy:

  • Determinants of foreign policy;
  • Institutions of policy-making;
  • Continuity and change.

2. India’s Contribution to the Non-Alignment Movement:

  • Different phases;
  • Current role.

3. India and South Asia:

(a) Regional Co-operation: SAARC – past performance and future prospects.

(b) South Asia as a Free Trade Area.

(c) India’s “Look East” policy.

(d) Impediments to regional co-operation: -river water disputes;

POLITICAL SCIENCE OPTIONAL SUBJECT RECOMMENDED BOOKLIST

  • POLITICAL THOUGHT IN MODERN INDIA: PANTHAM & DEUTCH (SAGE PUBLICATION)
  • INDIAN GOVT. AND POLITICS: FADIA & FADIA (SAHITYA BHAWAN)
  • COMPARATIVE POLITICS: J.C. JOHARI
  • A HISTORY OF POLITICAL THOUGHT- PLATO TO MARX (MUKHERJEE & RAMASWAMY)
  • AN INTRODUCTION TO POLTICAL THEORY: O.P. GAUBA
  • THE GLOBALIZATION OF WORLD POLITICS: BAYLIS, SMITH & OWENS (OXFORD)