Strategy- Anthropology optional for UPSC

Anthropology is a subject which is currently proving to be remunerative for the UPSC aspirants. Besides being scoring and less time intensive it is an extension of GS preparation for around 30-40% of its syllabus. Before selecting this optional for UPSC please go through the syllabus (Paper-I, Paper-II )  in a comprehensive manner.

Criteria for selection of anthropology as an optional

  1. Familiarity with topics related to biology
  2. Ease with slight mugging
  3. Preparedness for giving Dedicated 2 months for it.

Anyone with interest in Anthropology without any past background can opt this optional if he/she satisfy anyone of the above three criteria.

Anthropology was/is field study based subject. It was born out of colonial need to know the origin and evolution of native culture. Hence to make it scoring , following points need to be kept in mind while writing answers.

  • To quote anthropologist in answers
  • To give case studies while writing answers
  • To give examples

( use newspaper for collection of useful case-studies, example etc)

  • To draw diagrams wherever required
  • Attempt physical anthropology and theory based questions as much as possible as socio-cultural based questions fetch lesser marks comparatively.
  • For non-physical anthropology part – give some pictorial representation/ flow chart.
  • To use anthropological language in answer writing.



  1. For general understanding of Anthropology – Ember and Ember
  2. General Anthropology- Nadeem Hasnain
  3. Socio-cultural Anthropology- Nadeem Hasnain
  4. Archeology- Bhattacharya
  5. Physical Anthropology- P.Nath
  6. Physical Anthropology- Shukla and Rastogi
  7. Theories and Indian anthropologist- Pandey and Upadhyay


  1. Indian Anthropology- Nadeem Hasnain
  2. Archeology- Bhattacharya
  3. History of Anthropological Thought – Pandey and Upadhyay
  4. Demographic Anthropology- Census 2011
  5. Tribal Anthropology- Nadeem Hasnain
  6. National commission on ST – A handbook
  7. MoTA- Annual report

Advantages of anthropology

  1. Scoring subject
  2. Interesting subject
  3. Easy to grasp especially For science students
  4. Less time consuming
  5. Helps in GS paper
  6. Short syllabus

Remarks- We will try to cover complete Anthropology here, no need to refer to any book or notes.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s