(Paper) Anthropology : Optional Subject of Main Examination

UPSC : Anthropology : Optional Subject of Main Examination


1.1 Meaning and scope Anthropology

1.2 Relationship with other disciplines: History, Economics, Sociology, Psychology, Political Science, Life Science, Medical Science.

1.3 Main branches of Anthropology, their scope and relevance
a) Social-cultural Anthropology
b) Physical and biological Anthropology
c) Archaeological Anthropology

1.4 Human Evolution and emergence of Man.
Organic Evolution - Theories of evolution in historical perspective, pre-Darwinian, Darwinian and Post- Darwinian period. Modern synthetic theory of evolution; brief outline of terms and concepts of evolutionary biology (Dolls rule, Copes rule, Gauses rule, Parallelism, convergence, adaptive radiation, mosaic evolution); Principles of systematic and taxonomy, major primate taxa, tertiary and quaternary fossil primates, Systematics of Hominoidea and Hominidae, Origin and evolution of man- Homo erectus and Homo sapiens.

1.5 Phylogenetic status, characteristics and distribution of the following:
a) Prepleistocence fossil primates-Orwpithecus.
b) South and East African hominids-Plesianthropus Australopithecus Africaus, Paranthropus, Australopithecus.
c) Paranthropus-Homo erectus-Homo erectus javanicus, Homo erectus pekinensis.
d) Homo Heidelbergensis.
e) Neanderthal man-La-chapelle-aus-saints (Classical type), rnt. Carmelites types (Progressive type).
f) Rhodesian man
g) Homo sapiens-Cro Magnon, Grimaldi, Chancelede.
Recent advances in understanding the evolution, distribution and multidisciplinary approach to understand a fossil type in relation to others.

1.6 Evolutionary trend and classification of the order Primates, Relationship with other mammals, molecular evolution of Primates, Comparative anatomy of man and apes, primate locomotion; terrestrial and arboreal adaptation, skeletal changes due to erect posture and its implications

1.7 Cultural Evolution-broad outlines of pre-historic cultures:
a) Paleolithic
b) Mesolithic
c) Neolithic
d) Chalcolithic
e) Copper-Bronze age
f) Iron age

2.1 Family- definition and typology of family, household and domestic groups. Basic structure and functions; stability and changes in family-Typological and processual approaches to the study of family, Impact of urbanization, industrialization, education and feminist movements. Universality of family- a critique.

2.2 Concept of kinship: Definition of kin, incest prohibition exogamy and endogamy- Principles of descent-types and functions. Political and jural aspects of kinship. Unilineal, bilateral and double descent. Descent, filiation and complementary filiation. Kinship terminology, typology and approaches to the study of terminology Alliance and descent.

2.3 Marriage- Definitions, types and variation of marriage systems. Debates on the universal definition of marriage. Regulation of marriage-preferential, prescriptive, proscriptive and open systems. Types and form of marriage Dowry, bride-price, pestation and marriage Dowry, bride price, pestation and marriage stability.

3.1 Study of culture, patterns and processes. Concept of culture, patterns of culture, relationships between culture and civilization and society.

3.2 Concept of Social Change and Cultural Change:

3.3 Social structure and social organization, Role-analysis and social network, institutions, groups community. Social stratifications: principles and form, status, class and power, gender. Nature and types of mobility.

3.4 Concept of Society.

3.5 Approaches to the study of culture and society-classical evolutionism, neo-evolutionism, culture ecology, historical particularism and diffusionism, structural-functionalism, culture and personality, transactions-alism, symbolism, cognitive approach and new ethnography, post structuralism and post modernism.

4.1 Definitions and functions of religion. Anthropological approaches to the study of religion-evolutionary, psychological and functional. Magic, witchcraft and sorcery; definitions and functions and functionaries: priest, saman, medicine man and sorcerers. Symbolism in religion and rituals. Ethnomedicine. Myths and rituals: definitions and approaches to their study-structural, functional and processual Relation with economic and political structures.

5.1 Meaning, scope and relevance, principles governing productions, distribution and consumption in communities subsisting on hunting-gathering, fishing, pastoralism, horticulture and other economic pursuits. Formalist and substantivist debate-Dalton, karlpolyanny and Marx approach and New Economic Anthropology. Exchange: Gifts, barter, trade, ceremonjal exchange .and market economy.

5.2 Theoretical foundations. Types of political organisations-band, tribe, chiefdom, state, concept of power, authority and legitimacy. Social control, law and justice in tribal and peasant societies.

6.1 Concepts of developmental anthropological perspective. Models of development. Critiques of classical developmental theories. Concepts of planning and planned development. Concepts of participatory development. Culture ecology and sustainable development. Displacement and rehabilitation.

7.1 Concept of research in anthropology, subjectivity and reflexivity in terms of gender class, ideology and ethics. Distinction between methodology, methods and techniques. Nature and explanation in anthropological research. Positivistics and non-positivistic approaches. Comparative methods; nature, purpose and methods of comparison in social and cultural anthropology. Basic techniques of data collection. Interview, participant and other forms of observation, schedules, questionnaire, case-study methods, extended case study methods, life histories and secondary sources, oral history, genealogical method, participatory, learning and assessment (PLA). Participatory rapid assessment (PRA). Analysis, interpretation and presentation of data.

8.1 Concept, scope and major branches of human genetics. Its relationship with other branches of science and medicine.

8.2 Method for study of genetic principles in man-family study (pedigree analysis, twin study, foster child, co-twin method, cytogenetic method, chromosomal and karyotype analysis), biochemical methods, immunological methods, D.N.A. technology and recombinant technologies.

8.3 Twin study method-zygosity, heritability estimates, present status of the twin study method and its applications.

8.4 Mendelian genetics in man-family study, single factor, multifactor, lethal, sub-lethal, and polygenic inheritance in man.

8.5 Concept of genetic polymorphism and selection, Mendelian population, Hardy-Weinberg law; causes and changes which bring down frequency-mutation, isolation, migration, selection, inbreeding and genetic drift. Consanguineous and non-consangumeous mating, genetic load, genetic effect of consanguineous and cousin marriages (statistical and probability methods for study of human genetics).

8.6 Chromosomes and chromosomal aberrations in man, methodology.
a) Numerical and structural aberrations (disorders)
b) Sex chromosomal aberrations Klinefelter (XXY), Turner (XO), Super female (XXX), intersex, and other syndromic disorders.
c) Autosomal aberrations-Down syndrome, Patau, Edward and Cri-du-chat syndromes.
d) Genetic imprints in human disease, genetic screening, genetic counselling, human DNA profiling, gene mapping and genome study.

8.7 Concept of race in historical and biological perspective. Race and racism, biological basis of morphological variation of non-metric and metric characters. Racial criteria, racial traits in relation to heredity and environment; biological basis of racial-classifications, racial differentiation and race-crossing in man.

8.8 Ethnic groups of mankind-characteristics and distributions in world, racia! classification of human groups. Principal living peoples of world. Their distribution and characteristics.

8.9 Age, sex and population variation in genetic marker-ABO, Rh blood groups, HLA, Hp, transferring, Gm, blood enzymes. Physiological characteristics-Hb level, body fat, pulse fate, respiratory functions and sensory perceptions in different cultural and socio-economic groups. Impact of smoking air pollution, alcoholism, drugs and occupational hazards on health.

9.1 Concepts and Methods of Ecological Anthropology. Adaptation-social and cultural Deterministic thcories-a critique. Resources-biological and sustainable development. Biological additional-climatic, environmental, nutritional and genetic.

10.1 Relevance in understanding of contemporary society. Dynamics of ethnicity at rural, tribal, urban and international levels. Ethnic conflicts and political developments. Concept of ethnic boundaries. Ethnicity and concept of nation state.

11.1 Concept of human growth and development-stages of growth-prenatal, natal, infant, childhood, adolescence, maturity, senescence. Factors affecting growth and development genetic, environmental, biochemical, nutritional, cultural and socioeconomic. Ageing and senescence. Theories and observations-biological and chronological longevity. Human physique and somatotypes. Methodologies for growth studies.

12.1 Reproductive biology, Demography and population study. Reproductive physiology of male and female. Biological aspects of human fertility. Relevance of menarche, menopause and other bioevents to fertility. Fertility patterns and differentials.

12.2 Demographic Theory-biological, social and cultural.
12.3 Demographic Methods-census, registration system, sample methods, duel reporting system.
12-4 Population structures and population dynamics.
12.5 Demographic rates and ratios, life table-structure and utility.
12.6 Biological and socio-ecological factors influencing fecundity, fertility, natality and mortality.
12.7 Methods of studying population growth.
12.8 Biological consequences of population control and family welfare.
13.1 Anthropology of sports.
13.2 Nutritional Anthropology.
13.3 Anthropology in designing of defence and other equipments
13.4 Forensic Anthropology.
13.5 Methods and principles of personal identification and reconstruction.
13.6 Applied human gene tics-Paternity diagnosis genetic counselling and eugenics.
13.7 DNA technology-prevention and cure of diseases.
13.8 Anthropo-genetics in medicine.
13.9 Serogenetics and cytogenetics in reproductive biology.
13.10 Application of statistical principles in human genetics and Physical Anthropology.



1. Evolution of the Indian Culture and Civilization - Pre historic (Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic), Protohistoric (Indus Civilization). Vedic and post-Vedic beginnings. Contributions of the tribal cultures.

2. Demographic profile of India - Ethnic and Linguistic elements in the Indian population and their distribution. Indian population, factors influencing its structure and growth.

3. The basis structure and nature of traditional Indian social system - a critique. Varnasharm. Purushartha, Karma, Rina and Rebirth. Theories on the origin of caste system, Jajmani system. Structural basis of inequality in traditional Indian society. Impact of Buddhism, Jainism, Islam and Christianity of Indian Society.

4. Emergence, growth and development of anthropology in India -contributions of the 19th Century and early 20* Century scholar administrator. Contributions of Indian anthropologists of tribal and caste studies. Contemporary nature of anthropological studies in India.

5. Approaches to the study of Indian society and culture - traditional and contemporary.
5.1 Aspects of Indian village - Social organisations of agriculture, impact of market economy of Indian villages.

5.2 Linguistic and religious minorities-social, political and economic status.

6. Tribal situation in India - biogenetic variability, linguistic and socio-economic characteristics of the 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-tribal displacement and problems of rehabilitation:
Development of forest policy and tribals, Impact of urbanisation and industrialization on tribal and rural populations.

7. Problems of exploitation and deprivation of Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes and other Backward classes. Constitutional safeguards for Schedule Tribes and Scheduled Castes. Social change and contemporary tribal societies: Impact of modern democratic institutions, development programmes and welfare measures on tribals and weaker sections. Emergence of ethnicity, tribal movements and quest for identity. Pseudo-tribalism.

8. Social change among the tribes during colonial and post-Independent India.
8.1 Impact of Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and other religious on tribal societies.
8.2 Tribe and nation state - a comparative study of tribal communities in India and other countries

9. History of administration of tribal areas, tribal policies, plans, programmes of tribal development and their implementation. Role of N.G.Os.

9.1 Role of anthropology in tribal and rural development.

9.2 Contributions of anthropology to the understanding of regionalism, commuhalism and ethnic and political movements.


thank u very much sir for the books and syllabus for anthropology.thanku very much sir.thanku.himanish.