UPSC Mains Exam Syllabus - Anthropology Optional
PAPER - I:
1.1 Meaning, scope and development of
1.2 Relationships with other disciplines:
Social Sciences, Behavioural Sciences,
Life Sciences, Medical Sciences, Earth Sciences
1.3 Main branches of Anthropology, theirscope and relevance:
(a) Social- cultural Anthropology.
(b) Biological Anthropology.
(c) Archaeological Anthropology.
(d) Linguistic Anthropology.
1.4 Human Evolution and emergence of
(a) Biological and Cultural factors in human
(b) Theories of Organic Evolution (Pre-
Darwinian, Darwinian and Post-Darwinian).
(c) Synthetic theory of evolution; Brief outline
of terms and concepts of evolutionary
biology (Doll’s rule, Cope’s
rule, Gause’s rule, parallelism, convergence,
adaptive radiation, and
1.5 Characteristics of Primates; Evolutionary
Trend and Primate Taxonomy; Primate
Adaptations; (Arboreal and Terrestrial) Primate
Taxonomy; Primate Behaviour; Tertiary
and Quaternary fossil primates; Living
Major Primates; Comparative Anatomy
of Man and Apes; Skeletal changes due to
erect posture and its implications.
1.6 Phylogenetic status, characteristics and
geographical distribution of the following:
(a) Plio-pleistocene hominids in South
and East Africa - Australopithecines.
(b) Homo erectus: Africa (Paranthropus),
Europe (Homo erectus heidelbergensis),
Asia (Homo erectus
javanicus, Homo erectus pekinensis).
(c) Neanderthal Man- La-Chapelle-auxsaints
(Classical type), Mt. Carmel (Progressive
(d) Rhodesian man.
(e) Homo sapiens — Cromagnon,
Grimaldi and Chancelede.
1.7 The biological basis of life: The Cell,
DNA structure and replication, Protein Synthesis,
Gene, Mutation, Chromosomes,
and Cell Division.
1.8 (a) Principles of Prehistoric Archaeology.
Chronology: Relative and Absolute
(b) Cultural Evolution- Broad Outlines of
(v) Copper-Bronze Age
(vi) Iron Age
2.1 The Nature of Culture: The concept
and characteristics of culture and civilization;
Ethnocentrism vis-à-vis cultural Relativism.
2.2 The Nature of Society: Concept of Society;
Society and Culture; Social Institutions;
Social groups; and Social stratification.
2.3 Marriage: Definition and universality;
Laws of marriage (endogamy, exogamy,
hypergamy, hypogamy, incest taboo);
Types of marriage (monogamy, polygamy,
polyandry, group marriage). Functions of
marriage; Marriage regulations (preferential,
prescriptive and proscriptive); Marriage
payments (bride wealth and dowry).
2.4 Family: Definition and universality;
Family, household and domestic groups;
functions of family; Types of family (from
the perspectives of structure, blood relation,
marriage, residence and succession);
Impact of urbanization, industrialization
and feminist movements on family.
2.5 Kinship: Consanguinity and Affinity;
Principles and types of descent (Unilineal,
Double, Bilateral, Ambilineal); Forms of
descent groups (lineage, clan, phratry, moiety
and kindred); Kinship terminology (descriptive
and classificatory); Descent, Filiation
and Complimentary Filiation; Descent
3. Economic organization: Meaning,
scope and relevance of economic anthropology;
Formalist and Substantivist debate;
Principles governing production, distribution
and exchange (reciprocity, redistribution
and market), in communities, subsisting
on hunting and gathering, fishing,
swiddening, pastoralism, horticulture, and
agriculture; globalization and indigenous
4. Political organization and Social Control:
Band, tribe, chiefdom, kingdom and
state; concepts of power, authority and legitimacy;
social control, law and justice in