Suggested Reading for Civil Services Mains (Optional) Examination
Political Science has been one of the conventional choices for preparation of Civil Services. However, Political Science in the recent years has become more technical, that is, it is seen as a subject which gives theoretical explanations for every practical development, both in national and international politics. This makes the subject more interesting, and understandable to even those students who do not have Political Science background. Since every man has some knowledge of politics, it makes a candidate more dynamic in all the stages of examination. As far as the preliminary syllabus is concerned it is short and manageable in a shorter period of time. Though the prelims questions contain lot of questions which are either based on quotations, or are implications arising out of the quotation, these could be tackled, if one adopts a systematic approach towards Political Thought; i.e. if one makes an attempt to understand the broad approach with which the political thinkers of one age philisophized. For example if the question deals with the ideal nature of state, then it could be assumed that the idealists (Plato, Rousseau, Kant) could have theorised on it. Hence this makes the case of selection through elimination very correct. The other part in the prelims syllabus deals with the constitutional aspects of Indian Politics, so it prepares the candidate not only for the subject, but also for the polity part of mains and prelims General Studies syllabus. It also contains the developments leading to the attainment of freedom on 15th August, 1947, thereby paving way for simultaneous preparation of Modern Indian History, which is an important part of prelims and mains General Studies Syllabus. As regards the mains syllabus of Political Science, it appears to be a bit lengthy. But a careful scrutiny of the syllabus reveals the fact that here again if one is able to understand the theoretical underpinnings of the practical developments, then not only the candidate can score good marks in the mains exam, but also emerge out as a person with immense knowledge, which could be fruitful in the interview stage.
Again the first paper of mains syllabus contains almost all the topics of the prelims syllabus. Hence if one is successful in the prelims, then this would mean that the mains part becomes more easy to understand. The second paper of the mains syllabus has International Politics as its content; Now with the change in the syllabus of General Studies (mains) where International Politics has been added to the syllabus, the second paper of political science (mains) assumes immense importance. Since it solves the twin purpose. The syllabus of International Politics has both the theoretical and practical aspect. It would be of immense importance to stress that this paper does not need too much of time for preparation. With one or two good books the theoretical part could be dealt and the practical part just becomes a chronology of events.
In the recent times questions in Political Science have become more reality oriented, much to do with thereotical understanding & present National and International politics. If a candidate just keeps a track of events in the National and International Politics, then answers can be made more balanced just by simply putting the happenings in the theoretical aspects.
It is also important to assert that a lot of subjects can be taken in combination to Political Science. Philosophy, Sociology, History, Anthropology are some of them as these subjects need the same approach of study, Philosophy and Sociology are in particular, very helpful as they have many parts in common to Political Science. It also should be noted that Political Science in the last two years atleast has become a subject which is in demand, simply because it is a subject which a candidate can score upto 400 marks which is quite creditable, and students of Vaid's ics Institute in the past have managed to score marks near about 400. Mr. N.K. Vaid (Director of Vaid's ICS) who is a renowned Anthropologist takes personal interst in this paper and tries to explain the implications of developments of National and International events. The faculty of Political Science comprises of leading scholars, who in the past have brought laurels to their subject. Hence Political Science is not only a safe optional, but it has assumed immense importance for any candidate, belonging to any discipline, who aspires for the highly coveted posts of Indian Civil Service exam.For preparation of Political Science, both for mains and prelims, here are some references.
Book List Prelims:
1.(a) (b) (c) 'Political Theory', —Eddy Ashirvatham
'Political Theory' —O.P. Gauba
'Political Theory' —Amal Ray, Mohit Bhattacharya.
2.(a) (b) (c) As above
(d) 'Comparative Politics' —R. Chilkote
1.Political Theory —Amal Ray & Mohit Bhattachary.
2.Introduction to Indian Constitution —D.D. Basu
3.(a) India's Struggle for Independence —Bipan Chandra.
(b) Introduction to Indian constitution —D.D. Basu.
(c) Our Parliament —S.C. Kashyap
(d) Our Constitution —S.C. Kashyap
(e) Comparative Govt. & Politics — V.N. Khanna
(f) Comparative Govt. & Politics —K.R. Bombwal
Paper I Section A
1.(a) A History of Political thought
—Subrata Mukherjee, Susheela Ramaswamy
(b) A History of Political thought —J.P. Suda
(c) For Manu & Kautilya : Foundations of Indian Political thought
— V.R. Mehta
2.(a) Modern Political Theory —S.P. Verma
(b) Modern Political Theory —Madan Gandhi
3.(a) Political Theory —Eddy Ashirvatham
(b) Political Theory —J.C. Johri
(c) Political Theory —Ray & Bhattacharya
(d) Political Theory —O.P. Gauba
Paper I Section B
1.(a) Comparative Govt. & Politics —J.C. Johri
(a) Comparative Govt. & Politics —Ronald Chilkote
2.(a) Modern Indian Political Thinkers —V.P. Verma
(b) Foundations of Indian Political Thought —V.R. Mehta
(c) Indian Govt. and Politics —A.S. Narang
(c) Indian Govt. and Politics —J.R. Siwach
(c) Indian Govt and Politics —M.P. Singh, Himanshu Roy
(d) Politics in India —Rajani Kothari
(e) Govt. and Politics of India —W.H. Morris Jones
Paper II Section A
1.(a) Theoretical aspects of International Politics
(b) Politics among Nations —Morganthu
(c) International Politics —Schuman
Paper II Section B
1.(a) International Politics —Bookhives
(b) Regular subscription of Frontline & World Focus (magazine)
Majority of Books referred for both mains and Prelims Syllabus are availabe in HIndi Medium also.
Optional Book List – Political Science