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
5. Religion: Anthropological approaches
to the study of religion (evolutionary, psychological
and functional); monotheism
and polytheism; sacred and profane; myths
and rituals; forms of religion in tribal and
peasant societies (animism, animatism,
fetishism, naturism and totemism); religion,
magic and science distinguished; magicoreligious
functionaries (priest, shaman,
medicine man, sorcerer and witch).
6. Anthropological theories:
(a) Classical evolutionism (Tylor, Morgan
(b) Historical particularism (Boas);
Diffusionism (British, German and
(c) Functionalism (Malinowski); Structural-
(d) Structuralism (L’evi - Strauss and E.
(e) Culture and personality (Benedict,
Mead, Linton, Kardiner and Cora - du
(f) Neo - evolutionism (Childe, White,
Steward, Sahlins and Service)
(g) Cultural materialism (Harris)
(h) Symbolic and interpretive theories
(Turner, Schneider and Geertz)
(i) Cognitive theories (Tyler, Conklin)
(j) Post- modernism in anthropology
7. Culture, language and communication:
Nature, origin and characteristics of language;
verbal and non-verbal communication;
social context of language use.
8. Research methods in anthropology:
(a) Fieldwork tradition in anthropology
(b) Distinction between technique,
method and methodology
(c) Tools of data collection: observation,
interview, schedules, questionnaire,
Case study, genealogy, life-history,
oral history, secondary sources of information,
(d) Analysis, interpretation and presentation
9.1 Human Genetics : Methods and Application:
Methods for study of genetic principles
in man-family study (pedigree analysis,
twin study, foster child, co-twin method,
cytogenetic method, chromosomal and
karyo-type analysis), biochemical methods,
immunological methods, D.N.A. technology
and recombinant technologies.
9.2 Mendelian genetics in man-family
study, single factor, multifactor, lethal, sublethal
and polygenic inheritance in man.
9.3 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 nonconsanguineous
mating, genetic load, ge-
40 UPSC Employment News 19 - 25 February 2011
netic effect of consanguineous and cousin
9.4 Chromosomes and chromosomal aberrations
in man, methodology.
(a) Numerical and structural aberrations
(b) Sex chromosomal aberrations –
Klinefelter (XXY), Turner (XO), Super
female (XXX), intersex and other
(c) Autosomal aberrations – Down syndrome,
Patau, Edward and Cri-du-chat
(d) Genetic imprints in human disease,
genetic screening, genetic counseling,
human DNA profiling, gene mapping
and genome study.
9.5 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 classification,
racial differentiation and race crossing
9.6 Age, sex and population variation as
genetic marker- ABO, Rh blood groups,
HLA Hp, transferring, Gm, blood enzymes.
Physiological characteristics-Hb level,
body fat, pulse rate, respiratory functions
and sensory perceptions in different cultural
and socio-economic groups.
9.7 Concepts and methods of Ecological
Anthropology. Bio-cultural Adaptations –
Genetic and Non- genetic factors. Man’s
physiological responses to environmental
stresses: hot desert, cold, high altitude climate.
9.8 Epidemiological Anthropology: Health
and disease. Infectious and non-infectious
diseases. Nutritional deficiency related diseases.
10. Concept of human growth and development:
stages of growth - pre-natal, natal,
infant, childhood, adolescence, maturity,
- Factors affecting growth and development
genetic, environmental, biochemical,
nutritional, cultural and
- Ageing and senescence. Theories and
observations - biological and chronological
longevity. Human physique and
somatotypes. Methodologies for
11.1 Relevance of menarche, menopause
and other bioevents to fertility. Fertility patterns
11.2 Demographic theories- biological,
social and cultural.
11.3 Biological and socio-ecological factors
influencing fecundity, fertility, natality
12. Applications of Anthropology: Anthropology
of sports, Nutritional anthropology,
Anthropology in designing of defence and
other equipments, Forensic Anthropology,
Methods and principles of personal identification
and reconstruction, Applied human
genetics – Paternity diagnosis, genetic
counseling and eugenics, DNA technology
in diseases and medicine,
serogenetics and cytogenetics in reproductive
PAPER – II:
1.1 Evolution of the Indian Culture and Civilization
— Prehistoric (Palaeolithic,
Mesolithic, Neolithic and Neolithic -
Chalcolithic). Protohistoric (Indus Civilization):
Pre- Harappan, Harappan and post-
Harappan cultures. Contributions of tribal
cultures to Indian civilization.
1.2 Palaeo – anthropological evidences
from India with special reference to Siwaliks
and Narmada basin (Ramapithecus,
Sivapithecus and Narmada Man).
1.3 Ethno-archaeology in India : The concept
of ethno-archaeology; Survivals and
Parallels among the hunting, foraging, fishing,
pastoral and peasant communities including
arts and crafts producing communities.
2. Demographic profile of India — Ethnic and
linguistic elements in the Indian population
and their distribution. Indian population - factors
influencing its structure and growth.
3.1 The structure and nature of traditional
Indian social system — Varnashram,
Purushartha, Karma, Rina and Rebirth.
3.2 Caste system in India- structure and
characteristics, Varna and caste, Theories
of origin of caste system, Dominant caste,
Caste mobility, Future of caste system,
Jajmani system, Tribe- caste continuum.
3.3 Sacred Complex and Nature- Man-
3.4 Impact of Buddhism, Jainism, Islam and
Christianity on Indian society.
4. Emergence and growth of anthropology
in India-Contributions of the 18th, 19th and
early 20th Century scholar-administrators.
Contributions of Indian anthropologists to
tribal and caste studies.
5.1 Indian Village: Significance of village
study in India; Indian village as a social
system; Traditional and changing patterns
of settlement and inter-caste relations;
Agrarian relations in Indian villages; Impact
of globalization on Indian villages.
5.2 Linguistic and religious minorities and
their social, political and economic status.
5.3 Indigenous and exogenous processes
of socio-cultural change in Indian society:
Sanskritization, Westernization, Modernization;
Inter-play of little and great traditions;
Panchayati raj and social change;
Media and social change.
6.1 Tribal situation in India – Bio-genetic
variability, linguistic and socio-economic
characteristics of tribal populations and
6.2 Problems of the tribal Communities —
land alienation, poverty, indebtedness, low
literacy, poor educational facilities, unemployment,
underemployment, health and
6.3 Developmental projects and their impact
on tribal displacement and problems
of rehabilitation. Development of forest
policy and tribals. Impact of urbanization
and industrialization on tribal populations.
7.1 Problems of exploitation and deprivation
of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled
Tribes and Other Backward Classes. Constitutional
safeguards for Scheduled Tribes
and Scheduled Castes.
7.2 Social change and contemporary tribal
societies: Impact of modern democratic institutions,
development programmes and
welfare measures on tribals and weaker
7.3 The concept of ethnicity; Ethnic conflicts
and political developments; Unrest
among tribal communities; Regionalism
and demand for autonomy; Pseudo-tribalism;
Social change among the tribes during
colonial and post-Independent India.
8.1 Impact of Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity,
Islam and other religions on tribal
8.2 Tribe and nation state — a comparative
study of tribal communities in India and
9.1 History of administration of tribal areas,
tribal policies, plans, programmes of
tribal development and their implementation.
The concept of PTGs (Primitive Tribal
Groups), their distribution, special
programmes for their development. Role
of N.G.O.s in tribal development.
9.2 Role of anthropology in tribal and rural
9.3 Contributions of anthropology to the
understanding of regionalism, communalism,
and ethnic and political movements.