UPSC was established as per the mandate of the Indian Constitution enshrined in Articles 315-323. It is the premier and completely independent recruiting agency for the Government of India. As per the Constitution the Government cannot exert any influence on the UPSC. UPSC is responsible for recruiting candidates for All India Services and various other Central Services as well as the Armed Forces of the Union of India.
Some of the important services for which the UPSC recruits candidates every year are the Indian Administrative Service, Indian Police Service, Indian Foreign Service, Indian Revenue Service, Indian Railway Service etc. through its Civil Services Examination.


(i) Indian Administrative Service
(ii) Indian Foreign Service
(iii) Indian Police Service
(iv) Indian P & T Accounts & Finance Service, Group ‘A’
(v) Indian Audit and Accounts Service, Group ‘A’
(vi) Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise), Group ‘A’
(vii) Indian Defence Accounts Service, Group ‘A’
(viii) Indian Revenue Service (I.T.), Group ‘A’
(ix) Indian Ordnance Factories Service, Group ‘A’ (Assistant Works Manager,Administration)
(x) Indian Postal Service, Group ‘A’
(xi) Indian Civil Accounts Service, Group ‘A’
(xii) Indian Railway Traffic Service, Group ‘A’
(xiii) Indian Railway Accounts Service, Group 'A'
(xiv) Indian Railway Personnel Service, Group ‘A’
(xv) Post of Assistant Security Commissioner in Railway Protection Force, Grp‘A’
(xvi) Indian Defence Estates Service, Group ‘A’
(xvii) Indian Information Service (Junior Grade), Group ‘A’
(xviii) Indian Trade Service, Group 'A' (Gr. III)
(xix) Indian Corporate Law Service, Group "A"
(xx) Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service, Group ‘B’ (Section Officer’s Grade)
(xxi) Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Civil Service, Group 'B'
(xxii) Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Police Service, Group 'B'
(xxiii) Pondicherry Civil Service, Group 'B'
(xxiv) Pondicherry Police Service, Group 'B

Online UPSC Coaching in Kolkata


The Union Public Service Commission, abbreviated as UPSC, is India’s premier central recruiting agency for Group ‘A’ officers of Government of India. The commission is responsible for appointments to and examinations for Group A posts of the union government under different professions. UPSC is responsible for recruiting candidates for the All India Services, Central Services and Cadres, as well as the Armed Forces of the Union of India. UPSC conducts a National Level Exam for 24 services under the Central & State Government of India.

IAS aspirants have been enrolling themselves for IAS Coaching in Kolkata with RICE Smart, they have been successful in cracking the exam over the years and have been coming out with flying colours. If you are the one who aspire to be an IAS officer and want to prepare for UPSC CSE, your search for the best UPSC coaching in Kolkata ends here. RICE is the correct choice for you. RICE is known as the provider for the best IAS coaching in Kolkata. RICE has a reputation of producing the best IAS exam results in the city. RICE has the best set of faculties, expert in IAS preparation and provides its students with the best IAS Exam preparation material. Availability of online IAS classes is an added advantage in the preparation process making it one of the top IAS coaching in Kolkata.



RICE Smart Pro

Live Online Classes:

7 days a week by HO and Branch faculty

Limited Batch:

Limited batch size with personalised attention


Interview Preparation

12 Monthly Exams:

Online + Offline

Doubt-Clearing and Discussion Session:

Once Month

Study Material:

All Study material and handouts in PDF format

Weekly Test:

Weekly M100 Test + Descriptive Test (Online)


Optional subject as add-on

Monthly Performance Discusion:

One-on-One online apointment with the teacher, once a month

Recorded Video Lectures:

100+ hours of introductory and advanced levels

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Physical Classes:

2-3 days a week by HO and Branch faculty


Optional Included

Study Material:

Printed Study material and handouts

12 Monthly Exams and 2 Semester Exam per year:


Weekly Test:

Weekly M100 Test(Classroom) + Descriptive Test (Online)

Monthly Performance Discussion:

One-on-One appointment with the teacher as required by students


Interview Preparation

Doubt-Clearing and Discussion Session:

As required by students

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WBCS Classic Course
GENCOM Classic Course

Age Eligibility

(1) A candidate must have attained the age of 21 years and must not have attained the age of 32 years on the 1st of August of the year of examination.

(2) The upper age-limit prescribed above will be relaxable:

  • up to a maximum of five years if a candidate belongs to a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe;
  • up to a maximum of three years in the case of candidates belonging to Other Backward Classes who are eligible to avail of reservation applicable to such candidates; up to a maximum of eight years in the case of Defence Services Personnel, disabled in operations during hostilities. up to a maximum of five years in the case of ex-servicemen including Commissioned Officers and Emergency Commissioned Officers (ECOs)/ Short Service Commissioned officers (SSCO).

Government strives to have a workforce which reflects gender balance and women candidates are encouraged to apply.

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The number of times a candidate can appear for the exam are given below:

  • General Category Candidates – 6
  • OBC Category Candidates – 9
  • SC/ST Candidates – Unlimited attempts till 37 years of age

Appearing to attempt one of the papers in the preliminary examination is counted as an attempt, including disqualification / cancellation of candidature. However, applying to appear for the exam but failing to attend is not counted as an attempt.

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Educational Qualification

● Minimum (to add)educational qualification for UPSC exam: The candidate must hold a degree from a Government recognised University or possess an equivalent qualification.
● Candidates who are in their final year or awaiting results are also eligible to appear for UPSC preliminary Examination. All such candidates who are likely to appear for IAS exams must produce proof of having passed the said examination along with the application for the main IAS examination.
● Candidates having professional and technical qualifications recognised by the Government as equivalent to professional and technical degrees.
● Medical students who have passed the final year of MBBS, but are yet to complete their
internships also have eligibility for IAS. Although, along with the Main Examination application, a certificate of course completion including internship from the concerned authority of the University/Institution has to be submitted.
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UPSC releases the cut off marks for qualification each year after the examination. The UPSC CSE cut off is determined based on various parameters such as the difficulty level of the exam, the average performance of the candidates, the number of vacancies, etc.
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UPSC CSE Exam Stages/Process

It is a 3-stage exam, which is as under:

  • UPSC CSE Prelims Exam
  • UPSC CSE Mains Exam
  • UPSC CSE Personality Test

UPSC CSE Prelims exam is only a screening test to shortlist candidates for the UPSC CSE Main Exam. Candidates who qualify in the UPSC Main Exam are eligible for the interview. The Main and Interview scores are counted for the final merit list.

The complete UPSC CSE exam pattern 2021 is mentioned below-

The first stage of the exam i.e., the Civil Services Preliminary Exam is only a screening test and is conducted to shortlist candidates for the Main Examination. Marks secured in Preliminary Exam are not taken into account while preparing the final merit list.

Preliminary Exam consists of two papers of objective type carrying 200 marks each.


No. of Papers 2 compulsory papers
Type of Questions Objective (MCQ) type
Total Maximum Marks 400 (200 each paper)
Duration of Exam 2 hrs. each (20 minutes per hour extra time for blind

candidates & candidate with Locomotor Disability & Cerebral Palsy [minimum 40% impairment])

Negative Marking One third (1/3) of the mark assigned to a question for each incorrect answer
Medium of Exam Bilingual (Hindi & English)


  1. General Studies Paper – I Syllabus

It has 100 questions covering the following topics and carrying a maximum of 200 marks. Time allotted is 2 hours. The score of this paper determines the cut off marks for the Prelims.

  • Current events of National & International importance.
  • History of India & Indian National Movement.
  • Indian & World Geography – Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India & the World.
  • Indian Polity & Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
  • Economic & Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
  • General issues on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity & climate change – that do not require subject specialization.
  • General Science.


UPSC Prelims Paper 1 Subject-Wise Analysis of last five years questions
Subject Number of questions
History 18
Economy 17
Polity 20
Environment & Ecology 20
Geography 8
Science & Technology 7
Current Affairs 10
Total 100


  1. General Studies Paper-II Syllabus

It comprises of 80 questions from the following topics carrying a maximum of 200 marks to be solved in 2 hours. This paper is a qualifying paper and the candidate has to score a minimum of 33% marks to qualify in this paper. The score of this paper is not counted for screening purpose. Reading Comprehension and Answering Questions after passages. About 8-10 passages may be there. 

  • Logical reasoning & analytical ability.
  • Decision making & problem solving.
  • General mental ability.
  • Basic numeracy (numbers & their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level),
  • Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency, etc. – Class X level)

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UPSC IAS Main Exam Pattern & Syllabus

  • Civil Services Main Examination consists of a written examination and interview (personality test).
  • The written Examination consists of the following papers divided into 2 categories – qualifying & papers to be counted for the merit list.


Qualifying Papers Marks
Paper-A One of the Indian Language to be selected by the candidate from the

Languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution

Paper-B English 300
Papers to be Counted for Merit List
Paper-I Essay 250
Paper-II General Studies-I (Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society) 250
Paper-III General Studies-II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and

International relations)

Paper-IV General Studies-III (Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity,

Environment, Security and Disaster Management)

Paper-V General Studies-IV (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude) 250
Paper-VI Optional Subject – Paper 1 250
Paper-VII Optional Subject – Paper 2 250
Sub Total (Written Test) 1750
Personality Test 275
Grand Total 2025

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Syllabus of UPSC Main Examination Papers

1. Qualifying Papers on Indian Languages and English: The pattern of questions would be broadly as follows:

A. English Language:
I. Comprehension of given passages
II. Precis Writing
III. Usage and Vocabulary
IV. Short Essays
B. Indian Languages:
I. Comprehension of given passages
II. Precis Writing
III. Usage and Vocabulary
IV. Short Essays
V. Translation from English to the Indian Language and vice-versa

2. The Seven papers of the Main Examination
C. Paper-I: Essay
Two essays are to be written taking one from each group. Each group normally contains four topics. Candidates are expected to write precisely without any digression from the topic. Facts are less important than the ideas. The essays are actually a test of the mental horizon of the students as well as their ability to express their thoughts concisely in correct and lucid language.

D. PAPER-II (Marks: 250 | Duration: 3 hours) GENERAL STUDIES: Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society.
I. Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
II. Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present significant events, personalities, issues.
III. The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.
IV. Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.
V. History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution,
world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political
philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.— their forms and effect on the society.
VI. Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.
VII. Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.
VIII. Effects of globalization on Indian society.
IX. Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.
X. Salient features of world’s physical geography.
XI. Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian sub-continent); factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world (including India).
XII. Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, tsunami, volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location-changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

I. General Studies‐ II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations.
II. Indian Constitution—historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.
III. Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.
IV. Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.
V. Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries.
VI. Parliament and State legislatures—structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.
VII. Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary—Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.
VIII. Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.
IX. Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
X. Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.
XI. Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
XII. Development processes and the development industry —the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.
XIII. Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
XIV. Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
XV. Issues relating to poverty and hunger.
XVI. Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.
XVII. Role of civil services in a democracy.
XVIII. India and its neighbourhood- relations.
XIX. Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
XX. Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests,Indian diaspora.
XXI. Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

I. General Studies‐III: Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Environment,
Security and Disaster Management
II. Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth,
development and employment.
III. Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.
IV. Government Budgeting.
V. Major crops-cropping patterns in various parts of the country, – different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers.
VI. Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public
Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.
VII. Food processing and related industries in India- scope and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.
VIII. Land reforms in India.
IX. Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on
industrial growth.
X. Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.
XI. Investment models.
XII. Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.
XIII. Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and
developing new technology.
XIV. Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
XV. Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.
XVI. Disaster and disaster management.
XVII. Linkages between development and spread of extremism.
XVIII. Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.
XIX. Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social
networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security,money-laundering and its prevention.
XX. Security challenges and their management in border areas – linkages of organized crime with terrorism.
XXI. Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.

I. General Studies‐ IV: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude. This paper will include questions to test the candidates’ attitude and approach to issues relating to integrity, probity in public life and his problem solving approach to various issues and conflicts faced by him in dealing with society. Questions may utilize the case study approach to determine these aspects.
The following broad areas will be covered:
I. Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in-human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics – in private and public relationships. Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of family society and educational institutions in inculcating values.
II. Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.
III. Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service, integrity, impartiality and
non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker-sections.
IV. Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance.
V. Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and the world.
VI. Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.
VII. Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity; Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.
VIII. Case Studies on above issues

Optional Subject Papers I & II
NOTE: Paper VI & VII are two papers of any one optional subject that the candidate may choose from amongst the List of Optional Subjects given by UPSC.
Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science
Civil Engineering
Commerce and Accountancy
Electrical Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Medical Science
Political Science and International Relations
Public Administration
Literature of any one of the following languages: Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu and English
Presently RICE IAS Academy offers four (4) Optional subjects to its students for which the detailed syllabus is given below-

HISTORY : As an Optional Subject

“History is not was, It is.” – William Faulkner.

It is who we are and why we are the way we are. It’s the past speaking to the present. Taking lessons from it is our responsibility.

At present history optional is becoming increasingly popular among aspirants for all the right reasons.

  • Shruti Sharma, UPSC CSE 2021 Rank 1, had history as her optional subject.
  • Before her it was Aparajita UPSC CSE 2017 Rank 40, Ishwar Kumar Kandoo UPSC CSE 2017 Rank 187, Gazal Bhawrdwaj UPSC 2015 Rank 40, Surabhi Mallik UPSC CSE 2011 Rank 51, Agam Jain UPSC CSE 2015 Rank 133 and so on.
  • These are just a few examples.
  • Ishwar Kumar Kandoo secured the highest by getting 316 marks.

Before delving into why you must take history as your optional let us bust a few myths :

  1. Lengthy – A serious candidate must focus more on interest and utility rather than length because the exam you are preparing for itself has a lengthy syllabus. Preparing history optional is a one-time full proof investment of your time and it will cover a significant portion of your Prelims and GS syllabus.
  2. Remembering dates and names of Kings- UPSC no longer focuses on dates and names rather focuses on your understanding.
  3. Have to read a lot- History optional is about reading less and revising more. The class notes and references will suffice.
  4. Not scoring – Any optional is not scoring if you don’t prepare it well. Those who were sincere have scored above 300 marks and so can you.
  5. It is boring- It depends on how it is taught. We at RICE Institute ensure you of an unconventional and interesting approach.

Why choose history optional?

  1. It has a consistent selection rate.
  2. It helps you prepare for Prelims, Mains and optional all at once. Knowing the vast syllabus of this exam, it is a major relief.
  3. It is inter-related and follows a fixed chronology. You need to give one time effort and you can reap its benefits year on year.
  4. Beneficial not just for UPSC Civil Service Exam but also all other competitive exams including State Civil Services.
  5. Helps in GS paper 3 as well where one must know about issues like Naxalism, Communism, Communalism and so on because all of these have their roots in history.
  6. Knowing about the past is very important to understand the issues of the present.
  7. Helps you make your other answers interesting by citing unique examples from history.
  8. It will also help in the interview because if you explain the historical context to substantiate your answer, it will give the impression that you have in-depth knowledge of current issues.
  9. Teaches you the art of answer writing and helps enrich your essays.
  10. Also RICE Institute will provide you with the expertise of experienced faculty from Delhi as well as Kolkata.
  • To sum it up, analyse the cost to benefit ratio yourself and choose rationally.
  • Looking forward to having you onboard.


SOCIOLOGY : As an Optional Subject
▪ Sociology ‐ The Discipline:
I. Modernity and social changes in Europe and emergence of Sociology.
II. Scope of the subject and comparison with other social sciences.
III. Sociology and common sense.

▪ Sociology as Science:
I. Science, scientific method and critique.
II. Major theoretical strands of research methodology.
III. Positivism and its critique.
IV. Fact value and objectivity.
V. Non-positivist methodologies.

▪ Research Methods and Analysis:
I. Qualitative and quantitative methods.
II. Techniques of data collection.
III. Variables, sampling, hypothesis, reliability and validity.

▪ Sociological Thinkers:
I. Karl Marx – Historical materialism, mode of production, alienation, class struggle.
II. Emile Durkhteim – Division of labour, social fact, suicide, religion and society.
III. Max Weber – Social action, ideal types, authority, bureaucracy, protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism.
IV. Talcott Parsons – Social system, pattern variables.
V. Robert K. Merton – Latent and manifest functions, conformity and deviance, reference groups.
VI. Mead – Self and identity.

▪ Stratification and Mobility:
I. Concepts – equality, inequality, hierarchy, exclusion, poverty and deprivation.
II. Theories of social stratification – Structural functionalist theory, Marxist theory, Weberian theory.
III. Dimensions – Social stratification of class, status groups, gender, ethnicity and race.
IV. Social mobility – open and closed systems, types of mobility, sources and causes of mobility.

▪ Works and Economic Life:
I. Social organization of work in different types of society – slave society, feudal society, industrial capitalist society.
II. Formal and informal organization of work.
III. Labour and society.

▪ Politics and Society:
I. Sociological theories of power.
II. Power elite, bureaucracy, pressure groups and political parties.
III. Nation, state, citizenship, democracy, civil society, ideology.
IV. Protest, agitation, social movements, collective action, revolution.

▪ Religion and Society:
I. Sociological theories of religion.
II. Types of religious practices: animism, monism, pluralism, sects, cults.
III. Religion in modern society: religion and science, secularization, religious revivalism, fundamentalism.

▪ Systems of Kinship:
I. Family, household, marriage.
II. Types and forms of family.
III. Lineage and descent.
IV. Patriarchy and sexual division of labour.
V. Contemporary trends.

▪ Social Change in Modern Society :
I. Sociological theories of social change.
II. Development and dependency.
III. Agents of social change.
IV. Education and social change.
V. Science, technology and social change.

1. Introducing Indian Society :
A. Perspectives on the Study of Indian Society :
I. Indology (G.S. Ghure).
II. Structural functionalism (M. N. Srinivas).
III. Marxist sociology (A. R. Desai).
B. Impact of colonial rule on Indian society :
I. Social background of Indian nationalism.
II. Modernization of Indian tradition.
III. Protests and movements during the colonial period.
IV. Social reforms.
2. Social Structure:
A. Rural and Agrarian Social Structure:
I. The idea of Indian village and village studies.
II. Agrarian social structure—evolution of land tenure system, land reforms
A. Caste System:
(a) Perspectives on the study of caste systems: G. S. Ghurye, M. N. Srinivas, Louis Dumont,
Andre Beteille.
(b) Features of caste system.
(c) Untouchability-forms and perspectives
(iii) Tribal Communities in India:
(a) Definitional problems.
(b) Geographical spread.
(c) Colonial policies and tribes.
(d) Issues of integration and autonomy.

(iv) Social Classes in India:
(a) Agrarian class structure.
(b) Industrial class structure.
(c) Middle classes in India.

(v) Systems of Kinship in India:
(a) Lineage and descent in India.
(b) Types of kinship systems.
(c) Family and marriage in India.
(d) Household dimensions of the family.
(e) Patriarchy, entitlements and sexual division of labour.
(vi) Religion and Society :
(a) Religious communities in India.
(b) Problems of religious minorities.
C. Social Changes in India:
(i) Visions of Social Change in India:
(a) Idea of development planning and mixed economy.
(b) Constitution, law and social change.
(c) Education and social change.

(ii) Rural and Agrarian Transformation in India:
(a) Programmes of rural development, Community Development Programme, cooperatives,
poverty alleviation schemes.
(b) Green revolution and social change.
(c) Changing modes of production in Indian agriculture.
(d) Problems of rural labour, bondage, migration
(iii) Industrialization and Urbanisation in India:
(a) Evolution of modern industry in India.
(b) Growth of urban settlements in India.
(c) Working class: structure, growth, class mobilization.
(d) Informal sector, child labour.
(e) Slums and deprivation in urban areas.
(iv) Politics and Society :
(a) Nation, democracy and citizenship.
(b) Political parties, pressure groups, social and political elite.
(c) Regionalism and decentralization of power.
(d) Secularization.
(v) Social Movements in Modern India :
(a) Peasants and farmers movements.
(b) Women’s movement.
(c) Backward classes & Dalit movements.
(d) Environmental movements.
(e) Ethnicity and Identity movements.
(vi) Population Dynamics :
(a) Population size, growth, composition and distribution.
(b) Components of population growth: birth, death, migration.
(c) Population Policy and family planning.
(d) Emerging issues: ageing, sex ratios, child and infant mortality, reproductive health.
(vii) Challenges of Social Transformation :
(a) Crisis of development : displacement, environmental problems and sustainability.
(b) Poverty, deprivation and inequalities.
(c) Violence against women.
(d) Caste conflicts.
(e) Ethnic conflicts, communalism, religious revivalism.
(f) Illiteracy and disparities in education.

Geography: As an optional Subject

Geography is the ground on which we stand, use it for your stand in UPSC.

Although selecting the optional subject for the UPSC civil service mains exam is a personal decision but that decision must have some logical ground. Every individual has unique strengths and weaknesses as well as different educational and professional backgrounds and these are the factors which contribute in ensuring competitive advantages to an aspirant. So, the decision related to optional subject must be based on one’s educational and professional background as well as strengths and weaknesses. Apart from this, a candidate must weigh the pros and cons of a particular optional subject and if the pros outweigh the cons, he should go with it.

In this article I will talk about Geography as an optional subject, and will give candidates an answer to the question, why is geography a good optional for UPSC CSE.

What attracts aspirants towards geography?

  • Geography is a blend of science and humanities. Due to this, it is preferred by many aspirants from science, medical and engineering as well as humanity backgrounds.
  • Geography also has a lot of overlap with subjects like economics, environment, ecology and conservation which makes it more interesting, relevant, and dynamic.
  • Geography is a scoring subject because unlike pure humanities subjects, there is not much requirement for mugging up and interpretation. Only concepts need to be understood. Also, diagrams, flowchart, etc. can be used to get more marks. The map-based questions are also scoring.
  • The definite syllabus of Geography and availability of standard books and study materials make it easy for the candidates and encourage them to go for it.
  • Success Rate of the subject is very high. There have been toppers with this optional in the previous years. The most famous topper is Ira Singhal who topped the civil services exam in 2015. Also, in the 2016 UPSC exam, rank 4 holder Soumya Panday had taken Geography as her optional subject.

An analysis of success rate:

Year No. of candidate appeared in mains Finally Recommended
2017 2669 147
2016 4049 236
2015 4351 314
2014 3158 178

● It has tremendous overlap with General Studies both in prelims and the mains. Candidates can also use what they learn in Geography in their essay paper on various topics. Even in the UPSC personality test, Geography will be useful as the board can ask questions on the local geography of a candidate’s home town like soil, vegetation, minerals, environmental issues, geopolitics, climate change etc.
● Contribution of geography at different level of exam.


How to maximize score?

  • As Geography has a lot of overlapping with subjects like economics, environment, ecology and conservation. Interlinking of these subjects will help in fetching good marks.
  • Use of geographical languages, use of maps and diagrams and substantiating the answer with examples will also maximize the marks.


  • From the past few years, UPSC has asked questions based on contemporary issues and theories.
  • Unconventional Questions are also asked and some questions are beyond books and syllabus.
  • The biggest challenge about Geography is that it has a rather huge syllabus.

RICE IAS Institute is here to guide you and make you ready to tackle these challenges. We have well planned and scientifically designed course and study materials along with periodic tests, sectional as well as comprehensive. The process which we follow here, will keep you in resonance with the evolving pattern and difficulty level of the exam and will ensure your success in UPSC CSE exam.

Political Theory and Indian Politics :
1. Political Theory: meaning and approaches.
2. Theories of state : Liberal, Neo-liberal, Marxist, Pluralist, post-colonial and Feminist.
3. Justice : Conceptions of justice with special reference to Rawl’s theory of justice and its
communitarian critiques.
4. Equality: Social, political and economic; relationship between equality and freedom;
Affirmative action.
5. Rights : Meaning and theories; different kinds of rights; Concept of Human Rights.
6. Democracy : Classical and contemporary theories; different models of democracy—representative, participatory and deliberative.
7. Concept of power : hegemony, ideology and legitimacy.
8. Political Ideologies : Liberalism, Socialism, Marxism, Fascism, Gandhism and Feminism.
9. Indian Political Thought: Dharamshastra, Arthashastra and Buddhist Traditions; Sir Syed
Ahmed Khan, Sri Aurobindo, M. K. Gandhi, B. R. Ambedkar, M. N. Roy.
10. Western Political Thought : Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, John S. Mill, Marx, Gramsci, Hannah Arendt.
Indian Government and Politics

1. Indian Nationalism:
(a) Political Strategies of India’s Freedom Struggle : Constitutionalism to mass Satyagraha,
Non-cooperation, Civil Disobedience; Militant and Revolutionary Movements, Peasant and
Workers Movements.
(b) Perspectives on Indian National Movement; Liberal, Socialist and Marxist; Radical
Humanist and Dalit.
2. Making of the Indian Constitution: Legacies of British rule; different social and political perspectives.
3. Salient Features of the Indian Constitution : The Preamble, Fundamental Rights and Duties, Directive Principles; Parliamentary System and Amendment Procedures; Judicial Review and Basic Structure doctrine.
4. (a) Principal Organs of the Union Government : Envisaged role and actual working of the
Executive, Legislature and Supreme Court.
(b) Principal Organs of the State Government : Envisaged role and actual working of the
Executive, Legislature and High Courts.
5. Grassroots Democracy : Panchayati Raj and Municipal Government; Significance of 73rd and 74th Amendments; Grassroot movements.
6. Statutory Institutions/Commissions : Election Commission, Comptroller and Auditor General, Finance Commission, Union Public Service Commission, National Commission for Scheduled Castes, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, National Commission for Women; National Human Rights Commission, National Commission for Minorities, National Backward Classes Commission.
7. Federalism : Constitutional provisions; changing nature of centre-state relations;
integrationist tendencies and regional aspirations; inter-state disputes.
8. Planning and Economic development : Nehruvian and Gandhian perspectives; Role of planning and public sector; Green Revolution, land reforms and agrarian relations; liberalization and economic reforms.
9. Caste, Religion and Ethnicity in Indian Politics.
10. Party System : National and regional political parties, ideological and social bases of parties; Patterns of coalition politics; Pressure groups, trends in electoral behaviour; changing socio-economic profile of Legislators.
11. Social Movement: Civil liberties and human rights movements; women’s movements; environmentalist movements.

Comparative Politics and International Relations
Comparative Political Analysis and International Politics
1. Comparative Politics : Nature and major approaches; Political economy and political sociology perspectives; Limitations of the comparative method.
2. State in Comparative Perspective : Characteristics and changing nature of the State in
capitalist and socialist economies, and advanced industrial and developing societies.
3. Politics of Representation and Participation : Political parties, pressure groups and social
movements in advanced industrial and developing societies.
4. Globalisation : Responses from developed and developing societies.
5. Approaches to the Study of International Relations : Idealist, Realist, Marxist, Functionalist and Systems theory.
6. Key Concepts in International Relations : National interest, security and power; Balance of power and deterrence; Transnational actors and collective security; World capitalist economy and globalisation.
7. Changing International Political Order :
(a) Rise of superpowers; Strategic and ideological bipolarity, arms race and cold war; Nuclear threat;
(b) Non-aligned Movement : Aims and achievements.
(c) Collapse of the Soviet Union; Unipolarity and American hegemony; Relevance of non-alignment in the contemporary world.
8. Evolution of the International Economic System : From Bretton Woods to WTO; Socialist economies and the CMEA (Council for Mutual Economic Assistance); Third World demand for new international economic order; Globalisation of the world economy.
9. United Nations : Envisaged role and actual record; Specialized UN agencies—aims and functioning; need for UN reforms.
10. Regionalisation of World Politics : EU, ASEAN, APEC, AARC, NAFTA.
11. Contemporary Global Concerns : Democracy, human rights, environment, gender justice terrorism, nuclear proliferation.

India and the World
1. Indian Foreign Policy : Determinants of foreign policy; the institutions of policy-making; Continuity and change.
2. India’s Contribution to the Non-Alignment Movement, Different phases; Current role.
3. India and South Asia :
(a) Regional Cooperation : SAARC-past performance and future prospects.
(b) South Asia as a Free Trade Area.
(c) India’s “Look East” policy.
(d) Impediments to regional cooperation : River water disputes; illegal cross border
migration; Ethnic conflicts and insurgencies; Border disputes.
4. India and the Global South : Relations with Africa and Latin America; Leadership role in the demand for NIEO and WTO negotiations.
5. India and the Global Centres of Power : USA, EU, Japan, China and Russia.
6. India and the UN System: Role in UN Peace-keeping; Demand for Permanent Seat in the Security Council.
7. India and the Nuclear Question : Changing perceptions and policy.
8. Recent developments in Indian Foreign Policy : India’s position on the recent crises in Afghanistan, Iraq and West Asia, growing relations with US and Israel; Vision of a new world order.

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