Paper – I

Political Theory and Indian Politics:

  1. Political Theory: meaning and approaches.
  2. Theories of the State: Liberal, Neoliberal, 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:

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.

  1. Making of the Indian Constitution: Legacies of the British rule; different social and political perspectives.
  2. 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.
  3. (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.
  1. Grassroots Democracy: Panchayati Raj and Municipal Government; significance of 73rd and 74th Amendments; Grassroot movements.
  2. 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.
  3. Federalism: Constitutional provisions; changing nature of centre-state relations; integrationist tendencies and regional aspirations; inter-state disputes.
  4. Planning and Economic Development : Nehruvian and Gandhian perspectives; role of planning and public sector; Green Revolution, land reforms and agrarian relations; liberalilzation and economic reforms.
  5. Caste, Religion and Ethnicity in Indian Politics.
  6. 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.
  7. Social Movements: Civil liberties and human rights movements; women’s movements; environmentalist movements.

Political Science Paper – II Syllabus

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 globalization.
  7. Changing International Political Order:

(a) The rise of superpowers; strategic and ideological Bipolarity, the 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.

  1. Evolution of the International Economic System: From Brettonwoods 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.

  1. Regionalisation of World Politics: EU, ASEAN, APEC, SAARC, NAFTA.
  2. Contemporary Global Concerns: Democracy, human rights, environment, gender justice, terrorism, nuclear proliferation.

India and the World:

  1. Indian Foreign Policy: Determinants of foreign policy; 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 Co-operation: SAARC – past performance and future prospects.

(b) South Asia as a Free Trade Area.

(c) India’s “Look East” policy.

(d) Impediments to regional co-operation: river water disputes; illegal cross-border migration; ethnic conflicts and insurgencies; border disputes.

  1. India and the Global South: Relations with Africa and Latin America; leadership role in the demand for NIEO and WTO negotiations.
  2. India and the Global Centres of Power: USA, EU, Japan, China and Russia.
  3. India and the UN System: Role in UN Peace-keeping; demand for Permanent Seat in the Security Council.
  4. India and the Nuclear Question: Changing perceptions and policy.
  5. Recent developments in Indian Foreign policy: India’s position on the recent crisis in Afghanistan, Iraq and West Asia, growing relations with US and Israel; vision of a new world order.

Reference Books:

Paper I Section A

  • A History of Political thought -J.P. Suda
  • A History of Political thought -Subrata Mukherjee, Susheela Ramaswamy
  • For Manu & Kautilya – Foundations of Indian Political thought V.R. Mehta
  • Modern Political Theory-Madan Gandhi
  • Modern Political Theory-S.P. Verma
  • Political Theory-Eddy Ashirvatham
  • Political Theory-J.C. Johri
  • Political Theory-Ray & Bhattacharya

Paper I Section B

  • Comparative Govt. & Politics-J.C. Johri
  • Comparative Govt. & Politics-Ronald Chilkote
  • Foundations of Indian Political Thought-V.R. Mehta
  • Govt. and Politics of India-W H Morris Jones
  • Indian Govt and Politics-M P Singh, Himanshu Roy
  • Indian Govt. and Politics-A.S. Narang
  • Indian Govt. and Politics-J R Siwach
  • Modern Indian Political Thinkers-V.P. Verma
  • Politics in India-Rajani Kothari

Paper II Section A

  • International Politics-Schuman
  • Politics among Nations-Morganthu
  • Theoretical aspects of International Politics-Mahendra Kumar

Paper II Section B

  • International Politics-Bookhives
  • Regular issues of Frontline & World Focus (magazine)
Optional notes:available under mentorship program.



  • One of major pros of choosing this optional is the considerable overlap with general studies paper (GS).
  • For example,
    • GS paper 1 – History (Post independence India)
    • GS paper 2 – Polity and International Relations
    • GS paper 3 – Planning and economic development, land reforms, political economy
    • GS paper 4 – Ethics (Thinkers theory, ideas of justice and equality)
  • This subject has many topics which one can relate to the daily happenings and hence makes it easy to understand.


  • syllabus is vast and comprehensive just like the name of the subject.
  • Like any other optional, one is expected to refer to multiple sources and the dynamic nature of the syllabus can pose a big challenge
  • Political science, being a subject of liberal arts suffers from the disadvantage that a mark one scores in the exam depends on the approach

How to prepare:

  • Memorise the Syllabus.
  • Stick to limited reference books
  • Before starting preparation, go through previous year qps
  • While writing your paper, be clear about which points to include and which to avoid. Reading limited material obviates such a situation.
  • Make your own short notes that will help for revision.
  • Relate one theory with another. ex: you can relate a Western Thinkers’ theory with something contemporary happening in IR, it can fetch some extra marks.
  • Do read the Editorials in IE or Hindu on contemporary Political Turmoils by Christophe Jaffrelot, Milan Vaishnav, Suhas Palashikar or any other psephologists to gain a new perspective
  • For paper 1 ,quote contemporary issues and their timeline to give your answer an added edge.
  • Relating the issues with Indian perspective/response will be advantageous
  • For paper 2 part B,newspaper reading becomes extremely important. Reading Editorials penned by C Raja Mohan, Lisa Curtis, Nirupama Rao, Rakesh Sood, Ashley Tellis, etc. can enhance your perspective as well as would be helpful to you in quoting in any relevant questions.
  • The more you practice, the better. Just reading won’t cut much ice. So, write as many test papers as you can. Get it checked from your teacher or get it peer-reviewed.

Previous Year Question Papers:


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