Anthropology Paper-II Syllabus, Books and Strategy by Anudeep Durishetty, All India Rank 1, UPSC CSE 2017

1.1 – Indian Prehistory, Indus Civilisation, Contribution of tribal cultures, etc.

1.2 – Indian Fossils

  • Prepare notes for a comprehensive 15 marker on Ramapithecus, Sivapithecus and Narmada Man
  • For all answers, you should quote the archaeologist name, the site and the year of discovery and its significance
  • Draw a phylogenetic to illustrate where that particular fossil fits in the whole chain

1.3 – Ethno-archaeology in India –I skipped this topic for lack of time

2 – Demographic and Linguistic Profile

  • Source: Nadeem Hasnain and Brain Tree
  • Thoroughly prepare map of profile distribution – both ethnic and linguistic
  • Cram Risley’s and Guha’s Classification i.e., memorise the physical characteristics and other features of each of the race they described. Also prepare on criticism of their classification. Basically  you need to have holistic content for a 15 marker question from this section

3.1 – Indian Social System- Varnashram, Karma, Rina, Rebirth

3.2  – Caste system in India, Varna and Caste, Theories, Caste Mobility, Dominant Caste etc

  • Indian Anthropology by Hasnain and Internet to understand about Sociology theories little more deeply
  • You can prepare notes for easy revision. It’s a static part and so if a question comes from this section, you must answer well.
  • Have a solid grip over the works of MN Srinivas, Ghurye, Louis Dumont and other sociologists. Use internet to make in-depth notes.
  • When discussing a concept, always remember to quote the relevant anthropologist name, tribe’s name, village name, and the name of their publication. Eg: Wiser’s work on Jajmani system, Bailey’s on Tribe-caste continuum etc. Also mention scholarly criticism of that concept by other anthropologists etc. You must answer like a specialist, not a generalist.
  • Write about contemporary relevance of these social systems in Indian Society with examples to substantiate the concept.

3.3 Sacred Complex, Nature Man Spirit

  • Indian Anthropology by Hasnain
  • Also mention about BN Saraswati’s work. You can use internet for getting details
  • Link it to contemporary relevance too. Mention how when tribes that get displaced the balance inherent between NMS get disturbed.
  • Use schematic to improve presentation.

3.4 – Impact of Buddhism, Jainism, Islam and Christianity on Indian Society

4 – Emergence and growth of Anthro in India, Contributions

5.1 – Indian Village Studies etc.

  • I did not find any concrete material for this topic. I prepared very basic stuff from BrainTree.
  • Apart from it, wherever relevant I used to quote important village studies of major anthropologists like Redfield and interlink with the concepts that emerged out of their studies.
  • Also prepare scholarly criticisms of these concepts. Adding a brief line or two about the relevance of these studies on contemporary Indian society would enrich your answer.

5.2 – Linguistic and religious minorities etc.

  • Prepared completely from Anthropology Simplified by Vivek Bhasme
  • Wherever relevant quote Constitutional provisions regarding minorities
  • Give some contemporary relevance. For instance, when you talk about any minority community, try and quote any govt scheme specifically designed to benefit the community and its evaluation.

5.3 – Indigenous and exogenous processes of socio-cultural change Sanskritization etc..

6.1 – Tribal Situation in India – bio-genetic variability etc.

6.2 and 6.3 – Tribal Problems

  • Tribal India + Anthropology Simplified
  • Prepare notes from Xaxa report to enrich your answers
  • Always be mindful of being specific. Don’t just say tribes are afflicted with ill-health and indebtedness. Tell the examiner which specific tribe suffers from which problem, its underlying cause, latest statistics, govt schemes, criticisms, and way forward. Quote relevant case studies with separate side heading to draw examiner’s attention.

7.1 – Problems of SC/STs, OBCs etc, Constitutional Safeguards

  • Tribal India + Anthropology Simplified
  • Memorize all the Constitutional safeguards, articles, etc.
  • Xaxa report has excellent content for this topic.

7.2 – Social change and contemporary tribal societies

  • Source: Hasnain’s Tribal India
  • The problem with this topic is that the questions would be very generic. The challenge is to make your write answers that stand out.
  • You can do this through value addition. Memorize tribal examples, case studies and explain the specificity of the problem of a certain tribe and how it was/is being impacted by development. For instance, some tribes suffer from ill health while others from outright displacement. Be specific when you quote your examples. That’s how you make a mark on the examiner’s mind.
  • Suggest a good way forward as conclusion (Xaxa committee report has many good recommendations)

7.3 – Ethnicity, Tribal Unrest, Regionalism, etc

  • I prepared this topic from Tribal India and Anthropology Simplified

8.1 – Impact of religions on tribes

8.2 – Tribe and nation state –I skipped it for lack of time

9.1 – History of tribal administration, PVTGs, role of NGOs etc.

  • I prepared this topic from Tribal India and Xaxa report.
  • Names of important PVTGs, how they are defined, their location, specific problems, current statistics, govt schemes related to them must be on your finger tips. Have a rough idea of which PVTGs reside in which part of the country. Wherever relevant, draw India map to illustrate.
  • Value addition: Yojana 2014 edition on Tribals
  • Watch out for latest news/legislations related to PVTGs and quote them in your answers. PRS website is a good resource.
  • Use internet for understanding about important NGOs doing work in this sector

9.2 – Role of anthropology in tribal and rural development

  • Tribal India + Anthropology Simplified
  • Value addition: Yojana 2014 edition on Tribals
  • Write about Action Anthropology content of Paper I and the thinkers associated with it. Enrich your answer with examples and case studies in Indian context

9.3 – Contribution of Anthro to understanding of regionalism, etc.

  • Prepare a generic GS answer on each topic.
  • Quote examples of regionalism and ethnic movements (you can give any tribal movement as an example) and underlying causes
  • Way forward as conclusion

Endnote: In Anthro Paper-2, you can inculcate the following things to NOT make your write up look like a GS answer.

  1. Always quote names of relevant anthropologists, their publication, tribe/village name on which they worked etc
  2. Have compilation of case studies (can be sourced from Xaxa report)
  3. Interlinkage with theories of Paper-I
  4. Contemporary relevance of the question and link it with current affairs
  5. Use diagrams/Schematics for better presentation.

Written By : Anudeep Durishetty, All India Rank 1, UPSC CSE 2017

Anthropology Paper-I Syllabus, Books and Strategy by Anudeep Durishetty

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