How to Prepare Indian Polity: Strategy & Analysis of the Trend (Pre & Mains)


As we have seen that the UPSC changed the pattern and syllabus of the preliminary and mains examinations, respectively. The current trend more suits the applicative concepts and analytical understanding. In spite of the changes in the overall UPSC Pattern, the scope of Indian Polity will be central. It will be like the platform of calm in the era of turbulence and unpredictability.

Examination Year Number of Questions
2013 16
2014 12
2015 13
2016 07
2017 23

As we can see from the above that how the polity questions have surprisingly increased in 2017. It shows that how UPSC trend is becoming unpredictable. Although it would not be right for us to predict about the weightage of polity in the coming years but certainly about the trend one thing is sure that rot learning is not going to help much as the fact-based questions are decreasing and application based questions are becoming the emerging interest area of UPSC these days as we have seen in the questions.

Hence more conceptual understanding and use of Applicative and analytical skills in the question of Democracy virtue, Cabinet form of Government, Relation between Rights and Duties Reading the newspaper every day and trying to link with the constitutional articles is very important.

How to Prepare?

Some people say that we should understand the topic and mug up, while others prefer to mug up the lines so that they could add relevant matter in answer writing in quick time. But according to us we should first understand then mug up so that the conceptual understanding and need of relevant facts in quick time can be done in the examination hall. This will not only help in prelims but also in mains answer writing. Understanding Basics would be the most critical component in your preparation.

NOTE: The first few chapters of Polity like Preamble and Fundamental Rights, the Executive, DPSP and the Parliament cannot be ignored at any cost. When you understand these, you can certainly be at ease in the exam.

Like the question of Prelims 2017 — One of the implications of equality in society is the absence of:
(a) Privileges
(b) Restraints
(c) Competition
(d) Ideology
Solution: A

Explanation: Article 18 of the constitution justifies this. Under Right to equality, Article 18 abolishes titular privileges (except military or academic) granted to citizens of India. Priviledges makes society unequal. Answering this question requires more need of conceptual understanding than mugging the facts.)

How to make difference with every reading?

Link every current political news with the articles mentioned in the book. Like the recent issue of Right to Privacy or Triple Talaq. Try to understand that which articles and values are at conflict like in the case of Right to Privacy — here is a contradiction between the absoluteness and reasonable restriction. Right to privacy respects the Individual liberty but at the same time in a country like India where poverty and underdevelopment are more huge challenges, to a certain extend there should be restriction on the right but at the same time there should not be arbitrariness as criticised by few regarding AADHAR as excessive rule orientation displaces the goal.

Similarly, with case of Triple Talaq – the conflict between Right to equality (ARTICLE 14) and Freedom to manage the internal affairs of religion (ARTICLE 26). We could also think beyond that How Uniform Civil Code (ARTICLE 44) becomes necessary and what would be the challenges.

What is expected of Civil Service Aspirants?

Conceptual clarity of syllabus. When the trend of asking questions from current affairs changes the only saviour is conceptual clarity of static portion. Linking current affairs with static portion. When the important current events happen, one should try to link those events with static portion like the case of President’s Rule in Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh made S R Bommai Case Verdict important.

Solve as many questions as possible before the prelims examination. It gives the candidate an edge because answering the questions would not be as difficult as he would be attending it for the first time in the examination. Many times, in hurry we do not see the critical words like "not", "only" etc. Solving questions would certainly help in covering those mistakes.

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