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ANTHROPOLOGY STRATEGY (Marks 339, CSE-2017): By Sachin Gupta Rank – 3 UPSC CSE-2017, Part-1



By Sachin Gupta Rank – 3 UPSC CSE-2017




Hello friends,

I am sorry for the huge delay in posting this article. This is my third Article in the series and here we would be focusing on “Strategy for Anthropology”. I have got 311( CSE-2016) and 339 ( CSE-2017) in consecutive years and I feel this was one of the strongest areas in my Civil Services Preparation.

sachin gupta rank 3 IAS

We will be covering the strategy for anthropology in three articles. In this article I will discuss extensively on resources that one can refer for preparation and my overall experience of preparation of Anthropology.

In second article, we will be covering “How to study particular topics of Anthropology for civil services” extensively. In the last article we’ll focus exclusively on Answer writing. However both these parts are interlinked.

First of all, I would like to thank Vaid Sir especially to whom I followed for Anthropology entirely. However I would like to point out it’s the self-study that will make one comfortable in the subject; spoon feeding cannot make us successful. And the best part with Vaid Sir is his focus on Answer Writing Practice and effective feedback on one’s answer.

I personally feel that one can prepare Anthropology by oneself also, but I would point try to have some kind of mentor in form of individuals who has anthropology optional from few years or who have cleared Civil Service with Anthropology optional.  Further, in term of content for Anthropology is quite less as compare to other subjects for Civil Services. Although anthropology is vast subject that pans the arts, humanities, social science and natural sciences, and touches all fields of human endeavor or inquiry to Human origins.

Coming back to UPSC domain, make sure to go through the syllabus and chapter wise previous year papers. You will realize that most of the previous year questions have been repeated number of times. Hence it is very important to cover the syllabus along with clarity of understanding as well as making 200-400 words of notes on each sub-topic. I had prepared around 250 questions based on analysis of previous year papers. One should understand them and cram them by heart. That will ensure a decent attempt of around 400-420 marks after exercising choices given in paper. But for rest of marks one needs to prepare quite extensively especially some of the areas form where generally dynamic questions are being asked like comparison between anthropologists, comparison between different anthropological thoughts, issues faced in developmental process of tribal development , recent government policies for tribal development etc.

Basic Book List and Other Resources

Paper – 1

  • Principles of Pre historic archaeology
    • Indian Prehistory by D.K Bhattacharya
  • Biological Anthropology
    • Physical Anthropology – P. Nath and B.M. Das
    • Biology Class 12thE.R.T
    • Vaid Sir Printed Notes
    • Muniratnam Sir Notes

Video Links on Human Evolution:

Paper 2

  • Prehistoric Indian Culture
  • Indian Society
    • Vaid Sir Notes
    • Indian Anthropology – Nadeem Hasnain
    • Indian Society – Class 12thE.R.T
    • Social Change and Development in India – Class 12thE.R.T

My overall experience remains excellent; I was able to clear Civil Services both the times with Anthropology optional only. However my caution will remains the same, understand one’s own strength and weakness. Anthropology is a subject where one needs to cram things in verbatim and make diagrams. Further one need not to fear much about biological part (who are not doctor, even I am engineer), it is easy to understand but one needs to put a bit of more effort in understanding the basic concepts. Once you are comfortable with that, rest of the things are logical only.

In second article, we will be talking about how to prepare different topics of Anthropology for UPSC. 


If you are not yet bored of this already long saga, do not hesitate to contact through mail or facebook page . I would love to help all of you and understand very well the tough phases of struggle in preparation. I will try my best to revert you back answering your queries in a week( at max). I will be updating optional and GS specific newspaper articles on facebook page atleast till FC starts!