How to Prepare Indian Society for UPSC Mains

How to Prepare Indian Society for UPSC Mains

You must have heard the phrase “Unity in Diversity” before.  Have you ever wondered why the Indian Society is the most appropriate example of this phrase? Why is it that India is recognized as the world’s leader in accommodating various elements of Society without making them lose their separate identity?

As an aspiring Civil Servant, you must understand the diversity of Indian Society in terms of Language, Religion, Culture, Race, etc. UPSC  has laid particular emphasis on the Indian Society section in GS paper 1 of Mains. 

Indian Society is among the crucial sections of the General Studies Paper 1 that can fetch you good scores if studied adequately during UPSC exam preparation. To make your preparation for this section simpler, we will discuss some important tips that you should follow during the preparation.

But before that, let’s have a look at the Indian Society syllabus as per UPSC.

Indian Society UPSC Mains Syllabus

  • Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.
  • Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.
  • Effects of globalization on Indian Society.
  • Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.

 Also read: How to Prepare Governance for UPSC CSE Mains? 

The level of understanding and broad thinking you need to prepare for Indian Society can be judged from the type of questions asked in the 2020 Mains exam. Read further to know more about the questions.

Indian Society Questions asked in 2020 Mains Exam

  • Has caste lost its relevance in understanding the multi-cultural Indian Society? Elaborate your answer with illustrations.
  • COVID-19 pandemic accelerated class inequalities and poverty in India. Comment.
  • Do you agree that regionalism in India appears to be a consequence of rising cultural assertiveness? Argue.
  • Are diversity and pluralism in India under threat due to globalisation? Justify your answer.
  • Customs and traditions suppress reason leading to obscurantism. Do you agree?
  • How have digital initiatives in India contributed to the functioning of the education system in the country? Elaborate on your answer.

Also read: Preparation Strategy for GS Paper 2 of UPSC Mains

Preparation Strategy for Indian Society for UPSC Mains

The simplest and the best way to prepare for this section is to focus on the topics mentioned by the UPSC, such as Population and associated issues, Poverty, Developmental Issues, Problems of Urbanization, Communalism, Effects of Globalization, Regionalism, etc.

Keeping in mind the aforementioned topics, you should follow the tips listed below for effective preparation:

Start with NCERTs: Acquaint yourself well with the fundamentals of these topics with the help of NCERT textbooks. In particular, study the Class XI and XII Sociology NCERTs for conceptual clarity.

Prepare Topics wise: You should prepare notes for the topics mentioned in the syllabus such as Urbanization, Communalism, Regionalism, Globalization, etc. For the same, you should prepare data and facts related to these topics. For instance, Census data related to population (sex ratio, growth rate), percentage of the urban population, migration data, etc. 

Watch a detailed video on Characteristics of Indian Society by Deepanshu Singh Sir, one of our educators of the DREAM TEAM for UPSC.

Focus on Current Affairs: Since some of the topics are dynamic in nature, it is essential to remain updated with the latest events relevant to the syllabus. For instance, you should be aware of the welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of society, Initiatives taken by the government to reduce poverty, Schemes related to women empowerment, population-related government interventions etc

Practice Answer Writing: UPSC Mains is all about your expression of thoughts in a crisp manner. Hence, you should practice answer writing often during preparation. To know more about Answer Writing, read: How to Write Good Quality Answers for UPSC Mains

Refer to Previous Year’s Questions: Previous year’s questions are a valuable source to get an idea about the type of questions asked in the examination.

Recommended Books for Indian Society Preparation

  • Class 11th NCERT- Understanding Society
  • Class 12th NCERT- Indian Society, Social Change & Development in India
  • Social Problems in India- Ram Ahuja
  • Newspapers (The Hindu/The Indian Express)
  • PrepSummary- Complete NCERT Notes

One thing to focus here is that the tips suggested above can only yield good results if you do enough revision and practice answer writing during your preparation. Also, you should try to integrate current affairs with the static portion of the syllabus for effective preparation.

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All the best for your exam.

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Raminder Singh

Raminder is a Content Manager at PrepLadder. He has worked in several aspects of the education industry throughout his career and has assisted numerous candidates in cracking major competitive exams.