How to Prepare Political Science- Optional Subject for UPSC Mains 2018

Political science is a subject which involves lots of understanding and believing in the facts of certain topics or concepts for example- equality, harmony, justice and ideology etc. Once you have the clear concept cleared about these concepts the more confident you will become of gaining more marks in this subject.

It is great if you follow OP Gauba book for clearing your doubts and getting the concept clear. But this is not the only book to follow, you can choose according to your wish. Choose the book whose language you can understand easily.

Take the help of internet if you get stuck with certain information which you do not find properly decrypted in any books. You can also rely on Wikipedia and other relevant websites of the updated information about the topics of Political Science.

For preparing Indian Nationalism the books which are used to prepare for General studies is apt. Some of the books which you can consider for preparing this part of the syllabus are. India’s Struggle for Independence, IGNOU and NCERT.

Next for preparing Indian Constitution and Polity, you can follow Subhash Kashyap’s and DD Basu books. You can also consult the list of books which are used for preparing Polity and History sections of GS Mains.

Social issues can be prepared from the reports directly of various sections, commissions and committees. So go ahead and download these reports and make notes or jot down the important points from the text and you can also use these notes for future use.

Though it is a bit tricky to prepare for comparative politics so it’s great if you prepare from Cosmos book-hives (volume 3) for this particular topic. For preparing the current affairs and international relations the best way is to be acquainting with daily newspaper.

For IR you can choose any book which you can understand properly. Read the history about the relations between the countries from Wikipedia.

You can read books by Amartya Sen as well. For Economic Development and Social Opportunity, you can follow, “The Idea of Justice” or any equivalent book for this topic.


The following topics should be prepared very analytically:

  1. Ancient Indian discourses – Dharmashastra and Arthashastra
  2. Dalit Discourse –B.R.Ambedkar and Buddhist tradition
  3. Islamic Discourse –Sir Syed Ahmed Khan
  4. Hindu Discourse-Sri Aurobindo Ghosh
  5. Gandhian Discourse- M.K. Gandhi
  6. Humanist Discourse – M.N.Roy


The following books will be helpful in the preparation:

  1. Political Theory by OP Gauba
  2. International Relations by VK Malhotra
  3. Introduction to the Constitution of India by DD Basu
  4. Political Thought and Theory
  5. Books by Shashi Tharoor (Pax Indica etc.)
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