Sanskrit Literature Optional for UPSC IAS Mains

There are handfuls of IAS aspirants who opt for Sanskrit as their optional subject while appearing for UPSC exams. Though Sanskrit is a scoring subject, still this primitive language is not appreciated as an optional subject by majority of the candidates. The reason for not opt this subject as an optional one is deep rooted from the school days, as the students are never encouraged to opt for this subject and rather all the students have a misconception that this is the most difficult language to be studied and so scoring marks is another big headache. There are two parameters which have made students consider this language as the toughest, first one is the specific and scientific set of grammar rules which is used in this language and the second one is that we often use this language as often we use other languages while we communicate with each other. Around 8-9% of the aspirants take this subject as their optional subject which is quite satisfactory.

One important point which should be kept in mind is that you have only choose Sanskrit as your optional subject if you have studied this subject from a prolonged duration in your school or college and also possess basic knowledge about it which will make you comfortable to opt it. Though you can opt for this subject as an optional in spite of not having any background of this subject previously but it’s not at all a wise step to choose Sanskrit without any proper knowledge and start studying it from scratch.

Let’s know about the advantages and disadvantages of taking Sanskrit literature as an optional subject in your IAS exams:-


Advantages of Sanskrit optional:-

  1. Sanskrit language is based on scientific and precise rules and this language can be loved by those who love to study scientific languages.
  2. There are only few questions which have to be answered in Sanskrit and rest questions can be answered in the language you want to.
  3. Though it is a scoring subject but it depends how well the student understand the subject matter.
  4. If you are good in the grammar portion then you can surely earn a lot.
  5. If you have a flair for this subject then you will surely enjoy preparing for it.
  6. It is somewhere connected with some portions of the Indian history.
  7. The syllabus is not huge compared with other subjects.
  8. You are fully free from being updated with the current affair section.


Disadvantages of Sanskrit optional:-

  1. This subject should only be chosen who have studied it before.
  2. It is difficult to understand and score well in this subject if you don’t have a fair command on the grammar portion.
  3. You have to make your own notes consulting the university level books as there is no compact study material for Sanskrit.
  4. If you are a mugger, then never think of opt this subject as there are certain portions in this subject which requires mugging.

How to strategies and turn Sanskrit subject as a scoring optional subject:-

  1. Initially bifurcate the syllabus into two parts:-
    1. Grammar
    2. Non-grammar
  2. Learn by heart all the, dhatu roop, shabda roop and vocabulary part which will assist you in comprehending and translation portions.
  3. Rigorous practice is required to improve your speed and eloquence in Sanskrit.
  4. You may consult M.A Sanskrit textbooks for making notes and studies.