how to prepare psir optional

Question 1: What is the syllabus for PSIR optional in UPSC?

The syllabus for Political Science and International Relations (PSIR) optional in the UPSC civil services examination can be divided into two parts: Paper I and Paper II.

Paper I consists of topics such as Political Theory and Indian Politics, Equality, Rights, Citizenship, Nationalism, Secularism, and Western Political Thought. It also covers different concepts of democracy, political ideologies, and the Constitution of India.

Paper II covers topics like Comparative Politics and International Relations. It includes themes such as the Cold War and its aftermath, global political economy, international institutions, Indian foreign policy, and various theories and approaches in the study of international relations.

Question 2: How can I start my preparation journey for the PSIR optional?

To begin your preparation for the PSIR optional, it is crucial to have a comprehensive understanding of the syllabus and exam pattern. Here’s a step-by-step approach to kickstart your PSIR preparation:

1. Familiarize yourself with the syllabus: Go through the UPSC syllabus for PSIR optional and make a note of all the topics and themes mentioned.

2. Gather study materials: Collect relevant textbooks, reference books, and study materials from reputed authors to cover the entire syllabus comprehensively.

3. Create a study plan: Devise a study plan that allocates sufficient time for each topic, allowing you to cover the syllabus systematically.

4. Start with basic concepts: Begin by understanding the foundational concepts of political science and international relations. Study the fundamental theories, ideologies, and thinkers associated with it.

5. Refer to standard textbooks: Utilize textbooks like “An Introduction to Political Theory” by O.P. Gauba, “Indian Constitution: Sources and Supplement” by D.D. Basu, and “Modern Political Theory” by S.P. Verma to develop a strong conceptual base.

6. Stay updated with current affairs: PSIR optional is closely linked with current affairs. Regularly read newspapers, magazines, and follow reliable news sources to keep yourself updated on national and international political developments.

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7. Practice answer writing: Answer writing is crucial to scoring well in the UPSC exam. Practice writing model answers, especially for previous years’ question papers, to enhance your writing skills.

8. Join a test series: Enroll in a reputable test series specifically designed for PSIR optional. Regularly attempt mock tests to assess your preparation level, identify weak areas, and work on improving them.

9. Seek guidance: Consider joining a reputed coaching institute or joining online forums and communities where you can interact with fellow aspirants and seek guidance from experienced mentors.

10. Stay motivated and consistent: UPSC preparation is a long journey. Stay motivated, maintain consistency, and persistently work towards mastering the subject.

Question 3: Which are the recommended books for Political Science and International Relations optional?

Some of the recommended books for Political Science and International Relations (PSIR) optional in UPSC are:

1. An Introduction to Political Theory by O.P. Gauba
2. Indian Constitution: Sources and Supplement by D.D. Basu
3. Political Theory: Ideas and Concepts by Sushila Ramaswamy
4. Modern Political Theory by S.P. Verma
5. Politics in India since Independence by Bipan Chandra
6. International Relations by Parkash Chander
7. International Relations by V.N. Khanna
8. India’s Foreign Policy by V.P. Dutt
9. Contemporary World Politics by N. Jayapalan
10. Global Politics by Andrew Heywood

These books cover diverse aspects of political science, international relations, and provide a holistic understanding of the subject.

Question 4: How can I improve my answer writing skills for the PSIR optional?

Improving your answer writing skills is crucial for scoring well in the PSIR optional of the UPSC exam. Here are some tips to enhance your answer writing abilities:

1. Understand the question: Carefully read and understand the question before attempting an answer. Identify the keywords and focus on addressing them precisely.

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2. Structure your answers: Begin with an introductory paragraph that establishes the context of the question. Follow it with the main body, containing multiple paragraphs, each discussing a specific aspect of the question. Finally, conclude with a concise summary.

3. Be concise and coherent: Express your thoughts concisely and adhere to the word limit. Maintain coherence and logical flow in your answers to ensure clarity.

4. Use subheadings and bullet points: When appropriate, use subheadings and bullet points to organize your answer better and make it easier to read and understand.

5. Support your answers with examples and evidence: To strengthen your arguments, provide relevant examples, case studies, and factual evidence. This enhances the quality and credibility of your answers.

6. Develop analytical skills: PSIR optional requires analytical thinking. Practice linking theoretical concepts with real-world scenarios and critically analyze different perspectives.

7. Practice answer writing: Regularly practice answer writing by solving previous years’ question papers and mock tests. Review and analyze your answers, seeking feedback from mentors or experienced aspirants.

8. Time management: During the exam, manage your time effectively. Allocate specific time for each question or section, ensuring equal attention to all parts of the paper.

9. Review and revise: After attempting answers, review and revise them. Pay attention to grammatical accuracy, clarity of expression, and legibility. Make necessary corrections or additions wherever required.

Remember, consistent practice and a focused approach towards answer writing will gradually improve your skills and help you excel in the PSIR optional exam.

Question 5: How can I stay updated with current affairs for the PSIR optional?

Staying updated with current affairs is essential for the PSIR optional to relate theoretical concepts to real-world scenarios. Here’s how you can stay updated:

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1. Newspaper reading: Develop a habit of reading a reputable newspaper daily, such as The Hindu, The Indian Express, or The Times of India. Focus on editorials, opinion pieces, and articles related to politics, international relations, and governance.

2. Follow news magazines: Subscribe to or regularly read trusted news magazines like Yojana, Kurukshetra, Frontline, or Civil Services Chronicle. These magazines provide in-depth analysis on various topics relevant to the UPSC exam.

3. Online news portals and applications: Utilize online news portals and applications such as BBC, Al Jazeera, The Wire, or The Quint to access a wide range of news articles, opinion pieces, and analysis from around the world.

4. Government reports and publications: Visit government websites like the Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs, or the Reserve Bank of India to access official reports, white papers, and policy documents.

5. RSTV and Rajya Sabha TV: Watch relevant programs and debates on RSTV and Rajya Sabha TV, where experts discuss national and international political developments, policies, and issues.

6. Online forums and platforms: Join online forums, communities, and social media groups specifically tailored for UPSC aspirants. Engage in discussions and debates on current affairs to gain different perspectives.

7. Weekly/monthly current affairs compilations: Refer to reliable sources that provide weekly or monthly current affairs compilations specifically designed for UPSC aspirants. These compilations summarize important news from various spheres.

8. Make notes: While reading or watching current affairs content, make concise notes on key points, significant events, and their relevance to political science and international relations. These notes will be helpful during revision.

Remember, thorough understanding of current affairs and their linkage to the PSIR syllabus will enrich your answers and demonstrate a well-rounded knowledge of the subject.

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