Today In this article, I want to walk you through the entire Indian Polity syllabus for UPSC Prelims and Mains with Micro Topics analysis.

As you know Indian polity is considered as a core subject from the UPSC syllabus because the gravity of this subject lies in both Prelims as well as Mains examination (GS Paper-2).

Indian Polity and Governance

The Indian polity and governance syllabus for IAS prelims is very precise. But, it encompasses a lot of important concepts and issues to understand.

Indian Polity syllabus for UPSC Prelims

Indian Polity syllabus for UPSC Prelims is as follows:-

Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.

Indian Polity syllabus for UPSC Mains

Indian Polity syllabus for UPSC Mains (General Studies paper-2) is as follows:-

Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice:

  • Indian Constitution – historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions, and basic structure
  • Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues, and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein
  • Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries
  • Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions
  • Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, the conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these
  • Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions, and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies
  • Structure, organization, and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity
  • Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act
  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation
  • Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies
  • Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions, and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections
  • Health, Education, Human Resources
  • Development processes and the development industry the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders
  • Issues relating to the development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to
  • Important aspects of governance, transparency, and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures
  • Issues relating to poverty and hunger
  • Role of civil services in a democracy

Polity Books for UPSC IAS Prelims and Mains Exam

The best book for Indian polity is “Indian Polity” by “M. Laxmikanth”. It is also considered as Bible book for UPSC GS Paper-2 preparation by toppers.

and other resources for GS Paper-2 is-

  • NCERT textbook on civics, political science, and sociology because verbatim questions have come in Prelims 2018.
  • For Current bills and acts, you may follow-
  • SC Judgement, Government schemes, Policies
  • 2nd ARC reports (summary)
  • Newspaper for current affairs
  • Budget and Economic survey (summaries)
  • NITI Aayog’s three-year action agenda
  • Current Affairs Magazine (of any coaching)

Micro syllabus

Features of Indian Polity and Constitution

1. Historical underpinning

  • Constitution: Why and How?
  • Historical Background

2. Evolution

  • Constituent Assembly and its vision of future
  • Making of the Constitution
  • Constitution as a living document
  • Democracy and diversity
  • Outcomes of democracy
  • Crisis of Democratic order
  • National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution
  • Comparison of the Indian Constitutional scheme with that of other countries

3. Features

  • Sources of the Constitution
  • Salient features of the Constitution
  • The Philosophy of the Constitution
  • System of Government: Parliamentary & Presidential System
  • Role of Convention under the Constitution
  • Comparison between Judicial Review and Parliamentary Supremacy

4. Amendments

  • The Constitution Amendment of the Constitution
  • Keshvananda and Bharti Case Judgement
  • 42nd and 44th Amendment to the Constitution
  • The Constitution (103rd Amendment) Act, 2019 (124th Constitution Amendment Bill) to provide 10% reservation in government jobs and educational institutions to the economically weaker sections (EWS)
  • (125th Amendment) Bill, 2019

5. Significant Provisions

  • The preamble of the Constitution
  • Citizenship
  • Fundamental Rights
  • Major Debates/ Issues around Fundamental Rights
  • Directive Principles of the State Policy
  • Fundamental Duties
  • Union Territories
  • Special Status of Jammu and Kashmir
  • Special Provisions for some States
  • Scheduled and Tribal areas
  • Official Language

6. Major Doctrines

  • The doctrine of the Basic Structure of the Constitution
  • The doctrine of Harmonious Construction
  • Doctrine of Eclipse
  • The doctrine of Pith and Substance
  • The doctrine of Incidental or Ancillary Powers
  • The doctrine of Colourable Legislation
  • Doctrine of Severability
  • The doctrine of Territorial Nexus
  • Doctrine of Laches

7. Pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity

  • Pressure Groups
  • Popular Struggles and Movements
  • Rise of Popular movements

8. Election & The Representatives of People’s Act

  • Political Parties
  • Elections
  • Voting Behaviour
  • Election Laws
  • Electoral reforms
  • Anti-Defection Law

9. Development processes and the development industry

  • The role of NGOs
  • SHGs, various groups, and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders

10.Major Issues

  • Dalit assertion and Politics of reservation
  • Should India spend more on science or Social welfare?
  • Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005
  • Agrarian crisis: Issues in farmer economy
  • Issues related to Social Media
  • Media freedom and Responsible reporting
  • Marital rape
  • Section 377: Constitutionality Vs Morality
  • Legalizing Sports Betting In India

11. Mechanism, laws, institutions, and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections

  • Special Provisions relating to Certain Classes
  • Scheduled and Tribal Areas

Executive, Judiciary, Legislature

1. Issues And Challenges Pertaining to The Federal Structure

  • Union and its territory
  • Nature of the Federal System
  • Peculiar features of Indian federalism
  • A Critique of the Federal System
  • Challenges of Nation-building
  • The era of One-Party dominance
  • Regional aspirations
  • Emergency Provisions
  • Conversion of state to UT unilaterally by the centre-A constitutional question

2. Structure, organization and the functioning of the Union executive

  • President
  • Vice President
  • Prime Minister
  • Central Council of Ministers
  • Cabinet Committees

3. Structure, organization, and functioning of the State executive

  • Governor
  • Chief Minister
  • State Council of Ministers

4. Parliament

  • Parliament
  • Parliamentary Committees

5. State Legislature

  • State Legislature

6. Functions and responsibilities of the Union and States

  • 7th Schedule

7. Separation of Power

  • Power Sharing
  • Center-state Relations
  • Foreign Policy
  • States demand a say in Foreign Policy

8. Dispute Redressal Mechanisms And Institutions

  • Inter-State Relations
  • Parliamentary Forums
  • Parliamentary Groups
  • Administrative Tribunals
  • National Integration

9. Devolution Of Powers And Finances Up to Local Levels And Challenges Therein

  • Local Governments
  • Panchayati Raj and PESA 1996
  • Municipalities

10. Structure, organization, and functioning of the Judiciary

  • Higher Judiciary Appointments
  • Judicial Review
  • Judicial Activism
  • Public Interest Litigation
  • Other Judicial Issues
  • Major Judgements of Supreme Court

11. Constitutional Bodies

12. Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies

Reference: UPSC website for Syllabus & GS SCORE

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awesome preparation


The doctrine of Repugnancy

Muzaffar Ahmad

Awesome dear