2008 Strategy for Political Scirnce
Political science is a dynamic and ever changing subject. Candidates aspiring to opt for it should be more aware of the shift in focus than the skeletal changes in the revised syllabus. It helps candidates in updating their knowledge of the current events and provides a fresh perspective on the burning domestic and foreign policy issues. About half of the general study paper is basically related to the two papers of political science for the main examination. Besides, that be the best subject to ensure a sound sleep during the interview days simply because you have readymade answer for almost all the question being asked by the board members.
UPSC move of revision of syllabus of political science has generated golden opportunity to score especially high marks in the subject. In fact as of now, even those students who don't have the background of political science have fared better in many respects. Provided one becomes dynamic and innovative enough to evolve new scientific strategy being in conformity with the changed requirement of the new syllabus.
Since almost all purely factual aspects of the syllabus have been deleted. On the other hand, certain current topical themes have been added under new syllabus thereby making study more relevant. For instance, after revision major highlights of the syllabus are feminism, globalization, terrorism, environment, nuclear threat/nuclear proliferation, recent developments in Indian Foreign Policy etc. The purpose of this write- up, however, is to make you warmed about the subject in the context of revised syllabus.
Political Science even prior to revision of the syllabus too was a bit scientific nature but under new syllabus exceptionally great deals of current topical applied themes have been included.
In the light of the revised syllabus, certain amount of exposure to the relevant contemporary emerging issues (such as globalization, environment etc.)
EMERGING TRENDS IN INDIAN GOVT & POLITICS SECTION
(a) All Indian nationalists (such as Dadabhai Naoroji, Tilak, Saverkar,Jayprakash Narain,Subhash Chandra Bose,Ambedkar,Ram Manohar Lohia) except Gandhi and Nehru have been deleted (from paper 1 section B topic no 1 of the previous syllabus)
(b) Factual themes from topic no.4 paper 1 section B of previous syllabus have been completely deleted without any addition.
c)Major area of focus under new syllabus is on applied dimensions. For instance actual working of principal organs of the Union Government and those of the state government (paper 1 topic no 4(a) & (b). Changing nature of centre- state relations, inter-state disputes (paper 1 topic -7) (ii) Certain themes purely related to Indian Economy (i.e. G.S.) have been incorporated under new syllabus. For instance planning and economic development-Nehruvian and Gandhian perspectives, role of planning and public sector, green revolution, land reforms and agrarian relations, liberalization and economic reforms. iii) Similarly certain emerging issues/trends too have been added. iv)Subaltern themes/movements such as civil liberties and human rights movements, women's movements, environmentalist movement (paper 1, topic no.11) are the major highlights of the new syllabus These new social movements( (i.e. G.S) constitute major part of G.S. & essay paper as well interview plan.
Emerging Trends In Paper –I Political Theory section
Under new syllabus of political science paper I, political theory section has been made to be exceptionally easier and simpler wherein specialized background of the subject. For instance following topics have been completely deleted from paper I, political theory.
State sovereignty- Marxist and pluralistic theories, globalization and the state (topic no 3). Theories of political culture – Culture and politics in third world countries (topic no 5) Theories of political economy – classical and contemporary (topic no 6)
ii) Similarly from topic no 8 almost all theorists (such as pareto,mosca,mitchels,C.wright mills,weber) except two scholars gramsci & Hannah arendt have been deleted from the syllabus without any addition at all.
iii) Moreover, from topic no 10 out of four Marxian theorists (in the old syllabus),exept Karl Marx all three Marxian scholars such as Lenin, Mao and Rosa Luxemberg have been deleted without any addition
iv)Contemporary theme like feminism has been added (under topic no 2 & topic no 8) which is otherwise relevant for the purpose of G.S.,essay as well as interview
v)Instead of theories of human rights (paper 1,section A topic no 4 of previous syllabus),now under new syllabus merely "concept of human rights is to be studied
vi) Further exceptionally easier and simpler conception of justice under new syllabus is supposed to be studied with specific focus on John Rawls and communitarian critiques.
vii) Meanwhile under paper I topic no 9 (i.e. Indian political thought) few scholars have been added by replacing few ither less important scholars.
Now new syllabus constitutes following five major discourses
Ancient Indian discourses – Dharmashastra and Arthashastra
Dalit Discourse –B.R.Ambedkar and Buddhist tradition
Islamic Discourse –Sir Syed Ahmed Khan
Hindu Discourse-Sri Aurobindo Ghosh
Gandhian Discourse- M.K. Gandhi
Humanist Discourse – M.N.Roy
Emerging Trends in paper II
Under paper II change of syllabus constitutes following major emerging themes
Applied dimensions of state (paper II,topic no 2),Politicl parties,pressure group and social movements (paper II,topic no 3) are supposed to be studied under new syllabus ii) operational dynamics of globalization (paper II,topic no 4,topic no 6) is another major highlight iii) Infact more current topical themes related to G.S. and essay paper have been incorporated under new syllabus topic no 7 (a) & (c) iv) Similarly fair amount of assessment of role of the UN in practice is desirable under new syllabus with due focus on the Need for UN-reforms (topic no 9) v)Finally a new topic under the broad headline of Recent developments in Indian foreign policy.India's position on the recent crisis in Afghanistan,Iraq and West Asia,growing relations with US and Israel,vision of a new world order (paper II),topic no 8) has been added with is otherwise purely a part of current affairs (i.eG.S.)
Political Science is a dynamic and ever-changing subject. Candidates aspiring to opt for it should be more aware of the shift in focus than the skeletal changes in the revised syllabus. Opting for Aristotle's Master science, the aspirant should master the techniques to make best use of these changes like a crafty politician. The advantages of picking political science as a favourite optional are manifold. It helps candidates in updating their knowledge of the current events and provides a fresh perspective on the burning domestic and foreign policy issues. About half of the general studies paper is vitally related to the two papers of political science for the main examination. Besides, that is the best subject to ensure a sound sleep during the interview days simply because you have readymade answer for virtually all the question being asked by the board members.
The recent years' trend also reveals that the candidates with political science as an optional have fared better in many respects. The rate of success is going higher and higher. The purpose of this write- up, however, is to make you w armed about the subject in the context of revised syllabus.
A cursory view of the changed syllabus indicates towards the modification at two levels: (a) new addition, and (b) shift in focus. Interestingly, what appear to be additions are really the extended and focused parts of the existing topics. This means that students will have to prepare for the same old themes but in a changed context. This sounds appropriate as much water has flown down the Gangas since the previous paper was set up. More so in the context of political science where changes start reflecting realities, both at the domestic and external planes. The centralised polity of India has finally given way to coalition politics, and now it seems the coalition culture is here to stay in one way or the other. The rehearsing of International relations paper was highly imperative in the context of Collapse of Soviet Union, the end of cold war, and the emergence of a new world order shaped and designed by the United States-led Unipolar World.
We have seen a lot of face lifting and reading, real changes are not drastic and metamorphic. The topics that were included as subtopics in the old syllabus have been given a separate and independent status in the revised course. Yet, a few substantial changes are the additions like Nationalism and Internationalism and the theories of international relations, primarily corresponding with the international relations paper in the Mains. So far freshers opting for political science used to get abruptly exposed to the strangers zone called international politics. Now, they will have some idea about the world political scenario with the help of the new topics.
A brief survey of the significant additions in the section (A) of the political science paper reveals that a couple of unexplored areas have been taken in. The meaning, nature and scope of political science and its relations with other subjects; concepts of nationalism and internationalism, major theories of International Relations; .Social movements; and the bureaucracy are the major themes brought under focus in the revised syllabus.
Section (B) of the prelims has also registered a few additions signifying both structural and spiritual shift. Approaches to the study of governments; classification of political systems; the constituent assembly, the party system in India, the interaction of government and the local-self governments; bureaucracy and development, and the challenges to the Indian Democracy are major additions. The students should specifically focus on the themes like 73rd constitutional amendment, the political parties and the bureaucracy. It would be advisable to tell about the clarity of concepts and the grasp of knowledge both in vertical and horizontal dimensions to qualify the prelims. More you have read, more facts will strike your memory while searching for the right answer through the process of examination. That is why, a serious and hard working student proves better in answering the objective type test questions than an ill-organised and poor in knowledge candidate.