Anthropology

Anthropology is the only optional the syllabus of which has been cut to a great extent. While geography may not remain as lucrative because of marvelous and remarkable enhancement in the syllabus but more crucially with elimination of map question in paper I, public administration and philosophy, despite revision of syllabus may not gain much, History become of its more channelized syllabus may become better optional for scoring. Science subjects, despite being scoring remain elusive.

Paper I-Part I

  • Introduction (Meaning & Scope)
  • Institutions (Marriage, Family, Kinship etc.)
  • Anthropological Thought (much reduced, specified)
  • Medical Anthropology
  • Communication Anthropology (Added)
  • Research Methodology (Reduced)
  • Cultural Evolution

Paper I Part-II

  • Evolution and Genetics (without twins, reproductive biology)
  • Primates
  • Race (Reduced)
  • Human physical growth
  • Human adaptability
  • Genetical demography (reduced significantly)
  • Applications (Reduced)

Paper-II

  • Added Ethnoarcheology; otherwise no remarkable change.
  • Whole anthropology has now become favourable to everybody as second optional i.e.. Optional for mains only.
  • The new syllabus that is being introduced is much more meaningful and all the confusions, discrepancies, repetitions etc. Of the previous syllabus have been vanished to a great extent-through some still persist. Also, Dollo's (wrongly written as Dolls, as in old syllabus) & Cope's etc. Laws are archaic. Outdated topics which are not discussed even it today's evolutionary biology, from which these have been borrowed, but find a place once again (Readers must remember that these have never been asked as questions ever since these were introduced in the year 2000).
  • But the whole revised syllabus is in a very well defined manner, like the previous syllabus (in paper II topic five) read-Approaches to the study of Indian society. Now it has been made explicit, as was the case in pre-1995 syllabus.
  • Candidates need to alter their strategy as discussed by me in these pages, a couple of months ago. Then, for IAS 2007 exam I had suggested that in paper I there must be at least one question from genetics, another one form Races Growth Ecology while a third one from institutions. In the paper, there was one question each on genetics and ecology, but there were 2 from institutions (pol. Organization and religion). The same trend may continue for IAS 2008.
  • Also, small new topics i.e.. Dating methods, ethno archeology may be asked as short notes while primitive tribal graphs (PTGs) may be asked as essay-type.
  • Just like a new subject, the first thing to do is to go through with the fundamentals consisting the terminology. A good Dictionary of Anthropology (e. g. McMillan's) and basic books like Haviland or Ember & Ember & NCERTs should be really extremely helpful. As Anthropology by its origin is oriented scientifically, the answers should be pin-pointed and to the point. You should have good practice of writing answers and getting judged from someone who not only knows the subject but also understands the requirements of this particular exam. The new syllabus (of 1995) is about 25% more in quantity (but almost same at conceptual level), yet it is atleast 10% more scoring. The latest syllabus is much more scoring and scoring 200 marks in Paper I now is not too tough. With this knowledge, opting Anthropology as second optional for Mains is not a bad idea.