Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International Relations
Indian Constitution – historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.
Basic NCERTs to be read:
- NCERT Class XI – Indian Constitution at Work
- NCERT Class XII – Political Science II
- NCERT Class X – Democratic Politics
- This section of the syllabus is important both for Prelims and Mains. You can read M. Laxmikanth’s Indian Polity book or D.D Basu’s Introduction to the Constitution of India.
- Regulating Act (1773) to Independence Act (1947)
- Constituent Assembly
- The Doctrine
- Judgments & Cases
- Parliamentary Form of Government (Presidential vs. Parliamentary Type of Government)
- Fundamental Rights
- Directive Principles of State Policy
- Judicial Review
Previous year trends
- It is generally accounting marks in the range of 10-25. This year no question was asked from the topic.
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.
- Read M. Laxmikanth’s Indian Polity
- Refer to the Second Administrative Reforms Commission
- Interlinking of the concepts with current events is must since the Mains will examine you for both concepts and analysis.
- 7th Schedule
- Legislative Functions
- Financial Functions
- Centre-State Relations
- 2nd ARC, Punchhi, Sarkaria, etc.
- Role of Governor
- Role of State Government
- Role of State Finance Commission
- 11th & 12th Schedule
Separation of Powers between various organs, dispute redressal mechanism and institutions
- It is a current based topic. Currently there is a lot of conflict going on between Judiciary and the Executive. Read the basic concepts related to the constitutional provisions, redressal measures, various checks and balances in the constitution etc.
- Also refer to the Second ARC report. It will help in understanding the various mechanisms for conflict resolution related to Land and water related issues etc.
- Refer to Laxmikanth.
- Keep tab on current events involving conflict between constitutional or statutory bodies.
- Checks & Balances in Indian Constitution
- Related Judgments - Golaknath case, Kesavananda Bharati, etc
- RTI, PIL, Tribunals, etc.
- This topic has consistently been asked in the Mains which underscores its importance.
Comparison of Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries
This topic is for general reading not in-depth. It scored ten marks in Mains, 2019.
- Federal System with Unitary Bias
- Parliamentary Form of Government
- Fundamental Rights, Directive Principles of State Policy, Fundamental Duties
- Impeachment of the President, etc.
Parliament and State Legislatures- structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.
- You may read Subhash Kashyap’s ‘Our Parliament’ .This topic has accounted for 15-20 marks in the last two years. You can expect marks in this range in next year's Mains also.
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.
- Read Laxmikanth for the concepts about the Union Executive, Parliament, Supreme Court, State Executive, State Legislature, High Courts and Subordinate Courts, Local Government, Pressure groups.
- The Pressure groups topic can be read from the Ignou courses. Also keep tab on current events about civil society, RTI activism etc.
- Prime Minister
- Council of Ministers
- Chief Minister
- Council of Ministers
- Chief Justice of India
- SC & HC Judges
- Functions, Role & Importance of Pressure Groups
- Techniques/Methods of Pressure Groups
Salient Features of the Representation of People’s Act.
- It is a current affairs based topic. Read current topics like anti-defection, disqualification of MPs and MLAs
- Appointments to various constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various constitutional bodies. Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies
- Look for the current events related to political interference in appointments to various constitutional posts in CBI, CVC, CAG e, Governors Etc.
- Read Laxmikanth for basic concepts.
Appointment to various Constitutional Posts, Powers, Functions and Responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
Focus areas: Appointment, Powers, Functions & Responsibilities of:
- Election Commission
- Union Public Service Commission
- State Public Service Commission
- Finance Commission
Statutory, Regulatory and various Quasi-judicial Bodies.
- NITI Aayog
- National Human Rights Commission
- State Human Rights Commission
- Central Information Commission etc.
Government’s policies and intervention for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation
- Refer to the Economic Survey and PIB website consistently.
- Suggestions for improvement of policies/interventions
- Critical Assessment of government schemes like MGNERGA, Digital India, Make in India etc.
Development processes and the development industry- the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders
- Development industry means the aid industry consisting of NGOs, United Nations Bodies etc. and their role in development
- Planning Commission Report on Critical account of success and failure of SHGs in India is useful in this.
- Previous year trends: This topic has seen a decreased importance although it accounted for 10 marks in Mains 2019.
- Provisions for the Third Sector in the Indian Constitution
- National Policy on the Voluntary Sector 2007
- Measures to Make SHGs Effective
- Case Studies
Important aspects of governance, transparency & accountability. E-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations and potential; citizen charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures
- Refer to 2nd ARC Report on e- governance and IGNOU material on e-governance.
- This is one of the most favorite topics of UPSC. It has consistently accounted for 25 marks in the past few years.
- Good Governance
- e-governance Initiatives by Government
- Citizens Charters (CC), Sevottam Model
- Lokpal & Lokayuktas Act
Role of civil services in a democracy
- Refer to the 2nd ARC report
- Issues affecting Indian Civil Services
- Reforming Bureaucracy: Hota committee etc
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
- Both Central government schemes and State government schemes are important.
- Schemes for women, Child, SCs and STs, Farmers are important.
Focus areas: Schemes/laws for the following Vulnerable Sections
- SCs & STs
Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources. Issues related to poverty and hunger.
- Read about Food Security, Poverty alleviation schemes and controversies, Education Policy Draft etc.
- This topic has seen an upward trend in the past few years. It accounted for 30 marks in Mains, 2019.
- India’s Performance on Various Health Indicators
- Weaknesses of Indian Healthcare System
- Health Infrastructure in India
- National Education Policy, 2020
- Shortcomings of Skill Development Initiatives
- Way forward
India & its neighborhood- relations
- Refer to the Ministry of External Affairs Website and newspapers.
- Focus areas:
- India’s relation with China, Pakistan, SriLanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Afghanistan
Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and or affecting India’s interests
- Focus on India’s relations with the USA, UK, Japan, EU, and Australia, Africa etc. Also important topics are ASAEN, BRICS, East African Community, G-20, and Indian Ocean Rim Association
Effects of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interest, Indian diaspora
- It is mostly current affairs based. Read newspapers for this part.
- Domestic policies of the USA, UK, and EU etc. should be studied. Lot of issues like immigration policies, economic policies, and recent trade wars are important.
- For Indian Diaspora, read about their contribution in India’s development. What policy India holds for them, their rights in India, what they are contributing to the world? Also study about their problems in residing countries, their involvement in diplomacy.
- Non-aligned Movement (NAM)
- Neighbourhood First
- Gujral Doctrine
- Look East, Act East
- Think West, etc.
- One Belt One Road
- Global Trade War
- UN Reforms
- India’s Diaspora Policy & Engagement Initiatives
Important International institutions, agencies and their structure and mandate.
- Read about the UNO and its various organs, their structures, relevance and related reforms. UN Security Council permanent membership is a hot topic.
- International Organizations like ASEAN, ADB, OECD etc. should be read.
- UN & its Agencies
- World Bank