Anthropology Optional Coaching

by Vajiram & Ravi

Date of Commencement

25th June 2024




24 Weeks


Rs. 54,000 (Incl. GST)

Course Time

7:30 AM to 10:00 AM

Anthropology Optional Coaching

About UPSC Anthropology Optional Subject

Anthropology, as an optional subject for the UPSC Civil Services Exam, offers a dynamic and intriguing field of study that explores various dimensions of human existence, both past and present. This discipline is particularly appealing due to its comprehensive nature and interdisciplinary approach, covering aspects from socio-cultural dynamics to biological foundations of humans. The versatility of anthropology makes it suitable for candidates from diverse academic backgrounds, whether they are from the sciences, humanities, or medical fields.

The choice of Anthropology as the optional can significantly benefit the performance across various other papers in the Civil Services Exam. Its concepts and insights are invaluable not only in the optional paper itself but also enrich your answers in General Studies, Essays, and even help in the Personality Test. The subject's focus on human culture, social structures, and biological aspects provides a holistic understanding of the issues, ideal for formulating well-rounded responses in the examination. 

Conducted by Mr. Kartic Godavarthy and Mr.Vinoy Krishna our Anthropology Optional Classes are meticulously crafted to provide students with a comprehensive and strategic approach to UPSC Mains preparation. With a keen focus on conceptual clarity and understanding of key anthropological theories and practices, we prioritize clear and concise explanations, ensuring that students develop a deep understanding of anthropological concepts and are well-prepared to tackle diverse questions in the exam. Our study material is meticulously curated to be concise, well-researched, and exam-ready, covering the entire syllabus comprehensively and in a timely manner.

Our interactive classes foster active participation and engagement, allowing students to interact with the faculty, thereby enhancing their understanding and critical thinking skills. Additionally, our classes prioritize the development of strong writing skills through regular answer writing practice sessions, helping students articulate their thoughts effectively and concisely.

Features of Anthropology Optional Subject Programme

  • Class Schedule: 2.5-hour sessions, 6 days a week.
  • Comprehensive Syllabus Coverage: Complete coverage of Optional Subject Paper I & II through detailed lectures.
  • Clarity in Concepts: Complex terms and concepts are explained in a clear, easy-to-understand manner.
  • Practical Examples: Everyday examples are used to ensure students not only grasp concepts but can also articulate and write effectively about them.
  • Answer Writing Practice: Integrated answer writing practice throughout the course duration.
  • Regular Class Tests: Tests followed by focused discussions and improvement suggestions. 
  • Anthropological Perspective: Emphasis on developing an anthropological perspective to tackle dynamic and contemporary questions effectively.
  • Physical Anthropology: Easy and clear coverage of Physical Anthropology topics.
  • Previous Year Papers: Simultaneous discussion of previous year papers alongside classroom lectures.
  • Concepts and Theories: Intensive discussions on concepts and theories, supported by relevant examples and case studies from everyday life and newspapers, making the concepts not just learnable but also livable.
  • Students who enrol in Optional Subject Programme and qualify UPSC Prelims will be provided with Optional Test Series.
  • Study Materials: Comprehensive handouts and notes with clear explanations and up-to-date information. 
  • Accessibility: Classes are available in both Classroom and Live-Online formats, offering flexibility and convenience for all students. 

Understanding Anthropology Optional Syllabus

The UPSC syllabus for Anthropology is divided into two papers, each designed to cover a broad spectrum of topics that provide a deep dive into the complexities of human societies, cultures, and biological underpinnings.

Anthropology Paper 1 

Paper 1 of the Anthropology optional is broad and intricate, exploring a range of topics that span the evolution of mankind to the intricacies of social structures within human communities. This paper is thoughtfully segmented into several detailed sections:

  • Theoretical Foundations: This section begins with an exploration into the meaning, scope, and development of anthropology, linking it to other disciplines such as history, economics, political science, and various sciences, thus laying a solid foundation for a comprehensive understanding of the field.
  • Branches of Anthropology: Provides extensive coverage of the main branches such as Socio-cultural, Biological, Archaeological, and Linguistic Anthropology, detailing their scope and relevance in contemporary research and application.
  • Human Evolution: Discusses the fundamental theories of evolution, the characteristics of primates, and notable evolutionary trends, providing insights into the biological lineage and cultural factors influencing human evolution.
  • Archaeology and Biological Concepts: Encompasses key principles of prehistoric archaeology including dating methods and cultural evolution, alongside an in-depth look at human genetics, cellular biology, and the mechanisms of inheritance and variation.
  • Social Structures and Institutions: Analyzes the nature of society and culture, examining how marriages, families, kinship systems, and economic and political organizations shape and are shaped by human interactions.
  • Anthropological Theories: Reviews various anthropological theories from classical to contemporary, such as evolutionism, functionalism, structuralism, and postmodern perspectives, offering a theoretical lens through which to view various anthropological issues.
  • Research Methods in Anthropology: Focuses on the methodology of anthropological research, including fieldwork tradition, data collection techniques, and analytical strategies, essential for aspiring anthropologists.

Anthropology Paper 2

Paper 2 of the Anthropology sharpens the focus to the Indian context, providing a detailed study of the evolution of Indian culture and its anthropological implications, along with the tribal issues and tribal perspective of Anthropology:

  • Cultural and Historical Evolution: Traces the progression from prehistoric times to the modern age, detailing the contributions of tribal cultures to Indian civilization and the influence of major religions and socio-political developments.
  • Indian Society and Social Systems: Deep dives into the complexities of traditional Indian social systems, the caste system, and the dynamic situations of tribal communities in India, examining their historical roots and contemporary transformations.
  • Contemporary Issues: Explores the challenges facing tribal communities including issues related to land, education, health, and economic disparities. It also explores the impact of globalization on traditional cultures.
  • Role of Anthropology in Modern India: Discusses how anthropological knowledge contributes to policy making, social justice, and sustainable development, emphasizing the practical application of anthropology in addressing social and cultural issues.
  • Tribal and Rural Development: Evaluates the role of anthropology in the development and implementation of programs aimed at tribal and rural upliftment, highlighting the interplay between anthropological insight and developmental policy.


The comprehensive nature of the syllabus, combined with its direct relevance to the dynamics of Indian society, makes Anthropology an invaluable optional for the aspirants of UPSC CSE. Anthropology is not just about studying the past but is increasingly relevant in addressing the contemporary issues that shape our world today.



What should be the strategy for the Anthropology Optional in UPSC?

The syllabus for Anthropology is organized into two papers – Paper I and II. Paper I covers broadly two areas of study – Sociocultural Anthropology and Physical Anthropology while Paper II covers Indian Anthropology. Paper 2 can further be classified into General Anthropology and Applied Anthropology.

While Paper I is about concepts and methods of Anthropology and the study of man, his society and culture, its theory and practice, Paper II focuses specifically on Indian society and culture and its various dimensions. While this division of the syllabus is more for the academic convenience of the student, anthropological discussions per se are very holistic in nature and require a comprehensive study that interconnects various topics in the syllabus. Paper 2 is a logical extension of Paper 1, and the latter lays the theoretical foundations for the former.

One of the key challenges is the availability of books specially tailor-made for the purpose of this examination. Aspirants who would like to pursue self-study may require more time than those who are taking advantage of our coaching classes. One should rely only on reliable resources like textbooks and avoid referring to any notes of past aspirants. The standards that are benchmarked for success in this exam, irrespective of the Optional subject, are very high.

Students should follow a structured approach, clearly listing down their study goals and preparing their own notes referring to the various resources. One should ideally start with Paper 1 and then proceed to Paper 2. Since there is some redundancy in the topics and the syllabus is randomly organised, one needs to proceed from basic concepts to higher-order topics like theories. Factual areas like archaeology can be dealt with simultaneously for both Papers 1 and 2.

Indian Anthropology or Paper 2 requires referring to certain government websites for data and information. This is especially for the various development programs meant for SCs, STs, Minorities, etc. However, since these and many other topics are common with GS, one can make comprehensive notes that will help in both.

Answer writing and practising previous-year questions (PYQs) is a must, and even before starting to prepare for a topic or chapter, an aspirant is advised to list down all the PYQs to understand the scope of each and every topic. PYQs should be used as a compass to chart one’s direction for preparation.

Anthropology touches upon every aspect of human life and human living globally. A student of Anthropology should be conscious of the events that may be relevant to the subject and the syllabus and try to include current examples in their answers. Ethnographic examples, theories and concepts that are related to these events should be connected. This ability naturally develops as one proceeds through various topics. This is an important aspect of preparation one should not ignore.


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