History Optional Subject for UPSC - Preparation and Strategy

by Vajiram & Ravi

History is not a subject it’s an experience. It is the study of political, economic, social and cultural evolution of mankind within the fabric of time and space. While studying history we understand formation and evolution of:

  • Political (Nature and evolution of state, politico-administrative systems, ideology of state and judicial character, military and statecraft etc.);
  • Social (nature, organisation, institutions, code of conduct etc.);
  • Economic (Mode of production, pattern of distribution, economic administration etc.);
  • Cultural (Science and technology, religion and ideology, art and architecture) life of man.
  • With Map work and spatial geography forming the basis of history it’s an ocean of knowledge which touches every aspect of human life.

If we consider General studies which comprises of:

  1. Paper 1 - History, society, Geography;
  2. Paper 2 - polity, administration and international relation;
  3. Paper 3 - Economy, science and technology;
  4. Paper 4 - philosophy and psychology.

We see that every aspect of GS is covered in someway or the other by history. History enables us to understand and analyse contemporary developments that are taking place. It connects the past to the present. The opinions formed are not mere conjectures but have a historical basis. Therefore the subject is described as the mother of all social sciences.

Apart from the academic excellence the subject offers the following advantages considering the Upsc examination:

  1. Closed ended static subject.
  2. Well defined precise syllabus making it a safe optional.
  3. Compatible with any academic background.
  4. Compulsory in General studies.
  5. Easy and scoring.
  6. Interesting.

As Theodore Roosevelt once quoted “The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future.”

All the best!