UPSC Courses


Polity And Governance

Indian Constitution: historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure:

Significant Provisions and Amendments of Constitution It is very important to study and analyse the significant provisions of the constitution such as citizenship, legislature, executive, emergency provisions, Panchayat and Special provisions relating to different classes. Important amendments to the constitution should also be studied like 42nd amendment, 44th amendment etc. The background and the causes of bringing it up must be also looked at in detail.

Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries: It is mandatory to have an understanding of the salient features of Constitutions across the World US, UK, Russia, France, Canada, Australia etc. Borrowed features of Indian Constitution like Written Constitution, Rigidity or flexibility of the Constitution, Emergency provisions, etc.

Separation of powers between various organs, Dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions : Basic understanding of various organs of the state Legislative, Executive and the Judiciary and focus on issues like overlapping functions of the three organs of the State; Concept of Checks and balance; Judicial Activism, Judicial Overreach., UPSC, NITI Ayog, Finance Commission etc. Dispute Redressal mechanisms and Institutions Judiciary, Tribunals, Lok Adalat, Lokayukta, Inter-State Council, Zonal Councils also form an important part of the syllabus.

Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive, the Judiciary, Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity : President, Vice-President, Prime Minister, Governor, Chief Minister, Attorney General, Advocate General of the State, Cabinet Ministers, Council of Ministers both at the Centre and the State. Judiciary will include Supreme Court, High Courts and Lower Judiciary of the states, powers of these courts very exhaustively. Pressure groups can range from Business Groups (FICCI, ASSOCHAM), Trade Unions, Agrarian Groups (All India KisanSabha), Linguistic Groups, Tribal Organisations, etc.

Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies like NITI Aayog, NHRC, CVC, CIC, Lokpal, Lokayukta, Regulatory SEBI, RBI, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, TRAI, CCI,National Green Tribunal, etc.

Topics of Polity for Prelim Examination and Mains Examination are interlinked and most of the polity preparation is complete before prelims, so for more detailed strategy for how to study Polity visit Prelims Strategy for Polity Click Here


Governance and Social Justice

Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

For this part, firstly one needs to be very well acquainted with various governmental development interventions and programmes concerning rural development, urban development, social development, infrastructural development and other various other interventions for inclusive development of the nation.

Now, when talking about inter emotions and programme, sector specifications approach will be very useful such as allowing FDI in a various sector or bringing out reforms in Education, Health Sector, Irrigation sector, Agriculture sector etc. with the launch of schemes like Ayushman Bharat, Make in India, MNREGA etc.

Next part is focussed on getting acquainted with issues such as its efficacy, pros and cons, study of its implementation lastly any suggestions for the betterment of these programmes.

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.

For this sub-topic, it is very essential to know about various welfare schemes and mechanisms that have been initiated by Government for the empowerment of vulnerable population such as women, minorities, children, disabled, poor, scheduled castes, scheduled tribes etc.

Also, there must be a comprehensive study of Pros and cons related to implementation and functioning of these initiatives like JananiShishuSurakshakaryakram, NaiManzil scheme, Sugam Bharat Abhiyan etc.

Then the focus must shift towards the various institutions that have been set up for promoting interests of these sections like National Commission for women, National Commission for Minorities, National Commission for protection of child rights etc. and the concerned statutes.

Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector or Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

This sub-topic of the Governance & Social Justice part requires an in-depth study of development and management of initiatives by the government on the promotion of health, education and skill development as to utilise the human capabilities.

Schemes like SarvaShikshaAbhiyan, Mid Day Meals programme, National Health Mission, National Skill Development Programme and various other initiatives need to be studied very objectively with focus on its efficacy, implementation and the change that they have brought.

Issues relating to poverty and hunger

For this sub-topic focus must be on two aspects of destitution - Poverty and Malnutrition.Focus on various definitions of poverty, official measurement of poverty, recommendations of committees like Suresh Tendulkar and C. Rangarajan on deciding the poverty line and reasons for poverty. Malnutrition is one of the problems affecting India in a big way and various committees and bodies have made recommendations for the eradication of Poverty and Malnutrition. Solutions like Public Distribution System, National Food Security Act etc. and their broad principles, objectives, effectiveness, deficiencies and weaknesses must be incorporated while studying these topics.

Development processes and the development industry- the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.

The sub-topic focusses on the role played by Civil society organisations like NGOs, SHGs various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders in alleviating poverty and unemployment, aiding in-development initiatives concerning health, education and social sectors, organising various awareness generation programs on ongoing schemes of government

Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

This sub-topic deals with studying the important aspects of governance like transparency, accountability, effectiveness in decision-making process. It is one of the most important topics which is much closer to the real duties of a civil servant. The topic also includes measures taken by Government in enhancing transparency, accountability, participation and effectiveness of governance with the help of tools like RTI, Citizens charter and grievance redressal mechanisms. Their effectiveness and weaknesses like delay in disposing of RTI related queries, delay in appointment of heads of Lokpal and Lokayukta, poor enforcement of decisions by information commissions and lack of enforcement mechanisms.

Role of civil services in a democracy.

Now, this sub-topic requires you to have an in-depth knowledge of the Civil services system in India whereby knowing the role played by civil services in policy making &it’s implementation and the role of civil servants in development and upholding the law and order & constitutional obligations of the country. The challenges that civil servants face like extreme political interference, external and internal pressures in performing the functions and the constitutional provisions relating to recruitment/suspension/dismissal/reduction in rank (Article 311) must also be dealt with.


  • ARC 12th Report- Citizen Centric Administration
  • ARC 11th Report- Promoting e-Governance.
  • Press Information Bureau
  • The Hindu
  • NCERT, Class 6th – 12th
  • India Year Book.
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