Why should I take anthropology?

Because Anthropology has the following advantages,

  • Scoring subject
  • Interesting subject
  • Easy to grasp even for a non science student
  • Short syllabus
  • Repeating questions and hence predictability of the questions
  • Questions are mostly direct and hence can be approached with prepared answers
  • Less competition
  • Liberal correction (as few take anthropology in KPSC unlike Kannada, geography, Public administration and Rural development)

Is it true that only science students should take Anthropology?

NO!!!!! As you can see in the syllabus only a fraction of the it (about 15%) contains science related topics and that too the Basics of Human evolution and genetics. These are school level and can be handled by any non science background student with ease. Further this makes the subject interesting as it brings in variety in your preparation. These questions need to be answered in points and hence makes it more easy to approach.

So what are the things that we need to study in Anthropology?

Majority of Paper 1 of Anthropology consists of study of human culture and society. Here we study the different aspects of human culture like Marriage, Religion, Economy etc and different explanation of how culture evolved. In addition Paper 1 also consists of how humans evolved and the variations in humans.

In paper 2 we mainly study about 2 things. One, about Indian culture, its different dimensions and the other about Indian tribes and their issues.

How many days do I need to prepare Anthropology?

Ah!!!! There lies its advantage. With the right kind of guidance and material roughly about 60-90 hours (30-45 classes) we can learn Anthropology. This should be followed by couple of revisions and answer writing practice, and you are all set for Mains.

How much can I score in Anthropology?

Anthropology is considered very safe subject. The average score has always been >50%. With a little extra practice one can be at the top of all the optionals.

OK! So where do I start now?

There are 2 approaches to mains optional

  1. Along with prelims preparation – so that u can complete syllabus once before prelims. And post prelims can be kept for revision and GS mains preparation
  2. After prelims exam – Anthro is most suitable at this time for those who didn’t find time before prelims as it takes less time (these aspirants should be better prepared with mains static topics in order to cope up)

It’s advisable to start anthro preparation as early as possible and with focussed, systematic study one can complete the subject by 3 months.

Where can I get coaching for Anthropology?

You are lucky.. NammaKPSC founder Dr Arjun Bopanna has been conducting classes for Anthropology for more than 7 years. Having himself cleared KPSC in 2014 and appeared for UPSC and KPSC interviews 4 times with anthropology optional, he is the best guide for anthropology in India. He conducts regular classes and test series for Anthropology. More than a dozen of his students have also cleared the exam under his mentorship. Here is the detail of the classes

Duration: 3 Months Anthropology class Programme
Venue 1: Bangalore IAS academy, near Hebbal Police station, Hebbal, Bangalore
Venue 2: NammaKPSC Academy, Near Athiguppe metro station, Vijayanagar, Bangalore
Batches: June (Mains Batch) October (Prelims + Mains Batch) 
For more details Contact: 9886151564/9886777417/ 080-42103963

What books should I refer?

You can refer to these text books

  • Social anthropology by majumdar/madan
  • Makhan jha’s book of anthropology theories
  • Indian anthropology by R.N. Sharma
  • Indian anthropology by Nadeem Hasnan
  • Tribal India by Nadeem Hasnan
  • P.Nath(preferred) /das for physical anthropology.

ANTHROPOLOGY test: Click here

Where can I buy anthropology books?

Here are the links of some of the books you will need for your preparation. 



Paper – 1

SECTION – I:Foundation of Anthropology:

  1. Meaning and scope of Anthropology and its main branches
    • Social and cultural anthropology
    • Physical Anthropology
    • Archaeological Anthropology
    • Linguistic Anthropology
    • Applied Anthropology
  2. Community and Society Institutions, group and association; culture and civilization; band and tribe.
  3. Marriage: The problems of universal definition; incest and prohibited categories; preferential forms of marriage; marriage payments; the family as the corner stone of human society; universality and the family, functions of the family, diverse forms of family, nuclear, extended, joint etc., Stability and change in the family.
  4. Kinship: Descent, residence, alliance, kins, terms and kinship behaviour, Lineage and clan.
  5. Economic Anthropology : Meaning and scope; modes of exchange, barter and ceremonial exchange; reciprocity and redistribution; market and trade.
  6. Political anthropology : Meaning and scope: The locus and power and the functions of Legitimate authority in different societies, Difference between State and Stateless political systems, Nation-building processes in new State, Law and justice in simpler societies.
  7. Religion: Origins of Religions, Animism and animatism, Difference between religion and magic, Totamism and Taber.
  8. Field work and field work tradition in Anthropology


  1. Foundations of the theory of organic evolution, Lamarckism, Darwinism and the synthetic theory; Human evolution, biological and cultural dimensions. Microevolution;
  2. The Order Primate : A comparative study of Primates with special reference to the anthropoid apes and man.
  3. Fossil evidence, for human evolution; Dryopithecus, Ramapithecus, Australopilecines, Homo erectus (Pithecanthroplines) Homosapiens, Neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens.
  4. Genetics definition : The medelian principles and its application to human population.
  5. Racial differentiation of Man and basis of racial classification-morphological, seriological and genetic, Role of heridity and environment In the formation of races.
  6. The effects of nutrition, Inbreeding and hybridization.


  1. Technique, method and methodology distinguished.
  2. Meaning of evolution-biological and socio-cultural the basic assumptions of 19th century evolutionism, The comparative trends, Contemporary trends in evolutionary studies.
  3. Diffusion and diffusionism-American diffusionism and historical ethnology of the German speaking ethnologists, The attack on the comparative method by diffusionists and Franz Boss. The nature, purpose and methods of comparison in social cultural anthropology Redelife-Brown, Eggan, Oscar Lewis and Sarana.
  4. Patterns, basic personality construct and model personality. The relevance of anthropological approach to national character studies, Recent trends in psychological anthropology. 5. Function and cause, Mainowski’s contribution to functionalism in social anthropology, Function and structure, Redciliffe-Brown, Firth, Fortes and Nadel.
  5. Structuralism in linguistics and in social anthropology, Levi-Strauss and Leach in viewing social structure as a model the structuralist method in the study of myth. New Ethnography and formal semantic analysis.
  6. Norms and Values, Values as a category of anthropological description. Values of anthropologist and anthropology as a source of values, Cultural relativism and the issue of universal values. 8.
  7. Social anthropology and history, Scientific and humanistic studies distinguished. A critical examination of the plea for the unity of method of the natural and social sciences. The nature and logic of anthropological field work method and its autonomy.

Paper – II: Indian Anthropology

  1. Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Protohistoric (Indus civilization) dimensions of Indian culture.
  2. Distribution and racial and linguistic elements In Indian population.
  3. The basis of Indian social system, Varna, Ashram, Purusharatha, Caste, Joint Family.
  4. The growth of Indian anthropology, Distinctiveness of anthropological contribution in the study of tribal and peasant sections of the Indian population, The basic concepts used, Great tradition and little tradition; sacred complex Universalization and parochialization; Sanskritization and Westernization; Dominant caste, Tribe-caste continuum, Nature-Man-Spirit complex.
  5. Ethnographic profiles of Indian tribes; racial linguistic and socioeconomic characteristic, Problems of tribal peoples, land-alienation, indebtedness, lack of educational facilities, shifting-cultivation, migration, forests and tribals unemployment, agricultural labour.
  6. Special problems of hunting and food-gathering and other minor tribes.
  7. The problems of culture-contact; impact of urbanization and industrialization depopulation, regionalism, economic and psychological frustrations.
  8. History of tribal administration, The constitutional safeguards for the Scheduled Tribes, Policies, Plans, programmes of tribal development and their implementations, the response of the tribal people to the Government measures for them, the different approaches to tribal problems, the role of anthropology in tribal development.
  9. The constitutional provisions regarding the scheduled castes, Social disabilities suffered by the Scheduled Castes and the socio-economic problems faced by them.
  10. Issues relating to national integration.


Here are some Model Question Paper from our UPSC Test series. You can download them for free..!!

test 1

test 2

test 3

test 4

test 5

test 6

4 thoughts on “ANTHROPOLOGY”

    1. Bro .in kannada there is no text books for book is there but it is not usefull so i dont recomended…..i m also searching for anthro

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *