How to Study Society in GS for IAS Exam

How to Study Society in GS for IAS Exam
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Here we are discussing strategy for How to Study Society in GS for IAS Exam? This strategy will help you to prepare prelims and mains exam in 6 days.


What is Society?

Society refers to the changing pattern of social relationships. It is a system of usages and procedures, of authority
and mutual aid, of many groupings and divisions, of controls of human behavior and of liberties. It unfolds as it
evolves; involving both continuity and change. Moreover, a society like ours is not only plural and diverse, but also
unequal.

Society and man being co-existent, it is important to question and understand why and how society functions the
way it does. It is also critical to understand society, since it is the context in which everything takes place. This makes
it important to think, reflect and relate to its various facets.

Why in Examination?

It is hardly any surprise that UPSC has included Society in the General Studies section of Mains. It is no secret that
the plans, policies, programmes and schemes formulated and implemented by the government, seldom lead to the
desired objectives. A good understanding of Society will not only help civil servants better understand the
underlying reasons of the events happening around them, but also ensure that the government’s objectives are
more effectively achieved, in tune with the elements of continuity and change our social environment is composed
of.

Thus, the following need to be kept in mind while studying the topic of Society:

  1. To relate to whatever is studied in G.S. with the outside environment.
  2.  To enable ourselves to observe and interpret social life.
  3. To be aware of the complexity of social processes.
  4. To appreciate diversity in the Indian Society, as well as the world at large.
  5. To build our capacity in understanding and analyzing the changes in the contemporary Indian Society.

The Examination Perspective

Discussing the Society section from an examination perspective by looking at the syllabus of Mains in detail, along
with the past few years’ papers, one gets a fair bit of idea on what and how to prepare for the exam. The following
books can be read for specific chapters as mentioned in Basic References:

The complete NCERTs (specifically of Sociology) need not be read before the classes, as they are highly technical and
can create unnecessary confusion. However, they can be given a complete reading after the Lecture series is over
for a holistic and integrated understanding. Nonetheless, the relevant content will be covered in class and handouts.
There are some secondary reference sources along with content on some current issues, which could also be
covered for a comprehensive preparation. They shall be adequately covered in class and handouts.

Keeping the Focus Right

One important thing that needs to be constantly kept in mind is that one must go through the syllabus along with
the questions asked in Mains, before and after completing each section. This will help in ensuring that based on your
understanding; you pick up the most relevant aspects from the examination perspective. This will also help in
building confidence that you would be able to answer the questions, UPSC has asked from those sections. If you
could answer the present set of questions, there is no reason why you will not be able to answer the questions that
would be asked in the future. Just one more important thing – you also need to practice answer writing and hone
your presentation skills. This is where we will help you to overcome the initial inertia, and put you in a disciplined
routine of regularly answering in the classroom program.

Another note of caution is that the data available in these books is generally old. So one should not pick the data
from NCERTs and should rather refer the latest India Year Book (published by the Government of India, Publication
Division) and Economic Survey of the given year, Census 2011 and updated government sources (websites).
Since the questions on this topic are not usually factual, rather mostly conceptual and application oriented, so our
the focus should be more towards developing conceptual clarity and learning how to apply key concepts to real world
problems.

A Plan of Action

Now arises the question of how to complete these readings. One way to cover these would be to design your
personal study program. Try to create a schedule: an orderly, systematic approach is not only beneficial but also
critical in an examination like the UPSC CSE. Preferably dedicate a consistent block of time every day of the week.
You can also set a few learning outcomes for a chapter after browsing through it quickly. Then go for a thorough
reading. Once you complete it, see whether the learning outcomes you predicted made sense and helped you
answer the questions given at the end of the chapter.

Students are suggested to read the following NCERT Books before attending the particular class so that
the class discussion will prove to be more fruitful.

Day 1

Tentative list of topics to be covered: Salient Features of Indian Society, Diversity of India

Basic References ( BR):

  • NCERT – Introducing Sociology – Chapter 3 – Understanding Social Institutions
  • NCERT – Indian Society – Chapter 3,6
  • NIOS- Sn. Sec. Course – Sociology – Module 4 – Indian Society – Caste System in India
  • NIOS- Sn. Sec. Course – Sociology – Module 4 – Indian Society – Major Religious Communities in India
  • NIOS- Sn. Sec. Course – Sociology – Module 4 – Indian Society –Unity and Diversity

Day 2

Tentative list of topics to be covered: Role of women and women’s organization.

BR: 1. NIOS- Sn. Sec. Course – Sociology – Optional Module 1 – Status of Women (complete)

How to Study Society in GS for IAS Exam

Day 3

Tentative list of topics to be covered: Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism and secularism

BR: 1. NIOS- Sn. Sec. Course – Sociology – Module 4 – Indian Society – National Integration: Concept and Challenge.
2. NIOS – Sec. Course – Social Science- Socio-Economic Development and Empowerment of Disadvantaged
Groups.

How to Study Society in GS for IAS Exam

Day 4

Tentative list of topics to be covered: Effects of Globalization on Indian Society.

BR: 1. NCERT – Social Change and Development in India- Chapter 6 – Globalization and Social Change

How to Study Society in GS for IAS Exam

Day 5

Tentative list of topics to be covered: Population and associated issues, Poverty and development issues Part -1.

BR: 1. NCERT FOHG – UNIT 2 – Chapter 2,3,4
2. NCERT IPE – UNIT -1 – Chapter 1,2,3
3. NCERT – Indian Society – Chapter 2
4. NIOS- Sn. Sec. Course – Sociology – Module 4 – Indian Society – Major Social Problems in India
5. NIOS – Sec. Course – Social Science – Population – Our Greatest Resource

Class 6

Tentative list of topics to be covered: Poverty and developmental issues Part -2, Urbanization

BR:1. NCERT FOHG – UNIT-4 – Chapter 10
2. NCERT IPE – UNIT -2 – Chapter 4

Pramesh eLib has covered related Problems and Remedies as per the key topic in the various article

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