UPSC Political Science Syllabus 2022 - UPSC PSIR Optional Syllabus PDF

By K Balaji|Updated : October 2nd, 2022

Political Science and International Relations or PSIR is one of the most popular UPSC optional because the UPSC PSIR optional syllabus has a huge overall with the GS syllabus. Candidates who have decided to attempt the UPSC exam with PSIR must go through the detailed political science and international relations syllabus to understand the topics to be covered. Download the UPSC PSIR syllabus to begin with as it will allow you to structure your preparation. The UPSC political science syllabus (optional) largely covers topics related to political theory, international relations, Indian polity, comparative politics and more.

Table of Content

Political Science and International Relations Optional Syllabus Overview

The UPSC PSIR optional syllabus is divided into two papers- Paper 1 and Paper 2. Each paper is of 250 marks and is descriptive in nature. 

UPSC PSIR Optional Syllabus 


UPSC IAS Political Science Optional Paper 1

  • Section A: Political Theory and Indian Politics
  • Section B: Indian Government and Politics

UPSC IAS Political Science Optional Paper 2

  • Section A: Comparative Political Analysis and International Politics
  • Section B: India and the World

The PSIR optional syllabus is extremely beneficial even after passing the IAS test since a significant number of topics may be applied to your government job. 

Political Science and International Relations UPSC Syllabus

Many people think the UPSC political science optional syllabus is vast and boring, however, it is one of the most educational and important subjects for any prospective government servant. The IAS PSIR covers the law of the land, ideas and concepts that underpin any government or state, as well as Indian nationalism and international order. Due to its non-technical character, GS Polity may readily be included in the preparation.

Download UPSC Political Science Syllabus PDF

Download the UPSC political science syllabus PDF in both English and Hindi using the direct link mentioned below. 

UPSC Political Science Syllabus For Paper 1

UPSC PSIR Paper 1 - Section A

UPSC PSIR Syllabus Paper 1

UPSC PSIR Paper 1 - Section B

PSIR Optional Syllabus Paper 1

UPSC Political Science Syllabus

UPSC Political Science Syllabus For Paper 2

UPSC PSIR Paper 1 - Section A - Comparative Political Analysis and International Politics

PSIR Optional Syllabus Paper 2

UPSC PSIR Paper 1 - Section B - India and the World

UPSC Political Science Optional Syllabus Paper 2

How to Prepare UPSC Political Science Optional Syllabus?

As you may have seen, the political science optional syllabus is divided into two parts. And each section has two parts. Understand how to prepare for each of the following: 

 Paper 1 Part A:

  •  Focus on completing the static part of the program. 
  • Then, review it several times to solidify your understanding of this section. 

You can refer to the following resources to complete this section: 

  •  Political Thoughts of O.P. Gauba
  • Political Thoughts of India: V R Mehta 
  •  Western Political Thought: 
  •  Brian Nelson (excellent book)

 This section shows that the program overlaps significantly with GS I and II, but should be read with a taste of the option.

 Good command over current affairs is also needed to crack this section.

You can refer to the following resources: 

  •  Indian National Movement – Bipin Chandra + Spectrum 
  •  Indian Polity – B. L. Fadia (Very selective) + Laxmikanth 

 Paper 2 Section A 

 This part is a combination of dynamic and static topics

 For static topics, you can refer to the IGNOU Notes. However, be extremely selective while reading IGNOU notes. You do not need to read cover to cover. Read as per the demand of the syllabus. 

 Paper 2 Section B

This part is heavily dependent on current affairs. Questions are generally asked on the current topics. Therefore, make sure you are familiar with current affairs.

PSIR Optional Syllabus - Best Books

Refer to the UPSC PSIR booklist mentioned below to ensure that you complete the syllabus in a comprehensive manner. 


Book Name

Political Theory

Brian Nelson, Western Political Thought by  Subrata Mukherjee and Sushila Ramaswamy

Section B: Indian Government and Politics

A Brief History of Modern India Spectrum Book

Indian Constitution 

Indian Constitution- DD Basu 

Indian Politics 

The Oxford Companion to Politics in India by Bhanu Mehta 

Indian Thinkers

V.R. Mehta

Comparative Politics

Comparative Politics Book by J. C. Johari

Theory of International Politics

The Globalization of World Politics Book by John Baylis, Patricia Owens, and Steve Smith

World Political Issues

Global Politics by Andrew Heywood 

India and the World 

The Oxford Handbook of Indian Foreign Policy edited by C.Rajamohan

The international relations UPSC syllabus requires continuous preparation of current affairs along with the books. It is essential to understand and correlate current events with theories. It is advisable to look at PSEIR previous year's papers from at least the last 3 years to understand the nature of the issues and the depth of the topic to be read. This will help you determine how much and how long you need to invest in the option.


List of UPSC Optional Subjects Syllabus
UPSC Agriculture SyllabusUPSC Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science Syllabus
UPSC Anthropology SyllabusUPSC Botany Syllabus
UPSC Chemistry SyllabusUPSC Civil Engineering Syllabus
UPSC Commerce and Accountancy SyllabusUPSC Economics Syllabus
UPSC Electrical Engineering SyllabusUPSC English Literature Syllabus
UPSC Geography Syllabus UPSC Geology Syllabus
UPSC Hindi Literature SyllabusUPSC History Syllabus
UPSC Law SyllabusUPSC Management Syllabus
UPSC Maths Optional SyllabusUPSC Mechanical Engineering Syllabus
UPSC Medical Science SyllabusUPSC Philosophy Syllabus
UPSC Physics SyllabusUPSC CSAT Syllabus
UPSC Psychology SyllabusUPSC Public Administration Syllabus
UPSC Science and Technology SyllabusUPSC Sociology Optional Syllabus
UPSC Statistics SyllabusUPSC Zoology Syllabus


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UPSC Political Science Syllabus FAQs

  • The UPSC PSIR syllabus 2022 includes paper 1 and paper 2. Paper 1 includes Political Theory and Indian Politics along with Indian Government and Politics. Paper 2 covers Comparative Political Analysis and International Politics and India and the World.

  • The UPSC political science optional syllabus is similar to other optional subjects. If planned and prepared in a strategic manner, the syllabus can be completed in time. 

  • If an aspirant can understand the UPSC political science syllabus 2022 by referring to multiple standard books and practising answer writing by themselves, coaching is not essential. The aspirants can pay for answer writing mock tests to get their answers evaluated by experts and minimize errors. 

  • For the Indian Polity section of the UPSC political science syllabus requires more conceptual clarity and knowledge.

  • Yes, Polity and Political Science are different. Political Science studies, researches and reconsiders existing notions of political power, right, and responsibilities.

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