Political Science Optional Syllabus - Latest PSIR Syllabus UPSC 2023 | Get PSIR Syllabus PDF

By Shubhra Anand Jain|Updated : February 3rd, 2023

PSIR Optional Syllabus is released by the commission on the official website along with the UPSC Notification. Political Science and International Relations or PSIR is one of the most popular UPSC optional because the PSIR syllabus overlaps the GS syllabus. Candidates who plan to appear for the UPSC exam with PSIR Optional must go through the detailed Political Science and International Relations UPSC Syllabus for both Paper 1 and Paper 2. 

For a structured and planned preparation, candidates can also download the PSIR Optional Syllabus PDF, which largely covers topics related to political theory, international relations, Indian polity, comparative politics, and more.

Table of Content

PSIR Optional Syllabus Overview

Political Science Optional Syllabus is divided into two papers- Paper 1 and Paper 2. As per the UPSC Exam Pattern, each paper is of 250 marks and is descriptive in nature. 

UPSC Political Science Optional Syllabus

Sub-Topics

UPSC PSIR Syllabus Paper 1

>Section A: Political Theory and Indian Politics

>Section B: Indian Government and Politics

Political Science and International Relations UPSC Syllabus 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 Exam since a significant number of topics may be applied to your government job. 

PSIR Optional Syllabus

PSIR Optional Syllabus PDF

Download the UPSC Political Science Optional Syllabus PDF in both English and Hindi using the direct link mentioned below. Candidates who are preparing for the UPSC Exam in Hindi can also download the UPSC Exam in Hindi can also download the UPSC Political Science Optional Syllabus in Hindi. They can also go through topic wise यूपीएससी राजनीति विज्ञान और अंतरराष्ट्रीय संबंध पाठ्यक्रम 2022

PSIR Syllabus PDF

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.

UPSC PSIR Syllabus Paper 1

The paper 1 of the PSIR Optional Syllabus includes all the political theories and ideologies. The second part of the Political Science Syllabus paper covers Indian polity and nationalism. 

PSIR Syllabus Paper 1 - Section A

PSIR Syllabus

UPSC PSIR Syllabus Paper 1 - Section B

Political Science Optional Syllabus

PSIR Optional Syllabus

UPSC Political Science Optional Syllabus For Paper 2

The paper 2 of the PSIR Optionals must be covered along with the current affairs as it includes topics such as international relations and politics. 

PSIR Syllabus Paper 2 - Section A - Comparative Political Analysis and International Politics

Political Science Syllabus for UPSC

UPSC PSIR Syllabus Paper 2 - Section B - India and the World

Political Science UPSC Syllabus

How to Prepare PSIR 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 topics for UPSC 2023

 Paper 1 of PSIR Optional

  •  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 of the UPSC PSIR Syllabus 

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

This section of the UPSC PSIR Syllabus overlaps significantly with GS I and II. 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 

Preparation Strategy for PSIR Optional Paper 2 Section A 

This part is a combination of dynamic and static topics. Candidates can also refer to the detailed PSIR optional strategy for a better preparation plan. 

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 PSIR syllabus. 

PSIR Optional Strategy for 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.

Best Books for PSIR Optional Syllabus

Refer to the booklist mentioned below to ensure that you complete the Political Science Optional in a comprehensive manner. 

Sections of the PSIR Syllabus

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 

DD Basu’ Indian Constitution

Indian Politics 

The Oxford Companion to Politics in India by Bhanu Mehta 

Indian Thinkers

V.R. Mehta

Comparative Politics

J. C. Johari Book on Comparative Politics Book by 

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 and books. It is essential to understand and correlate current events with theories. It is advisable to look at UPSC previous year's papers from at least the last 5 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.

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UPSC Political Science Syllabus FAQs

  • Political Science Optional Syllabus includes paper 1 and paper 2. Paper 1 includes Political Theory and Indian Politics along with Indian Government and Politics. Paper 2 of the PSIR Syllabus 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. Candidates with a genuine interest in the subject don’t find it lengthy. 

  • Coaching is not essential if an aspirant can understand the PSIR Optional Syllabus by referring to multiple standard books and practicing answer writing by themselves. 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 PSIR Optional Syllabus, candidates can begin with the Laxmikant book and then move on to the advanced book for more conceptual clarity and knowledge.

  • To comprehensively cover the PSIR Optional Syllabus in 3 months, candidates must have a basic understanding of the subject or graduation in political science. Spend a few days on the previous year's papers to understand what kind of questions are asked from each topic. Then, cover the syllabus in s systematic manner. Spend the evenings practicing answer writing.

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