Anthropology Books for UPSC: Best Anthropology Optional Books PDF

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

Anthropology Books for UPSC are focused on issues and topics related to the development and Indian culture. As per the student’s feedback and preference, Anthropology is one of the safest optional subjects in the Civil Services Examination. The Anthropology Books for UPSC would be of significant help when it comes to preparing for the Anthropology syllabus efficiently.

The syllabus of anthropology is much more streamlined, and if candidates used the right Anthropology Optional Books, it would be immensely beneficial during preparation. The key step is to understand the anthropology syllabus, and then proceed with the preparation by choosing the Best Anthropology Books for UPSC.

Anthropology Books for UPSC

When it comes to building up a solid base on a particular subject, nothing can beat NCERT Books. Before reading some advanced-level anthropology books, you must cover some basic books to strengthen your foundation in the topics covered in the anthropology syllabus. A few such books are Biology NCERT book For Class 12(Chapters 5, 6, 7), Biology NCERT Class 12, and Indian Society – NCERT Class 12.

Anthropology Optional Books PDF

Those who have studied biology in their curriculum, or the MBBS students have an advantage if they choose Anthropology as their optional subject. However, those who have an interest in this subject can definitely pick this as their optional subject. there is no best optional subject for UPSC, it all depends on the availability of the USPC study material and the interest of the candidates.

Anthropology Optional Books for Paper 1

Below we have listed some of the highly recommended Anthropology Books for UPSC optional paper 1 by UPSC Toppers. As paper one includes topics like the development of anthropology, relationship with other disciplines, human evolution, etc. the following books would be the best choice.

  • Introducing Sociology NCERT Class XI
  • Measuring Time (Chapter 2) of Indian Prehistory – D.K Bhattacharya
  • Biology NCERT Class XII
  • Physical Anthropology – P. Nath
  • IGNOU MA Course for Anthropology
  • An Introduction to Social-Cultural Anthropology – N.K Vaid
  • An Introduction to Social Anthropology – D.N. Majumdar and T.N. Madan (for basic understating of Anthropology)
  • Anthropological Theories – Makhan Jha
  • Biology NCERT book For Class Xll (Chapters 5, 6, 7)

Anthropology Optional Books for Paper 2

When it comes to the Best Anthropology Books for UPSC optional paper 2, candidates must make their choice thoughtfully because this section includes very crucial topics included in Indian culture. Questions from this section can be asked in the IAS interview round as well so candidates need to be well-prepared. Below we have mentioned the Best Books for Anthropology Optional Paper 2.

  • Indian Anthropology –Nadeem Hasnain
  • Indian Society – NCERT Class XII
  • The Tribal Culture of India – LP Vidyarthi
  • Xaxa Report
  • Indian Society – NCERT Class XII
  • Tribal India – Nadeem Hasnain
  • Anthropology Simplified- Vivek Bhasme
  • January 2014 edition of Yojana- Tribal and Marginalized Communities
  • History of Anthropology Thought by Gaya Pandey & Vijay S Upadhyay

Best Anthropology Books for UPSC

Here we are going to discuss some anthropology books for UPSC that have been the best seller over the years, and we will also analyze what are the unique selling points of these books. The description of these books will help you to make your selection based on your requirements.

Tribal Indian by Nadeem Hasnain

This is another masterpiece by Nadeem Hassiin, and this is one of the few anthropology books for UPSC that mainly focuses on the involvement and origin of Tribal Communities in India. The simple narration of topics is the main attraction of this book. But candidates must remember that they need to study from other anthropology books for UPSC along with this book because this book only writes about tribes.

Indian Anthropology by Nadeem Hasnain

Without a doubt, it is one of the highly recommended anthropology books for UPSC. it was first published in 1996 and since it has been one of the best sellers. This book is mentioned above, and it covers both Paper 1 and Paper 2 in simple language.

History of Anthropology Thought by Gaya Pandey & Vijay S Upadhyay

This book covers everything from cultural evolution to religious evolution. This is divided into short ad easy chapters and it builds an interrelation between topics. Here the elements of social schools are described beautifully.

How to Prepare with Anthropology Optional Books?

Having a good preparation roadmap allows the candidates to prepare in an effective, and efficient manner.  Here are some tips, and tricks that will come in handy while covering the Anthropology Books for UPSC, and help you ace the paper.

  • If you are new to anthropology, you need to focus on building conceptual clarity and not aim to complete the syllabus quickly.
  • There is no need to read the complete book, just keep a syllabus near you and complete the relevant topics only.
  • Ember and Ember is a great book to begin for absolute beginners. Try to make rich and comprehensive notes as they can come in handy during the revision period.
  • Paper 2 is dynamic in nature, so it is recommended to keep track of current events by reading the best newspaper for UPSC related to anthropology. Try to add government schemes to your answer for paper 2.
  • Follow the diagrams and charts from Anthropology Optional  Books, and draw them during UPSC answer writing. Digrams would provide your edge over others, and they look more appealing with relevant information.
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