#5: Indian Polity : Booklist , Syllabus & Preparation Strategy

What is Polity?

A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of institutionalized social relations, and have a capacity to mobilize resource

Polity is a crucial part of all the  competitive exams, especially in civil service. It has an integral  role in the three stages of UPSC civil service examination-Prelims, Mains or Interview. Even after   getting into service, it does not leave its charm  as it forms an important part of the administration and governance

Syllabus for polity

Preliminary Exam Syllabus for Polity

  • Indian polity and governance – Constitution
  • Political system
  • Panchayati Raj Public Policy, Rights Issues etc.

Mains exam syllabus for polity:

The UPSC syllabus for General Studies Paper-II encompasses the Indian polity section. The polity section syllabus is given here:

Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice:

  • Indian Constitution – historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure
  • Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein
  • Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries
  • Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions
  • Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, the conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these
  • Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies
  • Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity
  • Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act
  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation
  • Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies
  • Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections
  • Health, Education, Human Resources
  • Development processes and the development industry the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders
  • Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to
  • Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures
  • Issues relating to poverty and hunger
  • Role of civil services in a democracy

Here, we will discuss the Booklist for Polity:


  • NCERT Class XI – Political Science: Indian Constitution at Work 
  • NCERT Class XII – Political Science I: Contemporary World Politics
  • NCERT Class XII – Political Science II: Politics in India since Independence

Detailed references

  • Indian Polity  – M. Laxmikanth
  • Objective Indian Polity: General Studies – Paper I by M. Laxmikanth
  • Constitution of India 

Other Resources:

  • Newspaper- The Hindu, Indian Express
  • http://pib.nic.in/
  • http://prsindia.com/
  • Yojana and Kurukshetra Magazines,
  • ‘India Yearbook’ published by the Publication Division
  • Ministry of Information

How to make notes?

  • Start with NCERTs
  • The Indian Polity by Laxmikanth is easy and the most comprehensive book to go through,
  • After  these two, one can proceed with D.D Basu for an in-depth knowledge.
  • The Hindu Newspaper
  • Yearly magazine of choice
  • The Constitution is the most important topic.
  • Rather than just memorizing the Articles, it is necessary to get a complete understanding of the Articles
  • Highlight the important points
  • Make detailed notes with maps, references, Mnemonics wherever needed.
  • Make notes with newspaper articles too which may include new changes in the constitution, new bills, etc.

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