PSIR Optional Syllabus & Previous Year Questions for UPSC Skip to main content

UPSC PSIR Optional

Political Science and International Relations is one of UPSC’s best and most scoring optionals that has consistently produced a lot of UPSC Toppers every year including Ishita Kishore (AIR 1 – 2022), Utkarsh Dwivedi (AIR 5 – 2022), Ankita Agarwal (AIR 2 – 2021), Tina Dabi (AIR 1 – 2015) and many more. PSIR Optional was the most preferred subject among the optional subjects chosen by the candidates, followed by Geography and Sociology as per UPSC Annual Report in 2021.

UPSC Political Science & IR Topper's Booklist

One thing common to the UPSC Strategy of UPSC Toppers is having a Consolidated Booklist of PSIR Optional which includes basic sources to cover both papers of PSIR. Political Science and International Relations has Two Papers with respective syllabus (Click Here)

See Detailed PSIR Strategy Discussion – Click Here to View on YouTube

Here is a List of Basic and Additional Books and Sources to use to cover Paper 1 and Paper 2 of PSIR Optional that are recommended by UPSC Toppers as well:

Paper 1 Part A – Western Political Thought, Indian Political Thought and Political Theory

Essential Books and Sources:

  • MPSE 003 – Western Political Thought (Plato to Marx)
  • MPSE 004 – IGNOU Material- Social and Political Thought in Modern India
  • An Introduction to Political Theory” by O.P Gauba. 7 TH EDITION, Mayur Publications
  • Editorials on important personalities, theoretical concepts and book reviews in news.
  • Justice series by Michael Sandel on YT.
  • See Our free lectures on Political Thought and Theory: Click Here

Additional Books and Sources:

  • “A History of Political Thought: Plato to Marx” by Subrata Mukherjee and Sushila Ramaswamy.
  • “Western Political Thought: From Socrates to the age of Ideology” by Brian. R. Nelson.
  • “Modern Indian Political Thought: Text and Context” by Bidyut Chakrabarty and Rajendra Kumar Pandey.
  • “Political Theory: An Introduction” by Rajeev Bhargava and Ashok Acharya, 2nd edition, Pearson.
  • “Political Theory: An Introduction” by Andrew Heywood.

Paper 1 Part B – Indian Government and Politics

Essential Books and Sources: 

  • India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipin Chandra.
  • Indian Polity by Laxmikanth.
  • The Oxford Companion to Politics in India by Niraja Gopal Jayal and Pratap Bhanu Mehta.
  • Rethinking Public Institutions in India by P.B. Mehta, Devesh Kapur and Milan Vaishnav.
  • Editorials on IGP by P.B. Mehta, Gopalkrishna Gandhi, Gautam Bhatia, Suhrith Parthasarthy, Christopher Jaffrelot, Ashok Gulati, Jean Derez, etc.

Additional Books and Sources:  

  • Indian Government and Politics by A.S.Narang, Geetanjali Publication
  • “Our Constitution: An Introduction to India’s Constitution and Constitutional Law” by Subhash C. Kashyap.

Paper 2 Part A – Comparative Politics and International Relations

Essential Books and Sources: 

  • The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations by John Baylis, Steve Smith and Patricia Owens.
  • Global Politics by Andrew Heywood.
  • MPS 004 – IGNOU Material Comparative Politics: Issues and Trends
  • Editorials by Shyam Saran, C. Raja Mohan, Harsh Pant, Amitabh Mattoo, Suhasini Haider, Happymon Jacob, Stanly Johnny and Websites like ORF, IDSA, Project Syndicate, Council on Foreign Relations etc.

See our FREE Lectures on Comparative Politics and International Relations Theory: Click Here

Additional Books and Sources: 

  • Theories of International Relations by Palgrave publications.
  • Introduction to International Relations: Theories and Approaches by Georg Sorenson and Robert Jackson.

Paper 2 Part B – India and the World

  • Updates on PIB and MEA Website including the Distinguished Handbook Series.
  • Editorials by Shyam Saran, C. Raja Mohan, Harsh Pant, Amitabh Mattoo, Suhasini Haider, Happymon Jacob, Stanly Johnny and Websites like ORF, IDSA, Project Syndicate, Council on Foreign Relations etc.
  • Indian Foreign Policy: An Overview by Harsh Pant.

See our FREE Lectures on India’s Foreign Policy: Click Here

Additional Books and Sources: 

  • Choices: Inside the Making of Indian Foreign Policy by Shivshankar Menon
  • Can the Elephant Dance? By David Malone
  • MPSE-001 – IGNOU Material – India and the World (Unit 1-6)

See How to Approach Political Science and International Relations Answer Writing: Click Here

For FREE Downloads of Resources, Join our PSIR Telegram Group: https://t.me/PSIRforUPSCandPCS

Is PSIR Optional the Right Choice?

Massive Overlap with GS and Essay

Parts of GS 1, GS 4 and entire GS 2 have an overlap with PSIR. The Optional also gives you an edge in philosophical essays.

Newspaper ka Best Friend

Given the dynamism of Optional, PSIR helps understanding the Newspaper and cope with GS Current Affairs

Consistently Created Toppers

PSIR has consistently given the UPSC many Toppers in Top 20 over the years.

Availability of Material

Being a popular optional, multilingual resources for the same are present for aspirants to use.

UPSC Political Science & International Relations Syllabus

PSIR Optional syllabus is extremely detailed and all topics are listed out by UPSC. The Optional is divided into 2 parts – Paper 1 dealing with Western Political Thought, Indian Political Thought, Political Theory and Indian Government and Politics. Paper 2 deals with Comparative Politics, International Relations and India’s relations with the World.

UPSC PSIR Optional – Paper 1 Syllabus

Political Theory and Indian Politics

  • Political Theory: meaning and approaches.
  • Theories of State: Liberal, Neo-liberal, Marxist, Pluiralist, post-colonial and Feminist.
  • Justice: Conceptions of justice with special reference to Rawl’s theory of justice and its communitarian critiques.
  • Equality: Social, political and economic; relationship between equality and freedom; Affirmative action.
  • Rights: Meaning and theories; different kinds of rights; Concept of Human Rights.
  • Democracy: Classical and contemporary theories; different models of democracy—representative, participatory and deliberative.
  • Concept of power: hegemony, ideology and legitimacy.
  • Political Ideologies: Liberalism, Socialism, Marxism, Fascism, Gandhism and Feminism.
  • Indian Political Thought: Dharamshastra, Arthashastra and Buddhist Traditions; Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Sri Aurobindo, M. K. Gandhi, B. R. Ambedkar, M. N. Roy.
  • Western Political Thought: Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, John S. Mill, Marx, Gramsci, Hannah Arendt.

Indian Government and Politics

  • Indian Nationalism: Political Strategies of India’s Freedom Struggle : Constitutionalism to mass Satyagraha, Non-cooperation, Civil Disobedience; Militant and Revolutionary Movements, Peasant and Workers Movements; Perspectives on Indian National Movement; Liberal, Socialist and Marxist; Radical Humanist and Dalit.
  • Making of the Indian Constitution: Legacies of the British rule; different social and political perspectives.
  • Salient Features of the Indian Constitution : The Preamble, Fundamental Rights and Duties, Directive Principles; Parliamentary System and Amendment Procedures; Judicial Review and Basic Structure doctrine.
  • Principal Organs of the Union Government : Envisaged role and actual working of the Executive, Legislature and Supreme Court; Principal Organs of the State Government: Envisaged role and actual working of the Executive, Legislature and High Courts.
  • Grassroots Democracy: Panchayati Raj and Municipal Government; Significance of 73rd and 74th Amendments; Grassroot movements.
  • Statutory Institutions/Commissions: Election Commission, Comptroller and Auditor General, Finance Commission, Union Public Service Commission, National Commission for Scheduled Castes, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, National Commission for Women; National Human Rights Commission, National Commission for Minorities, National Backward Classes Commission.
  • Federalism: Constitutional provisions; changing nature of centre-state relations; integrationist tendencies and regional aspirations; inter-state disputes.
  • Planning and Economic development: Nehruvian and Gandhian perspectives; Role of Government strives to have a workforce which reflects gender balance and women candidates are encouraged to apply. planning and public sector; Green Revolution, land reforms and agrarian relations; liberalization and economic reforms.
  • Caste, Religion and Ethnicity in Indian Politics.
  • Party System: National and regional political parties, ideological and social bases of parties; Patterns of coalition politics; Pressure groups, trends in electoral behaviour; changing socio-economic profile of Legislators.
  • Social Movement: Civil liberties and human rights movements; women’s movements; environmentalist movements.

UPSC PSIR Optional – Paper 2 Syllabus

Comparative Political Analysis and International Politics

  • Comparative Politics: Nature and major approaches; Political economy and political sociology perspectives; Limitations of the comparative method.
  • State in Comparative Perspective: Characteristics and changing nature of the State in capitalist and socialist economies, and advanced industrial and developing societies.
  • Politics of Representation and Participation: Political parties, pressure groups and social movements in advanced industrial and developing societies.
  • Globalisation: Responses from developed and developing societies.
  • Approaches to the Study of International Relations: Idealist, Realist, Marxist, Functionalist and Systems theory.
  • Key Concepts in International Relations: National interest, security and power; Balance of power and deterrence; Transational actors and collective security; World capitalist economy and globalisation.
  • Changing International Political Order: Rise of super powers; Strategic and ideological Bipolarity, arms race and cold war; Nuclear threat; Non-aligned Movement: Aims and achievements; Collapse of the Soviet Union; Unipolarity and American hegemony; Relevance of non-alignment in the contemporary world.
  • Evolution of the International Economic System: From Brettonwoods to WTO; Socialist economies and the CMEA (Council for Mutual Economic Assistance); Third World demand for new international economic order; Globalisation of the world economy.
  • United Nations: Envisaged role and actual record; Specialized UN agencies—aims and functioning; need for UN reforms.
  • Regionalisation of World Politics: EU, ASEAN, APEC, AARC, NAFTA.
  • Contemporary Global Concerns: Democracy, human rights, environment, gender justice terrorism, nuclear proliferation.

India and the World

  • Indian Foreign Policy: Determinants of foreign policy; the institutions of policy-making; Government strives to have a workforce which reflects gender balance and women candidates are encouraged to apply. Continuity and change.
  • India’s Contribution to the Non-Alignment Movement Different phases; Current role.
  • India and South Asia: Regional Co-operation: SAARC-past performance and future prospects; South Asia as a Free Trade Area; India’s “Look East” policy; Impediments to regional co-operation: River water disputes; illegal cross border migration; Ethnic conflicts and insurgencies; Border disputes.
  • India and the Global South: Relations with Africa and Latin America; Leadership role in the demand for NIEO and WTO negotiations.
  • India and the Global Centres of Power: USA, EU, Japan, China and Russia.
  • India and the UN System: Role in UN Peace-Keeping; Demand for Permanent Seat in the Security Council.
  • India and the Nuclear Question: Changing perceptions and policy.
  • Recent developments in Indian Foreign Policy: India’s position on the recent crises in Afghanistan, Iraq and West Asia, growing relations with US and Israel; Vision of a new world order.

Ready to Start Your UPSC Journey with PSIR Optional?

UPSC Previous Year Questions for PSIR

Paper-1

SECTION ‘A’

  1. Comment on the following in about 150 words each :
    a) Normative approach in Political Science
    b) Multicultural perspective on rights
    c) State of Nature as State of War (Hobbes)
    d) Foucault’s concept of power
    e) Decline of political theory
  2. Answer the following:
    a) Success of contemporary democracies lies in the State limiting its own power. Explain.
    b) Rawls’ idea of the ‘liberal self’ is too individualistic- Explain,in this context, the communitarian critique of Rawls’ theory of justice.
    c) ‘Credo of Relevance’ in post-behaviouralism advocates the importance of action science. Analyse.
  3. Answer the following:
    a) Fascism displays an ambivalent stance towards parliamentary democracy. Explain.
    b) Affirmative Action Policies draw as much strong criticism as strong support. Analyze this statement in the context of equality.
    c) Eurocentrism is both the target and the motive force of the post-colonial political theory. Discuss.
  4. Answer the following:
    a) Buddhist thought on Dhamma facilitates the emancipation of political action. Explain.
    b) “The legal subordination of one señ to another is wrong in itself, and now one of the chief hindrances to human development. (J. S. Mill) Comment.
    c) Sri Aurobindo’s idea of Swaraj has deep significance in the Indian social, political and cultural history. Analyse.

SECTION ‘B’

  1. Comment on the following in about 150 words each.
    a) Imprint of the British Constitution on the Indian Constitution
    b) Environmentalism of the poor
    c) Functions of District Planning Committee
    d) Satyagraha and Indian Nationalism
    e) National Commission for Minorities
  2. Answer the following:
    a) Discuss the major provisions of the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act. Do you think that the Act remains an “unfulfilled dream”? Argue your case.
    b) How does NITI Aayog as a ‘policy think tank with shared vision’ visualise the reorganisation of planning in India\ Justify your answer.
    c) The Constitution of India is the ‘cornerstone of a nation’. (Granville Austin) Analyse.
  3. Answer the following:
    a) Does the actual working of Indian federalism conform to the centralising tendencies in Indian polity? Give reasons for your answer.
    b) The main goal of the Fundamental Duties in the Indian Constitution is to generate civic responsibility among the citizens. Explain.
    c) Dr. Ambedkar’s clarion call, “Educate, Agitate and Organise”, strategizes the Dalit movement towards achieving civil liberty. Discuss.
  4. Answer the following:
    a) The rise of caste politics is to be attributed to both regional aspirations and electoral manifestations. Comment.
    b) The decade 1989-1999 has created an epochal shift in the Indian party system at the national level. Identify the major national trends in the party system during this era.
    c) Do you agree that over the years the Supreme Court has become a forum for policy evolution? Justify your answer.

 

Paper-2

SECTION ‘A’

  1. Answer the following questions in about 150 words each :
    a) What are the crucial functions of empirical political theory in Comparative Politics?
    b) What are the difficulties faced by a political theorist in comparing the States?
    c) How does democratic politics construct citizenship?
    d) What is the structure and functions of the International Court of Justice?
    e) Discuss the structure and functions of the UN Security Council.
  2. Answer the following:
    a) Discuss the relevance of the normative ethos of the Non Aligned Movement in magnifying India’s soft power in pursuit of her national interest.
    b) In what ways does the functionalist approach in International relations help in maintaining peace and order in global politics?
    c) How does the regime change and political crisis in Myanmar threaten regional security and peace?
  3. Answer the following:
    a) “During the Cold War, the Non-Aligned Movement tried to become a “Third force” in World Politics, but failed because it was too large and unwieldy. Discuss.
    b) Account for the rise of the European Union as a highly influential regional organisation.
    c) Narrate the various ways in which rapid environmental degradation is posing a serious threat to human security. Illustrate your answer with suitable examples.
  4. Answer the following:
    a) Critically examine the impact of Globalisation on the developing countries of the world.
    b) What do you mean by offensive and defensive realism?
    c) Discuss the various constraints on American hegemony today- Which of these are likely to become more prominent in the future?

SECTION ‘B’

  1. Answer the following questions in about 150 words each :
    a) Explain the major features of India’s Foreign Policy in the 21st century.
    b) What are the reasons for lack of ‘regionness’ in South Asia?
    c) Why is the compromise reached at WTO regarding the Covid-19 vaccine manufacturing not a Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) waiver?
    d) Why do ethnic conflicts and insurgencies continue to remain major impediments to regional cooperation in South Asia?
    e) What diplomatic steps has India taken to articulate the interests of the Global South in International Politics?
  2. Answer the following:
    a) Arms trade, economic ties and congruent geo-political interests are no longer the three pillars of India & Russia relationship in the emerging strategic context. Comment.
    b) Discuss the importance of India’s role in UN peacekeeping operations as a ground for its claim to a permanent seat in the UN Security Council.
    c) Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD) performs an important role in India’s strategic balancing act to withstand the dominance of China in Asia. Discuss.
  3. Answer the following:
    a) “India’s Nuclear policy is deeply influenced by its cultural beliefs and the pragmatic approach of its foreign policy.” Discuss.
    b) What steps has India taken to regain its foothold in Afghanistan since the Taliban has taken over the country in August 2021?
    c) What are the challenges and limitations in India-Iran relations?
  4. Answer the following:
    a) What are the eñternal determinants of the Foreign Policy of a State?
    b) Discuss the significance of “West Asia Quad” in the light of India’s ‘Look West’ policy.
    c) Discuss the major drivers of India’s interests in Africa.

Paper-1

SECTION ‘A’

  1. Write on the following in about 150 words each :
    a). Systems Approach
    b). Cultural Relativism
    c). “Revolution in Permanence”
    d). Bases of Power
    e). Locke’s Social Contract
  2. Answer the following:
    a). Factors like community, culture and nation weaken the hegemony of neo-liberalism today. Discuss.
    b). Equality of estates caused equality of power, and equality of power is liberty.” Comment.
    c). Elitist theory of democracy denies the possibility of democracy as ‘rule of the people’. Elucidate.
  3. Answer the following:
    a). Examine the liberal theory of State in contemporary politics.
    b). Human Rights are complex and contested social practice that organises relations between individuals, society and the State. Comment.
    c). Individualism is inherent in Hobbes’ absolutist ideology. Comment.
  4. Answer the following:
    a). Dr. Ambedkar’s idea of social justice leads to ‘egalitarian justice’ as compared to Rawls’ ‘justice as fairness’ which aims at the notion of ‘pure procedural justice’. Comment.
    b). “The Panchayats with gram Sabhas should be so organised as to identify the resources locally available for the development in agricultural and industrial sectors.” Examine the statement in the context of Gram Swaraj.
    c). Examine the entitlement theory of justice.

SECTION ‘B’

  1. Answer the following in about 150 words each :
    a). Analyse the workers’ movement in India in the pre-Independence period.
    b). The Preamble of the Indian Constitution reflects itself as a ‘social contract’. Elucidate.
    c). Legislative Council is a house without any effective powers. Comment.
    d). How far is the National Commission for Backward Classes an empowered body? Assess its role in the context of rising demand for backwardness among dominant communities.
    e). High concentration of economic activities and consumption patterns in post-liberalisation period has led to the failure of environmental movements in India. Elucidate.
  2. Answer the following:
    a). Electoral behaviour of voters is governed more by the social and economic factors than the political factors. Explain.
    b). The Doctrine of Basic Structure of the Constitution has enhanced the power of judicial review of the Supreme Court. Examine.
    c). Discuss the composition and functions of the Inter-State Council. To what extent has this body been successful in achieving its objectives?
  3. Answer the following:
    a). Examine the unique features of the 73rd Constitutional Amendment. Do you think this Amendment would contribute in achieving the goal of empowerment of marginalised sections of the society?
    b). The Speaker represents the freedom and dignity of the House. Examine.
    c). Discuss the policy initiatives of the Fourteenth Finance Commission aimed towards promoting and strengthening agricultural development in India.
  4. Answer the following:
    a). Ethnicity is the underlying cause which poses a great challenge in the resolution of the problems in the North-East region of India. Comment.
    b). The making of the Indian Constitution is described as an attempt towards ‘social revolution’. Comment.
    c). How far is it correct that the regional parties have strengthened Indian democracy and federal system? Substantiate your answer with suitable examples.

 

Paper-2

SECTION ‘A’

  1. Write on the following in about 150 words each :
    a). Discuss the main limitationa of the comparative method to the study of Political Science.
    b). What are the main challenges faced by the developing countires in the era of globalisation?
    c). Discuss the commonalities between the Marxist and Realist approach to the study of International Politics.
    d). Bipolar structure of the world is more stable than the multipolar one. Comment.
    e). National Interest is an essentially contested concept. Comment.
  2. Answer the following:
    a). How has the electrol democracy augmented the participation of people in the democratic process?
    b). Discuss the role of social movements in strengthening the democratic processess in developing societies.
    c). Describe the composition of the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Discuss its voluntary jurisdication.
  3. Answer the following:
    a). Critically examine the rise of People’s Republic of China (PRC) as a great power and its implications on Asian Political order.
    b). Discuss the conceptual dimensions of collective security.
    c). Discuss the efficacy of global conventions to combat international terrorism.
  4. Answer the following:
    a). Identify and evaluate the reasons for deadlock inthe WTO negotiations on fisheries between the developing and developed countries.
    b). What is the realist prescription to the States to ensure their survival in an anarchical world?
    c). Russian-Ukraine crisis has cast a dark shadow on the energy needs of the member states of the European Union (EU). Comment.

SECTION ‘B’

  1. Answer the following in about 150 words each :
    a). Peaceful co-existaence remians the cornerstone of India’s foreign policy. Comment.
    b). Discuss the ways and means to realise greater economic co-operation among the Member States of South Asia.
    c). Discuss the steps required to realise ‘hydro-co-operation’ between India and Bangladesh.
    d). Explain the significance fo Basic Exchange and Co-operation Agreement (BECA) for Indo-US strategic relations.
    e). Discuss the role of public diplomacy in the enhancement of India’s global standing.
  2. Answer the following:
    a). Discuss the relevance of the demand for New International Economic Order (NIEO) in the present era of globlisation.
    b). Critically examine the major factors responsible for a turmaround in the trajectory of India’s foreign policy in the post-cold period.
    c). Discuss the reasons behind India’s refusal to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT).
  3. Answer the following:
    a). What are the main drivers fo India-Japan Strategic and Global Partnership?
    b). What are the implications of ‘Look-East’ Policy on the north-eastern region of India?
    c). Explain the factors which justify India’s clain for a permanent seat at the UN security council.
  4. Answer the following:
    a). How does India-Israel bilateral ties reflect the autonomy of India’s foreign policy choices?
    b). Discuss the consequences of illegal cross-border migration in India’s north-eastern region.
    c). Discuss India’s vision of a New World order in the 21st century.

Paper-1

SECTION ‘A’

  1. Answer the following:
    a). According to Sri Aurobindo, Swaraj is a necessary condition for India to accomplish its destined goal
    b). Neo-liberal perspective of State
    c). Post-modernism
    d). Eco-feminism
    e). Hobbesian notion of Political Obligation
  2. Answer the following:
    a). Rawls’ theory of justice is both contractual and distributive. Examine.
    b). Everywhere, inequality is a cause of revolution – Aristotle. Comment.
    c). Define Socialism. Discuss the salient features of Fabian Socialism.
  3. Answer the following:
    a). What do you understand by Multiculturalism? Discuss Bhikhu Parekh’s views on Multiculturalism.
    b). Deliberative democracy does not have its salience without participation and participatory democracy does not have its credence without deliberations. Comment.
    c). Differentiate between Freedom and Liberty. Discuss Marx’s notion of freedom.
  4. Answer the following:
    a). Political democracy could not last unless social democracy lay at its base – B.R. Ambedkar. Comment.
    b). Write a brief note on The End of History debate.
    c). What do you understand by the notion of Statecraft? Discuss the theory of statecraft as given by Kautilya.

SECTION ‘B’

  1. Answer the following:
    a). The success of Mahatma Gandhi lay in transforming both political and non-political movements into a unified nationalist movement.
    b). Right to privacy is an intrinsic part of the right to life.
    c). Indian federation has moved from cooperative federation to competitive federation.
    d). State subvention/funding may be an effective instrument in strengthening electoral democracy in India.
    e). In the post-liberalization era, Indian politics is moving from ascriptive politics to developmental politics.
  2. Answer the following:
    a). Differentiate parliamentary supremacy from parliamentary sovereignty. Would you consider the Indian Parliament as a Sovereign Parliament? Examine.
    b). Has the 73rd Constitutional Amendment empowered women in panchayats in India? Discuss.
    c). Religion is still an important factor in Indian politics. Discuss.
  3. Answer the following:
    a). India has moved from ‘one-party dominant system’ to ‘one-party led coalition’. Discuss.
    b). How is the President of India elected? Outline the salient characteristics of the electoral college of the Indian President.
    c). Examine the role of the National Commission for Minorities in preserving, promoting and protecting the rights of minorities in India.
  4. Answer the following:
    a). Judiciary has acquired the role of both a legislature and an executive in recent years. Examine with suitable examples.
    b). What do you understand by Green Revolution? Do you think that a Second Green Revolution is needed to adequately address the agrarian challenges in contemporary India? Examine.
    c). Differentiate Moderate Nationalism from Extremist/Militant Nationalism in terms of their objectives and means.

 

Paper-2

SECTION ‘A’

  1. Answer the following:
    a). Explain the Political-Sociological Approach in the field of comparative politics and discuss its limitations.
    b). Critically examine the Globalisation in the past 25 years from the perspectives of the Western world.
    c). Examine the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) movement in developed societies and how it is affecting the political participation in developing societies.
    d). American President Donald Trump’s proposal to withdraw from the ‘NAFTA’ would bring unforeseen consequences to the regionalisation of world politics. Elaborate.
    e). Give an assessment of the Feminist critique of contemporary global issues.
  2. Answer the following:
    a). Is Realist Approach the best method to understand International Relations? Examine this in the context of Classical Realism.
    b). How has the development of Global Capitalism changed the nature of socialist economies and developing societies?
    c). Discuss the changing nature of the modern state with reference to transnational actors.
  3. Answer the following:
    a). “The development of advanced missile technology and nuclear threat by North Korea has challenged the American hegemony in South-East Asia.” Evaluate the above statement in the context of recent developments in the region.
    b). Do you endorse the view that the end of Bipolarity and the rise of multiple regional organisations has made Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) more or less irrelevant?
    c). Do you agree with the view that despite the limitations in the functioning of the UN, it has distinguished and unique achievements to its credit?
  4. Answer the following:
    a). The recent move of USA to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement is a setback in the consensus achieved on protecting the world environment. In this context, assess the future prospectives on climate control.
    b). How has ‘BREXIT’ affected the regionalisation process initiated by the European Union and what could be its likely impacts in the regionalisation process of world politics?
    c). Examine the World Systems Approach as developed by Immanuel Wallerstein.

SECTION ‘B’

  1. Answer the following:
    a). Examine the Indian National Movement and geographical location of India as determinants of India’s foreign policy.
    b). What are the impediments in the development of South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA)?
    c). “The Treaty of Perpetual Peace and Friendship between India and Bhutan needs to be revised with more pragmatic, realistic obligations and responsibilities.” Comment.
    d). “India has been the largest and consistent country contributing to the UN peacekeepers worldwide.” Examine India’s role in this perspective.
    e). Has the recent Indo-Israeli relationships given a new dynamics to India’s stand on Palestinian statehood?
  2. Answer the following:
    a). Suggest measures so that India’s partnership with Africa becomes a true symbol of South-South Cooperation, delivering clear-cut economic and political dividends to both sides of the equation.
    b). “Despite the differences between India and Pakistan on various issues, Indus Water Treaty has stood the test of times.” In the light of this statement, discuss the recent developments over this issue.
    c). Analyse the stalled progress of Doha Round of WTO negotiations over the differences between the developed and the developing countries.
  3. Answer the following:
    a). How is the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ of China going to affect India-China relations?
    b). The recent differences between India and Russia are the result of misconceptions than facts. Elucidate.
    c). ‘Uniting for Consensus’ also known as ‘Coffee Club’ has opposed the claims of India and other countries over permanent membership of the UN Security Council. Point out their major objections.
  4. Answer the following:
    a). The natural behaviour of India and the United States is likely to serve each other’s interests. Hence, a deliberate strategy of dovetailing their efforts will obviously benefit both. Elaborate.
    b). Do you subscribe to the idea that in the new evolving Asian dynamics, Japan and India have not only moved closer in economic cooperation, but also in strategic partnership?
    c). The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) has failed to achieve the ultimate objective of Global Nuclear Disarmament. Discuss the deficiency in the provision of NPT.

Paper-1

SECTION ‘A’

  1. Answer the following:
    a). John Stuart Mill is a ‘reluctant democrat”. – C. L. Wayper.
    b). Decline of Political Theory.
    c). Distributive Justice.
    d). Substantive Democracy.
    e). “Nothing against the State, nothing over it, nothing beyond it.” – Mussolini.
  2. Answer the following:
    a). Critically examine the neo-liberal theory of State.
    b). Analyse John Rawls justification of discrimination to achieve the goals of Justice.
    c). Equality means fair treatment rather than equal treatment. Comment.
  3. Answer the following:
    a). What do you understand by three generations of Human Rights?
    b). Critically examine Macpherson’s views on Democracy.
    c). Explain the relationship between power, authority and legitimacy.
  4. Answer the following:
    a). John Locke is the father of liberalism. Explain.
    b). Discuss Ambedkar’s ideas on ‘annihilation of caste’.
    c). Critically examine Machiavelli’s views on religion and politics.

SECTION ‘B’

  1. Answer the following:
    a). Revolt of 1857 is a ‘Sepoy Mutiny’ or ‘First War of Independence’.
    b). Indian Constitution is a “Lawyers’ Paradise’. – Ivor Jennings.
    c). New Panchayat Raj is an effective instrument for women empowerment.
    d). Implementation of GST and NEET is a major challenge to Indian federalism.
    e). Political personalities are more significant than political parties in India.
  2. Answer the following:
    a). Whether judicial activism has undermined or strengthened Parliamentary Democracy in India? Discuss.
    b). Do the Lieutenant Governors have more powers than the Governors of the States? Explain.
    c). Critically examine the ethnic conflicts in North-East India.
  3. Answer the following:
    a). Examine the provisions of Panchayat Extension Services Act (PESA), 1996.
    b). Analyse the arguments in favour and against the lateral entry into higher civil services in India.
    c). Discuss asymmetrical federalism in India.
  4. Answer the following:
    a). Examine the various causes of agrarian crisis in India.
    b). Explain the increasing role of regional political parties in the national politics.
    c). Critically analyse the environmentalist movement in Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu.

 

Paper-2

SECTION ‘A’

  1. Answer the following:
    a). Describe the changing nature of Comparative Politics. Briefly explain the Political Economy approach to the study of Comparative Politics.
    b). Describe the changing nature of the State in the developing societies in the context of inclusive growth in the 21st century.
    c). How big a role does identity play in determining political participation in the developing countries? Discuss your answer with suitable illustrations.
    d). Bring out the major differences between the Classical Realism of Hans Morgenthau and the Neorealism of Kenneth Waltz.
    e). What, according to Joseph Nye, are the major sources of a country’s soft power? Discuss its relevance in the contemporary world politics.
  2. Answer the following:
    a). Discuss the significance of Non-Aligned Movement as a unique contribution of the Non-Western world to World Politics.
    b). Discuss the consequences of Trump’s “America First” and Xi’s “Chinese Dream” on World Politics.
    c). “Some feel Multinational Corporations (MNCs) are a vital new road to economic growth, whereas others feel they perpetuate underdevelopment.” Discuss.
  3. Answer the following:
    a). Discuss the relevance of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on the security of women in conflict zones.
    b). Would you agree that the on-going debates on international environmental politics continue to be marred by a new North-South ideological divide over historical responsibility and developmental model? Illustrate your answer with suitable examples.
    c). “Since its inception the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) has failed to deliver on its promises.” What initiatives should be taken to reinvigorate the organization ?
  4. Answer the following:
    a). Critically examine the notion of “Asian Values” in the context of the on-going debates on human rights.
    b). Discuss the implications of the Trump-Kim Singapore Summit on the prospects of denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.
    c). Critically examine the Functionalist approach to the study of International Relations.

SECTION ‘B’

  1. Answer the following:
    a). Do you agree with the view that the Indian Foreign Policy is increasingly being shaped by the Neoliberal outlook? Elaborate.
    b). “India is often said to have a rich strategic culture.” Discuss.
    c). Evaluate India’s stand on the recent Rohingya refugee issue.
    d). “India’s current foreign policy marks significant qualitative shifts from that of the previous regimes.” Discuss.
    e). Analyse the significance of India’s Look East Policy in the light of concerns of the indigenous peoples of North-east India.
  2. Answer the following:
    a). India’s coalitional diplomacy within the WTO has earned it wide appreciation. What accounts for the success of India’s coalitional diplomacy?
    b). “India’s capacity building programmes under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) has earned much goodwill for it in Africa.” Discuss.
    c). “India’s Research and Information System for Developing Countries” (RIS) is a major initiative in the area of South-South Cooperation. Discuss.
  3. Answer the following:
    a). Discuss the role of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) in promoting India’s soft power abroad.
    b). Discuss the role of Indian diaspora in promoting Indo-US relations.
    c). Discuss the various impediments in India’s way to a permanent seat in the Security Council.
  4. Answer the following:
    a). Do you think that India’s capacity building role in Afghanistan has shrunk the strategic space for Pakistan there? Discuss.
    b). Critically assess the evolving convergence of India and China in the areas of trade and environment.
    c). Do you agree that the growing assertiveness of China is leading to multilayered Indo-Japan relations? Comment.

Paper-1

SECTION ‘A’

  1. Answer the following:
    a). Resurgence of political theory.
    b). Pluralist theory of the State.
    c). End of Ideology debate.
    d). Deliberative democracy.
    e). M. K. Gandhi’s concept of Swaraj.
  2. Answer the following:
    a). Explain Aristotle’s critique of Plato’s Idealism.
    b). Examine communitarian perspectives on justice.
    c). Compare negative and positive concepts of liberty.
  3. Answer the following:
    a). According to Gramsci, ‘hegemony is primarily based on the organisation of consent.’ Comment.
    b). Discuss Kautilya’s views on the elements of the State.
    c). Distinguish between liberal feminism and radical feminism.
  4. Answer the following:
    a). Critically examine Hannah Arendt’s conceptual triad of labour, work and action.
    b). Discuss the doctrine of ‘rights as trumps’.
    c). What is the contemporary relevance of Marxism?

SECTION ‘B’

  1. Answer the following:
    a). Unity and integrity of India was perhaps the single uppermost factor in the minds of the Constitution makers. Comment.
    b). Dalit perspective on Indian national movement. Discuss.
    c). Despite constitutional mandate the Inter-State Council has not come of age. Discuss.
    d). Political decentralization has not been matched by administrative decentralization at the grass roots level. Explain
    e). Write a short note on the significance of the Chipko Movement.
  2. Answer the following:
    a). National movement in India was anti-imperialist and increasingly radical in its socio-economic and political programmes. Discuss.
    b). What has been the political fallout of the Green Revolution in India? Explain.
    c). The changing socio-economic profile of our legislators does not augur well for the health of Indian democracy. Comment.
  3. Answer the following:
    a). Development has overshadowed the influence of caste in electoral behaviour in recent elections. Discuss.
    b). The Comptroller and Auditor-General of India enhances the accountability of the Government and serves as the watchdog of the finances of the Government. Explain.
    c). Discuss, in brief, the role of the National Commission for women. Do you think it is a toothless organization?
  4. Answer the following:
    a). “The basic structure doctrine is implicit in the Indian Constitution; the Supreme Court has only given it an explicit form.” Comment.
    b). Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has emerged as the most powerful institution in India. Discuss.
    c). Comment on the relevance of the Directive Principles of State Policy in an era of liberalization and globalization.

 

Paper-2

SECTION ‘A’

  1. Answer the following:
    a). Discuss the utility of Nuclear Deterrence Theory in the context of the recent standoff between India and Pakistan.
    b). Write a brief note on the 17th NAM Summit in Venezuela.
    c). In what way does the predominance of the USA in the UN funding affect its decision-making?
    d). Evaluate the role of BIMSTEC in multi-sectoral technical and economic cooperation.
    e). Do you think that sustainable development goals are really attainable by 2030?
  2. Answer the following:
    a). Examine the significance of the comparative method in political analysis. Discuss its limitations.
    b). Explain the reasons for low voter turnout in democratic countries with suitable examples.
    c). Evaluate the role of the International Court of Justice in inter-State disputes.
  3. Answer the following:
    a). Explain the relevance of the Marxist approach in the context of globalization.
    b). Identify the benefits of a multi-polar world.
    c). Discuss the importance of personal data protection in the context of human rights.
  4. Answer the following:
    a). How are the rising powers challenging the USA and Western dominance in the IMF and the World Bank?
    b). Write an essay on ‘New Social Movements in developing countries.
    c). Is democracy promotion in developing countries a feasible idea?

SECTION ‘B’

  1. Answer the following:
    a). Examine the role of ‘parliamentary diplomacy’ in India’s foreign policy.
    b). Compare and contrast Non-alignment 1.0 with Non-alignment 2.0.
    c). How is India pursuing her foreign policy objectives through the IBSA Dialogue Forum (India, Brazil and South Africa)?
    d). How is India responding to the idea of Indo-Pacific?
    e). “The growing closeness between India and Israel will strengthen the cause of Palestine.” Comment.
  2. Answer the following:
    a). Describe briefly China’s ‘One Belt One Road (OBOR)’ Initiative and analyze India’s major concerns.
    b). What are the current issues in Brahmaputra River water sharing between India and China?
    c). Analyze the recent trends in India’s role in the UN peacekeeping operations.
  3. Answer the following:
    a). Examine the increasing significance of maritime security in India’s foreign policy.
    b). Write a brief note on India’s interests in West Asia.
    c). How is the current standoff between the USA and Iran affecting India’s energy security?
  4. Answer the following:
    a). Evaluate India’s vision of a new world order.
    b). Critically examine India’s position on South China Sea Dispute.
    c). Given the recent developments in the region, do you think that there is a need to change India’s ‘No First Use (NFU)’ nuclear policy?

Paper-1

SECTION ‘A’

  1. Answer the following:
    a). Post-colonial theory of the state
    b). Equality of opportunity
    c). Liberalism as a revolutionary idea
    d). Ambedkar’s ideas on constitutionalism
    e). Machiavelli’s secularism
  2. Answer the following:
    a). Make a comparative assessment of Greek perspective of Justice with the Rawlsian concept of Justice.
    b). Representative democracy . . . . . . means the people as a body must be able to control the general direction of government policy. (J. S. Mill). Comment.
    c). Assess the significance of right to property in political theory.
  3. Answer the following:
    a). Explicate the ideological components of Gandhism.
    b). Examine the nature and meaning of power.
    c). Explain the sources of ancient Indian political thought.
  4. Answer the following:
    a). Trace the evolution of Western Political Thought from ancient to contemporary period.
    b). Discuss the significance of a normative approach to Political theory.
    c). Discuss Karl Marx’s concept of class.

SECTION ‘B’

  1. Answer the following:
    a). Role of socialists in Indian National Movement
    b). Indian constitution makers’ concerns on social inequality
    c). Right to constitutional remedies in India
    d). Judicial overreach in India
    e). Mechanism for settling inter-state disputes
  2. Answer the following:
    a). Examine the role and functioning of the Election Commission of India and the Comptroller and Auditor General in the last two decades.
    b). Trace the role of militant and revolutionary movements in Indian national movement.
    c). To what extent has 73rd and 74th amendments of the Indian Constitution enhanced women’s empowerment?
  3. Answer the following:
    a). Does the functioning of the federalism in India tend to make it appear as a unitary state in practice?
    b). Has the thrust of government tilted towards executive in contemporary Indian Politics? Give your arguments.
    c). ‘Liberalisation of Indian Economy has not been accompanied with adequate reforms’. Comment.
  4. Answer the following:
    a). To what extent has the inadequate intra-party democracy affected the functioning of Indian Democracy?
    b). Examine the role of religion in Indian Electoral Politics in the contemporary times.
    c). Examine the nature of the civil liberty movement in India.

 

Paper-2

SECTION ‘A’

  1. Answer the following:
    a). Discuss the subject matter of comparative politics. Outline the limitations of comparative political analysis.
    b). Analyze the contribution of liberal democratic principles in the democratization of Indian polity.
    c). Has the increased participation of the underprivileged in the political process of the developing societies strengthened democracy or created political chaos and conflict? Comment.
    d). Critically examine the impact of the process of globalization from the perspective of the countries of the Global South.
    e). What are the core assumptions of idealism as an approach to study International Relations? Explain its continuing relevance in peace building.
  2. Answer the following:
    a). Explain the concept of balance of power. What are the various techniques of maintaining balance of power?
    b). Enumerate the challenges in the operation of the principles related to collective security in the UN Charter.
    c). Critically analyze the implications of Sino-American strategic rivalry for the South and South-East Asian region.
  3. Answer the following:
    a). Discuss the ways to strengthen the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) to enable it to address the challenges faced by the developing countries.
    b). Critically evaluate the role of the United States of America in the World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement mechanism and its implications for the future of the WTO.
    c). Explain the significance and importance of the demand raised by the developing countries for a New International Economic Order (NIEO). Are they likely to achieve their objectives of NIEO in foreseeable future?
  4. Answer the following:
    a). Discuss the significance and urgency of the UN Security Council reforms. Explain the relevance of the reform proposals made by the UN Secretary General António Guterres for the developing countries.
    b). Critically analyze the role of ASEAN in the promotion of regional peace and security through economic cooperation and trade.
    c). Examine the role of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and other major efforts by the UN to address the global environmental crisis.

SECTION ‘B’

  1. Answer the following:
    a). Describe the structure and function of the National Security Council of India. What role does it play in the formulation of Indian foreign policy?
    b). Outline the reasons for the low volume of trade in the SAARC region.
    c). Analyze the impact of hydro politics on Indo-Bangladesh relations.
    d). Discuss the future prospects of Indo-Nepal relations in the context of the recent publication of new Nepalese map wrongly claiming Indian territory.
    e). How does cross-border terrorism impede the achievements of peace and security in South Asia?
  2. Answer the following:
    a). How do the guiding principles of India-Africa relations seek to enhance harmony and mutual cooperation between India and Africa?
    b). What are the notable features of the recently concluded pact or the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA) between India and Japan? How is it likely to address the security concerns of India?
    c). Discuss the significance of Indo-US strategic partnership and its implications for India’s security and national defence.
  3. Answer the following:
    a). Explain the defence and foreign policy options of India to address the challenges emerging out of the current India-China standoff at the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
    b). Explain the importance of India’s claim for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council.
    c). Discuss the efficacy of India’s ‘no first use’ policy (nuclear weapons) in the context of the evolving strategic challenges from its neighbours.
  4. Answer the following:
    a). “The war in Afghanistan is crucial from the point of view of India’s national security. If the Americans withdraw and Jihadis emerge with a sense of triumphalism, India will face increasing onslaught of terrorism.” Comment.
    b). Identify the key sectors of cooperation between India and Israel since 2014. Examine their significance in strengthening the bilateral ties between the two countries.
    c). Critically examine the role of India in shaping the emerging world order.

Paper-1

SECTION ‘A’

  1. Answer the following:
    a). Feminist critique of the State.
    b). Affirmative action.
    c). Equality of outcome as a political idea.
    d). Tools of legitimating of the State.
    e). J. S. Mill’s ideas on women suffrage.
  2. Answer the following:
    a). How has Rawls enriched the idea of justice in liberalism?
    b). Examine the importance of behavioral approach in political theory. What led to its decline?
    c). Can there be a universal conception of human rights? Give your arguments.
  3. Answer the following:
    a). Explain the Aristotelian view of politics. To what extent do you think it has contributed to the development of modern-day constitutional democracies?
    b). “When a nation becomes devoid of arts and learning, it invites poverty.” (Sir Syed Ahmad Khan). In the light of this statement, assess the role of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan as a reformer in modern India.
    c). Political ideology is primarily concerned with the allocation and utilization of Power.” Comment.
  4. Answer the following:
    a). Do you think that the Buddhist traditions have lent greater ethical foundation to the ancient Indian political thought? Give your arguments.
    b). Marx’s concept of ‘alienation’ is an essential part of the reality in capitalism. Explain.
    c). Free and fair deliberation is key to the foundation of democracy.” Explain.

SECTION ‘B’

  1. Answer the following:
    a). “The Constitution of India is a product of a historical process, rich with constitutional antecedents.” Comment.
    b). “The Constitution makers faced the great task of forging a common national identity in the face of unparalleled social and cultural diversity in India.” Comment.
    c). Mention the founding principles that define India’s Constitution.
    d). Analyze the Marxist perspective of the nature of Indian National Movement.
    e). Underline the significance of the first constitutional amendment.
  2. Answer the following:
    a). “Constitutionally reconciling the Fundamental Rights with the Directive Principles of State Policy has led to frequent amendments of the Constitution and judicial interventions.” Comment.
    b). The role of the President of India becomes more significant during a minority government and a coalition government. Explain.
    c). Do you think that despite having significant limitations the Panchayati Raj institutions have strengthened the process of democratic decentralization? Give your views.
  3. Answer the following:
    a). “The Indian party system is shaped by a complex interaction of the country’s federal structure, electoral system and social cleavages.” Explain.
    b). Do you think that there has been a gradual shift in the basis on which the demands for the creation of new States have been raised in different regions of India? Explain.
    c). What explains India’s modest improvements in social development outcomes even as the rate of growth has accelerated since the initiation of economic reforms?
  4. Answer the following:
    a). The success of electoral democracy can partly be attributed to the status and role of the Election Commission of India.” Explain.
    b). Examine the evolution of the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of India as a Constitutional Court.
    c). Explain how caste as a social category is also becoming a political category in the democratic politics of India.

 

Paper-2

SECTION ‘A’

  1. Answer the following:
    a). Discuss the political economic approach to the comparative analysis of politics.
    b). “Political parties and pressure groups are sine qua none of democracy.” Comment.
    c). “Marxist approach to the study of international relations has lost its relevance in the post-cold war era.” Comment.
    d). What measures have been undertaken by the United Nations for its reforms?
    e). Discuss the five proposals made by India in the recent COP-26 conference held in Glasgow.
  2. Answer the following:
    a). “The post-colonial state was thought of as an entity that stood outside and above society as an autonomous agency.” Explain.
    b). Discuss the emergence of neo-realism and its basic tenets
    c). What is ‘complex interdependence’? Discuss the role of transnational actors in the international system.
  3. Answer the following:
    a). Explain the impact of electoral systems and cleavages in shaping party systems with reference to developing countries.
    b). What is globalisation ? Why is there an intense debate about globalisation and its consequences?
    c). Critically examine the decline of the United States of America as a hegemon and its implications for the changing international political order.
  4. Answer the following:
    a). The modernization thesis asserts that affluence breeds stable democracy. How do you explain the success of India being the world’s largest democracy as an exceptional case?
    b). Explain the success of ASEAN as a regional organisation.
    c). Explain India’s relations with the European Union in the context of Brexit.

SECTION ‘B’

  1. Answer the following:
    a). Discuss the strategic implications of India’s ‘Look East Policy’ transforming into ‘Act East Policy’.
    b). Explain the philosophical foundations of India’s foreign policy.
    c). Explain India’s position on the waiver of intellectual property rights on COVID-19 vaccines in WTO.
    d). Write about the growing significance of QUAD.
    e). How does the recent takeover of Afghanistan by Taliban impact India’s strategic interests?
  2. Answer the following:
    a). “Non-alignment was little more than a rational strategy on the part of a materially weak India to maximize its interests with a bipolar distribution of global power.” Comment.
    b). Examine the Geo-strategic points of contention in the bilateral relationship between India and China.
    c). Write a brief analysis of the ethnic conflicts and cross-border migrations along India-Myanmar and India-Bangladesh borders.
  3. Answer the following:
    a). Why is South Asia considered as the world’s politically and economically least integrated region? Explain.
    b). How do the constituent states influence the foreign policy making process in India?
    c). Examine the evolution of India’s role in the global nuclear order.
  4. Answer the following:
    a). “Relations between India and Russia are rooted in history mutual trust/and mutually beneficial cooperation.’ Discuss.
    b). Discuss the “Sustainable Development Goals’ as set by the United Nations.
    c). Identify the drivers of India’s new interest in Africa.

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