Key Points in preparation of Anthropology for Civil Services
Firstly, get familiar with the basics of each topic
Secondly develop inter-relationship among topics :-
The key to scoring high marks not only in anthropology but in other papers in civil services
lies in the development of inter-relationship among the topics and creative
reorganization of facts. In case of anthropology optional, the problem is
that most of aspirants who opt anthropology are from other disciplines –
such as social science, biology or engineering etc. because of non-
anthropology background, students are unable to relate one topic to other
topics which appear to them dissimilar.
For example to non anthropology student, incest and inbreeding are totally
different ;incest is cultural in nature, inbreeding is biological in nature, but
the fact is that both incest and inbreeding are more or less similar in
content (brother-sister mating).
Likewise other topics – synthetic theory,microevolution and race formation appear to be totally unrelated to a novice student, but the fact is there is a commonality in these topics. Five
factors -- -- mutation, variation, isolation, genetic drift and natural selection
play their role in synthetic theory, microevolution and race formation,
however, the role of these five factors are discussed somewhat differently
especially in synthetic theory and race formation .
In 1 st paper,anthropological theories-evolulionism, historical particularism,
functionalism etc constitute the core of the subject ,so mastery of these
theories is essential because theories provide the approach to understand
the general topics-marriage, family ,kinship, religion, economic
organisation, political organisation etc.
Further topics 9.5 in the syllabus–race and racism are related to topic9.7 Ecological anthropology and
topic9.6 genetic marker is related to topic9.8 health and disease.
There is inter- relation between 1 st and 2nd paper topics ,for example topic1.8
cultural evolution-broad outline of prehistoric cultures of the 1 st paper is
related to the topic 1.1 Evolution of the Indian culture and civilization.
Further topic 1.6 Human fossils-Homo erectus of the 1 st paper is related to
the topic 1.2
Fossils from India, Ramapithecus sivapithecus and Narmada man of
the 2 nd paper.
Topic 3 Economic organisation of the 1stpaper is related to the topic9.2 role of anthropology of the 2 nd paper.
Development of interrelationship among the topics provides insight of anthropology
and helps to score good marks.
Thirdly, since questions in civil services oscillate between basics and contemporary issues, the need is to apply the principle and theories of anthropology to the current realities. It is very
important to show application of western and Indian theories in Indian
situation. Credit goes for not complicating the issues but simplifying or
solving the issues.