ANTHROPOLOGY PAPER-I {Syllabus organised into distinct categories}

*Disclaimer Note: The roman numbering & associated heading have been given for the convenience of the aspirant and is not present in the original civil services mains notification given by the UPSC. No modification has been done to the original wording contained in the syllabus)

 I. Anthropology as a discipline:

1.1Meaning, Scope, and development of Anthropology.

1.2 Relationship (of Anthropology) with other disciplines:

(a) Social Sciences; (b) Behavioural Sciences; (c) Life Sciences; (d) Medical Sciences; (e) Earth Sciences and (f) Humanities.

1.3 Main branches of Anthropology, their scope and relevance:

(a) Social-cultural Anthropology; (b) Biological Anthropology; (c) Archaeological Anthropology. (d) Linguistic Anthropology.


 II. Biological Anthropology Part 1: Human Evolution: Theoretical Foundations

1.4 Human Evolution and emergence of Man:

(a) Biological and Cultural factors in human evolution.

(b) Theories of Organic Evolution:

(i) Pre-Darwinian; (ii) Darwinian (iii) Post-Darwinian

(c) Synthetic theory of evolution;

(d) Brief outline of terms and concepts of evolutionary biology:

(i)Doll’s rule; (ii) Cope’s rule; (iii) Gause’s rule; (iv) Parallelism;(v) Convergence; (vi) Adaptive radiation; (vii) Mosaic evolution.


III. Biological Anthropology Part 2: Human Origin and Evolution based on research in Primatology and Human Palaeontology

1.5 (a) Characteristics of Primates;

(b) Evolutionary Trend and Primate Taxonomy;

(c) Primate Adaptations -Arboreal and Terrestrial;

(d) Primate Taxonomy; (e) Primate Behaviour;(f) Tertiary and Quaternary fossil primates; (g) Living Major Primates;

(e) Comparative Anatomy of Man and Apes;

(f) Skeletal changes due to erect posture and its implications.

1.6 Phylogenetic status, characteristics, and geographical distribution of the following:

(a) Plio-Pleistocene hominids in South and East Africa-Australopithecines;

(b) Homo erectus: Africa (Paranthropus), Europe (Homo erectus (heidelbergensis), Asia (Homo erectus javanicus, Homo erectus pekinensis)

(c) Neanderthal man—La-chapelle-aux-saints (Classical type), Mt. Carmel (Progressive type).

(d) Rhodesian man.

(e) Homo sapiens—Cromagnon, Grimaldi and Chancelede.


 IV. Archaeological Anthropology: Basic Concepts & Cultural Evolution of Humankind

 1.8 (a) Principles of Prehistoric Archaeology -Chronology: Relative and Absolute Dating methods.

(b) Cultural Evolution—Broad Outlines of Prehistoric cultures:

(i) Palaeolithic; (ii) Mesolithic; (iii) Neolithic; (iv) Chalcolithic ;

(v) Copper-Bronze age; (vi) Iron Age;


 V. Socio-Cultural Anthropology: Part 1: Basic Concepts -Society, Culture, Civilisation & associated concepts

2.1 The Nature of Culture:

(a) The concept and characteristics of culture and civilization;

(b) Ethnocentrism vis-a-vis cultural Relativism.

2.2 The Nature of Society:

(a) Concept of Society; (b) Society and Culture; (c) Social Institution;

(d) Social groups; and (e) Social stratification.


 VI. Socio-Cultural Anthropology: Part 2: Universal Socio-Cultural Institutions

 2.3 Marriage:

(a) Definition and universality (of marriage);

(b) Laws of marriage: (i) Endogamy; (ii) Exogamy; (iii) Hypergamy;(iv) Hypogamy ; (v) Incest taboo;

(c) Types of marriage: (i) Monogamy; (ii) Polygamy (iii) Polyandry (iv) Group marriage;

(d) Functions of marriage;

(e) Marriage regulations: (i) Preferential; (ii) Prescriptive and (iii) Proscriptive);

(f) Marriage payments: (a) Bride wealth; (b) Dowry;

2.4 Family:

(a) Definition and universality (of Family);

(b) Family, household, and domestic groups;

(c) Functions of family;

(d) Types of family from the perspectives of:

(i) Structure; (ii)  Blood relation; (iii) Marriage; (iv) Residence; (v) Succession;

(e) Impact of urbanization (on family);

(f) Impact of industrialization (on family);

(g) Impact of feminist movements on family.


2.5 Kinship:

(a) Consanguinity and Affinity;

(b) Principles and types of descent: (i) Unilineal; (ii) Double;(iii) Bilateral;  (iv) Ambilineal;

(c) Forms of descent groups: (i) Lineage; (ii) Clan; (iii) Phratry; (iv) Moiety; (v) Kindred;

(d) Kinship terminology- Descriptive and Classificatory;

(e) Descent, Filiation and Complimentary Filiation;

(f) Decent and Alliance.


  1. Economic Organization:

(a) Meaning, scope, and relevance of economic anthropology;

(b) Formalist and Substantivist debate;

(c) Principles governing production, distribution, and exchange (reciprocity, redistribution, and market), in communities, subsisting on: (i) Hunting and gathering; (ii) Fishing; (iii) Swiddening;(iv) Pastoralism; (v) Horticulture; (vi) Agriculture;

(d) Globalization and indigenous economic systems.


  1. Political Organization and Social Control:

(a) [Forms of Political Organisation in Human Societies]:

(i) Band; (ii) Tribe; (iii) Chiefdom; (iv) Kingdom ; (v) State;

(b) Concepts of Power, Authority and Legitimacy;

(c) Social control, Law and Justice in simple Societies.

  1. Religion:

(a) Anthropological approaches to the study of religion -Evolutionary, Psychological and Functional;

(b) Monotheism and Polytheism; (c) Sacred and Profane; (d) Myths and Rituals;

(c) Forms of religion in tribal and peasant Societies:(i) Animism; (ii) Animatism; (iii) Fetishism (iv) Naturism (v) Totemism;

(d) Religion, Magic and Science distinguished;

(e) Magico-religious functionaries: priest, shaman, medicine man, sorcerer and witch


VII. Socio-Cultural Anthropology: Part 3: Anthropological Thought, Ethnological research methods & tools

  1. Anthropological theories :

(a) Classical evolutionism (Tylor, Morgan and Frazer); (b) Historical particularism (Boas);(c) Diffusionism (British, German and American); (d) Functionalism (Malinowski);(e) Structural-Functionlism (Radcliffe-Brown); (f) Structuralism(L’evi-Strauss and E. Leach);(g) Culture and personality (Benedict, Mead, Linton, Kardiner and Cora-du Bois);(h) Neo—evolutionism (Childe, White, Steward, Sahlins and Service);(i) Cultural materialism (Harris);(j) Symbolic and interpretive theories (Turner, Schneider and Geertz);(k) Cognitive theories (Tyler, Conklin);(l) Post-modernism in anthropology.


  1. Research methods in Anthropology:

(a) Fieldwork tradition in anthropology;

(b) Distinction between technique, method, and methodology;

(c) Tools of data collection:

(i) observation; (ii) interview; (iii)schedules; (iv) questionnaire;(v)case study; (vi) genealogy; (vii) life-history; (viii) oral history;(ix) secondary sources of information;              (x) participatory methods;

(d) Analysis, interpretation, and presentation of data.


VIII. Socio-Cultural Anthropology: Part 4: Linguistic Anthropology

  1. Culture, Language and Communication:

(a) Nature, origin, and characteristics of language;

(b) Verbal and non-verbal communication;

(c) Social context of language use.


 IX. Biological Anthropology: Part 3: Human Inheritance and Genetics

1.7 The biological basis of Life:

(a) The Cell; (b) DNA structure and Replication; (c) Protein Synthesis; (d) The Gene;(e) Mutation; (f) Chromosomes; (g) Cell Division.


9.1 Human Genetics: Methods and Application :

(a) Methods for study of genetic principles in man: family study

(i) Pedigree analysis; (ii) Twin study; (iii) Foster child;(iv) Co-twin method; (v) Cytogenetic method;(vi) Chromosomal analysis and (vii) Karyo-type analysis;(viii) Biochemical methods; (ix). Immunological methods;(x) D.N.A. technology and recombinant technologies.

9.2 Mendelian genetics in man:

(i) Family study; (ii) Single factor (inheritance in man);(iii) Multifactor (inheritance in man);(iv) Lethal & sub-lethal (inheritance in man);(v) Polygenic inheritance in man.


9.3 (a) Concept of genetic polymorphism and selection;(b) Mendelian population; (c) Hardy-Weinberg law;(d) Causes and changes which bring down frequency:

(i) Mutation; (ii) Isolation; (iii) Migration; (iv) Selection;(v) Inbreeding; (vi) Genetic drift;(e) Consanguineous and non-consanguineous mating;(f) Genetic load; (g) Genetic effect of consanguineous and cousin marriages;


 9.4 Chromosomes and chromosomal aberrations in man, methodology.

(a) Numerical and structural aberrations (disorders);

(b) Sex chromosomal aberrations:

(i) Klinefelter syndrome (XXY); (ii)Turner’s syndrome (XO);

(iii) Super female (XXX); (iv) Intersex & other syndromic disorders;


(c) Autosomal aberrations: (i) Down’s syndrome; (ii) Patau’s syndrome;

(iii) Edward’s syndrome; (iv) Cri-du-chat syndrome;

(d) Genetic imprints in human disease; (e) Genetic screening; (g) Genetic counselling;

(h) Human DNA profiling; (i) Gene mapping; (j) Genome study;


X. Biological Anthropology: Part 4 : Human Variation

9.5 Race and racism:

(a) Biological basis of morphological variation of non-metric and characters.

(b) Racial criteria, racial traits in relation to heredity and environment;

(c) Biological basis of racial classification;

(d) Racial differentiation and race crossing in man.


 9.6 Age, sex and population variation as genetic marker:

(a) ABO, Rh blood groups, HLA, Hp, transferring, Gm, blood enzymes.

(b) Physiological characteristics-Hb level, body fat, pulse rate, respiratory functions and sensory perceptions in different cultural and socio-economic groups.

9.7 Concepts and methods of Ecological Anthropology:

(a) Bio-cultural Adaptations—Genetic and Nongenetic factors;

(b) Man’s physiological responses to environmental stresses:

(i) Hot desert; (ii) Cold, high altitude climate.


9.8 Epidemiological Anthropology:

(a) Health and disease; (b) Infectious and non-infectious diseases;

(c) Nutritional deficiency related diseases;


  1. Concept of human growth and Development:

(a) Stages of growth—pre-natal, natal, infant, childhood, adolescence, maturity, senescence.

(b) Factors affecting growth and development:

(i) Genetic (factors); (ii) Environmental (factors); (iii) Biochemical (factors); (iv)Nutritional (factors); (v) Cultural and socio-economic (factors).

(c)Ageing and senescence. Theories and observations —biological and chronological longevity.

(d) Human physique and somatotypes.

(e) Methodologies for growth studies.

11.1(a) Relevance of menarche, menopause and other bioevents to fertility.

(b) Fertility patterns and differentials.

11.2 Demographic theories- (i) Biological theories; (ii) Social & Cultural theories;

11.3 Biological and socio-ecological factors influencing fecundity, fertility, natality, and mortality.


 XI. Biological Anthropology: Part 5: Applications

12. Applications of Anthropology:

I. Applications of Biological Anthropology:

(a) Anthropology of sports; (b)Nutritional anthropology;

(c)Anthropology in designing of defence and other equipment;

(d)Forensic Anthropology;

(e)Methods and principles of personal identification and reconstruction;

II. Applied human genetics:

(a) Paternity diagnosis; (b) Genetic counselling and eugenics;

(c) DNA technology in diseases and medicine;

(d) Serogenetics and cytogenetics in reproductive biology.

End of Paper-I Syllabus

ANTHROPOLOGY PAPER-II {Syllabus organised into distinct categories}

*Disclaimer Note: The roman numbering & associated heading have been given for the convenience of the aspirant and is not present in the original civil services mains notification given by the UPSC. No modification has been done to the original wording contained in the syllabus)

 I. Archaeological Anthropology: Indian Prehistory & Proto-history [Read with 1.8(b) of Paper-I]

1.1 Evolution of the Indian Culture and Civilization:

(a) Prehistoric:

(i)Palaeolithic; (ii) Mesolithic; Neolithic; and Neolithic-Chalcolithic;

(b) Protohistoric (Indus Civilization):

(i) Pre-Harappan; (ii) Harappan; (iii) Post-Harappan cultures;

1.3. Ethno-archaeology in India:

(a) The concept of ethno-archaeology;

(b)Survivals and Parallels among the:

(i) Hunting-foraging (tribals/communities of today);

(ii) Fishing (tribals/communities of today);

(iii) Pastoral (tribals/communities of today) and

(iv) Peasant (tribals/communities of today)

(v) Arts and crafts producing (tribals/communities of today)


II. Biological Anthropology in India: Human Origin and Evolution [Read with 1.5 & 1.6 of Paper-I]

1.2 Paleo-Anthropological evidences from India with special reference to Siwaliks and Narmada basin: (i) Ramapithecus; (ii)Sivapithecus; (iii)Narmada Man;


III. The Demographic Profile of India: Population Composition, Ethnic, Linguistic distribution

  1. Demographic profile of India:

(a) Ethnic and linguistic elements in the Indian population and their distribution.

(b) Indian population—factors influencing its structure and growth.

5.2 Linguistic and religious minorities and their social, political and economic status.


 IV. Socio-Cultural Anthropology of India: Part 1: Traditional Indian Society – Religious & Philosophical basis of its organisation; Characteristic features; Social Organisation & Stratification ; Indian Villages as the fundamental unit of Indian Social System; [Read with 2.2 Paper-I]


3.1 The structure and nature of traditional Indian social system:

(i)Varnashram; (ii) Purushartha; (iii) Karma; (iv) Rina; (v)Rebirth;

3.2 The Caste system in India:

(a) Structure and characteristics of Varna and caste; (b) Theories of origin of caste system;

(c) Dominant caste;  (f) Jajmani system; (g) Tribe-caste continuum;

5.1 (a) Indian Village as a social system; (c) Agrarian relations in Indian villages;

Part 2: Social Change in The Indian Society

3.2 The Caste system in India:

(d) Caste mobility; (e) Future of caste system

3.4. Impact of Buddhism, Jainism, Islam & Christianity on Indian society.

5.1 (b) Traditional and changing patterns of settlement and inter-caste relations;

(d) Impact of globalization on Indian villages.


V. Socio-Cultural Anthropology of India: Part 3: Emergence of Anthropology in India; Civilisational Studies; Village Studies & Caste Studies; Development of theoretical concepts & tools for explanation of social-cultural phenomena in India;

4. Emergence, growth and development in India:

(a) Contributions of the 18th, 19th and early 20th Century scholar-administrators.

(b) Contributions of Indian anthropologists to tribal studies.

(c) Contributions of Indian anthropologists to caste studies.

5.1 Indian Village—Significance of village study in India;

3.3 Sacred Complex and Nature-Man-Spirit Complex.

5.3 Indigenous and exogenous processes of socio-cultural change in Indian society:

(a) Sanskritization;  (b)Westernization;  (c)Modernization;

(d) Inter-play of little and great traditions; (e)Panchayati Raj and social change;

(f) Media and Social change.


 VI. Tribal Anthropology of India

 6.1 Tribal situation in India:

(a) Bio-genetic variability of the tribal populations in India;

(b) Linguistic and socio-economic characteristics of the tribal populations in India and their distribution.

6.2 Problems of the tribal Communities: (a)Land alienation; (b)Poverty; (c)Indebtedness; (d) Low literacy & poor educational facilities; (e) Unemployment & under- employment; (f) Health and nutrition;

6.3 Developmental projects and their impact on tribals:

(a) Displacement and problems of rehabilitation.

(b) Development of forest policy and tribals.

(c) Impact of urbanisation and industrialization on tribal populations.

7.1(a) Problems of exploitation and deprivation of:

(i) Scheduled Castes; (ii) Scheduled Tribes ; (iii) Other Backward Classes.

(b) Constitutional safeguards for Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes.

7.2 Social change and contemporary tribal societies:

(a) Impact of modern democratic institutions on tribals and weaker sections.

(b) Impact of development programmes on tribals and weaker sections.

(c) Impact of welfare measures on tribals and weaker sections.

7.3 (a)The concept of ethnicity; (b)Ethnic conflicts and political developments (In India);

(c) Unrest among tribal communities; (d) Regionalism and demand for autonomy;

(e) Pseudo-tribalism; (f)Social change among the tribes during colonial and post-Independent India.

8.1 Impact of Mainstream religions on tribal society & culture

(a) Impact of Hinduism on tribal societies;

(b) Impact of Buddhism on tribal societies;

(c) Impact of Christianity on tribal societies;

(d) Impact of Islam on tribal societies;

(e) Impact of Other religions on tribal societies;

8.2 Tribe and nation state—a comparative study of tribal communities in India and other countries.

1.1 Evolution of the Indian Culture and Civilization:

(c) Contributions of the tribal cultures to Indian civilization.


VII. Anthropology in Administration and as an agent of  Tribal Welfare, Rural Development; The use of Anthropological knowledge to understand and address human problems.

Tribal Administration & Tribal Welfare:

9.1 (a)History of administration of tribal areas;

(b) Tribal policies, plans, programmes of tribal development and their implementation.

(c) The concept of PTGs (Primitive Tribal Groups), their distribution, special programmes for their development.

(d) The Role of N.G.O.s in tribal development.

9.2 (a) Role of anthropology in tribal development.

(b) Role of anthropology in rural development.

9.3 (a) Contributions of anthropology to the understanding of regionalism;

(b) Contributions of anthropology to the understanding of communalism

(c) Contributions of anthropology to the understanding of ethnic movements.

(d) Contributions of anthropology to the understanding of political movements.