Polity Syllabus and Strategy for UPSC Prelims

Polity Syllabus and Strategy for IAS

Polity Syllabus and Strategy for UPSC Prelims

Polity is a crucial subject and an integral part of the UPSC civil services exam. Whether it is for the UPSC prelims or the mains examination, polity is a vital part of the syllabus. It is one subject from which many questions are asked every year.

Polity Syllabus and Strategy for UPSC Prelims

Polity is a crucial subject and an integral part of the UPSC civil services exam. Whether it is for the UPSC prelims or the mains examination, polity is a vital part of the syllabus. It is one subject from which many questions are asked every year. As we have seen that the Union Public Service Commission has changed the pattern and syllabus of the exam and as per the current trend more questions are application based and require analytical understanding. In spite of the changes in the overall UPSC Examination Pattern, the scope of Polity will be central. In this article, you will read about how to cover Polity syllabus and study well for the UPSC exam.

What is Polity?

The scheme or system of government is called polity. The subject Polity completely deals with the functioning of the government in the country. This gives an in-depth understanding of the executive, legislative, judicial systems and various constitutional authorities in the country.

Polity Syllabus for UPSC Preliminary Examination

The UPSC examination syllabus for Polity Prelims is given here:

  • Political system
  • Indian polity and governance- Constitution
  • Rights Issues, Panchayati Raj Public Policy, etc. The syllabus for preliminary examination is concise.

How to Prepare Polity Syllabus for UPSC Prelims?

Polity is an imperative and essential topic for all three stages of the exam, Prelims, Mains, and Interview. To make the subject easy for you, here we provide some key mantras to crack the exam.

  • Cover everything about the Constitution, individual’s rights, duties and responsibilities to structure, functions, powers, and responsibilities of various institutions of administration.
  • Read all the related articles systematically and try to understand what every article is trying to say.
  • Read as much as you can, as it will help you to remember things in a better way.
  • Prepare short-notes with highlighted keywords/points and relate them to a current issue in a pragmatic way.
  • Must ensure that you are preparing only to crack UPSC exam not to master over a topic. So, read the articles which are relevant to the syllabus only.
  • Refer to the UPSC previous year papers and sample papers and start solving questions.

Polity Syllabus for UPSC Prelims Exam

Below you can find the comprehensive topics of UPSC Preliminary Polity Syllabus.


Polity Syllabus


  • Terms in the Preamble
  • 42nd Amendment
  • Swaran Singh committee

Constitution of India

  • Historical Background
  • Drafting committee and making scheme of the Constitution
  • Influence of other constitutions
  • Its salient features
  • Union and its Territory (Basic idea about Article 1-4, Federal nature, State reorganization and different Commissions, Recent issues)


  • Basic idea about Article 5-11
  • PIO, NRI, OCI and Pravasi Bharathiya Divas
  • Citizenship Amendment Act 2016
  • Schemes, new policies, and recent changes in voting.

Fundamental Rights

  • Basic idea about Article 12-35
  • 44th amendment act
  • Different types of Writs
  • Enforcement and Exceptional cases with regard to FR’s
  • Recent issues related to FR

Fundamental Duties

  • Article 51A
  • Difference between FR and FD
  • Significance and Criticism
  • Enforcement of FD’s
  • Recent issues about FD

Directive Principles of State Policy

  • Basic idea about Article 36-51 and Article 368
  • Sources and key features of DPSP
  • Classification of DPSP
  • Comparison or conflicts between Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles
  • Keshavananda Bharathi, Golaknath Case, Minerva Mills, Maneka Gandhi case.
  • Important Amendments- 42nd Amendment, 44th Amendment, and 97th amendment


  • Basic idea about Article 52-73
  • Qualification and Election of President and vice-president
  • Function and Powers of president- (Executive, Legislative, Financial, Judicial, Diplomatic, Military and Emergency Powers)
  • Prime minister and council of minister
  • Resignation and impeachment of president
  • Role and responsibilities of Prime minister, Cabinet ministers, Council of Minister.
  • Resignation and Removal of vice president
  • Powers and Functions of Council of ministers
  • Attorney general


  • Basic idea about Articles related to Role and functions of the Parliament
  • Motions, Sessions, Parliamentary procedure – Zero Hour, Summoning, Prorogation, and Joint sitting.
  • Parliamentary proceedings like Adjournment Motion, and Question Hour etc.
  • Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha,
  • Special powers of Rajya Sabha
  • Anti-defection law and 10th schedule
  • Parliamentary Privileges
  • Bill and law making procedure
  • Budget, funds and its summary
  • Parliamentary Committees


  • Basic idea about the judiciary.
  • Powers of High Court and Supreme court
  • Qualification and appointment
  • Removal procedure
  • Recent controversy, verdicts, and constitutional provisions.

State Government- State Executive

  • Governor- appointment, and special powers.
  • Executive, Legislative, Financial, Judicial powers and discretionary powers of the governor
  • 7th constitutional amendment
  • Chief minister and the council of ministers
  • Power of chief minister

State Legislature

  • State legislature compared to the Parliament with regard to powers, composition, and functions.
  • Bicameral legislature
  • Creation and abolition of the Legislative councils

Administration of Special Areas

  • Basic idea about 5thSchedule and 6th Schedule
  • Recent problems related to Administration of Special Areas
  • Special provision for states Article 371

Emergency Provisions

  • National emergency- Article 352
  • President’s rule or State emergency- Article 356
  • Financial emergency- Article 360
  • 44th amendment act
  • Effects and implications of emergency
  • Role of President in emergency time
  • The State of FR, Lok sabha, and Rajya sabha
  • Revoking emergency

Panchayati raj and municipalities

  • Elections, auditing, powers and authority of panchayats
  • 3 tier structure
  • 73rd Amendment Act and 74th Amendment Act
  • Relation with FR and DPSP
  • Schemes introduced
  • Metropolitan planning committee and urban development
  • Reservation

Constitutional Bodies

  • Election Commission
  • UPSC
  • SPSC
  • JPSC
  • Finance Commission
  • National Commission for SCs and ST’s,
  • Composition, Powers and functions, Removal of the Constitutional bodies

Current Affairs

  • Recent issues related to above-mentioned categories
  • Important schemes, programs, missions, laws, and policies launched by the government.
  • Recent Government Bills and Governance- actions


Exam Preparations: Reference Source for Polity Syllabus

  • Go for NCERT books (Class XI - Political Science: Indian Constitution at Work (New), Class XII - Political Science I: Contemporary World Politics (New), Class XII - Political Science II: Politics in India since Independence(New)).
  • Read Newspapers like The Hindu, and Yojana and Kurukshetra Magazines.



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