The pursuit of knowing was freedom to me, the right to declare your own curiosities and follow them through all manner of books. I was made for the library, not the classroom. The classroom was a jail of other people’s interests. The library was open, unending, free. Slowly, I was discovering myself.Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me
Many civil services aspirants reached out to me to share my experience about taking Political Science and International Relations as the optional subject for my civil services preparation. I gave the main examination thrice with Political Science and International Relations optional and qualified twice for the interview. I feel that Political Science and International Relations is one of the best optional subjects for anyone appearing for the Civil Services Examination. However, I am not coercing anyone to take this optional. It absolutely depends on the person’s own interest. In this blog post, I will be talking about the pros and cons of taking Political Science and International Relations:
- It helps you to prepare for the General Studies paper as the syllabus of this optional overlaps with General Studies Paper I, II, and IV
- Taking this optional means that you have to read not only Modern history, World history, and Indian Politics but also International Relations
- The Political Theory section of this optional prepares you on ethical and philosophical issues which are helpful in Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude paper. It also helps you in answer writing
- Reading Political Science & IR also helps you to understand the context of things happening in and around the world. It also helps you interlink concepts and understand things in a better manner
- The best advantage of taking Political Science & IR is that it also helps you during interview preparation
- This optional is quite vast and you need to read a lot to have a solid grip on this paper
- If you are not a regular reader of the newspapers, you will find it difficult to prepare for this optional paper
- Some people find the political theory part to be boring because it is very theoretical. Too much theory makes it hard to pass the first paper.
Please also read the posts below where I list the important books on Modern India, Indian Government & Politics, and Comparative Politics & International Relations:
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