Why choose Philosophy as an Optional Subject for UPSC Exam?

UPSC

Philosophy as an Optional Subject

The key to success in Civil Services Exam preparation is efficient time-management. One must prepare the syllabus of the subject/paper comprehensively & extensively on a regular basis to achieve the goal in time. However, many aspirants have the autonomy to choose Optional Subject of his's or her's own choice. An optional subject can make or mar your chance to become an IAS officer. In this regard, Philosophy needs a special attention, since it can pave the path towards success in more than one way.

Philosophy optional subject has following points of strength

Aspirants do not require any previous background to choose Philosophy as their optional, because Philosophy has the epithet of being the parent of every discipline since every other subject has originated from it. Philosophy is more likely the most elementary subject, and the fountainhead of every knowledge system and, therefore, it does not presuppose any earlier experience of the subject.

As compared to the other subjects which are also very popular among the aspirants, the syllabus of Philosophy Optional is almost one-third of their syllabuses. The syllabus od Philosophy is not only small and precisely defined but the types of Paper I & Paper II are such that they form a continuum. A proper and extensive study of the Paper I simultaneously results into the substantial coverage of the Paper II also. Philosophy can be prepared sufficiently & comprehensively in a very short time.

The dividends of studying Philosophy is not only confined to its designated 500 marks, rather one can reap the benefits of studying Philosophy in the General Studies Paper IV: Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude, Essay as well as in the Interview. Ethics is one of the principal branches of Philosophy, and therefore after studying Philosophy, a student will be better endowed to deal with the challenges of ethics paper. Philosophy can inculcate critical outlook towards life and can enable one to become more insightful, self-reliant and original.

Consequently, Philosophy can bring about a remarkable improvement in the thinking and writing of the students, and thereby can extend substantial help to the essay paper as well as interview. Further, invariably, themes of Essay Paper hover around issues of Democracy, Justice, Environment, Corruption, Gender, Religion, Caste etc., and these are the principal themes of Paper II of Philosophy. Again, Philosophy can impart right orientation towards the life and, thereby, can enable an aspirant to answer questions of Interview more intelligently with profound insights. Thus, Philosophy can metamorphose an aspirant in to an able IAS.

Success Rate of Philosophy optional in UPSC Exam

  • In the Annual Report 2014-15 of UPSC ( available on the Website of UPSC), the Success Rate of Philosophy is mentioned as 7.9 %, which is higher than History (7.7%), Public Administration (6.2%), Political Science & International Relations (6.1 %) and Geography (5.6%).
  • In the Annual Report 2015-16 of UPSC, the Success Rate of Philosophy is 7.0 %, which is higher than History (6.5 %), Political Science & International Relations (6.3 %) and Public Administration (5.3 %).
  • Thus, the Success Rate of Philosophy is consistently very high as compared to other Optional Subjects.

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