Philosophy as an Optional Subject



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Philosophy as an Optional Subject

Preparation for the Civil Services Exam is, essentially, a race against time. Thus, the key to success is efficient time-management. As far as General Studies Papers are concerned, an aspirant has no choice but to prepare the syllabus extensively and comprehensively on a regular basis. However, one has the autonomy to opt for an Optional Subject of one’s own choice. The Optional Subject can, significantly, make or mar one’s chances of becoming an IAS. Hence, one must choose the Optional Subject discerningly, with due care and consideration, in the pursuit of coveted aspiration. In this regard, Philosophy needs a special mention, since it is the Subject which can pave the path towards success in more than one way. As an Optional Subject, Philosophy has the following points of strength:



  • Students do not require any prior background in the subject to opt Philosophy as an Optional Paper. Philosophy has the epithet of being the parent of every discipline since every other subject has originated from it. Thus, Philosophy is like the most elementary subject, it is the fountainhead of every knowledge system and, therefore, it does not presuppose any prior knowledge of the subject.

  • As compared to the other Optional Subjects, the syllabus of Philosophy is almost one-third of their syllabi. Further, the syllabus is not only short and precisely defined but the nature of the themes of Paper I & Paper II are such that they form a continuum. A meaningful study of the Paper I simultaneously results into the substantial coverage of the Paper II. Thus, in a very short time span, Philosophy can be prepared sufficiently & comprehensively, for once and all with no ado.

  • 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

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.



At Vajiram & Ravi we have designed a course in Philosophy as a One Stop Solution:

An academic programme consisting of regular class room discourse, complete study material, and regular tests with discussion sessions to emphasize on better comprehensibility and writing skill. Course will be of 90 – 100 days duration.

Workshops on Philosophy would be held as follows:

1) 24th September 2017 at 5:30 P.M



2) 10th October 2017 at 5:30 P.M

3) 3rd November 2017 at 5:30 P.M


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