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Philosophy as Optional for UPSC

Why to choose Philosophy as an Optional?

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 several points of strength.

Points of Strength:

  • In a very short time span, Philosophy can be prepared sufficiently & comprehensively, for once and all with no ado.

  • 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 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 limited time span entire syllabus can be covered.

  • 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.

  • 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. 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.

  • 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.

Mode of Preparation:

  • At Vajirao and Reddy we have designed a course in Philosophy as a One Stop Solution.

  • We provide complete Study material- in the form of class notes as well as printed material. The quantum of entire study material is less than the matter of one NCERT book and still more than sufficient for the entire paper of Philosophy, Ethics and Essay.

  • Most importantly, we engage students in an active class room discourse, whereby all concepts and issues are comprehensively and meaningfully explained to the students. The students are encouraged to participate in the discussions, where all their doubts, questions and confusions are properly entertained, addressed and clarified to the best of their satisfactions.

  • We develop a synopsis of all topics in such a way that in a few hours time, the entire syllabus can be revised thoroughly on a regular basis.

  • Our academic-programme is structured in such a way that not only we enable the students to consolidate the subject-matter within a stipulated time, rather we put special emphasis on critical thinking and writing ability.

  • Through various pedagogical exercises, we cultivate scientific temper, analytical skills, art of assimilation and critical outlook in our students. Such academic virtues not only help them score high marks in Philosophy Paper II but, at the same time, impart intellectual credentials to their writings in other papers, especially in Ethics and Essay.

  • Through regular home-works and class-works, including impromptu writing sessions and planned tests, we inculcate a sense of self-reliance in students that help them shed inhibitions and aversions to think and write. They are nurtured to compose answers coherently and to formulate progressive responses to issues of contemporary relevance.

  • The length of the entire Philosophy Course is of 90 – 100 days. Apart from Class Lecture of 2 hours & 30 minutes, a student is not required to invest more than 45 minutes at home regularly. Such a schedule allows students to invest sufficient time to Compulsory Papers on a regular basis.

  • After the course, a student can invest additional 2 hours & 45 minutes to Compulsory Papers, since one can revise the subject-matter of Philosophy, very efficiently, through synoptic notes by spending 30 minutes on a regular basis.

  • A student does not have to read any book, either before the course or after the course. The materials of the class will take care of every possible question.

Workshop Session:

The Institute is going to organize an interactive workshop session to explain to the students the advantages of Philosophy as an Optional Subject on the following days:

28th June 5 pm & 8th July 5 pm.