Anthropology Toppers for UPSC 2013-2023: Strategies, Ranks, and Reasons to Choose

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Anthropology Toppers for UPSC

Anthropology as an optional subject for the UPSC civil services mains exam is becoming extremely popular lately! Especially if they hold degrees in science or engineering. The topic is regarded as highly scored in addition to being fascinating. In this article, we cover the Anthropology Toppers for UPSC 2013-2023, where they are now, strategies, ranks, etc.

Interesting Fact: Anudeep Durishetty (AIR 1, CSE 2017), Chose Anthropology as his Optional Subject

While fewer applicants choose anthropology as their optional subject than public administration or geography, anthropology, however, has a comparatively high success rate—roughly 10%. Based on the most recent data, 345 applicants chose to major in anthropology in 2016, of whom 37 passed the examination, giving a 10.7% success rate. The number of candidates who took anthropology as an optional subject and who passed the exam is shown in the following table:

Year No. of candidates appearedNo. of candidates recommendedSuccess rate (%)

Also Read: UPSC Prelims Registration

Anthropology as a Subject: Why Choose This?

  • The subject content is usually constant. Anthropology is static and condensed, in contrast to other topics like political science, public administration, and so on, where it is also necessary to discuss and analyse current events. You will study about topics like marriage, kinship, evolution, prehistoric cultures, etc. in this optional course; all you need to do is memorise and mug these things down.
  • The topic is highly engaging and will hold your interest because it integrates various fields such as science, social science, history, biology, and more.
  • The UPSC Civil Services exam consists of direct question types. They are easily planned and well-prepared.
  • It’s interesting to see that the questions asked are very much the same every year. Undoubtedly, one or two questions are asked repeatedly. It is, by no means, a heavy subject. You can simply and just as easily concentrate on other major topics.
  • Writing original responses and demonstrating your writing abilities is not as important in anthropological answer writing as it is in other Arts courses. The majority of the answers will be concise and illustrated with flow charts, diagrams, etc.
  • This paper’s topic also touches on themes about Indian society and general studies growth. Finding this kind of convergence in papers is helpful since it saves you time and energy, gives you plenty of information, and offers you a variety of viewpoints to help you write stronger responses in both subjects.

Anthropology; Most Preferred Subjects Chosen in UPSC

Check the table below for the top subjects chosen by the aspirants from 2017 to 2021.

2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
GeographySociologyPolitical Science and International Relations
Political Science and International RelationsPolitical Science and International Relations
SociologyPolitical Science and International Relations
Public Administration
Political Science and International RelationsAnthropologyGeographyGeographyGeography

Also Read: Who Takes UPSC Interview

Anthropology Toppers List

A significant number of top scorers chose anthropology as an option. One of them was Anudeep Durishetty, who, in the 2017 UPSC examination, achieved the top all-India rank.

A list of a few scorers for anthropology is shown in the following table.

Donuru Ananya Reddy20233
P.K. Sidharth Ramkumar20234
Dwij Goel202171
Shubham Kumar20201
Akshat Jain20182
Anudeep Durishetty20171
Sachin Gupta20173
Koya Sree Harsha20176
Milind Bapna201661
Devendra Kumar201697
Samir Saurabh2016127
Kirthi Chekuri201514
Neha Kumari201426
Raja Gopal Sunkara201449

Shubham Kumar AIR 1 2020 UPSC: Optional (Anthropology)

IIT Bombay alumnus Shubham Kumar placed first and was the 2020 UPSC Topper. The path of Shubham Kumar serves as motivation for others who are discouraged by their setbacks. He kept trying till he succeeded, learning from his failures.

Shubham achieved the status of IAS topper on his third try. Shubham passed the test on his first try in 2019 and received a rank of 290. He was chosen for the Indian Defence Accounts Service based on this rank. However, he didn’t succeed on his first effort in 2018. He was receiving instruction at the National Academy of Defence Financial Management Institute in Pune in 2020 when he made his third attempt. Shubham Kumar, the 2020 UPSC Topper, chose Anthropology as his optional major and worked hard to earn the first position in the nation.

Anudeep Durishetty AIR 1 2017 UPSC CSE: Optional (Anthropology)

Anudeep Durishetty holds a B.Tech degree in Instrumentation and Electronics. Anudeep opted for anthropology as an optional subject before achieving the top rank in the UPSC Civil Services Exam. He received 318 in the anthropology class.

Strategy for Anthropology

Here are some tips and tricks mentioned below on how to prepare for Anthropology optional.

Tips and Tricks

  • Get familiar with the UPSC anthropology syllabus. Examine past year’s question papers to identify the most essential topics.
  • Divide the curriculum into smaller portions for easier reading. Social and Cultural Anthropology and Biological anthropology makeup Paper I. Indian Society and Tribal India make up Paper II.
  • Aim for conceptual transparency.
  • Make an effort to connect each chapter to the others. This paper’s chapters are related to one another.
  • Making notes is crucial for this topic. For a simpler revision process and a better grade, incorporate relevant flowcharts and diagrams in your notes.
  • It is advised that you tackle as many questions from physical anthropology as possible if you are new to the field. Here, the questions are mostly static and you can include a lot of diagrams.

Writing Answers

  • To get high grades, try practising writing answers more often. You should segment your responses into categories such as definitions, an overview, an explanation, comments, etc. Name the anthropologist or researcher whose work you are referencing, along with any comments made of it by other scientists. For instance, Franz Boas criticized historical particularism and attacked evolutionary theory in his paper “The Limitation of the Comparative Method of Anthropology (1896)”.
  • Mention a major thinker and provide an explanation when writing about a single idea. However, you can earn extra credit if you acknowledge the works of other influential scholars.
  • Add subheadings to your responses. They provide your responses with a proper framework and facilitate the examiner’s correction. They also improve the answer’s appearance and structure.
  • As previously stated, make sure your responses contain a tonne of useful flowcharts and diagrams. They not only save time but also effectively convey the message. A well-drawn diagram earns points. You need to practice diagrams every day to achieve this.
  • It’s essential to manage your time. Students sometimes get carried away in the exam room and write more on a specific subject. Your goal should be to finish the paper by the deadline. Every question matters. You should practice answering questions a lot if you want to be a better time manager and finish the exam.

Case Studies

  • A vital part of anthropology is the case study. As many case studies as you can should be included in your responses.
  • You may write about the Criminal Tribes Act, for instance, while responding to concerns about cultural relativism. You can discuss how the Act criticised a large segment of society and future generations by equating a sedentary lifestyle with a civilised one and classifying many nomadic tribes as criminals by birth
  • Another example would be to cite a case study from the Ranchi-based Tribal Research Institute in response to a query on how the industrialization of Scheduled Tribes has affected the population of Jharkhand.
  • For relevant topics, you ought to gather and examine an ample number of case studies.
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Will choosing anthropology help me in writing my essay and general studies papers?

GS Papers I and II are related to the optional. You will study a wide range of subjects in-depth, including Indian society, institutions, local self-government, development-related issues, etc., all of which will improve your general studies and essay scores.

Since I don’t have any experience with anthropology, will choosing this optional course provide any challenges for me?

Not at all. The subject of anthropology is simple to comprehend. It has grown in popularity among candidates with various backgrounds. In the IAS Mains, candidates from any stream can achieve a score of 300 or more if they prepare for the subject properly.

Can I get better at writing with Sapiens IAS?

Yes, the candidates are required to write responses in class every day. The faculty reviews these responses and provides tailored feedback.

This was all about the “Anthropology Toppers for UPSC 2013-2023”.  For more such informative blogs, check out our UPSC Exams Section, or you can learn more about us by visiting our  Indian exams page.

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