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Anthropology Optional books and Syllabus for UPSC 2023

UPSC exams are considered one of the major competitive exams allowing the aspirants to choose among the Anthropology books and Syllabus for UPSC the essay type exams in which anthropology is one of the best options to consider.

Anthropology books and Syllabus for UPSC requires more effort in building the concepts as compared to the other subjects still this subject is selected among the science students because of its scientific study with much emphasis on human behavior especially the past human species.

So, if you are searching for the anthropology syllabus to get yourself well prepared for UPSC exams then here is the detailed version of both the papers of anthropology.

Best Books for Anthropology Optional UPSC

Anthropology books for upsc can be very helpful for the upsc exam. Anthropology optional syllabus for upsc is a vast syllabus and it may take you a lot of time to finish every single topic. This is where anthropology optional upsc books come into play. With anthropology books for upsc you can easily crack the exams in one go.

Books for Anthropology paper 1

  • Ministry of Culture- Anthropological Survey of India’s Official Website
  • An Introduction to Social Anthropology by T.N. Madan and D.N. Majumdar
  • An Introduction to Forensic Anthropology by Surinder Nath
  • Physical Anthropology and Human Genetics by Shukla and Rastogi
  • Anthropology by Ember and Ember
  • Physical Anthropology by P. Nath
  • Anthropology Notes by Braintree
  • Outlines of Physical Anthropology by B.M. Das
  • Anthropology Simplified by Vivek Bhasme

Books for Anthropology paper 2

  • Social Change in Modern India by M.N. Srinivas
  • Tribal India by Nadeem Hasnain
  • Indian Anthropology by Nadeem Husnain
  • An Outline of Indian Prehistory by D K Bhattacharya
  • The Tribal Culture of India by LP Vidyarthi
  • The Wonder that was India by A.L. Bhasham
  • Modernisation of Indian Traditions by Yogendra Singh
  • General Anthropology by Nadeem Hasnain


Anthropology Optional syllabus for upsc is a vast syllabus. Below mentioned are the main syllabus related to anthropology optional for UPSC

Introduction & Phylogenetic Structure Of Anthropology

It deals with meaning, scope, and development along with the detailed review on the branches of anthropology as well as the relation with other disciplines like social, medical and earth sciences.

It also includes characteristics and geographic distribution of australopithecine as well as of Homo erectus focusing on Europe, Asia, and Africa. Details of Homo-sapiens, Rhodesian and Neanderthal man.

Human Evolution And Anthropology Theories

It includes a comprehensive and detailed study of all the anthropology theories as well as the theory of organic evolution and synthetic theory focusing on Doll’s, Cope’s, and Gause’s rule.

It is a form of elaborative study of primates and taxonomy along with the biological and cultural factors in human evolution with a comprehensive study of the anatomy of man and apes.

Human Genetics And Biological Basis Of Life

It is the detailed study of the cell cycle and structure of DNA as well as chromosomes with all the types and aberrations of chromosomes and genetic disorders.

It also comprises principle and outline of prehistoric cultures from cultural evolution putting much emphasis on all the ages along with the relative and absolute dating from chronology.

It further consists of methods and applications of human genetics with the detailed study of hardy-Weinberg and Mendelian law with an elaborate study of genetic drifts, polymorphism mating.

Physiological characteristics in different age groups along with the complete blood group details (ABO and Rh), the classification, crossing, traits, and criteria of race and racism in man.

Epidemiology Anthropology

It is the detailed study of demographic theories and all the stages of human growth and development and the biological, social, and ecological factors affecting their rate putting much emphasis on aging and senility.

It also consists of the description of fertility and the problems associated with it like menarche and menopause along with the nutritional disorders seen.

Culture And Religion

It deals with the Introduction and concept of culture, society, social groups, and institutions. The types, laws, functions, and regulations of marriage along with the myths and rituals.

It further consists of types and the social impacts on family groups along with the forms, principles, and types of descent groups and kinship and filiation.

It also includes Mono and polytheism and forms of the religions in the farmer community and tribal areas along with the detailed review of magic and science.

Political Organization

This topic deals with the concept of tribe, state, kingdom, and power along with a detailed study of authority and legitimacy plus the way of justice and law in the simple community.

Ecological Anthropology

It includes Principles assisting the production, distribution, and exchange in communities putting much emphasis on bio-cultural methods and concepts of genetic and non-genetic factors of ecology along with environmental stress.

Demand Of Anthropology In Various Fields

It is the Complete and focused study on the applications of anthropology in various fields especially defense, forensic and medicine, sports, genetics, DNA, reproductive phase, and nutritional phases.


Pre And Pro Historical Evolution

Detailed study of the Indus valley civilization focusing on Harappa and Palaeo (Narmada basin)


Ethno archeology is the elaboration of the demographic profile of India with the structure, nature, traditions, caste system, and theories associated with the crafts producing community.

It also deals with the evolution and working on anthropology during the 18th, 19th, and 20th century and impact of other religions.


It is the detailed study of the traditions and systems along with the social systems of the Indian village puts much emphasis on the significance and impacts of the changing patterns in rural life due to modernism and urbanization.

Social Change & Ethnicity Among Tribal Societies

This topic deals with the impacts of media mass, industrial development on the patriarchal system causing social change.

It also includes characteristics and the problems associated with the tribal communities due to the social change and independence. The impact of other religions on them and the role of anthropology and NGOs for the uplift of primary tribal groups.

The ethnic factors and conflicts in the tribal societies are included in this syllabus too.


This is the detailed description of the anthropology syllabus for both parts and the best way to clear the exam in one go is to make notes and memorize them by clearing the concepts.

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