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How to Prepare for Indian Art and Culture for UPSC Exam

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  • Published
    9th Sep, 2021

The art and culture section pose maximum difficulty before students in the CSE prelims exam. The students have no idea regarding books and study material for this section. Although you can find a lot of with study materials related to this section but no such book is there that gives a deep idea about the topics to be read and give the confidence to tackle art and culture related questions. The highly dynamic nature of questions every year has bamboozled the civil services aspirants in the Prelims Exam. It gets more problematic as there is not set text book from where the students can prepare themselves for this portion. In this article we will deal with the questions like what to read and how to read art and culture.

The Art and Culture of India have a deep root with Ancient and Medieval history of India. Analysing the emerging trend, we concluded that the questions asked in UPSC CSE exam has been linked to the ancient, medieval history of India and current affairs. It is recommended for students to have a basic knowledge of UPSC syllabus for Prelims as well as Mains exam before diving into the preparation. Understanding the syllabus completely might help the students to have an idea about study material for art and culture.

Pertaining to the diverse nature of the subject and abundance of study material in the market, short listing of study material is also very important. An aspirant’s selection of the right kind of study material also becomes very important in this regard. There are certain books and reference material that can be followed regarding preparation of this particular section.

Resources for art and culture for UPSC IAS Exam

  • Class XIIth NCERT- An Introduction to Indian Art
  • Class XI NCERT- Ancient India by R.S Sharma
  • Class XII- Medieval India by Satish Chandra
  • CCRT website
  • NIOS materials
  • GS Score PT Sampoorn Art and Culture

After having an idea about study material let’s have a look at the sections needed to target upon:

  • Indian Architecture
  • Indian Music
  • Indian sculpture
  • Indian Painting
  • Indian Handicrafts
  • Heritage sites in India
  • Performing art
  • Indian Dance forms
  • Indian languages
  • Religions in India
  • Indian literature
  • Schools of Philosophy
  • Awards and honours
  • Martial arts
  • Cultural institutions
  • Different movements

The most important thing that one must keep in mind, after targeting these sections, is that the static portion should be completely interlinked with the dynamic section i.e. current affairs related to art and culture. Important newspapers like The Hindu, Indian Express, PIB etc. can help in covering the dynamic portion.The entire strategy,for art and culture, should revolve around the sections that have been in news recently. The trend of question asked by UPSC can be analysed from the previous year questions of UPSC asked from Art and Culture section. For example the question asked in the year 2019 about Kanaganahalli in Karnataka was in news recently. We have seen that most of the question asked by UPSC from this section were in the news. So it is recommended to prepare art and culture in a way that it covers major current issues related to art and culture but this task seems time consuming and tiresome. However,to cover the art and culture section in a holistic manner, one can go for GS Score Prelims Sampoorn Art and Culture

which has been designed in such a way that it covers both the conventional and dynamic portion simultaneously.


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