As a serious UPSC aspirant ought to know about Indian Polity as if it were the brochure about your future employer. Polity is interesting as well as important because it will teach you about how your future organization functions and the legal background which you will be embedded in, as a civil servant.
Polity includes all the rules of your own employment but also rules about everything else in the country- how the President of India is elected, how local governments function-basically, a blueprint for how to make the entire government structure a country. This includes mechanisms of how power should be distributed and the bodies which will wield it.
Don’t you want to know how the country you wish to serve is run and where you fit into the scheme of things? How can you change the system unless you know what the system is? Polity is all about that system.
It is in this system in which you will function as one cog in a very large machine. No surprise that as a civil servant your primary responsibility is the efficient implementations of policies- how these policies, rules and laws are made is mentioned in detail in Legislative organ of the system.
The Constitution of India is the rulebook which contains details of how the system functions. The constitution is a strange type of rule book-one which contains within it mechanisms for its own modifications (constitutional amendments).
Polity is also highly correlated with current affairs, and you should be updates about recent laws, changes and policies.
The recent farm laws issue is a case in point where some policies of the government came in direct conflict with a section of the stakeholders. The fact that sections of people with common interest can congregate and protest is in fact, a fundamental right included in the constitution.
This right is one of many- some like the right to life Art.21 has undergone many revisions and updates as ‘life’ itself has evolved in our times.
How to prepare Indian Polity for UPSC
Know that you can not capture all the details in one reading alone. The process takes long and should be done in a scientific manner- this is what the HEXATASK METHOD comes to the rescue.
The Hexatask method is a series of 6 steps that takes you through all the dimensions of learning to cover for the UPSC Exam. These steps include all the elements of the best quality learning possible as revealed by research in the Cognitive Sciences.
The 6 tasks of the Hexa-task method are Big Picture Formation, 1st Reading, 2nd Reading, Analyse PYQs, Revision, and Testing. Completing these tasks while learning a subject will ensure optimal preparation for the UPSC exam for Polity.
What you need to do to begin with is BIG PICTURE FORMATION for Indian Polity. The Masterclass linked below will do just that.
How to read Laxmikant for Polity
Indian Polity can seem like an endless list of facts to painstakingly memorize from Laxmikant. But it is something much more fascinating and easier than you would have thought.
Throughout the Laxmikant book or any other book on Indian Polity, you will run into innumerable facts, names, dates, articles and lists. Do not be intimidated by these. There is a way to cut through the jungle of facts.
Every chapter of Laxmikant or any other Polity book will be nothing but a combination of the following-
3 FUNDAMENTAL DIMENSIONS OF INDIAN POLITY = 1. RATIONALE 2. HISTORY 3. DETAILS (HDR)
The Rationale is the underlying reason behind the organization ( Supreme Court, Council of Ministers, CBI, UPSC, CAG etc) or the Functionary (Vice-President, Chief Minister, Speaker, CJI etc) or the Constitutional idea ( Fundamental Rights, writ jurisdiction, DPSP etc)
The History refers to the evolution of the idea to which has led to the current day point. For instance, the Word ‘ Secularism” was added by the 42nd Amendment Act to the Preamble in 1976 while the Right to Education was made a fundamental Right by adding Art 21A to the constitution more recently in 2002.
The Details are the Article number, the content of the articles such as the list of DPSP, Fundamental duties etc. criterion such as the types of majorities needed for passing motions in parliament etc.
- You must only focus on the Narrative and Big Picture Formation in the beginning. Deduce they WHY and the WHAT will follow automatically.
- You will need multiple readings and should not expect to learn Indian Polity satisfactorily in less than 2-3 readings
- With repeated readings, more and more details will begin to get committed to memory.
Refer to the Masterclass as many times as you need to do to capture the essence of Indian Polity.
-Ravi Kapoor, IRS