Anthropology Paper 2 Plan


Anthropology has been scoring traditionally for some years. Especially paper 2 has been a bit more. The highest marks have touched 180+. This paper is more about application of subject. There is a huge scope for increasing score here. My approach to this paper has been…

A) My sources

  • For Chapter 1 to 5 – Vajiram and Ravi Anthropology sirs class notes ( sir only taught for 2 batches -2016, now he doesn’t teach there)
  • For Chapter 6 to 9 –
    1. Virginius Xaxa committee report ( a must for this part)
    2. I made my notes referring standard books like
      1. Tribal India by Nadeem Hasnain
      2. PRS India for tribal related legistaltions
      3. My friends hand notes
  • Referred websites of Ministry of tribal welfare ( Basic reading of Annual report- just basic again)
  • Anthropological Survey of India ( glance at their magazine)
  • Some diagrams related to anthropology (I think some anthropology topper has uploaded it some-time back)
  1. B) General guidelines/ Plan
  • Since this is a humanities paper, writing in bullets points may not give more marks. So idea should be to have mix of paragraphs with bullets with some case studies + some flow charts+ some maps + and structure
  • This part is purely application of subject. So more focus should be given to writing case studies and examples in presenting answers
  • I suggest for most questions try to present at the end a side heading saying contemporary relevance – and write simple point of that. This gives a feel that you are actually applying the concepts which you have studied.
  • Virginius Xaxa report is a must and it must be on finger tips, you can skip other books but this is must for part B
  • Write practice tests for this- over time you can better understand how to use cases and examples and in better way. Not reading will do but practice is key.
  • Be creative in your answer writings. Stick to time limits, don’t try to fill pages that will kill time.
  • Try to select questions which are direct and for which you have good content. I suggest you don’t go to questions of uses of anthropology, NGO things, etc… but again depends on your strength.
  • Prepare all the previous year’s questions. Last 4-5 years. Questions are bound to repeat. This anthropology has no scope for too much creativity and new questions. So grill the previous questions
  1. C) Plan Chapter wise

1.1 Evolution of the Indian Culture and Civilization-Pre historic (Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic), Protohistoric (Indus Civilization). Vedic and post-Vedic beginnings. Contributions of the tribal cultures.

  • These are standard topics. Questions were mostly 15 marks. Prepare content accordingly. With side headings like – distribution, tool technology, food technology, tool diagrams, who discovered them, climate etc…for periods
  • Prepare a 10 mark answer for Soan culture.
  • Prepare a 10 mark answer for each location like Birbhampur, Langhaj, Adampur etc..
  • Standard answer for Indus Valley Civilization. Your GS preparation would be sufficient.
  • When –ever you write any site of distribution, draw a small India map showing distribution, tool figures, who discovered them ( This will add more marks)
  • Traditionally, there were straight questions from this chapter. This is scoring part. Never miss questions from here. Limited scope for re-inventing questions, mostly questions get repeated. Prepare well previous years questions

1.2 Paleo anthropological evidences from India with special reference to Siwaliks and Narmada basin ( Ramapithecus, Sivapithecus and Narmada Man)

  • Questions were mostly 10 or 15 markers, so prepare proper structured answer ( any book is fine, Brain tree is decent)
  • Structure should be like – Introduction: As India was assuming its present geographical and biotic features, there evolved various species of apes whose fossils are found in Siwaliks and Narmada basin from 15 -7.5 MYA…..
    • Who discovered the fossils and from where
    • What are the features of the fossils – like jaw, arms and legs…
    • Which climate they were in
    • Any other changes or specific information
    • Phylogenetic position of the apes, if there are any views present them
    • Conclusion: You can write these discoveries helped in study of human evolution or something in this kind
  • Prepare for debate on Ramapithecus- write this even if they don’t ask. Will get u marks
  • Attempt questions from this chapter. The examiner cannot reduce marks since all details are static and no creativity is required.

1.3 Ethno- archaeology in India- The concept of ethno archaeology; Survivals and Parallels among the hunting, foraging, fishing, pastoral and peasant communities including art and crafts producing communities

  • There could be only one question from here/ or for any question from this chapter, there is only one answer. Mostly 10/15 marks
  • Answer structure be like – Introduction – what is ethno archaeology – Challenges – Survivals example ( Juangs /Keonjhar) – Parallels ( Onges of Andaman) – Nolia tribes of Andhra Odisha Boarder – Limitations of this method – contemporary relevance- conclusion
  • Contemporary relevance: In MP, Indira Gandhi Rastriya Manav Sangrahalaya , under guidance of KK Basa the director took up some ethno archaeological studies in caves of Bhimbetka region. They try to study the local artists, crafts man, in the mountains and try to understand the connection with prehistoric rock painting and contemporary tribal artists. The results are soon to be published.
  • You can conclude like this: Though this has some limitations, if used properly this ethno archaeology can throw light on many unanswered questions of pre history.
  • The examples are must. With-out examples you will not get marks ( Juangs, ongs, Nolia)
  1. Demographic profile of India – Ethnic and linguistic elements in the Indian population and their distribution. Indian population – factors influencing its structure and growth.
  • Straight question mostly for 15 or 20 marks.
  • Prepare only Guha and Herbert Risley classification. You can skip others.
  • Present the answer in proper structure and side headings – their features- the locations- examples –criticism – conclusion
  • Draw a map of India showing the distribution (will give more marks)
  • Prepare for linguistic classification. Structured answer. You can skip population and factors part. Questions will not be asked. Even asked you can write in general.

3.1 The structure and nature of traditional Indian social system — Varnashram, Purushartha, Karma, Rina and Rebirth.

  • Mostly asked for 10 marks. Prepare standard opening and closing lines. Use flow charts figures ( you can be creative here) , will get more marks. Refer to some thinkers name for more marks. Like Kapadia, Chatopadyaya, Prabhu etc…
  • Very straight questions from here. Prepare standard and previous questions. Just mug them up and deliver in exam

3.2 Caste system in India- structure and characteristics, Varna and caste, Theories of origin of caste system, Dominant caste, Caste mobility, Future of caste system, Jajmani system, Tribe- caste continuum.

  • Important chapter (more questions). Origin theories is standard question. Prepare it properly
  • While writing case system structure – Better if you start with G S Ghurye and then M N Srinivas.
  • For all questions here end with some contemporary relevance or conclusion.
  • Approaches to study of Indian society w.r.t caste and varna ( questions expected) Or book view vs. field view should be prepared. This is actually difference in approaches of GS Ghurye and MN Srinivas. And conclude on these lines- both helped in the understanding.
  • Dominant caste: standard definition (what MN Srinivas said and how it evolved) – case study in Rampura- characteristic features with case studies- significance – criticism – contemporary relevance.
  • In contemporary relevance part you can include how it affects in village politics in India, how factions are developed, how dominant caste groups settle village disputes, UP polity, mid day meals food is actually decided by dominant caste etc… you can write all these. And conclude by saying the dominant castes has gained power and controlling social conditions and has become more prominent in present context.
  • Jajmani system – structure — introduction – case study by Wiser (Hindu Jajmani system1939) Senapur- features of Jajmani system ( with diagram)- Debate about exploiting or not through some anthropologists views- contemporary significance- conclusion
  • Pepper the answer with anthropologists names, like Biedleman + Mazumdar + Oscar Lewis on one side of debate vs SC Dube + Kolendo etc. on other side of debate.
  • Conclude by said it is decreasing in significance.
  • For caste mobility – write different ways of mobility with examples: like mobility through warfare- mobility through serving rulers, mobility through census commissioners, by polity, sanskritization etc..
  • For future of caste system – God only knows what happens… prepare some content on this
  • Tribe caste continnum – Start with Bailey and his work and why he gave that. Then through case studies explain this ( expect for 15 or 20 marks) cases –
    • Tribal reddys – SC Dube case study
    • Raj Gonds – Furer Heimmendorf case study
    • Baigas, Mandla dist of MP= Verrier Ellwin study
    • Bhumij of WB- Surajeet Sinha
    • Bodagas of Mysore – Paul Hockings
    • Juangs of Odissa- NK Bose study
    • Mahar tribe caste tribe continuum – KS Singh ( case study is a must for all)

3.3 Sacred Complex and Nature- Man- Spirit Complex.

  • Standard work by LP Vidyarthi. Write standard stuff like geo+ worship +practitioners
  • Use work done by BN Saraswathi as well.
  • Contemporary relevance. Try to connect with some govt programs. I thought of writing PRASAD scheme with this answer.
  • Prepare good structured answer for MNS complex. Straight forward question. Conclusions might include- this MNS helps in better rehabilitation and resettlement of tribes or any development activity. (Mahar Rajmahal case is a must)

3.4 Impact of Buddhism, Jainism, Islam and Christianity on Indian society.

  • Not difficult chapter but surprisingly questions have come from this. Prepare standard answer for 10/15 marks.
  • Marks scoring tips: draw a map showing the distribution of the religion like Buddhists, etc…try to cover both positives of the impact as well as the negative impact. Picture the present position of the minorities and what should be done in couple of lines.
  • End with India great + different religion + traditions etc…
  1. Emergence and growth of anthropology in India-Contributions of the 18th, 19th and early 20th Century scholar-administrators. Contributions of Indian anthropologists to tribal and caste studies.
  • Prepare a 15 marks content for the growth of anthropology with different phases and details about them.
  • Don’t run after reading too many anthropologists. Try to read only Ananthakrishna Aiyyar, SC Roy, NK Bose, DN Mazumdar, Iravathi Karve, MN Srinivas, SC Dube, LP Vidyarthy.
  • While writing about them must include things – Their works + Contributions + any field trips + positions of responsibility. Try to cover all aspects of them.
  • Prepare some standard conclusions and contemporary relevance. Like for SC Roy – first one who worked directly with tribal societies. His worked paved way for development of anthropology in India and also helped in further research. (something in these lines)
  • For NK Bose – His works proved much useful in later anthropological works like Structure of Hindu society by Andre Bettelle….like these you can conclude.

5.1 Indian Village: Significance of village study in India; Indian village as a social system; Traditional and changing patterns of settlement and inter-caste relations; Agrarian relations in Indian villages; Impact of globalization on Indian villages.

  • Significance of village studies: start with how village studies developed – then some village studies examples – then significance like how they help in understanding village polity + village caste system + economic life + cultural aspect etc.. through cases – then what is contemporary relevance (can write the need has grown because of greater focus on villages and New India etc…) – you can conclude with MN Srinivas idea that village studies helps as empirical reality for understanding society an growth…
  • Prepare significance ( most chance of coming in next exam for 15 or 20 marks)
  • For Indian village as social system – try to present that Indian villages are not isolated republics, but are interlinked with each other through vertical solidarity (caste councils) and horizontal solidarity ( caste system) and both through jajmani system. Write some cases explaining this inter related ness. Just present that village is connected to larger India
  • For changing patterns of settlements – Can start with village studies basic intro then move to explaining
    • Nucleated villages – with individual owner and community space
    • Overlapping settlements in Kerala villages
    • Dispersed villages in North east
    • Interconnected houses in WB, Odisha and Bihar and idea of purity and pollution
    • TN village of Sripuram of how Brahmins are at centre and outside lesser castes
    • North east villages of Khols and fortification with each kinship group separate inside the gates.
    • Conclude by saying anthropology helps in understanding them….
  • Impact of globalization general answer + mix with examples

5.2 Linguistic and religious minorities and their social, political and economic status.

  • Simple chapter. Use Indian map to better present the distribution. Nothing much to innovate as such

5.3 Indigenous and exogenous processes of socio-cultural change in Indian society: Sanskritization, Westernization, Modernization; Inter-play of little and great traditions; Panchayati raj and social change; Media and social change.

  • Prepare strong content for Sankritization for 20 marks. Start with how MNS developed in his study of Mysore village. Then how it changed from Brahminization to Sanskritization. Then characteristic features, then case study by FG Bailey on Bisipara in Phulbari dist of Odissa + you can mention Jatavas case study + criticism of this concept and end with present relevance.
  • You can prepare some notes on westernization and modernization. Start with MNS for everything. And write how they differ in technology, institutions, ideology, values etc.. general stuff. But end should be cool
  • For little traditions and great traditions: you should include Robert redfield ( must) how he developed this concept his works. You can use some flow charts to show folk to urban continuum.
  • Prepare 5-6 points for great tradition and little tradition and their differences.
  • Interface – you should write McKim Marriot village study of Kishengarh village in UP. This is must. They write about Govardhan puja. Write work of Veena Das in Santhoshi maata tradition. Universalization and Parochilization with some diagram will give marks.
  • End with conclusion and Indian reference and works of LP Vidyarthi.
  • For media and social change, present some current examples of how media in caste barrier breaking, agriculture, women empowerment etc…

6.1 Tribal situation in India – Bio-genetic variability, linguistic and socio-economic characteristics of tribal populations and their distribution.

  • This is standard stuff. You can get in Nadeem Hasnain. Along with this prepare about indigenous people for 10 marks. They can ask.

6.2 Problems of the tribal Communities — land alienation, poverty, indebtedness, low literacy, poor educational facilities, unemployment, underemployment, health and nutrition.

  • Prepare for each problem some 10-15 mark content. Start with what is problem then why, examples and cases of how people were exploited, what govt. has done and what it is doing, any suggestions for improvement and present position.
  • You can be creative in using flow charts for representation of inter relatedness of problems.
  • You can read this from Virginius Xaxa report, this has latest case studies. Use them fully for most questions.
  • Again this part is mostly presentation, content will be more or less same. Focus more to keep fit to question.
  • Off late direct questions from this are reducing in number and are limited.

6.3 Developmental projects and their impact on tribal displacement and problems of rehabilitation. Development of forest policy and tribals. Impact of urbanization and industrialization on tribal populations.  

  • Virginius Xaxa report is our Bible/ Geeta/ Quran here. General question. But marking depends on number of recent and relevant case studies and examples you put in question.
  • Like explain a problem and present an example. End with recommendations and some general conclusion.
  • Can refer Nadeem Hasnain for basic idea. But Xaxa report is a must must must.

7.1 Problems of exploitation and deprivation of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes. Constitutional safeguards for Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes.

  • Again exploitation and deprivation present with examples only then you get marks. Virginius Xaxa report is again our go to.
  • For constitutional safeguards – standard things. But Xaxa report has some good stuff
  • Get up to date with latest legislative bills etc…PRS can help here.
  • Same time prepare for denotified tribes as well ( there in xaxa report)
  • 5th and 6th schedule, PESA, present status… (basic + xaxa report)

7.2 Social change and contemporary tribal societies: Impact of modern democratic institutions, development programmes and welfare measures on tribals and weaker sections.

  • Nadeem Hasnain has good content. Put that in proper structure and relevance. You will form decent answer. Try to link with contemporary relevance and conclude well. You can make flow charts for better presentation.
  • For impact of development programs, I suggest go with schemes of govt and their impact ( first holistic view then specific schemes) Ministry website and annual report (selective reading) helps here.
  • Very standard and general questions will be from here.

7.3 The concept of ethnicity; Ethnic conflicts and political developments; Unrest among tribal communities; Regionalism and demand for autonomy; Pseudo-tribalism; Social change among the tribes during colonial and post-Independent India.

  • Prepare 10 mark answer for what is ethnicity.
  • Then try to list down reasons for ethnic conflict and present some examples for each of them. That will make answer complete. without tribal examples from north east your answer will be a general studies answer.
  • These questions are very general. You start with using standard material of Nadeem Hasnain add examples, improvise with latest news and others. Mention impacts of them and them solutions of sort. Can end like general studies answer here. ( You can look for e-PG website for better info- but again its organizing info and presenting relevant one)
  • Social change – direct use cases studies from Nadeem Hasnain. But use India map to point out the location.

8.1 Impact of Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and other religions on tribal societies.

  • Hinduism – your answer should start from ancient days – include tribes and their own Ramayana- sanskritization- kshtriazation- case studies – introduction to caste studies- what is impact both positive and negative- conclude by current issues.
  • For Buddhism- start with map – why Buddhism was in that region – what is special in their buddism, and its impact.
  • For Islam – see how it came some map and arrows, which tribes follow them – areas of spread- impact positive and negative – and conclude.
  • For Christianity- start with geographic spread- how it started- why – evangelical work- british policies- case studies of Mizo mother deaths- other cases studies how they impacted- negative impact of dormitories gone, traditions gone and then contemporary relevance of what is happening now and conclude.

8.2 Tribe and nation state – a comparative study of tribal communities in India and other countries.

  • You can refer Brain tree material and make concise notes on this.
  • Prepare for what is nation state definition
  • Then have notes for how different nation states treated the indigenous people- a comparative study
  • Like how Germany dealt with Serbs, How Portuguese dealt with Muslims in 9th century, How Americans with natives, How Russians with people from tundra regions. Try to bring out their approach like assimilation, violence, exterminations, persecution and expulsion.
  • End with India’s approach of integration. Then with constitutional and legislative framework.
  • End with something like- Though India has lot of tribes, unlike other nation states it is doing well for their betterment.
  • In case you want you can skip this chapter. There is very less chance that question comes from this chapter.

9 History of administration of tribal areas, tribal policies, plans, programmes of tribal development and their implementation. The concept of PTGs (Primitive Tribal Groups), their distribution, special programmes for their development. Role of N.G.O.s in tribal development.

  • For history of administration in tribal areas- Virginius Xaxa report has some quality content. You can use them directly.
  • Use internet and websites of ministries for government programs and their status. Again Virginius Xaxa report is the go to book here.
  • PVTG – Virginius Xaxa report has good current status and their position and solutions. You can use directly.
  • Use websites and GS knowledge to develop good answers and examples.
  • For NGO part- you can start with how they have been in ancient times, some during independence struggle, general advantages of NGOs, then identify some good NGOs in health and education and their work (use internet and other websites) prepare quality examples and content, what are problems, how they should be resolved, and any programs related to them, and conclude by saying NGOs play a prominent role in this.. but they should be managed well.

9.1 Role of anthropology in tribal and rural development.

  • Standard stuff of how this helps in policy formulation. Some examples (Nadeem Hasnain)
  • Then application anthropology, etc… one way is to go through entire syllabus and present them as points. For example economic anthropology – helps in understanding simple societies and their economic significance. This can be used for R&R and tribal compensation while displacement. You can write general answer.
  • I could not get any better answer than this. So left and thought would not attempt or create an answer based on need

9.2 Contributions of anthropology to the understanding of regionalism, communalism, and ethnic and political movements.

  • You can skip this chapter. I skipped this one. Thought if question comes I can write with general understanding and some general examples.


I will upload my answer scripts and some pics of my notes soon…

 All the best …..


16 thoughts on “Anthropology Paper 2 Plan

  1. Holy cow! This is a tremendous piece of work. Thank you.
    And, please do upload your Anthropology transcripts some time. It will be of great use for us plebs.


  2. anna, i want to talk to you in personal can i get phone no.


      1. sir can u upload ur full anthro notes soon it will be of great help for us in coming mains

        Liked by 1 person

      2. 8121416008


  3. Sir, please write a similar plan for Anthropology paper 1 also.


  4. Thanks sir.. Very insightful plan..


  5. Sir, PLEASE PLEASE call me. few minutes only. Difficult to communicate here as cross-question & then reply take time.
    my number- 8130941288


  6. Congrats Annaya… You have done really well.


  7. Hello sir congratulations for your success, and i have a question regarding XAXA report. i.e How to study that report and make notes from it as it is of 431 pages, is everything important from that or what to eliminate in that report? Kindly clarify to summarize the report.
    Thanks in advance


    1. Do first reading whole of the report, there is lot of data, you can ignore that one. i would suggest you make a short notes of 70-80 pages from report and then revise the shot notes again and again


  8. sir how to make notes from books when there is so much to study…
    sir m facing si much difficulty..


    1. when you read for the first time dont worry about making notes, read as story, in second reading you identify which is good and make a point there it self. and you dont need to make notes for everything. only make notes for that part which you need to refer more than 2-3 books. if you have one book i suggest read it from there it self


  9. sir how to prepare notes on anthropology as it is very difficult to make notes when there is so much content..

    plzz sir ???


    1. start with brain tree for initial reading. dont worry about notes, but try to identify correct content. in later readings you can improvise on the content


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