AIR-420, CSE-2015, First Attempt.

B.E. in ECE (2010-2014).

Sociology score-231(Paper 1-107, Paper 2-124).


I didn’t have any thought of writing this article about Sociology after I have secured 231 which is an average score. But I have always believed that studying an optional for CSE Mains is not all about marks but the thought process, perspectives, self-belief and the personality that will be shaped up over the course of studying the optional. This thought has motivated me to write this article and I hope this helps all those who have taken up Sociology and the ones who aspire to take Sociology as an optional in coming days.


Why did I choose Sociology?


I had no idea about any optional before choosing one for the UPSC mains examination. Though I was from engineering background, I was sure that I will not select Engineering subjects as my optional. The reason is simple. I was an average student during my graduation and never enjoyed studying engineering subjects. I was sure that my optional will be one among the non-engineering subjects. But selecting one among the likes of History, Geography, Political Science, Sociology, Anthropology and many others was even challenging one. I even attended introduction class of many of these at various institutes in Chennai. But I decided to take up Sociology after going through the syllabus and analyzing previous years’ question papers. I found the subject matter familiar and dynamic compared to others. (No offence to other optionals!! .It’s my personal opinion.) I strongly felt that I could do some justice the questions asked in Mains exam without knowing much deeply about it.


The dynamic nature of Sociology and it’s closeness to the individual.


Sociology is like a flowing river but the course of its flow is quite static. After studying it one will have the ability to predict how and where it can be related to everyone. This nature of Sociology makes everyone have their own perspectives. One relates its concepts, theories very closely to his village, town, city and above all the society he is part of it. It may start from observing the surroundings, the social setting and communicating with others.

The difference between Paper 1 and Paper 2


Paper 1 and Paper 2 differ in their subject and application. While Paper 1 is about the basics, theories of core thinkers from all over the world. A high investment of time over this paper is crucial as one needs to get his /her basics right. Also the success of paper 2 depends on the strong grip one holds over Paper 1.


Paper 2 is highly dynamic as it is India specific. It needs regular updating over the societal changes in India. . For example Caste system is undergoing modernization and it is changing every now and then. Indian thinkers and their studies shall be the foundation for our answers in Mains exam.


Sociology-An optional indispensable with thinkers


Since multiple thinkers have given multifold perspectives on a particular subject, it makes life a bit difficult for the takers (!!!). Every side of an issue is important and needs its mention in our answers. It is essential that we base our answers with thinkers in every answer we write otherwise it will just be an answer but not an outstanding answer. It is quite challenging but not impossible. Repeated study and answer writing on every topic will make this attainable. I did also make a table of thinkers for every sub-topic in the syllabus and it was of great help during revisions.

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