Indian Polity is one of the important topics of the General Studies for Civil Services exam. In the new syllabus since 2011 it is mentioned as polity and governance.

Earlier preparation for the Preliminary and Main Examinations were totally different, the former tested the factual premises and the later checked the analytical premises. But, the new syllabus demands an integrated approach for both Prelims and Mains. According to the new trends of UPSC there is a necessity to study Indian Polity along with overall governance of the country.

Of course Indian Constitutional topics like Preamble, Nature of Constitution, Fundamental Rights and DPSPs, Union Executive, Union Parliament, State Executive and Legislature, Judiciary, Centre-State Relations etc form the core of Indian Polity. Apart from this several challenges to Indian democracy are also becoming one of the preferred areas of UPSC, for example Communalism, Regionalism, Caste Politics, Internal Security, Criminalization of politics, Corruption, Population, Poverty, Unemployment, etc.

In addition to this, contemporary issues like Good Governance, Role of IT in administration, Civil Society, Right to Information, Electoral Reforms, Role of Pressure Groups, Energy and Food Security, Environment and Sustainable development, etc. are also important.

The complete GS notes for Indian polity are available here.

Indian Polity Chapter 1: Constitutional Framework

Indian Polity Chapter 2: Making of The Constitution

Indian Polity Chapter 3: Salient Features of the Constitution

Indian Polity Chapter 4: Preamble of Indian Constitution

Indian Polity Chapter 5: Union and its Territory

Union of States
Article 2 in the Constitution of India
Evolution of States and Union Territories
Dhar Commission – Fazl Commission

Indian Polity Chapter 6: Citizenship

Meaning and Significance
Constitutional Provisions of Citizenship
Acquisition of Citizenship

Indian Polity Chapter 7: Fundamental Rights

Nature of Fundamental Rights
Laws inconsistent with fundamental rights
Right to Equality
Right To Freedom In Indian Constitution
Right Against Exploitation
Right to Freedom of Religion
Cultural and Educational Rights
Right to Constitutional Remedies
Article 31
Exceptions to Fundamental Rights
Critical Evaluation of Fundamental Rights

Indian Polity Chapter 8: Directive Principles of State Policy

Features of Directive Principles
Classification of Directive Principles
Sanction behind Directive Principles
Difference between Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy

Indian Polity Chapter 9: Fundamental Duties

List of Fundamental Duties

Indian Polity Chapter 10: Amendment of the Constitution

Procedure of Amendment

Indian Polity Chapter 11: Basic Structure of the Constitution

Emergence of the Basic Structure
Basic Features of the Constitution

Indian Polity Chapter 12: Parliamentary System

Features of Parliamentary Form of Government
Features of Presidential Form of Government
Merits of the Parliamentary System
Criticisms of Parliamentarianism
Reasons for Adoption of the Parliamentary System in India

Indian Polity Chapter 13: Federal System

Federal System – Introduction
Federal Features of the Indian Constitution
Unitary Features of the Constitution
Formation of the Indian Federation

Indian Polity Chapter 14: Center-State Relations

Centre State Legislative Relations
Centre State Administrative Relations
Centre State Financial Relations
Conflicts between the Center and the States
Administrative Reforms Commission

Indian Polity Chapter 15: Inter-State Relations

Inter-State Councils
Public Acts, Records and Judicial Proceedings
Zonal Councils

Indian Polity Chapter 16: Emergency Provisions

National Emergency – Grounds and Approval
President’s Rule
Financial Emergency
Criticism of the Emergency Procedure

Indian Polity Chapter 17: The President

Qualifications, Oath and Conditions
Term of office
Powers and Functions of the President in India
Veto Power of the President of India
Ordinance making powers of the President
Pardoning Power of the President
Pardoning Power of the President and the Governor- Differences

Indian Polity Chapter 18: Vice President

Election and Qualifications
Oath of the Vice President
Conditions of Office
Powers and Functions of Vice President

Indian Polity Chapter 19: Prime Minister of India

Prime Minister of India
Oath of the Prime Minister of India
Roles and Responsibilities of the Prime Minister
Position of the Prime Minister
Relation of Prime Minister and President

Indian Polity Chapter 20: Central Council of Ministers

Central Council of Ministers
Nature of Advice by Ministers
Responsibilities of Ministers
Composition of the Council of Ministers
Composition of Cabinet

Indian Polity Chapter 21: Cabinet Committees

Cabinet Committees
Functions of Cabinet Committees
Functions of Cabinet Committees-II

Indian Polity Chapter 22: Parliament

Composition of the two Houses
Composition of Lok Sabha
Duration of the Two Houses
Oath or affirmation of MP’s
Presiding Officers of Parliament
Secretariat of Parliament
Leader of the House
Sessions of Parliament
Devices of Parliamentary Proceedings
Adjournment Motion
Legislative Process
Constitution Amendment Bills
Budget in Parliament
Votes on Account, Votes of Credit and Exceptional Grants
Public Accounts Committee
Estimates Committee
Committee on Public Undertakings
Other committees in Parliament
Multifunctional Role of the Parliament
Ineffectiveness of Parliamentary Control
Working Relations between the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha
Parliamentary Privileges and Immunities in Indian Constitution
Parliamentary Supremacy or Sovereignty of India

Indian Polity Chapter 23: Parliamentary Committees

Financial Committees
Committees to Inquire
Committees to Scrutinize and Control
Other committees

Indian Polity Chapter 24: Parliamentary Forums

Establishment of Forums
Parliamentary Forum on Water Conservation & Management
Parliamentary Forum on Youth
Parliamentary Forum on Children
Parliamentary Forum on Population & Public Health
Parliamentary Forum on Global Warming and Climate Change

Indian Polity Chapter 25: Supreme Court

Introduction of The Supreme Court
Qualifications for the Judges
Independence of the Judiciary
Other Powers

Indian Polity Chapter 26: Governor

Eligibility Criteria
Powers of the Governor
Constitutional Position of the Governor

Indian Polity Chapter 27: Chief Minister

Chief Minister
Appointment of the Chief Minister
Oath, Term and Salary
Powers and Functions of the Chief Minister

Indian Polity Chapter 28: State Council of Ministers

State Council of Ministers
Nature of Advice by Ministers
Responsibility of Ministers
Composition of the Council of Ministers

Indian Polity Chapter 29: State Legislature

Composition of State Legislative Council
Membership of the State Legislature
Presiding Officers of the State Legislature
Sessions of State Legislature
Legislative Procedure in State Legislature
Comparison of the two Houses

Indian Polity Chapter 30: High Courts

Organisation of High Court
Salaries and Allowances of High Court Judges
Independence of High Court

Indian Polity Chapter 31: Subordinate Courts

Subordinate Courts- Introduction
Structure and Jurisdiction

Indian Polity Chapter 32: Special Status of Jammu and Kashmir

Special Provisions for Jammu and Kashmir provided in the Constitution of India
Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir
Group of Interlocutors for J & K

Indian Polity Chapter 33: Special Provisions for some States

Special provision with respect to the States of Maharashtra and Gujarat
Special provision with respect to the States of Assam and Manipur
Provisions for Andhra Pradesh
Special provisions with respect to the State of Sikkim
Provisions for Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh , Goa and Karnataka

Indian Polity Chapter 34: Panchayati Raj

Indian Polity Chapter 35: Municipalities

Indian Polity Chapter 36: Union Territories

Indian Polity Chapter 37: Scheduled and Tribal Areas

Indian Polity Chapter 38: Election Commission

Indian Polity Chapter 39: Union Public Service Commission

Indian Polity Chapter 40: State Public Service Commissions

Indian Polity Chapter 41: Finance Commission

Indian Polity Chapter 42: National Commission for SCs

Indian Polity Chapter 43: National Commission for STs

Indian Polity Chapter 44: Special Officer for Linguistic Minorities

Indian Polity Chapter 45: Comptroller and Auditor General of India

Indian Polity Chapter 46: Attorney General of India

Indian Polity Chapter 47: Advocate General of the State

Indian Polity Chapter 48: National Development Council

Indian Polity Chapter 49: National Human Rights Commission

Indian Polity Chapter 50: State Human Rights Commission

Indian Polity Chapter 51: Central Information Commission

Indian Polity Chapter 52: State Information Commissions

Indian Polity Chapter 53: Central Vigilance Commission

Indian Polity Chapter 54: Central Bureau of Investigation

Indian Polity Chapter 55: Lokpals and Lokayukts

Indian Polity Chapter 56: Political Parties

Indian Polity Chapter 57: Elections

Indian Polity Chapter 58: Anti-Defection Law

NITI Aayog

Polity is one of the easiest of all the subjects to score, because of the following reasons:

  • The syllabus is concise and factual
  • Straight forward questions are asked (not much analytical) and if you have revised Polity thoroughly then, you can get most of the answers right if not for 100% accuracy
  • The questions are generally easy to moderate