WBCS Anthropology Syllabus in 2020-2021

If you are inclined towards doing something for people and nations, then it is for sure the civil service exam is your choice. Hence, to all the Bengalis, West Bengal Civil Services (WBCS) is your go-to thing if you are keen to do something for people of your state. But the main problem we come across is how to prepare for the exam. This is the main reason why students start joining the online coaching institute for help and guidance. If you wish to excel in the WBCS exam, then it is important that you prepare with its main exam which is the anthropology. The WBCS anthropology syllabus is all that you need for help. This subject is the high-scoring subject that will surely help you score good marks in the WBCS exam.

Anthropology is one of the optional subjects in the list of WBCS exam. It is perfect for students who have a grip over science and social science. At Sapiens IAS, we help you in the best way to get through the WBCS anthropology syllabus for clearing the WBCS exam. It is our responsibility as the best online coaching institute to help you in the best possible manner. Now let us have a look at which you need to know about the syllabus of WBCS.

How to Prepare For Anthropology Optional For WBCS?

For all the WBCS aspirants, anthropology can be a masterstroke in order to get good marks. Here is a small guide that will help you learn how to prepare for the exam with the help of anthropology. So, let us begin with the WBCS anthropology strategy.

  • Firstly, you need to be aware of the anthropology optional syllabus for WBCS.
  • The next thing which almost every student is confused about is which anthropology book is best for WBCS optional. Below are some books which you can surely consider for your exam.
    1. Fossil Evidence – S Das
    2. Physical Anthropology – P. Nath / S. Das
  • Indian Anthropology – R.N Sharma / Nadeem Hasnain
  1. Anthropology Theories – MakhanJha’s
  2. Social Anthropology – Maunder/Madan
  • Next start by preparing your own study plan which is comfortable for you. It is because the syllabus for anthropology WBCS is too vast and you need to complete it on time.
  • You can then consider joining some coaching institute online or locally. This will be of great help to you, since; you will get in touch with experts and be able to learn more.
  • Lastly, it is always advised to appear for the mock test series and also keep solving the previous year’s questions. This is going to polish your knowledge and will give you a chance to become more confident.

West Bengal Civil Service (WBCS) Main Exam Anthropology Syllabus

Paper – I :
1. Introducing anthropology: Meaning and scope of anthropology :
1.1 Main branches of Anthropology, their scope and relevance :
(a) Social-cultural Anthropology,
(b) Biological Anthropology,
(c) Archaeological Anthropology,
(d) Linguistic Anthropology.
1.2 Brief outline of the growth of anthropology. Enlightenment. Colonialism and anthropology.

2. Human evolution and Hominization process :
2.1 Theories of organic evolution. Human evolution and emergence of Man :
(a) Biological and Cultural factors in human evolution,
(b) Theories of Organic Evolution (Pre-Darwinian, Darwinian and Post-Darwinian),
(c) Synthetic theory of evolution; Brief outline of terms and concepts of evolutionary biology.
2.2 Neutral theory of molecular evolution.
2.3 Concept of evolutionary biology: Skeletal changes, (skull, vertebral column, pelvic girdle, hind limb).
2.4 Characteristics of primates, Primate classification (general), Features and distribution of New World Monkey, Old World Monkey, Asian and African Apes.
2.5 Theories of human origin.
2.6 Geological time scale with special reference to Pleistocene epoch.
2.7 Distribution, characteristics and phylogenetic status :
(a) Parapithecus
(b) Dryopithecus, Sivapithecus
(c) Australopithecus africanus, Australopithecus afarensis, Homo habilis
(d) Homo erectus (Java Man, Peking Man)
(e) Archaic Homo sapiens
(f) Neanderthal Man – La-chapelle-Aux-Saints, Tabun Man
(g) Anatomically Modern Homo sapiens – Cromagnon, Grimaldi, Chancelade

3. Human Genetics :
3.1 Methods – Mendelism, Twin-study, Cytogenetics, Population genetics.
3.2 Biological basis of inheritance: DNA structure and replication, Restriction Fragment Length
Polymorphism (RFLP), Variable Number of Tandem Repeat(s) (VNTRs), Short Tandem Repeat(s) (STRs) protein synthesis, gene, allele, cell division.
3.3 Concept of Human Genome : nuclear genome, mitochondrial genome, Chromosome and
chromosomal aberrations in man (Numerical and structural aberrations, point mutation), Satellite DNA.
3.4 Patterns of inheritance – autosomal, sex-chromosomal, multifactorial, polygenic, sex determination, sex influenced.
3.5 Application of human genetics – consanguinity, inbreeding, genetic load, genetic counselling,
forensic anthropology, personal identification, paternity identification, DNA fingerprinting, dermatoglyphics.

4. Human Variation :
4.1 Concept of Race, racism.
4.2 Basis of variation – Morphological (hair, eye) metric (stature, head shape), Polymorphic (genetic
marker) – blood group (ABO, Rh), Hb, PGM, HP, Y-chromosome STR, mtDNA.
4.3 Concept of Human physique and somatotype.
4.4 Concept of ethnic groups – Mongoloid, Caucasoid, Negroid, Australoid.

5. Human Growth and Nutrition :
5.1 Concept of human growth, stages of growth – Pre-natal, Post-natal, Adolescent, Senescence.
5.2 Factors affecting the growth and development – genetic, environmental, nutritional, socioeconomic.
5.3 Methodology of growth study.

6. Concept of Health and Disease :
6.1 Concept of Communicable and Non-Communicable diseases. (Malaria and Type-2 diabetes
respectively). Nutrition Deficiency related diseases.
6.2 Nutrition – concept of Macro and Micro nutrients and Deficiency.

7. Human Adaptation :
7.1 Concept of Human adaptation and acclimatization – hot, cold and high altitude. Bergman’s and
Allen’s Rules.
7.2 Anthropometry and its uses in understanding human adaptation (BMI and CI), Physiological
variable (blood pressure, pulse rate), Body composition (fat patterning).

8. Cultural Evolution :
8.1 Tool typology and technology of tool manufacturing.
8.2 Excavation, Exploration, Site survey, Application of GIS
8.3 Concept of Dating: Absolute (C14, K-Ar) Relative (Dendrochronology and Stratigraphy).
8.4 Features and distribution of prehistoric cultures with reference to India and Europe :
(a) Paleolithic
(b) Mesolithic
(c) Neolithic
(d) Chalcolithic
(e) Iron Age.

9. Theories and Concept of Culture and Society :
9.1 Brief outline of Anthropological Theories: Evolutionism, Diffusionism, Functionalism,
Structuralism, Symbolism and Interpretative Approach, Post-structuralism and Post-modernism
Hermeneutics and Phenomenological Anthropology.
9.2 Concept (brief outline): Social structure, Social organization, Gender, Institution, Group,

10. Culture and Civilization :
10.1 Definition and features of culture and civilization.
10.2 Cultural relativism, Acculturation, Enculturation, Diffusion, Cultural lag, World view, Symbol.
10.3 Anthropological approaches to the study of civilization.

11. Elements of Social Organization :
11.1 Family – Definition, Types, functions, recent changes.
11.2 Marriage – Definition, Types, functions, recent changes.
Marriage payments (dowry and bride wealth). Incest regulation, Preferential and prescribed forms of
11.3 Kinship – Definition of kinship system. Importance, Types of kinship systems, kin term classification.
11.4 Rules of Descent and alliance, Rules of residence, Descent groups.

12. Economic Anthropology :
12.1 Concept and approaches.
12.2 Major ways of subsistence – Hunting-gathering, Pastoralism, Horticulture and Settled
12.3 Production, Distribution (Reciprocity, Market exchange, Re-distribution), Consumption, Gift
12.4 Peasant.

13. Political Anthropology :
13.1 Definition and approach.
13.2 Power, authority, social control, law, social sanction, governance.
13.3 Concepts of Band, Tribe, Chiefdom and State.
13.4 Political movement – Approaches of study, Types of socio-political movements (Revitalization,
Messianic, Social solidarity, regional and Ethnic).
13.5 Ethnicity – Definition, concept of ethnic boundary.

14. Anthropology of Religion :
14.1 Definition of religion, functions of religion.
14.2 Approaches to the study of religion (intellectual, psychological, functional, interpretative).
14.3 Concepts: Myth, magic, witchcraft, sorcery, taboo, totem, divination, rituals, symbolism in
14.4 Religious specialists – shaman, witch-doctor, priest.

15. Social Stratification :
15.1 Definition and features.
15.2 Theories/approaches.
15.3 Types – Caste and class.
15.4 Concepts: Status, role, age-set/age-grade, social mobility.

16. Ecological Anthropology :
16.1 Definition, scope and approaches/methods of ecological anthropology.
16.2 Concept of culture ecology.

17. Emerging Fields of Social-Cultural Anthropology :
17.1 Development anthropology – Definition and scope, development, globalization.
17.2 Legal anthropology and Human Rights.
17.3 Anthropology of communication – visual anthropology, mass media, popular culture.
17.4 Anthropology of gender.

18. Basic Methods of Data Collection and Interpretation :
18.1 Qualitative and quantitative approaches, ethnography, fieldwork.
18.2 Basic methods/techniques of data collection – observation (special reference participant
observation), interview, case study, schedule, questionnaire, genealogy, PRA and RRA.
18.3 Application of statistical principles – Descriptive statistics – central tendency (mean, median,
mode), standard deviation, standard error, Testing of hypothesis: t-test, chi-square test.

Paper – II : 

1. History and Development of Anthropology in India :
1.1 Colonialism and Anthropology in India.
1.2 Phases of development and major trends of Anthropology in India.
1.3 Idea of Indian tradition of Anthropology. Contribution of Indian scholars : S.C.Roy, N.K. Bose,
M.N. Srinivas, D.N. Majumdar, T.C. Das, S.C. Sinha and S.S. Sarkar.

2. Evolution of Indian Culture and Civilization :
2.1 Prehistoric cultures: Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Chalcolithic, Iron age.
2.2 Indus Valley Civilization (origin, distribution, features with special reference to architectural,
socio-economic and religious; decline; Indus script.)
2.3 Vedic society (early and late): Society, economy and polity.
2.4 Contribution of tribal cultures to Indian civilization.
2.5 Ethnoarchaeology in India with special reference to mortuary practices and megalithic burials.

3. Emergence of Man in India and Contemporary Variation :
3.1 Fossil remains in India: Ramapithecus, Narmada man.
3.2 Classification of Indian population: H.H. Risley, B.S. Guha and S.S. Sarkar.
3.3 Contemporary classification based on morphology, anthropometry and genetic markers (ABO, Hb, HP, mtDNA).

4. Demographic Profile of India :
4.1 Demography: concept, theories and methods.
4.2 Structure and features of Indian population; Rates and Ratios : Fertility, Mortality; Factors influencing fertility and mortality. Dynamics of demography in rural, urban and tribal contexts. Migration and effects of migration.
4.3 Linguistic elements in Indian population (Grierson and S.K.Chatterjee).

5. Anthropological Approaches to Indian Civilization :
5.1 Cultural categories of ancient India :Varnashram, Purushartha, Karma and Rebirth.
5.2 Caste system – origin, features, functions and change in caste system, Dominant Caste, Jajmani system.
5.3 Structure of Indian civilization: Theoretical understanding (R.Redfield, N.K.Bose).
5.4 Concepts for understanding Indian civilization: Sanskritization, Universalization-Parochialization,
Tribe-peasant & Tribe-caste continuum, State Formation and Sacred Complex.
5.5 Idea of folk and folk culture, folkloric elements in Indian culture (proverbs, folksong, folkart with
special reference to West Bengal), folklore and identity, performances.
5.6 Impact of Buddhism, Jainism, Islam, Christianity on Indian society.

6. Aspects of Indian Village :
6.1 Development of village study in India and its significance.
6.2 Types of village, social organization of Indian village (agricultural).
6.3 Concepts developed through village studies in India.
6.4 Changes in rural society in post-Independent India.

7. Weaker Sections :
7.1 Concepts of SC, ST, OBC, minority, women, children, aged – status, constitutional provisions,
problems, programmes of development.
7.2 Linguistic minority and its problems.

8. Tribal Situation in India :
8.1 Ethnic strains in Indian population, Geographical, Economic and linguistic distribution of Indian tribes.
8.2 Major problems of Indian tribes with special reference to issues of land and forest.
8.3 Plan and programmes for the development of the STs; problems/critique of tribal development;
five year plans and Indian tribes – a review.
8.4 Constitutional safeguards for STs, 5th and 6th Schedules.
8.5 Socio-economic changes in tribal millieu – Impact of urbanization, industrialization, forest policy,
development projects on tribal people. Changes in tribal society in colonial and post- independent periods.
Impact of modern democratic institutions on traditional political system.
8.6 Tribal movement (Nature and distribution), Emergence of Ethnicity, Issues of Identity, Tribe and Nation-Staten, Contribution Of Tribal Cultures, Indian National Movement and Indian tribes, Regionalism, Jharkhand movement, Santal movement.

9. Anthropology of Development :
9.1 Critique, approaches, issues of women development, cultural factors of development,
displacement and rehabitation, sustainable development, alternative to development.
9.2 Role of NGO in development.
9.3 Role of anthropology in development.

10. Emerging issues in Indian Anthropology :
10.1 Human Rights and advocacy of anthropology in the contexts of women, children, health and education.
10.2 Social-cultural dimensions of health: Bio-medical, medical anthropology and ethno medicine.

10.3 Issues in context: Sect, Cult, Religions pluralism in India, Visual image and Indian society, Public Culture in India, Refugee, Civil Society, Violence, Traditional Knowledge.

Subscribe Sapiens IAS Online Anthropology CoachingAbout Sapiens IAS – Best Anthropology Online Coaching 

We are one of the most reputed civil service exam online anthropology coaching institutes. Under the guidance of Mr. Pradip Sarkar, we have been helping the exam aspirants from the last thirteen years. Sapiens IAS was established in the year 2007 and since then has been a guiding stone for many civil service aspirants. We very well understand that this exam is not a random exam but a dream for everyone. Therefore, we have planned some best ways to help the aspirants for preparing to give the anthropology exam.

From the syllabus of anthropology for WBCS exam to guiding them which is better sociology or anthropology in WBCS; we can help in every possible way. Our team is always at your fingertip to help the students understand everything about this exam. With our help and guidance, we bet you will be able to crack the exam in no time. All the best!!!

FAQs on Anthropology Optional for WBCS

  1. Which is Better Sociology Or Anthropology For WBCS?

Due to recent changes in the syllabus of WBCS anthropology optional, many aspirants have choosing anthropology more than sociology. Apart from the shortening of the syllabus, it is also easy to understand and grasp this subject. Also, other than this the science students have an upper hand with anthropology sue to a bit of science in the subject.

  1. How many subjects does the WBCS exam have?

There are 8 subjects in the preliminary exam and 6 compulsory & 2 optional in the mains exam.

  1. Which can be considered as the best subject for the WBCS Optional?

This is your choice and can be chosen by the student as per their convenience. You can select any subject that you have studied in your graduation. This will makes things easier for you.

  1. What are the total marks in the West Bengal Civil Service exam?

The merit list is based on the mains and personality test marks which are given below:

For Group ‘A’ & ‘B’ – 1800 Marks

For Group ‘C’ – 1350 Marks

For Group ‘D’ – 1300 Mark

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