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How to crack the Tribal Issues for IAS Mains?

Tribal Affairs/ Tribal Issues are one of those important subjects which have a healthy mix of static + dynamic portions across IAS Prelims and Mains.

#1. Syllabus

Prelims: History of India and Indian National Movement => includes all pre-independence movements, reasons etc


  1. Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues
  2. The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country
  3. Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country => tribal policy post-independence & other developments
  4. Society Point of View: Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India
    Population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies
  5. Effects of globalization on Indian society
  6. Current events of national and international importance- This is a “nuclear bomb”, it can include anything from current affairs related to tribals and areas around it. In last few years, UPSC has even asked to match pairs of tribes and their location. So be careful not to miss it.

#2. Relevance / expected questions

IAS Prelims – Match the pairs of different tribal revolts, their leaders & reasons

IAS Mains – Reasons for revolts, reasons for failure of revolts etc

Examples –

  1. The tribal (or peasant) revolts failed to achieve much. Analyse
  2. Tribal revolts were not in the nature of freedom struggle but were localised and context specific. Comment.

#3. What is an aspirant exactly supposed to do?

  1. First read it all and understand the context. This gives a clear idea of why it all happened?
  2. Then revisit it frequently (but give less time) => this makes for faster revision and helps in memorisation.

So, focus here – Get the context and remember the facts

#4. Useful resources

  1. India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipin Chandra
  2. India Since Independence by Bipin Chandra
  3. CD’s existing stories on latest developments on Tribal affairs –
  4. Along with this, we are starting a series of sequential posts on as a follow up to this article to help you plug your learning gaps

More in this series:

Questions, suggestions and comments

  1. Kovid Phuloria

    All of these links are not working. Page not found , Please look into the matter 🙂

    1. Confused Billi

      Should be resolved now. Have a look again.

  2. Karan Tyagi

    plz include demography of tribal groups in your discussion.

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