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Making sense of a game called politics

delhi Updated: Jun 14, 2009 00:58 IST
Dr Seema Narain

The study of political science is important in an age of representative democracy where political knowledge is essential to fulfilling one’s responsibilities as a citizen and to know how governments work.

Political scientists use both humanistic and scientific perspectives and tools and a variety of methodological approaches to examine the processes, systems and political dynamics of all countries and regions.


Political Science at the BA level involves the study of Indian government and politics, public policies, political processes, systems and political behaviour.

The course has been constituted in a way to introduce the subject and its fundamentals at the introductory level, in first year. The student is introduced to Political Theory and Indian Nationalism and Colonialism in the first year. The course gets specialised in the second and third years.

Over three years, the Honours course introduces sub-fields including Political Theory, Western and Indian Political Philosophy, Comparative Politics, Contemporary Political Economy, Public Administration, Indian Foreign Policy, United Nations and African experience.

One advantage of studying the subject at Delhi University (DU) is that it has an updated and revised syllabus comparable to international standards.


Students from any stream can opt for Political Science at DU. This is because the BA (Honours) course as well as the BA programme syllabi do not require a background in political science.

Students with an orientation for scholarship and research can get ample time to build up their background in the subject. A proclivity for wider reading also helps. The study of the subject helps in the development of reasoning and analytical skills and build competence in oral and written expression.

Career options

Students with a political science background can crack the civil service exams for IAS, IFS or IPS. Students appearing for the civil services examinations can opt for several papers that form part of their BA syllabi like Political Theory, International Relations and Public Administration.

The subject also opens up vast opportunities in international organizations like the United Nations, NGOs, journalism, Publishing houses and editing, and political analysis, all of which merit training in political science. Law and business are other fields suitable for political scientists. Think tanks and research organizations also offer career options.

Students interested in academics can enrol for MPhil and doctoral programmes after a masters at DU, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and Jamia Millia Islamia. Students interested in advanced courses can pursue research or teach at colleges and universities.