Political science was first derived from middle French “Politiques” and hence taken from politicus, then again it was derived from the Greek word “ Polis”  which means city- state and the Latin words “Scire” which means science or to know more. Those terms during ancient times were first coined by Aristotle who is also known as the Father of Political Science, he was the first one to give a valid definition of Political science. And as for India Arthashastra of Chanakya which was written around 3rd century BC is one of the earliest written Political Science works in India.

People usually misunderstand Politics with Political Science, both the terms are used interchangeably, and there is a line of distinction between the both. Politics generally is known as the study of the State and Government and simple words politics are used to describe the activities of public officials for example how they are chosen, their promotions and all other activities. On the other hand Political science is a body of knowledge about the state in its various manifestations, and while politics refers to actual operation of a Political system. Political science is concerned with the fundamental principles of state and government, and as such, it is more of a science.

In today’s world many people hate political science or even assume that a student is into dirty politics because he/she studies Political science. People assume that politics are basically those activities which are aimed at improving someone’s status or increasing power within an organization but in reality political science is much more than that. Without understanding politics first then moving into Political science can lead to many different scenarios, one may think that it is dirty politics, only people with status are entitled into politics, there is no equality and so on. Since politics doesn’t cover everything just about the state and government but political science gives one the whole idea about the workings both inside and outside. As a whole one should have a clear understanding about politics because it is heavily reflected in our society and hence it is very important to know what is going around us.

Students might be confused thinking what are the various options/ fields available for them if they take up political science. These are the following options/ fields available:

  1. Political Theory is the philosophy which studies the doctrines and theories on the inception, behavior, forms and the views of the state and government, for which it is also known as Political Philosophy. 
  2. Public Law is the branch of political science which centers on the legal rules and principles of the governing states, governments, and individuals which are related with each other.
  3. Government is the branch which eyes on the structure and works of both the national and local governments in the factor of a state or country.
  4. Comparative Government is the branch which analyzes the resemblances and distinctions among the states that are relative to their executive, legislative, and judicial fields of the government, and their fundamental laws, functions, political traditions and cultures as well.
  5. International Relations is the branch of Political Science which studies the foreign strategies of countries, international organizations, and international law.
  6. Public Administration is the field which deals with the real management of the government in the domain of administrative organization, human resource and personnel management, fiscal management, and management of public policies.
  7. Legislature is the field which is focused in the role of law making body in rule making and politics as well.
  8. Geopolitics is based on critically studying the influences of population, its resources, and the physical environment on its local and international politics of a country. 

All those above topics are  the subtopics of political science and hence students can learn such a vast variety of topics all together and how to do that? How can one complete such a vast variety of topics? And most importantly how to study political science?

  • Find a partner to study with : wondering why do students need a partner? It is because in Political science everyone has their own opinions some are right wing some are left wing and it is very important to look from every aspect and note down every single details, it will help the students to have a clear understanding about the topic and also  NCERT class 11 Political science book can be the students first guide in students’ understanding about Political science. Every student has his/her own opinion be it on international relations or Indian Government, what is important is how do students tally both the opinions. One can give positive opinions and the other can give negative opinions but this doesn’t mean that only one is right, both sides are right. Political science doesn’t mean actual science where there is only one conclusion involved, political science is all about opinions.
  • Newspaper: Students studying political science must make a habit to read the newspaper everyday. If you ask the question, why? The answer is simple: newspapers help students gain more knowledge not only about the present but also about the future. The present topics in newspapers give a review as to how our future political sphere will be.
  • Never start from the middle:  Starting from the middle or your favourite chapter is like just reading and not understanding anything. Political science books are designed in such a way that they cover all the topics and are systematically arranged. If a student skips the first chapter he/she may not understand what political science is and directly skip to the government without knowing the basics. Political science is just like mathematics, if one is not able to understand mathematics basics he/she may not be able to move to greater topics. Every subject had its basics be it economics or science. Always start from the first chapter and go with the flow.

If a student is able to follow those simple three points one can easily ace political science.

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