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Thumbs up How to attempt Optional papers

How to attempt Optional papers

Every subject has its own peculiar nature and standing. Two subjects are never same in their textual styles. History subjects are always objective and based on events and occurrences while subjects like sociology, journalism, public administration, etc. are conceptual and subjective in their essence. So, the candidate is required to apply the corresponding ways and means to grasp over these subjects.


Sociology is one of the widely opted subjects in the CSS examination. Candidates usually consider sociology as the easiest subject to qualify. It is learnt from the past results that the average marks awarded in sociology are between 35 to 55. However, a candidate can secure 70 marks if he studies and comprehends the subject according to its requirement.

Sociology consists of two parts, i.e. Sociological thought and principles of sociology. The candidate is supposed to cover both these parts of the subjects without sacrificing one to the other. The principles of sociology may not be comprehended if the sociological thought is not read and vice versa. So, the justice with the subject demands comprehension of both these parts.

The works and contribution of Ibn-e- Khaldun, August Comte, Emile Durkheim and Max Weber are very important in sociology. The examiner of the papers surely expects a candidate to know the thought of these sociologists and these should be reflected in the answers of the candidates. If a candidate has read these sociologists thoroughly, he can justify his answer in an impressive manner, quoting their references. Therefore, he should make maximum use of these thinkers in answering the paper of sociology. It is how the examiner is compelled to award maximum marks.

The candidate should know one or two authorities/sociologists who have specifically dealt with any principle of sociology. For example, George Murdock has extensively worked on the institution of family; Charles H Cooly is known for his contribution in defining “Group”; Ralf Linton worked on social change.

If a candidate quotes the well-known sociologist over a particular area of sociology, he can secure impressive marks. The examiner will be impressed that the candidate has grasped the very essence of the subject and would have no other option but to be generous in the distribution of marks.

Recommended Books

1. Sociology by Horton and Hunt
2. Sociology by J.J Jiskani

Important questions of Sociology

1. What major contributions did Max Weber and Emile Durkheim make to our understanding of the social experience?
2. Migration from rural to urban area is on the rise in Pakistan. Discuss all the positive and negative points at the origin and destination keeping theory of migration into consideration.
3. What do you understand by social mobility? Discuss “do transfer of payments aid or discourage social mobility”.
4. Define social institution. What is the significance of family, religion and education as institutions in the process of socialisation? Explain your answer with examples from Pakistani society.
5. Define status. Discuss the factors which decide status of an individual in a society.
6. Discuss the importance of social research for the study of sociology. Explain the steps to be taken in social research process.
7. What is the role of culture in socialisation of an individual to become a useful member of society? Discuss with examples.
8. What are the different forms of social classes? Discuss the impact of feudal system in Pakistan.

Write a detailed note on following:
(a) Social change (b) Community (c) Urbanisation (d) Ethnocentrism

History of Pakistan and India

The history of Pakistan and India is based on several historical events and the administrative contributions of various emperors who ruled the Subcontinent. These historical events are connected with each other. One is the corollary to the happening of the other. So, they should not be read in isolation, otherwise it would be difficult to comprehend the subject on the whole.

Usually, candidates read selective chapters and areas of the subject. This is the unjust and improper way to study the history subject. It would surely result in failure or less marks awarded to the candidate. The subject needs to be pursued extensively as the history requires.

The paper-I of the subject pertains to history period from 712 A.D to 1707. There are all but 15 important emperors. The epoch of the each emperor is to be read and kept in mind. This will help understand the policies of the successive rulers. In this way, a candidate can confidently analyse or comment on any history questions framed in whatever style.

For example; to write on the saga story of Mahmud Ghaznavi , it is imperative to know the succeeding epoch of Muhammad Ghauri and vice versa. The administrative rule of Jahangir can be justified if a candidate has thoroughly read the era of King Akbar and the Mongol menace in the subcontinent can be impressively analysed if the policies of Ghiyasuddin Balban, Allauddin Khilji,etc are well read.

A candidate has to remember all the important works of those authors who have specifically dealt with different eras. The famous books written on the history of India and Pakistan would help a candidate substantiate his stand. This will surely make the examiner feel that the candidate is at home with the subject and award good marks to him.

Recommended books

1. History of Pak-India by K. Ali
2. Medieval History of India by R.S Chaurisa

Important questions of History of Pakistan and India Paper-I

1. How would you justify the statement that "Sindh is Babul-Islam!1" with reference to the Arab conquest of Sindh.
2. "Sultan Muhammad Tughlaq's character was a mixture of two extremes but he was a man of ideas." Discuss
3. Ghiyasuddin Balban successfully suppressed the internal and external rebellion that provided stability to his reign. Analyse
4. Allaudin Khilji's administrative and economic policies were more successful than his foreign conquests.
5. Sher Shah was the pioneer of a comprehensive system of administration in the subcontinent to be followed by his successors in history. Discuss
6. Akbar is considered not only a great administrator but also a great warrior. Write a detailed note on his administration?
7. "The war of succession among the sons of the Shah Jehan was, in fact, war between the two ideologies". Comment and account for the success of Aurangzeb Alamgir.
8. Give an account of the development of Mughal architecture in Indo-Pakistan subcontinent.

Expected Questions of History of Pakistan and India Paper-II
1. Estimate the contribution of Shah Waliullah towards the regeneration of the Muslim of South Asia.
2. "Aligarh Movement created reawakening among Muslims to provide a political platform through Education network." Analyse the statement
3. What role did Sir Syed Ahmad Khan play in the reawakening of the Muslims of the Subcontinent? Discuss
4. The Khilafat Movement spearheaded the Pakistan Movement and provided the necessary weapon through which a political war to identify the Muslims as such could be waged." Discuss
5. The Lucknow Pact provided a commitment to Hindu-Muslim unity but it soon failed. Discuss
6. Congress rule during 1937-1939 provided an opportunity to All India Muslim League (AIML) to reorganise. Discuss Congress rule in provinces and its impact on AIML.
7. Pakistan’s relations with China have proved to be a blessing for peace in the region. Discuss.
8. Write notes on the following:
a. Objectives Resolution
b. Six Points of Mujeebur Rehman
c. Pakistan's role in the war against terrorism
d. Separation of East Pakistan
e. Cripps Mission


Journalism has always remained a favourite subject for the candidates in the CSS examination. It is generally believed that the subject carries a defined and concise syllabus which can be covered with a little effort. Owing to this reason, the candidates take this subject for granted and pay insufficient heed to various contents of journalism.

This style of dealing with this subject has many a time awarded discouraging marks to the candidates. The result of CSS-2010 is an example to be pondered over. However, the candidate can secure maximum marks if due efforts are made.

This subject is divided into three parts.
1. History of journalism in Indo-Pak subcontinent
2. The technical areas like News, Editorial and Column
3. Public relations and advertising

The candidate is supposed to cover all these three sides of the subject. He has to deal with each section with utmost care. Let us take the example of the part-1 of journalism.

A candidate should know the role of media throughout the Pakistan Movement. He has to remember all the important newspapers and periodicals which played their role during the period. It would certainly irritate the examiner if there is insufficient mention of the newspapers/periodicals in the question of the history period.

The candidate should rather substantiate his ideas with the help of the journalistic enterprises of the time. This would impress the examiner a lot.

The candidate is supposed to remember the famous definitions and comments of the experts over various journalistic areas. If he discusses the question over communication, it would be inspiring if the candidate quotes the views of Wilber Scram, Shoemaker, Mehdi Masud, etc. It is through this way that the examiner can be impressed to feel that the candidate has well read this subject.

The candidate should be acquainted with the latest trends of journalism. He should update himself with the activities of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) and Press Information Department (PID). This would help him discuss the question with the help of latest developments in Mass Communication. The examiner would know that the candidate has not only understood the text of the subject but is updated to the current phenomena in journalism.

Recommended Books
1. Exploring journalism by Mehdi Masud
2. Exploring journalism by Mirza Mohammad Yousuf.

Journalism Important questions

1. Discuss the concept and process of communication? What is the importance of Mass Communication in this modern age?
2. The present era is considered as the era of development of electronic media in Pakistan. Critically evaluate the role of present TV channels in social development?
3. What is the purpose and scope of Public Relations in any organisation? Describe major responsibilities of a Public Relations Officer?
4. What role did the militant Muslim press play in the subcontinent?
5. Describe the need and significance of editorial.
6. Explain what is news, its functions and values.

7. What do you know about advertising. Explain its functions and importance in the modern age.

8. Define the following in detail:

(a) Press release (b) Press note (c) Press communique
(d) Press conference (e) Hand Out (f) Freedom of press (g) Libel

Public Administration

Public Administration consists of theory and practice. The theoretical section is important for the practical application of the subject. The administrative system and the related issues may not be grasped if the textual understanding of the subject is missing. The nature and scope of Public Administration needs to be well comprehended before surfing through other contents of the subject. It will help the candidate in understanding and tackling various other areas of the subject.

It is imperative to have a thorough study of the principles of New Public Administration. The administrative problems of the modern era can be well analysed if the candidate knows the significance and scope of the New Public Administration (NPA). The examiner equally expects a candidate to know the modern trends of a successful administration. Mere dependence on the past theories of the administration shall be unfair.

The candidate should also keep himself abreast of the prevalent administrative and governmental systems of the country. He should properly know the work dynamics at district, province and national level. It is by this way that he can measure the pros and cons of the system and suggest novel strategies and solutions to the administrative problems.

Recommended Books
1. Public Administration by Sultan Khan
2. Personnel Administration by Sultan Khan
3. Public Administration by Abdul Majeed Memon

“A Momin does not taunt, does not curse and reproach, does not indulge in obscene talking and obscene acts.” [Tirmidhi]
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