The UPSC Civil Services Exam is divided into three phases – Prelims, Mains, and Interview. In the Mains exam, candidates must select one optional subject, which holds great importance in determining their ranking. Recent trends indicate that literature-based subjects have a high success rate in the IAS exam.
One of the optional literature subjects in the UPSC Civil Services Exam is Maithili, an official language of India included in the eighth schedule of the Constitution. Maithili is spoken in parts of northern Bihar, eastern Uttar Pradesh, and some districts of West Bengal and Assam, as well as in Nepal, and boasts a rich and lengthy literary history.
The Maithili Literature option consists of two papers (Paper I and Paper II) in the UPSC Mains exam, each worth 250 marks for a total of 500 marks. This subject is best suited for those with a formal education in Maithili or those who speak it as their mother tongue. Aspiring candidates should familiarize themselves with the Maithili Literature syllabus and consult recommended books, which can be found in the linked article.