If you’re about to appear for the UPSC, you’d be wondering how you can go about picking the “right” optional subject of 48 subjects to choose from.

Here's what some civil servants have to say.

“No optional is good or bad.” – Nikhil Srivas, Deputy Controller — Delhi, UPSC CSE 2016

“Your optional subject is one that you love studying and want deeper insight into. That’s it. That’s all.”

“Choose what you love.” — Ira Singhal, IAS Officer

“You have to study that subject again and again. It should be a subject that you enjoy studying. If you don’t…then you won’t be able to do justice to it.”

“The rule of thumb is that you find it interesting.” — Debotosh Chatterjee, IRS (C&IT), 2016

“There is no such ‘best subject’. It’s a myth. The thumb rule of choosing an optional subject for UPSC CSE, accepted by most successful and aspiring candidates, is that you must be interested in it.”