Blog for IAS aspirants

Strategy for GS (Advanced- Unit Wise) by Ms. Rukmani Riar

In Uncategorized on June 2, 2012 at 14:03

Vote of Thanks

First, I must thank Ms. Rukmani Riar (Rank-2) for being very kind to spare some time and share her strategy for GS preparation. She will try and reply to any queries you post. She has scored exceedingly well in GS (311 marks) and so I feel she will be able to guide the candidates much better. I thank her on behalf of all the candidates once again.

How to prepare for GS

General Studies is the most crucial paper of CSE. With the news taking rounds thatUPSC is planning to do away with the optionals the importance of GS has increased manifold.

Newspaper the best friend!

First and foremost reading a newspaper (I read Hindu) is the starting point. Now the question is how to read the paper.  Initially one must spend 45 minutes to one hour on the paper. With time the duration can come down to half an hour.  The national news, international news and the economy sections of the paper must not be ignored. One can choose to make notes from the paper daily and keep the editorials which can help immensely to answer essay, bilateral and international sections with ease and efficiency.  As science and technology section of UPSC is very unpredictable therefore newspaper will be most handy means to answer this section.  One more point to be kept in mind is that not to stop reading the paper at any time of the preparation, as this helps the aspirants to write up-to-date answers which will give them that extra edge needed to clear the exam with eminence.  The notes made from the newspaper must be revised at least 2-3 times before the prelims and editorials be read once before the mains. You can separate the editorials subject wise (if they are on topics in optional syllabus) which will make the revision more organised.

Monthly Magazines

After the newspaper, reading of two magazines is a must. I recommend you to pick fromPritiyogitaDarpan (PD), Competition wizard and Civil services times. The special editions of these magazines are very helpful in attempting the CSE. For example the economy edition of PD, Geography and history special of wizard are very comprehensive and detailed.Yojna and Kurukshetra should be selected edition wise, if the topic is very contemporary or useful for the optionals, as the entire magazine is on one topic so magazines like these need not be read in entirety and only two articles can be selected to prepare oneself adequately on the topic of that edition.  Some of the yojna issues last year on rural development, urban migration, Agriculture helped me immensely for my optionals and GS.

When magazines are read it’s advisable to mark on the outset the points for P.T and the sections for Mains (you can use different pens or just write PT, Mains on the side) this will help in quicker revision at a later stage and help you to save very crucial time.

Indian Polity

For Indian Polity I read D.D Basu along with bare act from P.M Bakshi. Each topic must be read along with the articles which makes the preparation more through.  Indian Polity Wizard book (ALS Publication) is available in the market it can be consulted along with the books mentioned. Any news with regard to Indian polity (elections, political and democratic institutions) must be read on the internet to have more factual information for prelims and in depth analysis for the mains. (e.g from the last month news following questions need a clear understanding: should we move towards a presidential form of government?,  what are the advantages of having parliamentary form of democracy, when was lokpal bill first introduced what is its composition as proposed by government at present? Details of Electoral College for Indian President’s elections).

Indian History

For history I recommend NCERT books (6th to 12th) for ancient, medieval and Morden sections.  The modern history is most important from the point of view of CSE hence it requires additional effort.  You can refer to wizard book on Modern History or General Studies manual (Tata McGraw) for the same. Apart from this solving previous year question papers and expected questions must be practiced to give oneself a fair idea about the level of preparation.   For Indian culture any book can be picked up which covers Indian festivals, art and literature forms, Architecture, poetry, literature and drama history of India.

Geography

In Indian geography section, physiology, drainage, population, location of all scientific institutions, mineral distribution, industries, environment, ecology and wildlife, energy need special emphasis. Energy chapter in India year book can be consulted to update the information if time permits. Industry must be studied from both geography and economy point of view. Ecology and wildlife is very crucial and hence must be updated regularly from the newspapers. Small maps in the atlas on soil types, scientific institutions, mineral deposits etc can be looked at to memorise easily.

For general geography and world geography the same wizard book on geography will be more than sufficient. Special editions on these topics are published in Competition Wizard magazine which can be helpful for quick revision (only for prelims). Any place which is in news should be looked up on the map to understand its exact location and surrounding areas.

Indian Economy

Indian economy needs special emphasis. I recommend reading a basic book for clearing the concepts (for those of non-economic background), it could be 12th level economics book. These concepts need to be regularly updated from the economic sections of newspapers and magazines.  The fundamentals  need to be clear and for that one should make a list of all basic terms of economics that one comes across on daily basis and discuss with teachers or friends e.g what is the difference between FDI and FII or between fiscal deficit and revenue deficit.  I also would recommend the CSE aspirants to read the following chapters in economic survey

  1. Social Security
  2. Agriculture

Sciences

For the prelims the order of preference must be biology > physics> chemistry. General Studies manual (tatamcgraw) serves the purpose or one can refer to 10thand 12th standard books of these subjects (ncert).

Statistics

One must focus on statistics as they are sure shot marks in the mains. Statistics must not be ignored as they can make a difference of 50 marks to the final total.

Bilateral and International relations

The reason I have put this under a separate head is because for the mains bilateral and international relations form veryimportant part of GS paper 2, in which candidates tend to have a low score. It is important to keep all updates on this topic from the newspapers and monthly magazines. Towards the mains a special wizard book (mains special) comes out which I referred to update this section. Civil services times (magazine) constantly updates the development on this front which proved very useful.  Also, this section must be prepared with a equal focus on factual information and its analytical part. (e.g. How are regional organisations impacting the geopolitical canvas of South Asia?)

Science and technology

Science and technology section is very vast and unpredictable. I would not advice non science students to spend too much time on this section. Whatever can be covered from newspapers should be done. Defence, environment, nuclear and space science are some important sections which need special emphasis.

Is there a difference between mains and prelims preparation?

Many have their own views on this question, but if you were to ask me, there isn’t much of a difference as one needs factual and analytical information for mains as well as the prelims. Based on my experience one should start GS preparation from the mains point of view at the onset (about 8 months prior to prelims). The detailed and exhaustive preparation for mains helps CSE candidates to become adequately prepared to tackle all kinds of questions in prelims. 2-3 months prior to the prelims ones focus for GS preparation should only be prelims, which includes fast repeated revisions, solving previous year questions or some test series available in the market, going back to the notes from the newspapers, re-reading the marked sections for PT in monthly magazines and practicing mathematics for CSAT .

The last word!

Revision is the key to score well in GS. I made a consistent effort to revise conventional GS at least 4 times before the mains, and also go back to newspaper notes and magazines (marked portions).

When it comes to attempting the GS mains two things are important one, stick to the word limit and second attempt 250 plus in both the papers.

Goodluck!

  1. hello prince sir,
    congratulations. Your signs of being a good public servant is already known as u r helping so many students and replying to them.
    i wanted to ask you that what are your views about the india year book. i will give attempt in may 2013 and havnt started yet that book. shoud i read dat?.if yes how to cover in a short time.??
    and i am having my optional history and philosophy, so memorising all the articles in polity is how much vital as my opitonals are nt pub-ad or socio .

    can u give the link who is having philosophy as an optional.?

    • Thank you so much for your encouraging comments.

      India Year Book (IYB) has become very important given the recent trend of questions. Each year since 2009, I have observed that at least 2 questions are being asked directly from IYB in Mains. But one has to be very thorough with it to answer those questions. To cover it in a short time, I would recommend New Vishal Publication’s abridged version of IYB. It is good and gives all the important points in brief.

      Apart from this each time, you read something important in newspapers, pick up IYB like a dictionary and refer to that topic in it. See the important government schemes and note down important developments.

      There are around 50-60 important articles in Polity that you MUST memorize. You will know them with experience and practice. Also, keep a tab on current news items and pick up relevant articles from Constitution for it.

      I am sorry I do not know any person with Philosophy Optional presently.

  2. Hi,Prince sir
    can i ask to provide us some strategy for political science please?as u have provided strtegies for other optionals,n dey really r very useful.but for pol science option dre is already scarcity of guidance,so wud be a great help if u cud provide us strtegy for pol science as a mains optionals?please……..

    • I will certainly try but I can not guarantee anything. As you would appreciate I depend on others to submit write-ups and so I can not say for certain if I will be able to get a write-up for a particular optional but I do try my best to get as many as I can together at one platform for the convenience of all.

  3. Sir
    I’ve been reading newspapers(Hindu&a local paper) for a month now and making notes.My problem is that i’m consuming too much time in making notes(4-5 hours)and hasn’t concentrated on the optionals yet.
    I attend coaching in the morning session,so my remaining time is spent on newspapers.As of now i’m just glancing through the notes of optionals but not seriously concentrating on them.Do i need to change my approach?

    Regards,
    Aravind

  4. Prince!!! Please help! I get confused whenever I start studying Current Affairs in the morning. As soon as I open the internet, I get following doubts:

    1. I have some sites bookmarked, but are those enough?

    2. Those which are bookmarked, have current affairs of JULY AND AUGUST presently. And have archives. HOW SHOULD I STUDY THE PREVIOUS AND THE PRESENT CURRENT AFFAIRS SIMULTANEOUSLY??? This is one BIG CONFUSION as it hold true for The Hindu also. How should I study previous issues and the present issues simultaneously!

    3. Which Govt. websites are there that I should follow?

    4. I always feel that I would loose out on something, if I refern “this” site only, or “that” site only. And I end up SEARCHING and SEARCHING.

    I want to know what is the most effective way to solve these confusions.

    nikhilkaul69@gmail.com

    • On the Internet, you mainly need to focus on Wikipedia and websites of all ministries. Do not search excessively.
      No need to worry about “previous” current affairs. Just focus on news items since whenever you started your preparation and mainly from one year before the exam.

  5. I will give preliams in 2014…. My optionals would be sociology and pub ad.. Has decided to join vajiram for gs, synergy for pub ad and upendra sir for sociology..
    Prince sir kindly suggest which batch( june /oct) should I join in 2013 for respective subjects.

  6. sir plzz post links to some other blogs also from ur batch’s qualifiers.. thnx..

  7. Hallo sir, many many cogratulation for huge success.Please give me advise for GS as unite wise.

  8. Sir i want to ask that while reading the magazines you mark then and there on the magazine the points which are important or use another copy to note that points. I am asking this coz it takes lot of time to write the points in a separate note book. So want to know ur strategy?

  9. Hello Sir
    My doubt is that
    1. while reading newspapers and magazines we should mark those points which fall under social, economic,etc changes taken by the govt and present them in our asnwers?
    2. Similar thing is to be done in the optionals like pub admin?

  10. Sir, I am a CSE- 2013 aspirant..but now it has come to notice that the pattern for the mains is going to be changed from the year 2013 onwards(optionals are going to be scrapped..at least that’s what in the news). In this light, is it a wise decision to prepare for optionals for the mains? How should I gauge my preparation? I’m in a fix. Please guide me.

    • The way I see it, until UPSC announces something concrete in this regard, you must prepare for the Optionals. This is only my personal opinion. If you feel differently then it is ok. It is important that you do what gives you confidence.

  11. Apart from Vajiram & Ravi’s General Studies Material can you suggest any other coaching’s GS material which is reliable? Because Vajiram’s changed its policy and it will only provide GS postal course from November & I don’t want to waste time till then.
    Please suggest.
    Thanks

    • I think you do not need to study any GS material from coaching classes till October. After that, you may refer to any material that appeals to you. I referred to Vajiram’s material, so I can not comment on material of other classes.

  12. have a doubt – when you say “current affairs” do you mean developments one yr before the mains or one year before the prelims??

  13. Hi, you mentioned you joined vajiram, if one is wrting mains for 2013 is it better to join gs main course in june session 2013 or october session 2012.
    Thanks

  14. Is communication skills plays an important role in Interview ??..
    My communication skills is not good…Should i take any coaching for this ?

  15. Is communication skills plays an important role in Interview ????plz reply…
    My communication skills is not good…Should i take any coaching for this ??

  16. Hello Prince and Rukmani,
    I graduated this yr in Civil Engg, plan to give CSE-2014 with Civil Engg+ Sociology.Want some help in clearing my doubts relating to preparation of GS.
    My strategy is to prepare Civil Engg till Feb-March2013, tagging along some portions of GS.

    1.)The query is what areas in GS should I focus on,keeping in mind I have to give CSE2014. Like I spend 4hrs on GS each day- (1.5-2hrs HINDU, 1.5hrs on History , 30mins selective reading of Frontline or CSC or Yojana),

    2.) So will reading these magazines help me in CSE2014 OR should I completely abort them for the time being and start them next year after june2013.?

    • It is better to focus on yojana and newspapers. Do not worry much about GS right now. focus more on optionals for the time being. Do as much GS as u easily can. All the best.

  17. Thank You Sir, for recommending Word Power Made Easy. It’s extremely helpful for building strong Vocabulary.

  18. FIRST OF ALL THANKS SIR,
    I WANT TO KNOW ABOUT BOOK FOR STATISTICS..PLZ SUGGESGT..

    • Please read the GS post by Ms Rukmani. She has suggested ncert books which are good enough. You can do some additional practice from vajiram yellow books too.

  19. for indian polity do we have to fully read DD basu (intro to const) or just use it for reference?

  20. In GS Papers, how should we quote the sources?
    1. If its by an International Organisations say UN, or UN HDR report or world bank report, a fact from them can be quoted easily but if I have come across some fact in an article in say editorial of a renowned columnist in hindu or in frontline or in yojana, how should I quote it in my answer? Kindly tell me the language of quoting a source? How did u quote it?
    2. If some good arguements are found concerning a topic, should I assimilate it and quote it as my original arguement in my answer in GS paper?
    Regards,
    Nitin

    • 1. I just said that the prevalent view in some quarters is …. (did not give the name of magazine or newspaper)
      2. Yes you can do that.

  21. hello sir when i asked u right time of preparation 4 civilexams 2016 u said it is advisable to start in october 2015 and start newspaper from may 2015 . but in ur previous posts u said that 1 or 1.5 year preparation may give u success bt 2 to 3 years sound preparation will definately give u success. plese elaborate the right approach 4 preparation of civil exams. plese anser dont ignor. thanx.

  22. Hello Sir,I want to ask if Ms.Rukmani Riar joined any coaching for General Studies?
    Thank you

  23. Hello Madam, Congratulations on topping the Exam. I am giving my first attempt this year and so would like to know which books could be of help to me for Gen Studies-II (Mains). I have no idea whatsoever of India’s economic interaction with the word, etc. So could you please suggest the best material/books available for someone like me who would have to begin from a scratch? Thanks in advance!

  24. hello sir,
    is it necessary to read frontline along with any other competition magazine for ex.COMPETITION WIZARD…or COMPETITION WIZARD would be sufficient

  25. sir i m graduate and ias is my ultimate targate. tell whether i shuld continue preparaton of civil ser. exam or i shuld go for masters of arts in my one of the optionals.

  26. 1)sir please elaborate about india year book and manorama year book. r these published every year separately .2) as i m in 1 year of ba programme , from when should i follew india year book now . 3) now i m concentrating on my humanities subjects of graduation level and also one magazine pd monthly , hindu news paper nd ncert books r these sufficient now. 4) from when should i start preparing actually for gs nd optional if i have to givi cse 2016 . please anser all 4 ,dont ignor .thanx and congrats again .

    • 1. Yes they are published every year but India Year Book does not change much each year.
      2. You need to do IYB in the year of your Prelim and Mains exam.
      3. Yes they are sufficient. Try and include Yojana and a national news-magazine such as Frontline.
      4. for CSE-2016; GS preparation can start roughly around October-2015. But reading newspapers and magazines from May-2015 is advisable.

  27. Dear Prince … What was your strategy on Social Issues coverage , assuming am not into coaching , how to tackle this issue , is it totally news or magzines or somekind core book that ur coaching issued it for u ?

  28. sir u r interpreting my question wrong i asked u in reference of gs and not for optional pre and mains for choosing bw eco and history in evening. please reply again.

    • Sorry for wrong interpretation. As far as GS is concerned, you need not worry about any subject. You can prepare the entire GS irrespective of what you did your graduation in. I am an engineer and had no prior knowledge of either history or economics. So do not worry about it. Choose your graduation subject with an eye on your Optional subject for the exam.

  29. sir i m student of ba programme 1 year in du. i want 2 know that whether it will be good to take economics or history or sociology at graduation level keeping civil services exam in mind if mentioned subjects r not of hounors level bt programme level. simply asking that history or eco. me se kisko bina graduation pe padhe gs ke liye prepare kiya ja sakta hai . eagrly waiting 4 ur anser nd also tell total of ur marks out of 2300. dont ignr both queris

  30. sir why r you so late in posting ur marksheet is ther any problem in posing ur marksheet it can be idealised 4 many . is it possible 2 prepare gs mains befor 6 months frm pre if one give proper timing 4 study . please anser dont ignor. congrats 4 acheiving ur dreams.

    • Because I want to send out a clear message that marks do not matter. Please never think about marks or your rank in the exam. Just think about the questions in front of you and their answers. I have mentioned this in my very first post- Getting in the Right Frame of Mind.
      As regards GS preparation, newspaper should be read from one year before the Prelim exam and focused preparation can be started in October of the year preceding the year in which you plan to give the Prelims.

  31. sir, cong . i have done bca an i wanna be ias officer which sub can i choose an which coaching would batter for me in delhi

  32. Thanks a lot Prince. It’d be really helpful if Rukmani mam could also reply to my question.

  33. 1. Which coaching institute is good for GS – Vajiram/Sriram? I know Rukmani mam attended GS at ALS but I also want to know where did you do it from Sir? I am very confused as there are people with different opinions. Some say Sriram is the best and on the other hand few people say that this time’s G.S. paper was totally from Vajiram’s notes.
    2. Though I know that Upendra sir is the best for sociology but since its too far, would it be a bad idea to take up socio’s coaching from Mohapatra sir at Vajiram’s?
    3. How’s ALS for G.S.? How about its August-Jan batch? Is it the right time to start preparing for G.S.? Currently, I am taking only Pub Ad’s coaching and will take up my second optional sociology from october.

    • 1. I attended Vajiram for GS coaching. The GS paper was not at all totally from Vajiram’s notes. As always some portions were covered and some the student had to cover on his own. Please read my post on GS (Basics) to understand how to best utilize your GS coaching (whatever coaching it may be)
      2. Yes, it will save you time in traveling if you are living near Vajiram.
      3. I can not comment on ALS since I have not been associated with it.

  34. hi prince,

    can you please suggest me whether should i study optionals first or GS as there are chances that pattern might change.I have to appear for the exam in 2014.

    thanks

  35. Hi,appearing for IAS 2013. I have physics aS my first optional( already prepared ) . i am confused about the second – Chemistry or EE.
    I have done BE in Electronics and Communication. How should i decide between the two.
    Problems —
    1. Chemistry has larger syllabus .Haven’t read after +2. But i like it.
    2. I did my Engg in Electronics – naturally should know it and Electrical would be the natural link ( for interview as well)
    3. EE has contained syllabus.
    4. I have not had any particular interest in Analog/ control / any other electronic subject for that matter… but i am hard working and self motivated — once i’ll decide upon one of the subjects i won’t look back or make an excuse ( its only as boring as you make it 🙂 )). But i am vacillating between the two.

    Please Help
    And please if you know anyone with Chemistry as optional , let me know– for better review of the subject..

    • Hi, I don’t have any experience about Chemistry so it won’t be appropriate to comment on it. Please try and contact some candidates who have taken this as their optional.

  36. 1>Did you make handwritten notes about the editorials, news, magazines you studied?

    2>What is your take on the news coming from different quarters that UPSC is thinking of doing away with the optionals?

    3>When did you start preparing for civil services? And what was your initial approach towards the preparations? Which topics/books you think should be covered first?

    4>How did you manage studying optionals and GS simultaneously? Was there any demarcation of time and strategies for both, or did you study both simultaneously?

    5> When should one start making notes about the current affairs? I am preparing for UPSC 2014, so when is the time that I should start noting down the current affairs?

    • Also how did you go about making notes on International relations?
      I mean if you were to make notes on india-russia relationship then what all sources would you refer? what all points you will keep in mind? and how would you revise it?

      • I did IR mainly from newspapers, yellow books and Frontline magazine. Make notes from newspapers and revise everything multiple times.

        • Hi Prince,
          You have said you did your IR from newspapers,Frontline mags. Did you read any conventional books that provide the historical background of international relations between countries and organisations like SAARC,UN etc., to begin with or started with newspapers right away?
          Thanks

          • I started with newspapers directly but over the course of my GS preparation I learnt about these organizations from the Internet, Manorama year book and their websites.

    • 1. Yes handwritten notes for editorials and news
      2. No take on it.
      3. Preparation requires around 1.5-2 years. Initial approach was to cover the optional subjects first and then come to GS.
      4. Once you cover your optionals then you can focus on GS.
      5. Start noting down one year before your Prelim exam.

  37. Please try and limit yourself to 10 words per mark. At max u can go +/- 50 words for the complete answer.

  38. hi prince,
    thanks for helping all
    ” i am geography optional student as ur providing other subjects information plz provide geography also………”

  39. Sir ,I have one more query.
    Instead of studying NCERT’s for the A-B-C-D category,can we read them from “Spectrum(or TMH) General Studies Manual” or “vajiram class notes” and then study the specialised books on these subjects like bipin chandra,D D basu,economic survey etc. How much difference are these two methods(studying NCERT and studying GS manuals) going to make in the final result ?

  40. hello sir,
    how shud we prepare for india & world+ economic interactions? apart frm news paper is there any source helpful in revision?, (if one has read the newspaper regularly but could not prepare notes ) out of the magazines, which shud br picked, (csc.cs times or pd?)

  41. sir, I have just started my preparations for CSE-2014. I have started reading NCERT’s for building the basics.but sir there are multiple ncert’s for the same subject.So,it will be very nice of you if you can guide me about which book to follow among the many books that are available.

    A.Indian history
    1.Themes in world history Class XI
    2.themes in indian history 1,2,3 Class XII
    B. Indian Geography
    1.fundamentals of human geography class XII
    2.India -people and economy. class XII
    3.Fundamentals of physical geography Class XI
    4. India physical environment. Class XI
    C. Indian polity
    1.Political theory Class XI
    2.Contemporary world politics Class XII
    3. Politics in india since independence .Class XII
    D. Economics
    1.Indian Economic development. Class XI
    2.Introductory macroeconomics.Class XII
    3. Introductory microeconomics. Class XII
    E.Sociology
    1. Introducing Sociology. Class XI
    2. understanding Society. Class XI
    3.Indian society.Class XII
    4. Social change and development in india. Class XII

    • You must read all books mentioned in A,B,C,D categories. You can skip the remaining. Read these books at least once just like you would read novels. Try and understand their main points. It will take some time but it will pay off in the end and will also improve your understanding.

      • Hi Mr.Prince,
        1)Is it necessary to read from VI to X NCERT or enough if we read just read XI&XII–New NCERTs as you have mentioned in the above reply–A,B,C,D categories?
        2) Did you read the Old NCERTs of Polity,Economy,History or only the New ones?

        • 1. Only 11th and 12th are sufficient.
          2. I am not sure of the distinction between old and new NCERTS. I just bought whatever was available in the market at that time.

      • Hi Prince,
        Am starting the prepration for 2013 Exam. Have got a question. 

        What was your initial approach towards GS/NCERTs?was it like
        A) You read the once the NCERTS of ABCD categories one after other to get basic idea of all the subjects(His,Pol,Eco,World.Pol) before going to detailed books on each subject like DD Basu,Bipin Chandra etc.
                              (Or)
        B) You completed Subjectwise ie.,took one subject-finish it fully(both in NCERTs and detailed book)-then go to next subject for eg., 
                  1)Read Polity NCERTs first then went to DD Basu. 
                   2)Read History NCERTs then took  Bipin Chandra’s-Modern India
           Likewise completed the subjects one by one ?

        Thanks.

      • Hi Mr.Prince,
        I just flipped through Introductory macroeconomics-Class XII,Introductory microeconomics-Class XII NCERTs and noticed that there were many graphs/slopes,equations,mathematical representations and functions. Did you read these ones too or just only the theory/conceptual part?
        Pls throw some light on this.

        Thanks

        • At first you may ignore them. But they are very easy to understand and give you a lot of conceptual clarity though I am not sure whether they are very important from exam point of view.

      • Hi Prince,
        In the above reply you have said that we can skip Sociology NCERTs(Category E),but in your blog–”Basics of GS Prepration”–you have asked to read sociology as well.
        “NCERT books for classes XI and XII (History, Geography, Polity, Economics,
        Sociology and World Politics). Try to attempt questions given at back.”

        https://princedhawan.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/basics-of-gs-preparation/

        Pls clarify.

  42. @Rukmani mam

    Can you please give some sort of example of your GS answers,I mean of 12-15-20 markers.I totally understand if you are not able to recall your answer as it has been a long time.One more thing,311 is a great score in GS,infact great is an understatement.

  43. Hi sir i hav a querry abt attending test series.nw i hav started mains preparation.shall i take testseries nowitself or after completing the entire syllabus.any nice book for essays and international affairs apart frm newspapers and magazines?

    • There are no books for essays and IR. As regards test series, you can join one now for practice but your actual answer writing practice will only begin once you have got a grip over your syllabus. However, presently if you join a test series it will help you in memorizing well and will also get you into the answer writing mode which is very important for PA.

  44. hello..Is it possible to get the book list and strategy for political science and sociology from Rukmani mam,,,,,,,it would be a great help…

    • Mr. Rajanvir Singh Kapur (AIR-92) has very kindly shared his strategy in Sociology with us. He has got very good marks and his strategy will be very useful for all of us. I will upload it soon.

  45. sir,thank you so much fr your valuable inputs …can you also provide links to other 2011 topper blogsites

  46. hi prince,
    I’m working with one of psu and somehow manage to get leave for 4 months.I’ve joined optional as well as gs main batch in vajiram.because of time constrain I was forced to join all the three classes.now I’m finding very difficult to take out time for study.can you please tel me what should be my strategy after resuming job whet I’ll get 6-7 hours.is it possible to achieve success while doing job when your are in place where there is no environment for ias studies? what should be my strategy hereonwards?

    • You must try and cope up with coaching class presently. After you join job, please remain in touch with some of your coaching class friends so that you keep your tempo going. First get a grip over optional subjects and then prepare for GS.

  47. hi ma’am and sir,
    first of all i’ll congratulate both of u for your success.
    i have just completed my graduation in law. i m aiming for the civil services next year, i hav decided my optionals as law and pol. sci. the 2 optional mainly on interest basis.
    since i am new to pol. sci i hav few queries regarding the subject:

    1. is pol. sci a good choice for students having no background in this subject?
    2. any good coaching institute in Delhi where can my basics of pol. sci. get cleared well?
    3. also, if possible please give the list of books and references and also how to approach the subject(pol. sci.)?

    it would be great full if Rukmani ma’am could guide me, as i m in real dilemma whether to opt for pol. sci. or not.
    i will be highly obliged.
    thanx

  48. Hi Prince,
    I have done my B.Tech(ECE) from NIT Jaipur in ’11 batch. I am planning to write civil service exam in 2013 and I want to take Electrical Engineering as an optional subject for the civil services exam. Since i am from ECE background (not from EE) have some queries regarding taking EE as an optional subject as many freshers have. I will be extremely grateful to if you can guide me regarding following points:

    1. Sir being from ECE background , i have not studied during my B.tech the following topics:

    Energy Conversion:

    Principles of electromechanical energy conversion: Torque and emf in rotating machines. DC machines: characteristics and performance analysis; starting and speed control of motors; Transformers: principles of operation and analysis; regulation, efficiency; 3-phase transformers. 3-phase induction machines and synchronous machines: characteristics and preformance analysis; speed control.

    Power Electronics and Electric Drives:

    Semiconductor power devices: diode, transistor, thyristor, triac, GTO and MOSFET–static characteristics and principles of operation; triggering circuits; phase control rectifiers; bridge converters: fully-controlled and half-controlled; principles of thyristor choppers and inverters; DC-DC converters; Switch mode inverter; basic concepts of speed control of dc and ac motor drives applications of variable-speed drives.
    Power Systems: Analysis and Control:

    Steady-state performance of overhead transmission lines and cables; principles of active and reactive power transfer and distribution; per-unit quantities; bus admittance and impedance matrices; load flow; voltage control and power factor correction; economic operation; symmetrical components, analysis of symmetrical and unsymmetrical faults. Concept of system stability: swing curves and equal area criterion. Static VAR system. Basic concepts of HVDC transmission.

    Power System Protection:

    Principles of overcurrent, differential and distance protection. Concept of solid state relays. Circuit breakers. Computer aided protection: Introduction; line bus, generator, transformer protection; numeric relays and application of DSP to protection.
    So my queries are:
    1. How much time will it require to cover the above mentioned syllabus?
    2.Will i be able to command the above topics ?
    3. Pl mention all the books required for covering the above syllabus.

    Since i couldn’t find anyone preparing with EE as an optional, and no coaching class are available for EE you can be my sole source of guidance and inspiration in these defining moments. Pl also mention all material you have referred for the preparation of Electrical Engineering subject.

    I will be extremely grateful for your this act of kindness.Pl take 5-10 minutes out of your busy schedule. Your guidance in this regard will help a lot of people!!!

    Eagerly waiting for your Reply!!!!
    Thank You,
    Balwan Singh

    • If you are doing these topics for the first time and you really want to develop a command over them, it should take you around 3-4 months (assuming that you are also doing other things and not just giving your entire time to Electrical Engg). As regards books for these topics, please wait for my post on Electrical Engg which would come up within this week.
      All the best.

  49. THANKS SIR AND MAM FOR UR EXTREMELY NEEDED GUIDIENCE ,IT will help in study a lot and reduce the dependence on coaching who does not have access to those because of their skyrocketing fee and financial constrains of poor student.please sir continue providing valuable information..i will follow this blog reguraly .

  50. Hi prince i hav a querry regarding writing testseries for optionals.what is the correct time to write them i mean whether after completing the entire syllabus or do it simultaneously.i just started preparation for mains

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