Reference Books For UPSC Civil Services Mains 2014 (New Pattern Syllabus)

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Strategy For Mains Exam

A Guide For Mains – Excellent Book

NEW: Daily Answer Writing Challenge!

For UPSC mains one need to supplement their every day Newspaper (The Hindu) reading with certain books to have a deep insight over varied topics that are now part of the new syllabus.

To gain knowledge on diverse topics it is prudent to read standard texts rather than depending on materials provided by various coaching institutions. First hand reading of basic books enables aspirant to tackle questions of different dimensions.

Reading newspaper everyday is sine qua non of UPSC  preparation. A fortnightly magazine like Frontline is a must to enhance understanding about current events related to India and abroad. If possible, also go through The Economist magazine to understand international events.

Following is the list of books that are necessary for UPSC Civil Services Mains exam (links are given to Flipkart which provides nearly 40% – 50% discount on each book and it has home delivery facility to every corner in India- Of course you can buy from nearest shop if  that is comfortable and affordable!):

1) Shorter Constitution Of India (Set of 2 Volumes) 14th Editon – D.D.Basu (THIS IS PURELY FOR REFERENCE – VERY GOOD BOOK TO HAVE)

OR This Small Book :

Introduction to the Constitution of India

2) India 2014 – Publication Division, Govt.of India 


3) Economic Survey 2013-2014


4) India Since Independence – new edition (Bipan Chandra)


5) India’s Struggle For Independence – Bipan Chandra

6)Indian Economy : For Civil Services Examinations 5th Edition (2013) – Ramesh Singh


For Beginners:

The Indian Economy – Sanjiv Verma

Available on Amazon India

8) Indian Polity for Civil Services Examinations 4th Edition – Laxmikanth


9) Geography of India- Majid Hussain


10) Ethics In Governance


11) India After Gandhi: The History Of The World’s Largest Democracy


12) Mastering Modern World History – New Edition – Norman Lowe

Or Buy this Imported Vesrion updated with in-depth chapters on Arab Spring and 2008 Financial Crisis: Mastering Modern World History -5th Edition, Norman Lowe


13) Trends in Indian Culture and Heritage: For Civil Services


Or this book from Government of India: The Gazetteer of India: History and Culture Vol II


14) Select Constitutions: 16th Edition – S Chand


15) India’s Foreign Policy – Muchkund Dubey


16) Challenge And Strategy : Rethinking India’s Foreign Policy – Rajiv Sikri

(Buy from AMAZON India)

17) History of the World from the Late Nineteenth to the Early Twenty First Century – Arjun Dev (As Norman Lowe is not available anywhere, This is the best book available that covers all the topics)


18) Social Problems in India 2 Edition – Ram Ahuja


19) Politics and Ethics of the Indian Constitution Review


20) Public Institutions in India: Performance and Design – PRATAPA BHANU MEHTA

21) Certified Physical and Human Geography – Goh Cheng Leong

22) India’s National Security – A Reader (Oxford University Press – Important for Paper-IV GS)

Available On Amazon India

23) Indian Social System – Ram Ahuja



Other Books Civil Services Aspirants Must Read (DURING LEISURE):

1) The Wonder That Was India- A.L.Basham

2) India Unbound: The Social and Economic Revolution from Independence to the Global Information Age – Gurcharan Das

3) Pax Indica: India and the World of the 21st Century – Shashi Tharoor (Pre-order 30% off )

4) An Uncertain Glory: India and its Contradictions – Amartya Sen and Jean Dreze

5) The Argumentative Indian : Writings on Indian History – Amartya Sen

Of course you need to read NCERT texts as well. The above list is for reference and reading as well. As you have plenty of time for Mains, you can savour these books leisurely.

Don’t forget: The Hindu is the mother of Mains preparation now. Cut and Paste every article related to syllabus from October 2012 to November 2013!

  • Siddharth

    Dear Sir
    Thanks for this, I have a problem I filled the form on OBC quota but now I understand that I come under creamy layer, as I understand and my friends told me that on not producing the relevant document I would automatically be considered under general category. I just want to know whether this is really the case and when should I make representation to UPSC for changed status.

    • Siddharth,

      As I understand you will be given reservation benefit in Prelims result declaration under OBC quota. I think you should mail UPSC immediately about your problem.

      May I know how much you are scoring in Prelims? (if your score exceeds that of GM cut-off, you will be safe I guess)

      Also, what is your parents’ profession and annual income? (both of them) – some people have confusion regarding OBC creamy layer concept. You must be sure that you belong to Creamy Layer before you approach UPSC because if you come to know later that you indeed belong to OBC, then you would regret it lifelong.

      Please give above details soon.

      • Egotricks

        HI VKGB,

        The creamy layer and the criterias laid by the UPSC regarding one to avail the benefits is quite technical in my case. I urge you to give my peculiar case a glance:

        1) By the list declared by state government, we come under the OBC category but our caste is not listed under the union list.

        2) My father is a government servant and a class-II officer till he was 51 years of age; until recently he was promoted to a class-I position (my mother is a housewife, and my father is the head of the family in terms of supporting the family)

        Now, as I understand, the clause of income is not applicable to government employees, as they’re to be gauged against their ranks/class/grades. In terms of income I believe that we belong to creamy layer but is it applicable? Please help.

        Really appreciate your help on this, looking forward to hearing from you.


        • Egotricks,

          1) This is Central OBC list. In case the name of your caste is not in this list, you can not avail OBC reservation.

          2) If your father was promoted on or before attaining the age of 40, you would fall under Creamy layer. But in your case, under the income criteria, you are eligible for reservation.(because of late promotion)

          3) No, in terms of income, because of your father’s late promotion and your mother being housewife,even if your father’s salary exceeds Rs 6 lakhs p.a., you are eligible for OBC i.e, you are under non creamy layer. (in case of seeking reservation in the central govt jobs)

          But, as your caste is not in the Central OBC list, you can’t avail this facility.

          • manish

            dear sir, i have a query regarding OBC creamy layer.Sir, my father is in public sector COAL INDIA LTD. and he gets promotion in 2012 in E0 as an executive at an age of 50,before that he was in non-executive,but his salary after 2011 was crossing 6lpa…should i am elegible for OBC? Please sir i need your clarification and my status.

  • I have a degree without division of B.Sc (G) Mathematical Sciences from Delhi University. This is an undergraduate course of three years. But I have not been given the marksheets since I was demoted from Hons Course. Am I still eligible for civil services. I fulfill rest of the conditions and have degree of graduation. I dont have the marksheets only.

    • Vineet Saxena,

      UPSC requires only a 3 year degree conferred by a valid University. You need to send your degree certificate only after you qualify prelims. Also as I remember they will ask for Convocation certificate instead of mark sheets as a proof of your degree. If you can get mark sheets by next August it is well and good. But for now you can apply without any second thought. 🙂

  • Nice article brother. Your articles are the right guide for serious aspirants…

  • Rajesh Ingale

    Sir If I am getting around 175-181 in SC category What are my chances ?

  • Siddhartha rajput

    Sir my score is 219.73 obc category …. sir how to crack mains with the highest marks in these 5months which I have ….. help me with the planning chosen geography as optional

    • Sidhartha Rajput,

      You can crack Mains with very good marks provided your entire energy is focused on THE SYLLABUS alone. In 3-4 days a detailed strategy for mains preparation will be put on this blog. I hope you will find that useful

      For now simple advice is – don’t stray away from The Syllabus at any cost. 🙂

  • ashutosh roy

    sir , i want sit for ias 2014. till now i have just prepared for state civils and ias changed it’s syllabus. so can you please suggest me some books for pre and mains(specially paper ii-vii) for the new syllabus.
    Ashutosh Roy

    • Ashutosh,

      Please go through the links below:


      ( in the above link see in the syllabus, there I have provided links to books for each topic)

      If you study Mains syllabus thoroughly, that will itself cover your Prelims Paper-I preparation. Most of it at least.

      You said Paper-VII – you mean Optional? which is your optional?

      • ashutosh roy

        my optional is geography and if you kindly tell me whether should i consult a coaching institute for reference or not,and i am a working man ,so please tell me about a good postal coaching center

        • Ashutosh,

          If you are new to geography, it is better to go for regular coaching taking leave for 2-3 months. I don’t know about postal coaching for Geography. If you want to go for postal, it is better to study books instead. For geography 3-4 important books are there. If you can finish them 3-4 times by understanding concepts, you don’t have to worry about getting good marks in it.

  • chandan

    i have 262 marks as per wajiram’s key. i belong to SC category but there’s glitch, the invigilator gave me A paper set for gs1 and C paper set for gs2. this being my first attempt i had no idea that for both the papers you get same paper set. I would just like to ask whether upsc would consider this as i have properly filed all the other criteria’s in the answer sheet or would set aside my papers.and declare me fail.

    • Chandan,

      Don’t worry relax. 🙂 It is only for convenience invigilators give same set of papers in both sessions. If you have answered for Set- C question paper and mentioned the same in your OMR then there is absolutely no problem. UPSC doesn’t worry what set you have answered as long as it is reflected in OMR. So focus on mains.

  • Mahendra

    Sir, I am getting score of 238 and belongs to OBC. Can u suggest me the best way to prepare for general essay for good marks and for GS Paper 4 ethics related.

    • Mahendra,

      There is no doubt about you clearing prelims. For Essay paper you don’t have to prepare it in isolation. If you are reading The Hindu and Frontline, and thorough with the GS syllabus, it will cover 80% of the preparation. Rest 20% depends on writing practice i.e. solving previous questions and getting them corrected. In Essay clarity of thought, logic and simplicity counts a lot. Don’t go for ornamental language – plain and simple gets you more marks. Believe me this is very important. 🙂

      For Pape on Ethics, honestly nobody knows how it will be. Syllabus is the ultimate guide. Try to remember it by heart first. Then download or buy book on the subject from here:

      Focus on case studies. I think that this paper will test more of common sense of a candidate than factual knowledge on the subject. Personally I advice aspirants to focus more on other GS papers and optional without spending lot of time on this paper.

  • manish

    Hi Sir,
    Do you know any book for previous year question paper (main) of UPSC for all the subject so that all question related to specific subject at one place?
    And also there are exercise at the end of each chapter of NCERT Ancient history, so I want to write those answer and want to check whether my answer is up to expectation or not. What to do for that, how should I check ?

    • Manish,

      There are individual small books published by New Vishaal publications for each optional containing 15-20 years question papers (cost – may be Rs 60 something). You can’t find papers of all optionals in a single book.

      For GS, there is this book by Arihant publications
      . You may try it – it has solved papers of past 15 years!

      Regarding the other question on solving Ancient History questions, I think you should focus more on Modern History – try to write answer for this part. Ancient is not much important for mains except art forms, literature and architecture. In fact ancient history is not in Mains syllabus.

      You can get them corrected by seniors, or you can publish them here in comment box. Some intelligent guys can give you feedback 🙂 Keep practicing.

      • manish

        Thank you sir,
        I have more question, if I do stick to culture, arts, literature and architecture in ancient then should I cover whole chapter of NCERT Ancient (XI) or selected one for both (Pre and mains)? (I am asking selected chapter because I am in job and getting selected time for reading. I will read other than selected if I will get free time during work 🙂 )
        What about Medieval India ?
        Post independence is also required ? If yes then which book ?
        I have read India’s struggle for independence by Bipin for modern India (Need to answer in own word).

  • Anjali Motghare

    Sir I belong to OBC category and my score is 232 will I qualify prelims?

  • manish

    Thank you sir,
    I have more question, if I do stick to culture, arts, literature and architecture in ancient then should I cover whole chapter of NCERT Ancient (XI) or selected one for both (Pre and mains)? (I am asking selected chapter because I am in job and getting selected time for reading. I will read other than selected if I will get free time during work 🙂 )
    What about Medieval India ?
    Post independence is also required ? If yes then which book ?
    I have read India’s struggle for independence by Bipin for modern India (Need to answer in own word).

    P.S. : Now I posted at right place 🙂

  • manish

    How should I prepare current affairs thoroughly? I don’t want to take risk this time in current affairs for mains. We have limited prescribed book that we can cover but what for current affairs ?
    Due to time constraint I would like to know what sources could help me in this regard so that I could not left with any topics in the end.
    Up to now I used to read e-paper of Hindu article and prepared note(sometime forgot to take some articles) not by magazine due to time constraint.
    Given that I am following one magazine (chronicle/civil service time/etc.) from now, there are various website for daily current articles which are giving readymade articles (Insights also gives Hindu articles at the end), shall I go for those articles and rely on that or should I scan complete Hindu articles from paper and segregate the articles appropriately.( I don’t like to go for articles from different site).
    Please tell me how to cover all ?

    • Manish,

      for current events, you should either have paper cutting (The Hindu) of past one year or notes taken from it to be thorough in current events. Added to this a good magazine like Frontline is needed. there is another short-cut – which I don’t suggest – is collecting previous magazines like Chronicle/Pratiyogita Darpan/ Wizard and studying them in one go.

      Stick to the Hindu (hard Copy) and Business Standard (selectively based on the syllabus) only. Read them religiously with passion. For mains newspapers matter most than magazines like Chronicle etc.

      Paper cutting /notes are MUST.

      • Harshad

        On which topics of the newspaper do we have to focus and what do we have to read and keep in mind for the answers in mains or prelims

  • manjunatha

    i want kannada literature books name to buy for i.a.s purpuss

    • Manjunatha,

      1) Kannada Saahitya Charitre – Mugali
      2) Kannada Bhasha Charitre – ankita prakashana
      3) Hosagannada Saahitya Charitre – L S Sheshagirir Rao
      4) Kannada Kaavya Meemaamse – Tee.Num.Shree
      5) Saahitya Vimarshe – C N Ramachandran
      6) Karnataka Samskrutika charitre – Tipperudraswamy

  • santosh kumar parida

    sir,i want ebooks of general studies paper 1,2,3 and 4 for main examination and pdf of oriya literature notes for civil service mains,kindly guide me

  • manish

    Sir – I need some MCQ on history (ancient medieval and modern).
    Does TMH (MCQ) for history come separately or in combined general studies book?
    Kindly provide me the link for TMH (MCQ). For modern I were told to buy Arihant publications….Please provide me the link for that also.

  • atuldhavale

    It would be relevant to go through the editorial of Business STD or Economic times? Beacuase if we have close look at syllabi the topics mentioned are not completely covered under Hindu/Express.

  • manish

    What is definition of Infrastructure?

  • Atul

    That was very kind Reply. Thanx a Lot.
    It will be really helpful if you post Detailed Strategy for GS Mains Papers.

  • jatin

    please tell me whether the result of upsc 2013 prelims has declared?

  • manish

    Sir, Below are the topics for main General Studies -I (I just took history topics). Kindly tell me the books for covering point number 5,6,7,8 and 9

    For point number 1 to 4 I am following NCERT Ancient, Medeival, Modern, Spectrum, India struggle for independence by Bipin Chandra….. Is it enough to cover point 1 to 4 or I am still left with??

    1)Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
    2)Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues
    3)The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.
    4)Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.
    5)History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.- their forms and effect on the society.
    6)Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.
    7)Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.
    8)Effects of globalization on Indian society
    9)Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.

  • manish

    If you want to suggest one of book to read from India Since Independence – Bipan Chandra and India After Gandhi: The History of the World’s Largest Democracy…..which will you suggest ?? (Which is more lucid one )

    • India Since Independence is academic and boring. Guha’s book is an interesting read and is very lucid and informative. But from the UPSC point of view Bipan Chandra’s book might help.

      If you can spend the extra bucks, India After Gandhi is a must read for all civil services aspirants – it adds lots to your understanding of various social-political changes that took place in the Independent India.

  • swapnil

    sir i m just beginnig stage of upsc preparation…. can u please tell me which books is benificial for me and which optional is better for me either public administrator or any else?? am from engineering backgroud….. please give me some guidance….

    • Swapnil,

      I am glad you visited this site. First, before going for books, cultivate the habit of reading The Hindu and Business Standard newspapers – RELIGIOUSLY. I am sure you are already reading papers. For this exam, READING is not enough. You must understand each event from many dimensions and enable yourself to critically analyze those events from your own point of view. Many candidates think that they regularly read newspapers and the job is over – No, the job is over only when you can remember today’s events tomorrow, day after tomorrow and on the day of exam.

      Do you now remember last Friday’s Opinion Page articles in The Hindu? If you are immediately able to recollect them, then you are on the right path. 🙂

      Sorry for that long ‘suggestion’ about paper reading. Now coming to books, buy Social Science NCERT texts from Class-VI to Class-XII and Science Class-VI to X + Biology -Class-XII. Read them all 3 times.

      Soon I will be writing a post on what to read for Prelims. Till then you can have a look at this list ( )for mains. Don’t buy them all – Buy only books for History, Polity, Economics and Geography for now.

      About optional, you can go for Public Administration only if you are really interested in the subject.

      All the best for your preparation. 🙂

  • Hemanth

    Sir,which are the books to be referred for geography,please provide some insight on GS preparation

  • manish

    Notwithstanding Norman Lowe for world history, what is your views on BV Rao, secondly Jain and Mathur ?

    • I would still suggest Norman Lowe. Mathur is too extensive and is meant for History optional. I have no idea about B V Rao.

  • vijay

    i have done economics hons from delhi university with 48%,but the problem is that i took 4 years to pass it because i got a year back in final year….plz tell me m i eligible to appear in the civil servise exam plz rpl asap ….

    • Vijay,

      You are perfectly eligible to write UPSC civil services exam 🙂 All you need is a degree certificate from a recognized University. Your percentage doesn’t matter at all as long as you have passed in the examinations of all the subjects and gained a qualifying degree whether in 4 years or 5 years.

      Leave the doubt behind and gear up for the battle. For this exam, your past doesn’t matter. All that matters is how much hard work you are willing to put henceforth.

      For more information about books, optionals and other stuff, you can browse this blog, or you can visit other good sites out there.

      All the best Vijay. 🙂

  • Rupesh Dahal

    Sir, I have done my Bsc IT in lateral entry basis from kuvempu university.after doing one and half year.diploma from NIIT
    Am i eligible to sit in upsc exam with such type of degree.
    Kindly guide me
    Thank you

    • Rupesh,

      If B.Sc IT course is of 3 year duration and is recognized by UGC/AICTE, then you are eligible for writing UPSC civil service exam. It doesn’t matter whether it is lateral entry or direct admission, all UPSC needs is a valid degree certificate – even percentage doesn’t matter. You just need to pass the qualifying exam.

      • Rupesh Dahal

        Thank you very much

        • Rupesh Dahal

          Kuvempu university is ugc recognised but i don’tknow about aicte . Should a university have both this ugc and aicte recognition to become valid?

          • No No, AICTE is for technical courses and vocational courses like Polytechnic etc. You are eligible for writing UPSC civil services exam – 100%. 🙂 Go ahead and prepare well. All the best.

            • Rupesh Dahal

              Thank u sir ..u are best….

              • Febin.T.A

                i belong to the O.B.C category.i am 28 years old.i have attempted once for the civil service exam in i am preparing for civil service exam i belong to the O.B.C category,how many times can i attempt the exam?

                • Febin T.A,

                  You can write UPSC civil service exam till you attain 33 years of age. You will have a total of 7 attempts. As you have already exhausted one attempt, you still have 4 attempts left if you are targeting 2014 prelims.

                • Febin.T.A

                  thank you sir..i have one more question…my optional subject is history…then could you please give me the syllabus for my optional subject

                  • I will upload syllabus for all the optionals soon. A separate page is being constructed. 🙂

  • manish

    For the Indian culture and heritage part, I covered “Indian Languages and Literature, Religion and Philosophy, Paintings, Music, Dance, Drama, Architecture.”
    Am I missed anything else to cover according to syllabus ?
    What about “Education, Science and Technology” ? Do need to cover these topics too ?

    • Manish,

      You have covered all topics. In fact more, which is good. You should read about S&T and education – India’s progress and contribution. Apart from this, you should update your knowledge about latest developments in these fields.

  • manish

    All the chapters (1 to 39) in India’s struggle for independence is need to read ? If no then which is not required? I read upto 24 and some last chapter 35 36 37.
    Please suggest.

    • Manish,

      You MUST read this book completely. I know that some chapters look like irrelevant, but by reading the whole book you will be in a position to handle surprise questions. Read the book 2-3 times. Earlier questions from history were less, but from this year more questions will be coming from this book as it is clearly mentioned in the syllabus.

  • manish

    Dilemma in choosing optional.
    I am thinking to choose Economy as my optional because what my understanding is that it is very logical subject and I love it (I am from engineering background). I don’t have idea whether people from only economics background used to take this as optional and clearing it or are there examples of people who have cleared with Economics as an optional with different background in their graduation?
    Can I find in the market last year main “answer paper” in economy to decide my optional ? If I am taking this optional shall I need coaching institute to cover the syllabus? I saw the syllabus too and look like all are very conceptual and logical. But I don’t have further idea :(. What is your view?
    On another hand one of my friend is preparing too but with geography as an optional and he is much good in that and scored good in this. I am also comfortable with the geography not because of he has also taken geography. I can get better help from my friend in this in compare to economics.
    What should I do to choose my optional now ? 🙁
    For geography – I could have friend guidance and
    For Economics – I could not have friend support but loving this subject because no need to remember fact and it is very straight forward(According to my views).
    What is your take on these subjects ?

    • Manish,

      I think you should go for geography. As your friend is already preparing for it, you can have access to his resources and you both can discuss the subject also. Economics may sound logical etc, but from what I know, it is difficult to score well for non-economics background candidates.

      Still, before deciding to go for Geography, you buy a question bank of Economics, or just download previous Mains question papers from UPSC website and see each question. Also, study the Economics syllabus well. If you still think the subject is comfortable for you, then go for it. Actually economics will help in GS. But again, you should consider various other factors before deciding the optional.

      If you seriously love Economics then go for it. But do above mentioned things first. Sometimes, some topics from the syllabus may look easy and comfortable, but you should see question papers and try to answer them in your mind to check if they are really easy.

      For geography you have all resources easily accessible and the subject though seems vast, is easy if one prepares systematically. But, you should love it too. 🙂

      • manish

        Thank you Sir for guiding. Your views has given relief. I was so confused earlier. Now feeling 🙂

  • Rupesh Dahal

    how to prepare editorials, op-ds in hindu, indian express as every one consider it very important from exam point of view. I found it very difficult to understand as it is written in very high english with such a difficult vocabulary. Plz tell me how to prepare and make notes from it.

    • Rupesh,

      You don’t have to read all that is there in the newspaper. You only need to study that is important for the exam. By remembering the syllabus by-heart you will come to know which is important and which is not. So, the key is the Syllabus. It should be in your imprinted.

      It is true that in the Opinion page/editorials standard English is used. Once it becomes your habit to read them daily even if you don’t understand anything, the same English will start appearing easy for you after few one or two months. The thing is you should not give up reading. You may read the following post:

      Don’t give up anything. Perseverance is the key in this exam. 🙂

  • manish

    In Ramchandra Guha, as you told earlier, from chapter 8 to 14 need to study i.e. Home and the world, Redrawing the map, The conquest of nature, The law and Prophets, Securing Kashmir, Tribal Trouble, Southern challenge? Is it ?

    • Those chapters cover some topics of the syllabus such as reorganization of states, regionalism in India etc. Actually you should read this book completely – may be after mains. It is a very interesting read.

  • Rupesh Dahal

    Sir plz provide some tips on notes making for remembering and revising what i read as reading so many books (example for history NCERT, Bipin Chandra. Guha, etc) without notes is very fraustating , whole process is repeated while revising.

    • Rupesh,

      I will reply in detail later. Till then enjoy reading books – new pattern is fun… there is so much to read interesting stuff and expand knowledge.

  • archana karri

    Hi sir…
    Am archana…..actually am belongs to BC.A catgory …is ths reservation helps me in upsc prilims results….???could u pls tell me about role of OBC reservtn in upsc exams…how could i get it

    • Archana,

      Thanks for visiting this site. Congrats! OBC category matters a lot in this exam.

      In prelims, the difference between OBC and GM marks is 20+, so you have advantage here.

      You have 27% reservation in the total posts. If 1000 posts have been notified, you will have 270 exclusively reserved for your category.

      In mains also, there is a difference of 40-50 marks (somewhere near, not sure – will check later) between GM and OBC. This matters most in determining the final rank.

      Finally, candidates with 300+ rank get IAS thanks to OBC. Whereas GM guys should have less than 150 rank (just an example assuming 150 IAS posts are there).

      Do you want to know how to get OBC certificate??

      • archana karri

        Thq sir…but my pappa is a govt.employe he gets 40+ per mnth n my mamma is housewf…then am i eligible for OBC reservatn??could u please tell me tthe details…..n hw to get tht …

        • Archana,

          If your dad is in Group -B or Class-II post, you can claim OBC benefit provided the Caste you bleong to is in the central OBC list(check here). Salary doesn’t matter if your dad ins in Group- B government or equivalent service in other organizations. For more here. I hope you get this benefit of reservation. All the best. 🙂

          • archana karri

            Thq sir for u r valuable infrmatn

  • Rupesh Dahal

    what type of news is important in daily newspaers from exam point of view, as in Prelims syllabus only Current affairs of national and international importance is given so how to know what is important for nation.
    Is the news like Ishrat encounter, uttarakhand flood,egypt Uprising, eric Snowden revelation etc are important from exam point of view?
    plz guide i m totally beginner to this exam and newspaper reading too.

    • News related to Judiciary, Legislature, Women and children, Defence, Diplomacy, environment, Security – internal and external, art and culture, scienc and technology are all important.

      Ishrat encounter case is important not from ‘political’ pint of view, but from the perspective of ‘police reforms’, ‘legal provisions’, ‘communalism’, ‘ethics’ and ‘security threats’.

      Uttarkhand floods – from the perspective of ‘geography – climate, vegetation, rivers, – impact of man’s activities on these’; Disaster management and state response – here again ‘ethical’ issues are involved – if an officer is posted there what would be his priorities? How will he respond to such critical situations?

      Egypt Uprising – Is democracy viable? Which is important – secularism or theocracy? Role of international organizations – West interferes in Libya and Syria, why not in Egypt?; etc etc… you can go on..

      Eric Snowden – Privacy in the digital age – why government should be all powerful? Security threats; media liberty; Tension between Latin American countries and USA; Defence implications; free speech; etc etc….

      So one issue should be read to understand other issues which are in your syllabus. Approach should be multi-dimensional. So, know the syllabus well, and you will come to know what to read and what not to. 🙂

      Keep reading paper and magazines. Later you will start writing about these issues better than anyone. 🙂

      • Rupesh Dahal

        thank u sir….

  • simran

    I have to prepare for ias pre kindly guide me by telling which books i should refer nd in which way i prepare for ias so that i can clear it nd what otjer things on which i have to focus pl tell me its my humbel request plz tell me as soon as so that i can start study related to syllabus

      • simran

        Sir thnx for guiding me… i have a ques sir, how we can relate pre nd main exam is it necessary dat for preparaing pre should i know d syllabus of main also….

        • Simran,

          You asked a very valid question: Yes, it is very important and must knowing the Mains syllabus while preparing for the Prelims. If you prepare well Mains, half the preparation for Prelims will be over. Both should be studied together, not in isolation. Many topics in Mains new syllabus are relevant to the prelims exam also. You must remember the Mains syllabus by-heart.

          • simran

            Would u plz tell me the syllabus for the main ias ,…… plzzz sir…
            Thnx for previous rply

              • simran

                Sir paper 1 to paper 5 all r compulsary nd there is only option in paper 6th nd paper7 ist so ……. sir nd wat about paper 6 nd paper7 whats dat sir…..nd for main we give an individual exam for each paper

                • Paper – VI and Paper-VII are two papers of an Optional Subject you choose. For example, if you chose History as the optional, you will have to write two papers in it – Paper-1 and Paper-2 each for 250 marks (total 500 marks). These same paper-1 and paper-2 are called Paper-VI and Paper-VII. 🙂

                  • simran

                    Sir u said for best preparation of i.a.s we should strong our base..for dat we should read ncert book sir but ncert of 11 nd 12 class books divided into 3 stream science arts commerce so which book of 11 nd 12 we should read plz guide regarding that

                    • Read NCERT Geography, History,Economics (Macroeconomics), Sociology (Indian Society) and Polity books. No need to read commerce and science (except class XII last few chapters in Biology)

                    • simran

                      Sir i getting so much confuse…. sir help me by giving the name of book of ncert plz sir,…. help me tell the name of book of ncert of class 11 nd 12 plz help me by giving clear name of book

                    • Simran,

                      Geography: class-XI – Fundamentals of Physical Geography and India Physical Environment
                      class XII – Fundamentals of human Geography and India-People and economy

                      History – All XI and XII texts

                      Sociology: – Class XII – Indian SOciety

                      Economics: class Xi – India Economic Development
                      Class XII – Introductory Macroeconomics

                      For world Geography buy this book: Goh Cheng Leong – CertificatePhysical and human geography

                    • simran

                      U also said about polity books plz tell me book name for this also sirr plzzx

                    • Sorry I forgot it.

                      Class XI- Indian constitution at Work
                      Class XII – Political Science-II (Politics In India since independence) and Contemporary world politics

                      after reading these, for Prelims you must read book by Laxmikanth – Indian Polity and for mains book by D D Basu – intro to Indian consitution

                    • simran

                      Sir thnx for rply sir there is another problem too sir
                      There is too much confustion plz guide me how could i prepare bcz wat ever i read its getting mixxed plz telll ke what should i complete 1st nd in which manner i prepare notes sir

                    • Don’t read all at once. First finish History part, then polity etc……. complete one subject at a time, make notes on what you read, keep them organized for later revision.

                      Though you feel like putting your hand on all books, avoid that tendency. Read one source completely 2-3 times. And then move on to other. 🙂 Also solve questions.

                    • simran

                      Sir i want to choose medicinal science as a optional subject plz sugest me thebook for these sub plz sir

                    • I have no idea about this. sorry.

  • vinayagamoorthy

    Dear sir,
    Please asked full detail of main exam book reference for IAS.

  • archana karri

    My father is a headconistable his annual income is around 4.5lkhs…so accordng to u r infrmatn i am eligible for it right…i hv my nativity n community certfcte of old one…whch is outdated i guess…so shall i apply iit newly again???where should i go to get ths certfct….???what r all documnts required to apply fr it????
    Sry to ask u all these thngs
    Because no one knwing it my circle…so am little bit confusd…could u pls help me fr clarifcation of above doughts
    Thnqing u

    • Archana,

      Your father belongs to Group-C service, so you are eligible for claiming OBC benefit. You have to apply for a certificate based on your permanent address. For that they ask Voter ID or ration Card as proof. You should get a caste certificate first, for this you will have to produce your Transfer Certificate as proof(should contain your caste name). Then you need to get income certificate. Then get a Central OBC form from Tahshildar office/ or download from net. Produce them in the Tahshildar office.They will take their own time (should be given within 30 days actually) and give you your certificate.

  • Rupesh Dahal

    I have started reading newspaper in july so there is a gap of 7 months.from january to july. Plz tel me how to read and prepare current affairs for previous month that is gone.

    • Buy monthly Magazines – Chronicle or Wizard. Or you may get a compendium of current events (Wizard) next month in the market. Also, go through website – solve quizzes there or read current events (given on daily basis).

  • Deepthi

    I have just begining preparation for UPSE exams….and im really cofused and will be glad if you will suggest me the optionals n books to go with….im from dental background….

  • Deepthi

    sir,I am just begining preparations for UPSC exams….and im really confused and will be glad if you will suggest me the optionals and books to go with….im from dental background….

    • Deepthi Dandu

      Thank you sir…..

  • manish

    Do You have an idea of website from where i can buy ncert book “indian society” of 12 class . (flipkart, amazon i checked)

  • Saurabh Nikalje

    Dear Sir,
    I am Saurabh Nikalje(pune) student of 1st year B.S.L. I want to prepare for Civil Services Exam. So sir which books can i start studying?

  • manish

    mail me too about yourself 🙂

  • Rupesh Dahal

    Is it possible to crack this exam without joining any coaching institute……as no such thing is available here in Sikkim have to leave my job and go to delhi.can a self preparation approach and self study help me.

    • Rupesh,

      It depends on how much you are willing to work hard and smart. Many have cleared without going for coaching. You too can clear provided you plan well and execute it.

      Self-study is the most effective strategy. But, proper guidance and planning is required so that you don’t go wayward in your preparation. When one does self study, he/she is prone to periodical demotiavtion, lack of focus and waywardness – all because of poor planning and improper guidance.

  • tushar

    sir i am stuading in BE-1 YEAR trait is computar enginearing. which type of bookes sholed i read at this time for sivil servise examination .for mains and priliam.

  • tushar

    thank you sir

  • Jayanthi V

    Please suggest books for tamil literature sir.

  • manish

    Sir please mail me too about yourself. 🙂

  • Atish

    This is Atish.I have started my preparation 1 month back and i would like to thank u as you are doing a wonderful job of helping aspirants.My query is that when it comes to mains exam no one can answer all the questions then how much marks one should attempt out of 250 to be on the safer side.

    We are really confused regarding ethics how to study that because it can be a make or break section for many aspirants.

    • Atish,

      Thanks for appreciation. Earlier, candidates could answer maximum 500 marks out of 600 (GS-I +GS-II). Last two years it came even lower.

      We don’t have model papers for this year’s Mains. But, the Papers will be similar to old GS pattern with many sections. Definitely number of questions will be large as the syllabus is detailed and many topics have to be covered.

      Ideally, one must try to answer all the questions. Leaving a single question unanswered may prove fatal when someone realizes that they have missed a rank by 1-2 marks.

      Pragmatically speaking, no one can answer all the questions as no one can know all the answers. We can only suggest that try to answer Maximum number of questions – try to answer even if you know almost nothing. Each mark counts. My take is out of 250, one must answer at least for 200-230 marks. If you can attempt all, that’s great.

      Extensive reading helps in these situations. For completely unexpected or unknown questions, accumulated knowledge comes to help. So, one must read as much as possible for this exam.

      Regarding Ethics part, clearly nobody knows how the questions will be. But the syllabus tells us that case studies will be given emphasis. This paper will test more of common sense than factual knowledge. So, need not fear this paper.

      • visa

        Dear sir,

        Im an graduate, working n a private concern. I wish to appear for upsc 2014. I have chosen political science as my optional. Kindly guide me on the optional as many are gng for geography??!!. I belong to SC
        Category. As for experience I appeared in upsc 2013 prelims and managed to score 175+ with a month’s preparation. Im following ur books suggestion. Kindly guide me in my optionals

  • Atish

    Dear Sir,

    Thank You for your prompt reply.As in the DAP Form we have to give our cadre preferences.So can u tell that which are the best cadres to work for.

    • I think I will write a separate post after the Prelims result is out regarding this topic. I will try to give brief profile of each post also. Thanks for reminding me about this.

  • bennet

    i have written my prelims this year and i hope i will clear too.But i studied private registration in Kerala so i didn’t get a convocation certificate.Will it be a problem?

    • Bennet,

      If you have done your ‘Private Registration’ from a UGC recognized university and have all three years marks cards, that is enough. You don’t have to worry about convocation certificate. 🙂

    • bennet

      Thank you very much sir 🙂

  • Nitee Rawat

    Hello Sir….!!!

    I wish to sit on Civil service Exam 2014. its ll b ma second attempt. my first attempt was not good enough to qualify for mains. I want to make time table for studies n preparation. Also i decided to opt History n Geography. Which books should I ref. please help me

  • brijesh

    sir i hve started preparation for upsc .but i m so confused relatad with the option paper 6 and 7 …bec i dnt want to go for the any pacific subject …pls sugest me.

    • Brijesh,

      Choosing an optional subject depends purely on your interest, aptitude and pre-knowledge of the subject. First list few subjects, go through their syllabus and previous year question papers. Find where you heart is. By the way, Paper 6 and 7 are for the same Optional.

  • Nithish

    hello sir…my father is working in a private company…so i think there is no group or class division which ,as u told in one of the replies, help to determine whether the person belongs to creamy layer or not…pls correct me here if i am wrong…so what is the criteria for determining that?….my father’s income is below 6 lakhs…pls help me sir…

    • Nitish,

      You are eligible for OBC quota provided your father has income less than 6 lakhs (you mentioned it). For a person working in a private organization, or a trade/business, Income Test is conducted i.e. income from salary should not be above the stipulated ceiling (Rs 6 Lakh here). Get income certificate, caste certificate and proof of residential address and get the certificate. 🙂 All the best.

      • Nithish

        Thanks a lot sir for your valuable information….

  • manish

    Anyone know website about idioms and phrases? Sometime it consume time to find the actual meaning of phrases when comes in paper. 🙁

  • Rupesh Dahal

    Kindly guide me how to prepare environment and bio diversity paper
    What topics to read
    Which book, website to refer
    Is there any newspaper or magazine which directly talk about.environment

    • For ecology basics, refer Class XII NCERT Biology text. For ecology, biodiversity and environment I will so send an e-book for all. 🙂

  • manish

    Can we download soft copy of Frontline magazine and hindu e-paper free?

  • manish

    Infact, I was looking for a platform to discuss on particular articles/subject matters, but could not found thread. Threads are – expected cut off, reference books etc. etc. Where should write?

    • Manish,

      Even I am thinking of starting a new thread/page for meaningful discussion on important topics. I can form a new page, but I want a meaningful discussion there. I am thinking of giving two topics a day and asking serious aspirants to write on those topics in 200 words. Topics will be strictly from the syllabus.

      Unnecessary comments, mudslinging will be strictly moderated. The thread will help you guys hone up writing skills too. If you guys can actively participate that would be great.

  • Deepak

    Its really been a good experience here in seeing ur work. What about mechanical engineering as optional if one is having ‘really’ good or above good command on it? Also suggest some good books for geography(for prelims and mains GS, no need to specify m an engg student, passed out this year and planning for CSE2014; wasted this attempt with no preperation at all n getting around 30-35 in paper 1 n 160+ in paper 2). Thanks sir for such a valuable posts here.

    • Deepak,

      If you love the subject, able to answer previous years question papers without much trouble, and the syllabus is comfortable – then go for it.

      For geography first read NCERT class XI and XII texts. Then for World geography read – Goh Cheng Leong and for Indian Geography read Majid Hussain

      Don’t think or worry about this attempt. It is a lesson now. Focus on next year Prelims+Mains from today itself.

      And thanks for appreciating this blog 🙂

      • Deepak

        Thanks a lot for your informative n guiding reply.
        Sir, regarding Mech. Engg. , I’ve a doubt as many people are there saying that its really difficult to fetch good marks in science/engineering subjects. Though I know about Saurabh Maheshwari sir who topped with M.E. as optional in 2000, yet I doubt for scaling and other factors. Still I’ve good grasp over the subject which makes me prefer it to Geography as optional. Any suggestions regarding this will be helpful..
        And regarding the book by Majid Hussain I read the reviews there which are saying that book is 1)More factual than conceptual, 2) Not good for mains perspective(I’d like to integrate my prelims and mains preparation), whats ur opinion sir(especially from the point of view of mains) ?
        Thank you.

        • Sorry for this late reply.

          Ya Majid Hussain is factual in nature. I prefer Khullar (not available these days), but for GS it is very extensive. Instead NCERT class XI and XII are far better. Some topics are covered in Yojana and Kurukshetra, also in the India -2013.

          Regarding optional subject, you should go by your interest and hold on the subject. Scaling is luck – if you are lucky your score will increase, if not, it will sky dive. Now optional is for 500 marks, so getting 50% is not difficult and scaling won’t be drastic. (it used to be as optionals decided the fate then).

          Go for it if you are comfortable. 🙂

          • Deepak

            Thank you Sir..

  • Brijesh

    thnks for ur suggestion sir…actually i dont want to go for any particular subject so it is possible to go for the gs in all the 7 more thing my study beckround is in hindi..n i am much more comfertable with ths for assay how should i prepare..n also confused in gs study.because there is lots of subject n confusinon . i hve started reading ncert books but need your suggestion..

    • Brijesh,

      You have to choose one subject from given optionals. It is compulsory. You can go for Hindi Literature.

      Finish reading NCERT 2-3 times. Then go for standard texts. Don’t get confused. Read syllabus many times. Read newspaper regularly.

  • Rupesh Dahal

    Hindu is very irregularly available in Gangtok, Yesterday and today no paper came, so i want to ask you that ,can I read it directly from its website, are all important news available in website ?.
    many are suggesting for e-paper subscription but my query is why to pay money when it is available free of cost in website.
    If so kindly provide some tips so that i prepare for CSE using Hindu website.

    • You can access all articles from The Hindu online. If you have net, then no worries. For editorials, you can see at the left side on my blog. Anyway, at the Hindu site, you have everything you want. Copy them, paste them to a word doc and maintain a folder. Make different folders for different sections like -foreign affairs, environment, legal news, S&T, defence,etc etc

      • Rupesh Dahal

        than u sir

        • Rupesh Dahal

          oopss my mistake..
          Thank u sir

  • manish

    Gandhi once told before his death “I lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.” Infact I found this line in a book India after Gandhi.
    I could not interpret this line. Can you/anyone let me explain?

  • Rupesh Dahal

    which is the best source to prepare for Indian Economy Current Affairs part (Dynamic Portion). Do i need to read extra newspaper on economy other than the Hindu.

    • read Business standard 🙂 and make notes or copy n paste from its site 🙂 its epaper is free 🙂

    • Buy this new book for economics – it is updated and helps in dynamic portion too.

      • Rupesh Dahal

        thank u so much sir….what a great website a whole year subscription free of cost

  • sir m a bds student.wana do IAS.but d main confusion is regarding optionals as dr r no bds subjcts included in kindly tell how shd i strt preparin n wt optionals shd i choose as a BDS.. Kindly rep.

    • Shruti,

      I understand your confusion. Try Anthropology. It is convenient for you and has good success rate too. But you should get interest in this subject. Have a look at the syllabus and previous year questions in this subject. 🙂

      • wel sir dr r 2 optionals wt shd b d scnd one.n sir plz guide me hw shd i strt frm whr?n wt buks???hw to prep for interview.if psbl plz do add me in facebook.

  • manish

    Anyone have pdf of India after Gandhi in Hindi translation?
    Sir please help.

  • Brijesh

    thanks a lot sir… one more thing for essay writing tht how to prepare it…n is it possible to write all the paper in hindi .bec my study becround in hindi…n you told to read the newspaper but like i said before my hindi medium is it possible to read hindi news paper n the same with the books also…suggest me pls…

    • Next week we are putting a separate post on ‘how to write good essay’.

      Yes, you can write whole exam in the Hindi medium. You can read Hindi papers and clear this exam. 🙂

  • Rupesh Dahal

    being from IT background i find selecting optionals very difficult.
    First i thought geography would be good option but after some day reading i found it quite difficult subject, than i opted for Public Administration i found subject intresting, many things arises about Public Administration that it is very unexpected subject with lots of surprises during exam time.2012 question paper had also so many surprises elements ..Please guide me how to cope with Public Administration as I don’t think i can go far with other subjects.

    • Rupesh,

      If you like Public administration, go for it. If you read extensively, you can handle any surprises. This subject helps you in GS, during training at Mussoorie and during your tenure as an officer 🙂 Just complete the syllabus 🙂 UPSC never asks outside the syllabus, though it appears like that.

  • Rupesh Dahal

    your valuable suggestion has put lots of hope in me now i can think i m civil service aspirant..Please please some basic tips on notes making

  • Rupesh Dahal

    which method is appropriate for prelims preparation :
    Finishing one subject and going to other OR Starting all subjects in one go.

    • Finish one subject and go to next. But make notes to revise later.

  • darshana

    I am about to enter my first year for engineering and would like to give the cse some time in future. I think I would take history as my optional. Can you tell me what will be the best way to prepare?
    Thank you.

    • Darshana,

      Good to know that you want to start early. History is a good optional but there is plenty of time for you to decide about the optional. As you know, optional carries only 500 marks in the mains, so focus more on General Studies papers which require broad understanding of various concepts.

      Read The Hindu regularly. Start your own blog – write about current events, social issues etc. Try to read as much as possible regarding India and the world events (because you have plenty of time). You can begin systematic preparation in the final year. Till then try to broaden your knowledge base about the topics that are in the syllabus.

      Keep a copy of the syllabus of both Prelims and Mains with you. Memorize all the topics.

      Along with your regular reading of novels, you can also start reading serious books – Amartya Sen, Guha, Nehru, etc (you can read these books on India)

      Feel free to ask anything anytime. Good luck 🙂

  • pranav e

    sir, can i know what is the income limit for OBC non creamy layer

  • rohitkmark

    Sir how is philosophy as an optional?. Though i am from the world of medicine, i have always liked and had keen interest in philosophy and i do have some basic knowledge about the same. The syllabus also seems not to be too extensive.

    • Rohit,

      Many have topped with Philosophy as their optional subject. Apart from your interest in the subject, you should also be able to translate your knowledge into good writing.I think you are good in that too. Personally I think you should go for it. 🙂

      • rohitkmark

        Thank you for your advice and opinion. 🙂

  • Rupesh Dahal

    how a self made notes help to crack this exam, should i start preparing notes immediately the day i had started reading a book.

    • anup

      Hello Sir : Thanks for giving IMP. information about UPSC. Please help me how to download free books about (Ethics and Integrity in Public Administration: Concepts and Cases)paper 4 of mains examination new pattern. I am facing problem about link that you provides.please send PDF copy….Thank you

    • Rupesh,

      Ideally, you should make notes during second reading. I mean, you should first finish reading once. Don’t make notes without reading at least one time. If not you will just end up copying from the book without understanding anything from it.

  • gao

    looks good work! ….the above list for GS 1 is fine,I request u to please provide the same for remaining papers.

  • Rupesh Dahal

    plz tell me which is relevant books for preparing public administration both papers.
    According to you which english dictionary is useful for CSE preparation that gives succinct meaning in simple language which will be a long term guide.

  • Rupesh Dahal

    What is food security bill ordinance

    • sir i belong to general category and i am preparing for 2014 ias exam
      please aware me what is the upper age limit to appear for this exam

      • Asif,

        Age limit is 30 for you. You will have 4 attempts. All the best 🙂

    • When the Parliament is in recess (when not in session), the government can pass legislation through the President under the article 123 of India constitution. If the President is satisfied that the bill is necessary, he ‘promulgates’ the ordinances – these ordinances will have same force and effect as the laws passed by parliament. (but after six weeks of parliament re-assembly, this ordinance ceases to exist)

      UPA passed Food security bill as an ordinance, and it will be put forth in the Parliament during Monsoon session – which begins after August 15 this year)

  • rajiv


    I’am hoping to appear for civil services in 2015.I have seen that General Studies paper of mains is vast.I want to take history as optional.Can you advise me on how to prepare whether mixed preparation for prelims and mains or seperate. Also how to selectively study for prelims/mains.

  • Rupesh Dahal

    What is meant by” Constitution defines power to main organs of state, demarcate their responsibilities, and regulates their relationships with each other and with the people”.

    • Rupesh,

      Our constitution is supreme. We have given it to ourselves, The people. In our democratic set up we have three organs of state – Legislature (it makes laws), Executive(it implements laws) and Judiciary(it protects and uphold laws) – whose powers, roles and relationships between them is given in the Constitution. So, the Constitution is the blueprint for the functioning of our democracy. Its word is binding on all of them.

      But for the smooth functioning of democracy there should be harmony between all the three organs of the state. This is ensured by the People and many institutions. Ultimately, all the three organs are responsible and accountable to the People. It is from the People and the Constitution that all of them draw their powers and responsibilities. I hope it is clear now. 🙂

      Read this interesting argument by Dr Ambedkar:

      “I have not anywhere found in any Constitution a provision saying that the executive shall obey the legislature, nor have I found anywhere in any Constitution a provision that the executive shall obey the judiciary. Nowhere is such a provision to be found. That is because it is generally understood that the provisions of the Constitution are binding upon the different organs of the state. Consequently, it is to be presumed that those who work the Constitution, those who compose the legislature and those who compose the executive and the judiciary know their functions, their limitations and their duties. It is therefore to be expected that if the executive is honest in working the Constitution, then the executive is bound to obey the legislature without any kind of compulsory obligation laid down in the Constitution.”

      “Similarly, if the executive is honest in working the Constitution, it must act in accordance with the judicial decisions given by the Supreme Court. Therefore my submission is that this is a matter of one organ of the state acting within its own limitations and obeying the supremacy of the other organs of the state. In so far as the Constitution gives a supremacy to that is a matter of constitutional obligation which is implicit in the Constitution itself.

      “No constitutional Government can function in any country unless any particular constitutional authority remembers the fact that its authority is limited by the Constitution and that if there is any authority created by the Constitution which has to decide between that particular authority and any other authority, then the decision of that authority shall be binding upon any other organ”.

  • Rupesh Dahal

    Now I am totally confused about UPSC recent Time table for 2014:
    Date of notification: – 17.05.2014
    Last date for receipt of application: – 16.06.2014 (MONDAY)
    Date of commencement of exam: – 24.08.2014 (SUNDAY)
    Duration of exam: – 1 DAYS
    Date of commencement of exam: – 14.12.2014 (SUNDAY)
    Duration of exam: – 5 days

    Sir how is it possible to finish mains exam in 5 days, prelims is in August,
    will UPSC takes longer to out the result.

    • There is nothing to confuse you. Mains has 5 papers and it takes only 5 days.

      Next prelims is in August because of General elections which begins in June and ends in second week of August.

      You have plenty of time for both Prelims and Mains next year. Do integrated study. Take this situation as an advantage.

      They would have conducted Prelims in may itself, but because of this year’s delay in Mains (December) it takes them more time to announce final result in 2014 – which must be announced before Preliminary exam, which is not possible now.

      So prelims exam is in August.

  • archana karri

    Hi sir
    Am a bignr …with friend advice i hv joined directly to ..mains ..nt able to understand the subject sr…nw i cant shft to mcp batcth…so please tell me the way to crack civils in 1st attempt please …nw what shall i start prpilims r mains?? How to start…tel me the way am jst mad about this..please help hw cm a fresher can crack cse in 1st atmpt is this podsible.???..

    • Archana,

      For a beginner you have begun well. Though it would have been good if you had studied basics and went for Mains classes, nevertheless, you have plenty of time at your disposal now. No beginner will understand all the new topics you are now forced to digest – it takes little time but with the help of sincere efforts from you.

      Finish basics first – read all the NCERT I have mentioned elsewhere in comments. I have given links too.

      You can crack this exam in your first attempt. But for that you need to follow certain things. First, sharpen the spade as much as possible – then cut the wood in one go! I hope you got the meaning. Prepare very well and then give the exam. You will crack it.

      Take your time. Plan well. Be committed every day, and every hour while you are preparing for this exam. You have all the books at your disposal – read them, make notes and re-read them.

      Have patience, be calm, don’t put pressure on yourself by letting people around you believe that you are gonna be IAS n all – they won’t come to our rescue when we fall ( sorry for this lecture – but this is the reality).

      You will make it in first attempt. Have faith and prepare well. Secret is – enjoy this whole preparation – love what you read. make it fun (yup, even economics, geography and news about Manmohan Singh can be fun, if we love it 🙂 Good luck!

  • Rupesh Dahal

    I want to know is it sufficient to prepare one topic using one book or I have to look for more books.For example in syllabus of Public Administration:
    Meaning,scope and significance is asked so Laxmikath’s,Mohit Bhattacharya, Fadia all provide information on given topic and all these books are important for Pub Ad exam.

    My another query is do we have to dig a topic from its root for example in case of Barchan Dunes not complete information is given in its respective book. like why it has horns,why it got such shape etc do we have to know all things about barchan dunes.

    • Rupesh,

      Good question.

      1) read one topic from one book only – the best book. See in which book it is covered well and read that book only. Never ever go for two books or more for a single topic. This is the common mistake most us make. This exam needs ‘Basic Understanding’ not in depth understanding of topics.

      2) In geography, focus on understanding the concept. For some topics in Geography you should refer Wikipedia and other sources on net. Once concept is clear, it doesn’t matter from which book you have read. You can always answer in your own words. That is why make notes and keep them ready. (Barchans are formed in the places where land is flat, non undulating, sand is evenly distributed and there is a consistent wind from one direction. these are migrating dunes. They are formed transverse, i.e across to the wind direction….. actually it should be explained through diagram. See below)

      Check this site for basics – only for basics –

  • Rupesh Dahal

    How to keep one always motivated ,when I see, hear about politician expoilting our country I fill really bad and demotivated. So in such a senario how can a civil servant work for change and betterment of society.
    Politician should make beautiful.scheme for poor with civil servant but opposite happens politicians resides middle of poor and civil servant making a harss situation for both of them. is that the reason constitution has given power, responsibility to them?

    • Rupesh,

      When you decided to become an IAS officer, you made a decision to enter the war zone. If your desire to bring change in the society is sincere, no matter how awful or terrible the problems posed by politicians are, you will still work towards your goal. In your career, as long as you are honest and upright, no force can deter you from performing your duty. It is only when someone compromises their integrity, they are subdued by certain personal and political compulsions.

      Anyway, no country is free from these problems. You have to work under these conditions wherever you go. Take it as a challenge and make a mark. Let not news about corruption and political interference demotivate you, instead let them make you more determined to work harder. 🙂

  • Ritesh kumar tiwari



  • Rupesh Dahal

    Thank u so much for motivating me.

    Sir computer has changed the method of preparation today many things are available in net directly in my case also internet, computer has tremendously helped me
    More than 50 percent resources I’mreading from internet in website, pdf form.
    Please sir give some tips how I can more efficiently prepare using computer like how to read, how to prepare notes because reading from screen makes eye and body very tired.

    • Rupesh Dahal

      Sir I find very diificult to read after evening time from computer plz tell me how can I manage my time preparing both from computer and books.

      • Rupesh,

        I know it is both pain in the eyes and body to read for many hours from laptop/computer. You don’t have to use computer for many hours for this exam.

        You have access to all the books for both mains and prelims. Spend more time on them. Use net for the purpose of clarifying doubts/getting info. Read books in the evening and use PC in the afternoon. Go for walk in the evening for an hour. Never sit always – I know many aspirants getting Piles. 🙂

        Don’t depend on computer much. Use it for reference purpose only.

  • Sir,
    I love this site.So beautifully you have been doing this and its been a great help to aspirants like us..may i ask few doubts 🙂
    1.I will be 27 when i have to write prelims for the second time next year…this year i wrote it too and it was okay but not sure about winning.Am i too old for doing it?
    2.I am doing a job and studying for it too.Yes it is self study but i have i guess all the materials too are there people who did it through self study?
    3.I heard people used to study for 15 16 hours a day is it true?is it necessary?
    4.I guess i have a huge amount of books with me regardig exam,many books even about archaic medievel modern india and i am afraid it will be over information..infact i didnt buy them for this exam i love reading so they were in my collection..And about indian history i know most of the stuffs before and it was evident from this year prelims…so will this help me in doing well?
    5.I belong to General category so will there be any change in age limit next year ?
    Thanks a lot sir..i know it is a long question but i dont have anyone to ask 🙂
    Thank you and i pry that god will bless you for what you have been doing for us 🙂

    • Edward,

      Thank you. 🙂

      1) No. You are still young for IAS. More than 70% who get into IAS are in the age group of 26-30.

      2) Many have topped through self study. You can be one of them. Don’t leave the job if it is a good one. During interview, board members like candidates who are working.

      3) Ya, even I have heard people studying for 15-16 hours. Sounds amazing. But that must be few days before the exam, because they didn’t prepare well whole year.

      If you can devote 6+ hours every day after planning well ahead, this is sufficient. You need ‘planned Work’ not hard or smart work to succeed. 🙂

      4) If you have huge number of books – sounds good. But keep away from them until Mains is over. Study few books related to the syllabus. Stick to them no matter how alluring the scent of other books.

      After Mains, immerse yourself among all the books you have. It helps in the Interview. 🙂 (also, don’t forget to mention ‘reading’ as your hobby in the DAF)

      5) There won’t be any change in the age limit – it will limit the age of the government, if implemented. So, don’t worry. You are very safe.

      Thank you for your prayers. 🙂 🙂

  • Rupesh Dahal

    Plz give some tips on preparing compulsory english as I know my english is not to that mark. English word alwys frighten me I think these words are like stone in plate of rice. Do I have learn these words or so called vocabulary to improve my english reading or writing skills .if so how?

  • edward

    Hello sir,
    Thanks a lot for taking your precious time to reply me.Whenever i feel demotivated i would just come here, and read which will make me really confident, and i like the way you write stuffs with clarity and of course authenticty 🙂
    I have many doubts regarding this exam and i still remember how did i write the prelims 2 months ago.I presume it was an easy exam but i was ill prepared and i don’t wanna happen that again 🙂
    Anyway coming to my doubt…I have been reading a lot about the ‘pattern change’ and i don’t quite understand what it is actually.How many papers are there..i guess 4 GS papers ,Essay and an optional..what how to choose an optional?I have studied BA English for my degree and holds an Masters in Journalism.Is there any restriction for me to choose Public Ad?Or i have to study some subject for my graduation level to choose that?
    Thanks a lot sir, i wish you a nice day

    • Edward,

      Thanks again. For pattern change you can have a look at this post: I have simplified it –

      You are right – 4 GS+Essay+Optional(2 papers in it).

      Chose a subject that interests you, on which you think you can write well, and go through previous questions and syllabus many times to check where you stand and where your liking is respectively.

      You can go for Public administration provided you pass the above test. No, your qualifications in no way restricts you from choosing any subject as an optional.

      You too have a nice day 🙂

  • edward

    Hello sir 🙂
    I am here again 🙂 and thanks for replying all of us 🙂 all the best for all my brothers who strive for this exam..may god give all of you strength and energy to carry on 🙂
    I have some doubts regarding studying though now most of them might be based on one’s personal conventions as such..but i would like to ask someone in the authority like you to answer it 🙂
    As i said i don’t have any coaching.I makes my own notes and prepare.I have a huge collection of materials with me,i mean not any notes from any institutes, but books belonging to various fields like Economy, history,Polity etc etc.I have books of Lakshmikanth,Uma kapila,Rama chandra Guha as such 🙂 i love reading thats why i collected them.It wasn’t meant for exam.Anyway the question is these days when i have to cover the syllabus i am really getting confused.For example when i have to cover the Harappa and indus valley civilization i would read one book at a time, may be a chapter regarding it, then move on to another books containing the same topic.So the pages would accumulate and the notes would get bigger and bigger
    Is it necessary to read too many books about a same topics?How to make excellent notes in a civil service point of view?I have also paper cuttings of The Hindu for Last month 🙂
    I will be grateful if you can guide me on this matter
    Thanks again

    • Edward,

      I know it is very tempting to read so much for some topics/all topics – but I must say out rightly that it is a very dangerous thing to do.

      It will make you very wise, but not successful in this exam. If you are reading about Harappa from one book, then read the topic from the same book until you pass this exam. This works. believe me. 🙂

      Make paper cuttings for current events. Don’t make notes – it is very time consuming.

  • Rupesh Dahal

    What is the role of current affairs (newspaper reading) in public administration papers. Kindly explain it

    • Rupesh,

      Question on Public administration have become more dynamic these days. They are testing analytical skills and broad understanding of topics. Also, many questions sound like GS questions too. Newspaper reading helps broaden your perspective on topics. Having Pub Ad as optional helps in GS too.

  • swapnil

    i m belonging from NT-3 category basically its state reservation but i want to apply through OBC in civil service exams can i apply? how can i get OBC certificate..

    • Swapanil,

      First check if your caste is enlisted in the central OBC list at here:

      If your case is mentioned there, get central OBC form and follow the same procedure you followed to get OBC in state.

      • swapnil

        thank you sir……. my caste is in that list…!!

  • edward

    Thanks a again 🙂 i will follow as you said
    Another doubt is regarding the TMH manuals.I have GS manuals with me and i find it so huge.Can you advice me about studying it i mean which areas i have to exclude and include, and how to use the reference books then?Like Ramachandra guha’s book,bipan chandra book?We have to read them completely and make notes?Some chapters are very long and so difficult to study
    Thank you sir 🙂

    • TMH manual is not needed for basic reading. Use it for solving questions. But for reading use standard book and NCERT books.

      Ramachandra Guha and Bipan Chandra must be read completely if you have time. If not read selectively from them based on the syllabus.

  • Rupesh

    In G.S Paper-I syllabus every topic is given with respective sub topics For example: globalization is in syllabus but only with the Indian society perspective or in case of Urbanization only problems and remedies relating to it is expected to learn.
    But nothing is given about Social Empowerment, Communalism, Regionalism & Securalism topics should i need to learn everything about it like features, merits, demerits etc etc. and from whose prespective i should look at this topics from WHOLE WORLD or from INDIAN point of view only.
    Sir kindly guide me am I in right path of understanding the SYLLABUS or I need to develop some other way….As you always guide us stating that UNDERSTANDING SYLLABUS IS VERY VERY IMPORTANT.

    • Good question: You should read them from the global perspective but apply them to Indian scenario.But emphasis should be on understanding the underlying concepts.

      You are on the right path. Keep syllabus always on your side.

  • Rupesh

    my Another query is regarding geography topics in paper -II
    1. Here distribution of key natural resources across the world is given including south Asia and Indian subcontinent my question is when India is part of the world and when i read about world resources Indian subcontinent will automatically come in its way so why separate name of South Asia and Indian Subcontinent is given do I need to given special emphasis to this Two region.
    2. Same in case of industries when india is part of world why separate name of India is given.
    3. In geographical features and their location a dash is given making it like a major topics and other topics are written after that like changes , its effects etc my question is should i need to prepare topics of geographical features and their location or only topics after dash like changes, effects etc

    Sir kindly answer my previous day query and this one too, as i in in state of confusion.

    • First, though India is part of the world, the syllabus requires you to give emphasis on India. For example, If you are reading about Coal distribution around the world, along with it, make a not on its distribution in India too.

      In geographical features, for example, Tsunami – you need to know what it is, how it is caused, what are its consequences, major regions across the world prone to it, India’s experience, measures taken by India to manage post-Tsunami effects, etc.

      It applies to all other phenomena or features too.

  • Rupesh

    thank u so much sir

  • archana karri

    Hi sir
    I hv coverd 6topics according to u r adv.. which u gvn in ths sight ….so pls let me knw the chaparts which covers 10 to 15 laxmikanth r else can i refer other books for ths particular topics
    Tell me in detai sir..
    THNKUs letm

  • Rupesh

    Now moving to paper III, here also i need your guidance
    this paper is quite vast than other papers,
    1. Sir has UPSC randomly given name of Governance, Constitution, Polity as three major topics, as I used to think Constitution is supreme topic containing other topics Governance and Polity too. UPSC by giving these three name has made me bit confused to find out which sub topics belongs to these major topics.By analyzing this syllabus I find that many of this topics belongs to same mother that is CONSTITUTION. Sir am i right, if so than why UPSC is confusing us like this.
    2. What is Dispute Redressal mechanisms and institution?
    3. what is Pressure groups?
    4. what is Representation of people Act?
    Sir which major heads does these above question belongs too.

    5. sir i found many topics of Public Administration too here good governance, citizens charters etc etc so my question is why upsc has extracted some topics from Pub Ad or this topics belongs to other subjects too.

    Sir kindly help me I also read your article on these Paper III but sorry I m still i Dilemma of confusion.

    Thank You

    • Rupesh Dahal

      Kindly reply please

      • Rupesh, I will reply.

        • praneeth vaddepalli

          Hello Sir,

          This is praneeth from Hyderabad. I’m civil services aspirant and planning to face those examinations next year (i.e 2014) selected Mains subject as “Anthropology”. i’m an software employee and how can i make my time to read or prepare for the typical tasks and please give me some tips and tricks for exact ans perfect preparation. As the schedule demands, even I’m ready to resign my job now.

          Please do help me in this issue sir.

          Thank you

    • UPSC has not given syllabus randomly.

      Governance and polity are the outcomes of our constitution. Governance is the process of running a government which involves administration, whereas polity is the form of government we have.(Democratic Polity in India, we say)

      Constitution provides the framework for the both.

      Dispute redressal mechanism is a process of bringing disparate groups together to reach a mutual agreement. We have Tribunals – for river disputes, tax disputes, etc they are institutions.

      Pressure groups which are also known as Interest groups/advocacy groups are group of like minded well organized individuals collectively trying to influence policy making or formation public opinion to meet certain interests of theirs. We can see them in businesses, religions, trade unions etc trying to lobby, or conduct polls etc..

      For Representation of people’s act please go through the link I have given in the article on paper-III strategy.

  • Rupesh

    You are a great mentor I m asking u too many question and you are giving your precious time to my each question
    Thank You So Much

  • Priya

    I am appearing for UPSC-2014. I completed my graduation in medicine in english medium. As far as UPSC mains examination is concerned I found myself less confident in writing part (Paper I -V). I am appearing for the first time. Which books should I refer to? Please Help!!!

  • Rupesh

    As i was watching news on suspension of IAS officer in UP, there a local politician commented arising lots of question in my mind he said “Centre can recall all IAS officer we are capable to run by our own state officers”
    My question is :
    1. Why IAS officer are appointed in States (but interview are taken by center) when states are also appointing lots of state civil servants?
    2. Why is there difference between Centre appointed officers & state appointed officers when job they do are same?
    3. Why there is no uniformity in appointment of IAS offices: some states has less number of IAS officer compared to state officers while other states have many IAS officer compared to state officers?

    Kindly answer my previous day question and this one too, I am eagerly waiting for your answer.

    • These are basics which I think you should be aware of.

      IAS, IPS and IFoS are all India services – an officer can be posted to anywhere in India This is mainly done to secure India’s unity and strengthen federalism. They are recruited by the centre according to the provision of the Constitution under the All India Services Act 1951 (UPSC is entrusted with this)

      State officers are recruited by the respective states by their Public Service commissions as per the constitutional provision – this is done to provide states with autonomy in recruiting their own officers to govern State List subjects.(ex. states can recruit Asst Commissioner – Commercial Tax , but not AC Income Tax)

      Third question – I am not sure about the data or to which states you are referring. May be because States don’t regularly conduct exams so they have less number of officers. I think it is unlikely though.

  • Sir i want to prepare for ias.But with so much information availaible i have got confused.Kindly please tell the exact reading material need to be prepared for both mains and prelims.Do we need to learn by hard ncert books of SST from 6 to 12th.And which other books we need to refer.And is that includes disaster management also.Please help.

  • archana karri

    Hi sir
    Am a bgnr n wrkng…tooo..a consern i need to read selected chptrs..i hv strtd polity frst n coverd 6tpcs could u pls tel me tht is tht neceasary to read all the 11parts of laxmicanth..r else is thr is any chaptr to quit lk tht…pls tell me sir
    N tel me that the topics frm 10 to 15 of pobs vhch chapters cover this topics frm laxmknth….ppls never mind to clarifie my doughts sir
    Usally i vl get more doughts
    I hv asked ths qustn twice bt u didnt replied it sir..
    Ths tm pls tel.mme abt these doubts

    • Archana,

      Laxmikant is a good book for Prelims and for some topics of mains. It is better to read all the parts. Are you writing Mains? If yes, go for selective study (topics which i have mentioned in strategy for Paper-III). If not, read the entire book twice. It helps a lot in both prelims and mains.

      • archana karri

        No i didnt appeared exam for ths tm i vant to sit for 2014 sir ….thx for u reply

  • Rupesh

    thank u so much, now i feel much confident after getting all answer.
    Sir you told us to refer DD Basu book on constitution, but I have book by Subash Kashyap Our Constitution purchased last year from local market. Can i trust Kashyap’s book for preparation or I need to purchase DD basu book.
    Thank u again

    • You must read D D Basu. It is difficult initially but one you start understanding concepts, you will enjoy the book very much. Read Laxmikant/ Subash Kashyap first and then read D D Basu ( you have plenty of time )


    dear sir, I the list of reference books do not have any book on WORLD PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. Please recommend one

    • Oh Ok. Thanks for pointing it out. You can buy this beautiful book by Goh Cheng Leong – Certificate Physical and Human Geography. It was unavailable because of high demand (still not available on Flipkart) but now it is there on the link)

      • Laxmi

        Certificate Physical and Human Geography.
        in flikart it receieved very negative feedback.some people even said that this so outdated and desparately needed to be updated.
        I can’t decide what to do please suggest me suggestions whether to follow it or not.

  • edward

    Is reading a competitive magazine necessary?Evert toppers are saying about Pratiyogita darpan, wizrad and such.If you dont read them you cannot pass?what if you are from a small town and also with much money and other ‘needed stuffs and also self studying?I have only The Hindu with me and some online news papers thank god i have a net connection 🙂

    • If you read newspapers every day and have the habit of keeping a file of paper cuttings, then you definitely don’t need those magazines. They are for those who just ‘read’ paper and forget today’s news next day.

  • priyanka


    I am Priyanka and I am new to preparing to upsc. I know there have been recent changes in the mains of taking one optional paper. As far as prelims is considered there is csat and gs papers. I want to start with my preparation before enrolling for coaching classes. Please share the link of the books which one should start with for the preparation as per the new changes. Also please share your email address.
    Thanks in advance.

  • Rupesh

    what is indian Diaspora and what kind of question one can expect from this topic

  • Rupesh

    every time when I read interview of toppers interview they are asked to share their success mantra and i also eagerly used to read or listen that part so that i could know how to become successful. But sir i was really amazed to know the answer not only one but each and every topper has same success mantra “Hard Work and Perseverance”
    What is Hard Work, perseverance?
    why is it so important for every ias aspirant and how its role is so broad that every one is only talking about it?

    I am struggling with my book to understand the syllabus and it takes more than one week to understand just 1st chapter of Bipin Chandra History, sometime vocabulary irritates and sometime time language structure, I also tried to answer daily question given by you but knowledge sometime becomes hurdle or English sometime. Sir is this same type of hard work what the toppers was taking or I still don’t know actual meaning and usage of hard work.
    Please help me
    thank you

    • Rupesh,

      The meaning of and degree of hard work varies from person to person. If you think you have many weaknesses, then the degree of hard work you have to put should be more.

      If you find it difficult to read, understand and finish one chapter from Bipan Chandra in one week, then, definitely you have to put in more hard work. Read a lot of good English. Try to write something everyday, even 100 words about something you find interesting (you can maintain a notebook). You are still a beginner, so naturally things appear difficult.

      No matter how difficult things appear, keep studying – even if you don’t understand. Use dictionary and read systematically. Initially it consumes time. later when you are experienced, it takes less time to finish things. So work hard to equip yourself with skills.

      About diaspora question, please use net. They are simple things and you must get used to do ‘self study’. 🙂

      • Rupesh

        Thank u sir


        Dear Rupesh,
        I really find your case quite matching to me. I belong to a science background and always thought of subjects like history and geography a waste of time. Therefore, I did not understand them initially. Also I am not too good at english. However when I decided to go for civil services I started reading them. Initially I took weeks to understand the single chapters and words like imperialism, socialism and nationalism always went over my head. But i kept reading books more and more and it gives me immense pleasure to inform you that this time I cleared civil services pre (roll no- 575067). I am giving you my roll no. just to give authenticity to my words that I say here. I may or may not pass further but my reading over this period make me understand the real life around us and that is equally important as science and mathematics. So keep reading, not for any exam but to know about our past, present and probable future. You will then find that automatically you have done sufficient hard work to progress in your life.

    • gurwinder singh

      hi,,,brother… i am also studying for ias,,,i ‘ve covered lot of part of bipin chandra’s histry,,,u should use a good dictionary,,,if that will in ur mother tongue,,,that will b good 🙂 bt it will take some time,,,i did the same,,,all d best

  • Rupesh

    friend thank u so much for your comment, congrats for passing pre you deserve it, i really needed such strong motivation thanks again

  • Rupesh

    Still today many country has monarch as supreme head like UK, Indonesia, Bhutan, japan etc so are considered as a democratic country?

    • These are not absolute monarchies – these are constitutional monarchies where king/queen is the nominal head of a state and derives power from the Constitution. In absolute monarchies, power emanates for the ruler. Some countries do not want to part with their legacies so they retain monarchy within a democratic set-up.

  • naveen

    hello insightsonindia..sir/madam .. i started preparing for cse2014 from last month..i am goin through with ncerts along with hindu newspaper..i have choosen geography as my optional.i want to ask which magzines to follow from mains point of view..?is dere any specific time period for following these supplementary materials.. starting from july 2013 till exam date in 2014 will be sufficient ?? please do reply..i have no one nearby to ask my querry nor any one to help me..

    • Read Frontline and EPW (selectively). There is no specific period, but for next year’s mains, you should be thorough with current events from this year’s June. (i.e June 2013 to November 2014 – For Mains) As you will be preparing for next year prelims, you have to read current events from this January itself.

  • gurwinder singh

    sir,,,i am going to atempt pre 2014,,,i ‘ve coverd,,ncert,,indian polity laxmikanth,,,modern india bipin chandra,,,for geography of india,,,majid tata mcgraw is good? or d.r khullar ?,,,nd for indian economy i have 2 books,,,datt and sundaram and ramesh singh,,,for which should i go? sir actually i live in a village,,nd i could nt get ‘the hindu’ then what should i do? …nd how much there is imp. for current affairs in mains acc. to new syllabus…????

    • For geography, first finish books that I have mentioned here:, then you can go for either Khullar or majid, Khullar is very good but it is extensive (buy it only if you can afford and don’t read it fully for GS – link is above)

      For economy read only Ramesh Singh. Dutt and Sundaram is for optional (economics).

      If you are unable to access The Hindu, better subscribe to their e-paper or just go through their site – paste and save every day important articles in Word document and file them based on the syllabus into different sections.

      In Mains Paper -3 and 4, most of the topics have to be read keeping current events in the mind. Current events is very important. To form your opinions on topics in the syllabus, current events help you a lot.

  • edward

    Literally i am confused about note making.I started my preparation from last june by reading the hindu.What i used to do was read each news story (At that time i didn’t know how to be selective) and jot the synopsis on a notebook.But after sometime i heard somebody saying like it is a bad method and don’t do it.I felt like i have wasted a lot of time but what to do.But these notes, when i looked back have almost all stuffs needed for the exam,RBI policy’s, various yojanas regarding to the government,international affairs,science etc with in maximum 2 pages.Then i thought about changing in to paper cutting methods too and it seems okay too.I read AL Bashams the wonder that was india, and made complete notes out of it, almost 35 pages, with specific underlines with colour pens.
    Is this method wrongs sir?Please say and advice me
    And thanks a lot as ever 🙂
    god bless you

    • Making hand written notes from paper is advised only if you have plenty of time at your disposal. If not, it is better cut important articles and file them separately based on the syllabus – eg, separate file for judiciary related articles, environment related so on.

      Instead of A L Basham, it would have been good if you had made notes from Bipan Chandra books. Nevertheless, it is not a waste of time. Prioritize your strategy – go for important books first, not the ones which interests you more.

      Underlining, or highlighting with colour pens is useful only when you read the same book again and again. So, stick to one book and read it repeatedly – writing quick points is advised as it helps in retention.

  • edward

    Thanks a lot sir
    have a nice day 🙂

  • gurwinder singh

    thanks sir,,for env. and biodiversity which book i should prefr?? ,one more question,,,due to some financial problem,,i couldn’t join coaching institute,,,nd now batch has been started,,so i ‘ve only option to study at home,,,sir if i take notes from good institute (for mains),,shall it b good? and sir what about cut off for prelim,,i met a girl who has succeeded in ias,,, she said it is near about 180-200,,,is it good score to clear prelim,,,??? sir if u provide analysis of pre 2013 from each subject,,i ‘ll b thankful 2 u…

    • For environment and biodiversity, NCERT 12th Bilogy last few chapters are very good. Also there is a ICSE Environmental Studies book.

      Material from coaching institutes is not advised. It is all copy paste stuff. It is better to enjoy the feel of real books. There are standard books available, read them, re-read them. Revise few book repeatedly. Cut-off may be above 230 for GM .

      For analysis of 2013 prelims you may visit or sites – they are good at it.

  • Rupesh

    latest developments in science and tech given in HINDU or frontline is so much technical so how to understand it and find which is important for exam .

  • edward

    I heard that there are some programmes in Aksahvani or some radio stations which were of use for many toppers..Is it true we can depend up on mediums other than news papers and books for this exam?
    And a very personal question .Its about maintaining the momentum.:) sometimes its so difficult to desist from procrastinating..hmm ..and sometimes this take much time too 🙂
    thanks a lot sir

    • You can not substitute newspapers with any other medium. Yes, there are excellent current affairs programs on Lok Sabha TV, DD News and AIR. They help you in forming your opinion on many issues.

      Every one procrastinates. I watch Big Bang Theory after strongly making my mind to write an article.

      Solution is to prioritize your tasks. Finish the most important task first at any cost. When you feel like postponing a task, don’t spend time on TV/Movies/talking, instead spend it on going through previous question papers/syllabus/NCERT books etc.

  • edward

    thanks a lot sir 🙂

  • Rupesh

    Kindly comment on my reading style
    for example Bipin Chandra History:
    1. First I read the whole chapter in one go some one hour is taken
    2. second I again come to same chapter reading in some details but my focus remains to look and write those words from dictionary which i find difficult and that is important to understand the context (two to three hours is taken) as Bipin Chandra contains loads of those words.
    3. After writing all unknown words I again go to starting but this time I focus on context (some five hours)
    4. After understanding the context I try to make notes (one hour taken)

    Sir my whole day is just for one chapter or sometimes when context is hard like news paper editorials it takes more than one day.

    I am thinking to follow same above technique for all subjects and news paper reading too, Sir is my reading techniques right ?
    Can this kind of reading style helps me to crack India’s most prestigious exam? If not than kindly give me right technique please

    Sir many sites only provides what to read, but how to read is hardly found anywhere

    Please guide me

    Thank You

    • Study techniques differ person to person depending on their aptitude.

      Going by your above method, I would advice you this:

      First two steps are must. Follow them strictly.

      Next, instead of reading again, frame 4-5 questions on the chapter. (see previous year question papers and segregate them according to chapters) Mark the paragraphs.

      Now, find answers for those questions. Read them. Finally, write answers to those questions without looking at the book.

      Next, read answers from the book to see which points you missed.

      You may have to do the same for D D Basu too. Before going for this book, read Laxmikanth.

  • Rupesh Dahal

    Thank you very very much sir I will definitely follow your advice.
    Sir now please comment at my newspaper reading style
    First I look at international news first here i sort out two things India and world

  • Rupesh

    Sorry sir I wrongly posted incomplete question above!
    Thank you very very much sir I will definitely follow your advice.
    Sir now please comment at my newspaper reading style
    1. I look at international news first here i try to sort out two things India relations with world and world affairs. In this section Indian relation is hardly given maximum news is on world affairs,
    2. second I look at national news here i try to find many things like Indian relation to world, government schemes, scams of government etc
    3. then editorials and op-ed heart of newspaper here many topics under the sun are given in elaborated form so I try to find out important one. But i end up finding all as important like in sunday paper there was many article on INS Sindurakshak, scientific method to produce meat, bandh on Gorka land, telanagana etc
    4. in last in look economy, environment, science and technology section

    My Query:
    1. In international news is every news relating to US, egypt, syria revolt, iran, nuclear deal etc always important ?
    2. in national news i totally ignore political news like narendra modi firing congress, Mamta Banerjee kicking center govt, Am I doing right?
    and how is news like INS Sindhurakshak blast important?
    3. In hindu there is a section PERISCOPE, is article given there important ?

    Thank You

    • Because you are in the initial stages of preparation, except political and regional news, you must read every news item at least for 4-6 months. Get used to it. Later you will begin to read selectively.

      More than anything else, reading The Hindu improves your English. Initially give importance to improving English and understanding broad issues.

  • Rupesh

    Kindly help me i know news paper is very important and I am trying to read news paper with full interest but still some question hunt me
    1. how to use editorial and op-ed as my best source, is every article given there is important if not so than is there any techniques to find out which is important till now i am reading whole article given to find out important one as simply reading heading did not give me details view of story.
    2. You suggested us instead of writing notes keep cutting of important article, I started doing so no doubt this one is best method but each day cutting make my file full, just in one week i have nine-ten articles, Sir kindly tell me how to manage this cuttings as in future lots of article will be in my file and how to use it in revision.
    3. I have ramesh Singh Indian economy book of 3rd edition but this year 4th edition is out so do i need to purchase fpurt one also.

    kindly answer my both days question please

    Thank You

    • You should read most of the editorials in initial phases of preparation. Try to read all editorial articles and understand them. Spend more time on such articles now. Later it helps you while writing answers.

      When you cut articles, make a file based on the syllabus and keep them there. Monthly once read them again, underline and keep them organized.

      Even old Ramesh Singh is ok. You can buy next year if new edition comes. For now read the book you have. It is a very good book.

  • Shweta

    I am in love with your work which acts like a beacon of light for serious aspirants. I really appreciate your promptness in replying to the queries posed. My query is that I am confused regarding this obc creamy layer criterion. If my father was promoted to circle inspector(state police service for Karnataka) before 40 years of age then does it hold good for creamy layer criterion. To be precise,I want to know if circle inspector, which comes under assistant commissioner of police rank comes under group A service or not. Looking forward to your reply and sincere thanks for your time and effort.

    • Thanks Shweta,

      I think Circle Inspector post is a Group-B post. Usually 3 to 5 CI’s will function under DySP (Class-I/Group-A Gazetted)

      Even after getting promoted,if the post is Group-B, you don’t come under creamy layer and you will be eligible for reservation.

      I think you will get the reservation benefit provided your mother is not Group-B also. (only one parent should be in Group-B)

      God luck 🙂

  • Shweta

    Thanks a lot for your reply. My mother is a homemaker so, in that case I will be able to make use of the reservation benefit. Thanks a lot again:)

  • priysha

    hello sir,
    i just want to ask you that how should we write answers in upsc main is it point wise or a para format in the new trend where it gives space in the question aper itself for the answers.

    • Priysha,

      Write point wise only if the question has the directive ‘enumerate’. If not, write in paragraphs. To make your answer look mature, you should use paragraphs and each paragraph should have a different idea but related to the question.

  • Rupesh

    kindly tell me how to write under given word limit & how to know that I had reach that given limit, should I count every word that I am writing and stop when i reach word limit?

  • souvik banerjee

    Pearson csat manual ,hindu , frontline, yojana ,cs chroonicles . Are these enough for prelims ?do u suggestt som more books ?

  • souvik banerjee

    I m graduate in general course ,my subjects r english , education, journalism, all r sir my question is that ,can I take english as optional in mains exam ? Reply please.

    • Yes you can take English as an optional subject irrespective of your educational background.

      • souvik banerjee

        Sir ,
        please suggest book for english paper one and two . Also I m reading the anthology ten twentieth century indian poets by oxford uni press for paper 2,sec A poems. And do u think english will be a highly scoring paper for mains optional.

  • arshu

    I have taken psychology as an optional and doing self study. Everyone says Mukul Pathak sir’s notes are a must to read. Are these really required?

    • Yes, in the case of Psychology, those notes are must. Every topper has recommended it for past few years.

  • Sir,
    I have taken psychology as an optional and doing self study. Everyone says Mukul Pathak sir notes are must to read. Are these really required?

  • Arpit Gupta

    for “Faster, More Inclusive and Sustainable Growth’.
    above link is not working.
    try this.


  • m tousif rab

    sir could u plz guide me for paper-4

    • trying to collect some good material.

  • nakul

    i am new comer to dis war of upsc, form where should i start?

  • ritesh

    I hav to write this year mains.I need to know, whether in this new booklet form of exam.writing answer point wise would be more beneficial.or we need to stick to the traditional way of writing in paragraphs. sir plz reply soon

    • It depends on the nature of question. Even if it is question paper-cum-answer sheet with predefined space, you have to fulfill the demand of the question. Except where it is specifically asked, like if directive is ‘enumerate’, you should always write in paragraphs. You may give sub headings if necessary.

  • Anny Middha

    Sir I need your help. Lately I have started feeling low n panicky about IAS mains. I had taken PCS mains and was expecting a call for interview. but couldn’t clear.
    Now i have not been able to start for IAS mains with confidence. Till now I have completed only GS-1 and Optional Paper 1. And I am left with almost no time for IAS mains. Kindly help me with scheduling the syllabus as I take 2 hours for The Hindu daily and plan to spend around 3 hours on Insights for answer writing.
    Also inform which magazines i should refer or any newspaper to be refered except hindu. Though i check ET editorials from your site.
    Please help me Sir, if its any how possible to complete syllabus till october and revision for mains. I am ready to put my best efforts.
    Thank You.

    • Anny Middha

      And revision in November*

      • Anny,

        I understand your anxiety. But there is no need to worry at this point of time during your preparation.

        You said you have finished reading GS-I and one optional paper. Now prioritize things: You have 75 days with you.

        Leaving aside Essay paper, you have 3 GS + one Optional paper to finish in these many days.

        It is possible for you to finish and revise whole thing within 75 days.

        First 15 days, try to finish GS-2 and at least 50% of other optional paper. If you can spend 8-10 hours a day it is possible. In GS-2, you have polity, and international relations. You have read polity during prelims. Revise it again. in International relations, get a core idea about each bilateral and multilateral relations w.r.t India.

        If you are focused and stop worrying about approaching Mains, things will actually move fast. Don’t think about Mains. Try to finish the syllabus first.

        Also, don’t spend too much time now on newspaper. From October last week stop reading newspaper. Use the time to revise what you have already read earlier and to practice writing answers.

        Also, spend less time on Insights too, may be 1-2 hours (to write and read other’s answers)

        Likewise, you can prepare other papers too. Thing is you should stop worrying right now. 🙂 When mind is clear, it lets you do more things.

        You still have lot of time. Put more hours per day and go on finishing more and more topics each day. Focus on one thing at a time and finish it fast. This is the key.

        • Anny Middha

          Thank you sir!
          I ll make a plan for sept now, and worry less and study more:)
          Also tell me if I should newspaper except Hindu n ET editorials.
          And currently I am not doing any magazine. So tell about that too
          Thanks a lot for the support!

          • Anny Middha

            Pls reply Sir
            About magazine n newspaper!

            • The Hindu should be ‘studied’ every day. 🙂

              I usually suggest Business Standard, but any business newspaper is ok. You should read selectively – mainly editorials and if any articles related to the syllabus.

              Magazines apart from Frontline, Yojana (you can read articles I have posted in an article on Yojana issues) and Science Reporter (very selectively – again syllabus related articles) should not be read provided you are thorough with the newspapers.

              Quality is needed in this exam, so read standard magazines like Frontline(not required now) But as exam is nearing, you may focus more on The Hindu – from last September to this November carefully.

  • Am a newcomer and aiming for CSE 14…..
    Should i start writing practice through ur platform from now or should i wait till i cover NCERTs (till now partially covered all subjects except Science)+ other Basic Books…?
    However I can now assimilate Newspaper more or less but find smtym trouble in aligning it as per UPSC syllabus…..?
    I have joined Vajiram New DElhi for coaching so its very tough for me to craft sm time for writing practice, however I used to take some view points from the given answers by other students and these are really a learning lesson for myself…
    Can u plz make questions based on current events issues like poverty line, food security, justice juvenile system , Collegium system Vs JAC, CBI Autonomy, POlice Reforms, some Science tech issues etc…. However i used to make appendix of al the imp news items and file them in separate files even smtym attempt to make my own view on them but find myself in lacking sm basic funda’s of the subject … Plz help and suggest me , wht should i do and how to execeute them????/
    Even sm of my teachers told me that assimilating The HIndu alone can guarantee ur success in the final list. That’s why I am focussed on newspaper…..
    Please Suggest me

  • manish

    Good evening sir,
    Do you have any other source to buy Norman lowe – World History. I am based out of chennai could not find the books in shops (Out of stock since last 2 months).

  • ias

  • gautampal

    My mains paper is public admistration . I am confused about which book is best for me .kindly suggest me ..

  • souvik banerjee

    Sir ,
    please give the booklist of english literature for mains optional and also give the syllabus of mains qualifying papers , paper A – bengali and paper B- english.

    • Souvik, half books are suggested in the syllabus itself. I tried to search for books, but didn’t get. Sorry.

  • Sir , pls suggest me a good book n science n technology.
    Also , pls include strategy for political science optional sir…

  • ramu

    Sir,Thanks a lot for your kind efforts its really helping a lot

  • Kirti

    Sir, I have completed by B.Tech. and now I am aiming for 2014 civil services examination. I have completed my optional preparation(Geography), and now I am plannning to start with general studies.
    Is there a need to refer to this book:

    Your site has really helped a lot to zero in on important books required for the exam. I really appreciate your hard work in replying to queries posed by aspirants.

  • shreekanth

    Hi sir, i want to know from from which class of be studied ncert books

  • Hari Kumar

    I have read From Plassey to Partition and it’s really well written.
    Now is it necessary to read Bipan Chandra ?

    • If you are satisfied with that book then it’s not necessary. Wait till this Mains. If questions are sourced from Bipan Chandra, you can buy it. If not, stick to one book which you like very much.

  • sir ,i am in state of confusion that what should i read for gs mains current affairs.Are the current events questions asked in gs mains related to syllabus or upsc ask any questions related to india’s and international interest?sir ,please guide me how should i prepare for gs mains current affairs (dynamic portion).

    • These days they are related to the syllabus. Read them by relating to the topics given in syllabus.

  • rajesh

    Help me for history optional

  • Tikeswar Sa

    My approach is to study directly along the main syllabus and I have completed certain portion.
    But I want to know sir to crack csat gs 1 where to practice mcqs.

  • Gaurav

    Sir I have doubt regarding reading material for ethics. People are recommending a book “Ethics by William Frankena”. If possible kindly shower some ‘insight’ on this book or any other suitable materials.
    Thanks 🙂

  • Gaurav

    Sir i am waiting impatiently for your reply to above asked question. Kindly respond as soon as possible.

    • Gaurav,

      Tonight I was gonna reply all pending comments. 🙂

      Anyway, coming to your question, I have not read the book you mentioned. So can’t comment.

      For now, you can by a book by Ramesh Arora – Ethics in Governance

      Above book covers half of the syllabus and is a very good book. No doubt about it.

      or you can additionally buy Frankena book as its cost is just Rs 115 on flipkart.

      If you are appearing for 2014, you can wait till December second week, observe Ethics question paper and then decide to buy a book. We will be giving another detailed strategy based on the Official Question Paper.

      Thanks for all the patience 🙂

  • Sir,
    Do you think thast Glimpses of world history by Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru would serve as good book for topics given in syllabus. I went through the book for a day or two and found out that the topics have been inter related very well and also explained in a very lucid manner. Needed your opinion.

    Also Would book by Granville Austin on Indian Constitution would serve as a good reference book other than DD basu or Subash Kashyap is a better option.

    • both books you mentioned are good. they might not be having all the details and topics but present nice perspective. very helpful in writing mains.

  • Amir

    Does the content of INDIA year book changes significantly each year. As I am planning to take UPSC exam in 2015, so Should I wait for the new edition or go with the existing one?
    And when does the new one come in Market?
    Thanks in Advance.

    • sachin mayekar

      1. Almost 98% of the data of ‘IYB’ remains the same.
      2. The things that change in a yearbook edition-wise,
      A. Diary of events
      B. Names of ministers/ President (if new appointed)
      C. New ministry & department list (if created)
      D. New schemes of Government (if launched)
      E. New missiles etc. (if launched)
      3. U r appearing in 2015, so u can buy ‘IYB’ 2014 for preparing well
      4. ‘IYB’ is released in december or jan.
      5. Welcome (in advance)

  • ashish001

    sir i choose political science as my optional in mains and want to appear in 2014 exam.
    sir will you please guide how to prepare effectively from basic .is ignou
    books can help me .i have MA political science books.

  • ganesh

    Pls provide me economics optional papers sir..

  • richa

    sir how is unique quintessence reference buk of history by j.k. chopra

  • Ankita

    World history syllabus as mentioned in the mains syllabus, covers everything from 18th century onwards, but the books that you mentioned provide information only from 20th century(almost) onwards..
    So, is that book enough along with the NCERT’s and the material you have provided, or do we have to go through something else as well?

    • in mains 2013, many questions came from world history. do not neglect this portion, read thoroughly, starting from industrial revolution. i recommend starting from wikipedia, then you can move to some good ebook.

  • reshma ashok ingale

    i want detailed syllabus for ias mains.i stay in solapur(maharashtra)
    here no coaching classes are there for upsc & i am working as accountant.i wanted to become an ias it has a dream of me since childhood.i had done i complete preparation of upsc mains
    while doing job,sir i can devote 4 to 5 hours a day for studies is this sufficient for preparation of ias.sir

    • 4 hours daily is enough for targeting mains 2014 if your basics are good. otherwise target 2015. coaching is irrelevant in current era. search internet for preparation strategies, i recommend mrunal

  • reshma ashok ingale

    sir please guide me

  • reshma ashok ingale

    from where to start preparation for mains

  • Rahul Dubey

    I have just started preparing for Civil services. I am student , Although I am form English Background I find it very difficult to understand different Political, Economic, Geographical, and constitutional terms which I encounter while reading. I just want to clarify whether it happens to all who start preparing or I am lagging Behind and how should I cope up with this.

    • i am not discouraging you but you need to be aware of the fact that your English is not good.
      If you accept this fact, improvement is not difficult. Start reading newspapers, preferably online, so that you can search any difficult word’s meaning instantly.
      start maintaining notes. while doing so, try this method – when you encounter a difficult word, use it in summary/notes but with meaning in brackets

  • saif

    dear sir u did nt mention any book for world geo… kindly plz mention…
    urs obidiently…

    • for world geo, ncert is sufficient, even for mains. if you still want more buy majid hussain’s book.

  • prashanth tillu

    good evening sir,
    im pursuing my btech 2nd year , and my goal is to be an I.P.S officer. i have started my preparations for prelims exam….i came to know that ncert books and magazines such as yojana and kurukshetra helps a lot for civil aspirants..
    im requesting you sir to give me some guidance about reffernce books and about my preparation….
    thank you sir…

    • yojana, kurukshetra are indeed good. available for free online. download last 1-2 years and start reading cover to cover.

  • prashanth tillu

    at present im referring arihant book for general studies paper 1

    • arihant is fine but give more importance to newspapers, traditional books, ncerts, etc.

  • nikita k

    can anybody tell me which sections to read from datt and sundharam for gs3?? im in a fix, help would be much appreciated

    • pk

      answer depends on whether your optional is economics or not. if not, i don’t recommend dutt and sundhram. it is very detailed and bulky, if you go by topics, almost all are important in some way. look at the 2013 mains paper, you wont be able to answer one question using the book. for economy part use internet and newspapers. if basics bad use some ebook.

  • Pearls


    Can you pls list out the names of NCERT books for civil services.As iam really confused about what to read and what not to read from these NCERT books pls help me sir.

    Thank You

    • pk

      for history refer std 8th to 12th, old syllabus, according to syllabus you need to read selectively, for geo refer std 11, 12 books. almost entire content is very relevant. also, note that even each std book may be in 2-3 parts depending on source. i prefer ebooks. you can visit mrunal for links.

  • sandeep

    2014 attempt will be last attempt for me
    I left my job in june 2013
    started preparing but still struggling with Ncert….I have started feeling guilty
    now only 8 months in hand as pre is on 24th august
    is i t possible to crack the exam?
    plz suggest me
    hw to approach…I am really started feeling low
    as i left my job had a 5 years of exp…family responsibilty is alos der
    but i am managing wid parents supports
    don’t know wat to do…hw to do…in mumbai there is no onw to talk on upsc…
    plz guide me…i will be thank ful to u

  • Nice post. I used to be checking continuously this weblog and I’m impressed!
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  • sanjay

    sir plz reccommend books for ancient history and medieval history because in your reference list u’ve stressed mostly on modern history…

  • Ambika

    do i need to buy NCERT books of class-6 to class-12.I have the e-book versions of it.but it is really very very difficult to read from a laptop and take down also give a pain to my eye.I am asking u please give me a suggession what to do?

  • Sanjay

    Sir I m just starts Upsc preparation can u tell me plz from we’re started

  • Sandeep S R

    Your suggestions are really helpful for upcoming candidates ….thanks sir..

  • krishna

    Please suggest me books for Ancient History. I am confused with lot of books, For example, Romilla Thapar has alone 4 or 5 books and other authors.
    Sir, Please throw a light on Ancient History preparation books.

  • leena priya

    i have completed my BCA from smu. It is a correspondent course. Am i elligibile for UPSC exam?
    sir please guide me. i would be thank full to you.

  • Ashish

    Please provide the list of reference books of Agriculture.

  • Harsh vardhan Pandey

    Sir presently I am in class 12 . I am from Bhilai Chattisgarh . And I want to be an IPS officer.Sir I kindly request you to guide me for my initial preparation and suggest the path from now and after 12 th. Please suggest me some books ; or any examination ; any coaching for the same in Delhi or elsewhere . How to prepare from now and everything

  • Thanks for the good writeup. It actually was a amusement account it.
    Glance complex to more brought agreeable from you! By the way, how can
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  • hello sir,
    i have completed my B.E computer science engg.i would like to appear for UPSC on 2015.i dont have clear view on selecting my optional and preparation.can you kindly help me through your guidance.

  • niks

    For 2015 attempt is there need to practise secure mains 2014 …..also tell me from which month current affairs notes require for 2015 attempt…..plz reply ……

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  • sonal

    sir i am sonal sagar i want to know which type of books should be preferred to prepare gs papers 1,2,3,4

  • abhimanyu

    and plz start geography answer writing also..

  • shikham .m

    Dear sir,
    I am a law student, completing B.A.LL.B in 2015. And also targeting CSAT 2015, can you plz tell me is that sufficient time for me now? I choose LAW as optional as my degree in law, is there any negatuve things, in choose such subject in mains ?
    Waiting for rly
    Thank you

  • I do trust all the concepts you have offered to your post.
    They are really convincing and can definitely work. Nonetheless, the posts are very quick for newbies.
    May just you please prolong them a bit from next time?
    Thanks for the post.

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  • sandeep singh

    sir i m a student and for ias exams i want to choose physics as my main subject so regaurding the level of knowledge required for ias sir plj suggest me best books whom i can refer to.

  • Shardul Kadam

    Respected Sir,
    I have NCERT of 11& 12(new and old) also other NCERT of 6-10(new) for history subject. Sir tell me which topics to be covered from these books for Mains preparation. Along with these I hv Bipin Chandra India struggle for freedom. Do I need to go for spectrum for modern to prepare for Mains and which topic to be read. Please reply..

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  • pragyan mohanty

    sir m prgyan fromOdisha ,ctc, now i have completed of my M.A & today i have plan for appear of i.a.s exam, so plz sir, give me your guidance plz sir …….i don’t knw what i do or n’t ……….. i would be thankful to you ……………

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  • prachi

    hello sir.. am a dentist… just started fr mains..preparation…lots f confusion about were to start vith…pls sir can u guide me…started vth gs-1…

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  • sandesh jangam

    Sir my wife preparing for upsc our cast is under obc category in central list.i want to know about creamylare certificate application procedure!whose income will consider my income or her father income

  • gabriel

    Sir, Does one year of current events mean starting from August 2014 for 2015 mains and prelims.

  • Pankaj Jha

    please guide me regarding paper 4 , being a beginner in this paper . i m not able to understand the syllabus and proper way to go ahead. Please give direction in this regard.

  • Guest

    sir, please reference us zoology books for optional

  • kapil sharma

    sir, please refer us zoology books for optional

  • Arbind Bond

    For Civil Service Mains I have Chosen Geography and History as a Compulsory Subject but I want to know which Book should I read for these Subjects NCERT Books or what else, If NCERT book then from upto which Class Please Mention the Full Information about this as soon as Possible Thanks in Advance …..

  • Elavarasan

    Sir both my parents got promoted after 40 to class 1 and their income exceeds 6 lac do I belong to creamy layer? Kindly clarify sir

  • anusha

    Can you suggest me the must read list of books for history optional?

  • vishal

    sir i have hindi medium plz tell me book for ethics.

  • Aditya

    Sir I have huge regards for you , what you are doing is so inspiring and rare that I dont have words to describe my feelings but what I fail to understand is the fact that why are you prescribing such books which are not at all reqd for the preparations?
    Muchkund dubey, india after Gandhi, AL Bashm ,rajiv sikri !
    I am sure that anyone who reads all this will most probably end up having a khichdi of knowledge with no concrete points to put on paper. Plus many freshers will get demotivated by looking at this fat book list.
    With due respect and submission I would request you to reconsider the book list.
    Warmest Regards,

  • Meghi Sairam

    Hi Everyone, I’m trying to do a sample survey for csp cut off marks (coz whichever website i went for checking key, i was seeing lot of speculations about cut-off). Why not we ourselves do a sample survey and zero-in on the cut-off (approx.) ? So whoever is interested in this crazy exercise, try to enter your marks in the spreadsheet provided in the below link (doesn’t take more than 10 seconds)..

    Please share this link with other candidates so that we will have enough data for our cut-off sampling..

    Good Luck Champs 🙂

  • aadu-jaat

    Hello sir can i get books for Law optional or a link.

  • Hemanth

    Hi insights,
    Please tell me the reference book for Geography optionals.


  • Hemanth

    Hi sir,
    All this reference book edition are updated..?? Which edition we should prefer.. Please update…

  • vishwesh

    Hello, I jst want d list on detailed topic n point wise reference book list or weblinks e.g. World history – Norman Lowe , art n culture – CCRT etc

  • Akshaya

    Hello Sir,
    Please let me know any of the Previous question papers book (GS MAINS) which has questions classified topic wise.

  • Rishi Khemani

    Hey, please help me in screening out units for studying in the book ‘INDIA SINCE INDEPENDENCE’. The book is a voluminous one and I feel many of the units aren’t important keeping in view the CSE syllabus.

  • Ajay Kumar

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