How To Prepare UPSC Civil Services Mains Paper IV (GS-3)

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How to prepare GS – 1 (i.e, Paper-II)

How to prepare GS – 2 (i.e, Paper-III)

How to prepare GS – 4 (i.e Paper – V)

UPSC has brought changes to the Civil Services Mains examination in both the pattern and the syllabus. We know that now there are 4 General Studies Papers apart from one Essay and Optional paper each.

This article discusses preparation strategy for General Studies – 3 (i.e Paper-II, Paper-I is Essay)

Before you start reading further, please remember the following important mantra given by the  Almighty UPSC:

The questions are likely to test the candidate’s basic understanding of all relevant issues, and ability to analyze, and take a view on conflicting socio‐ economic goals, objectives and demands. The candidates must give relevant, meaningful and succinct answers.” 

This sentence is the guiding light for your preparation. You don’t have to master the topics, all you need is BASIC UNDERSTANDING and the ability to analyze. Basic understanding comes from reading and re-reading. Ability to analyze what you have understood from reading comes from WRITING PRACTICE.

upsc gs 3 strategy, upsc mains paper 4 strategy, strategy for IAS main examination, UPSC


GS-3 broadly covers – 

  • Technology,
  • Economic Development,
  • Bio diversity,
  • Environment,
  • Security and 
  • Disaster Management.

(You can observe that it resembles GS-2 of old patters sans statistics and international relations) Two important things fundamental to your exam preparation:

  • Get familiar with all the topics and sub-topics by writing them many times – they should be  strongly etched in your memory.
  • Keep a copy of the syllabus always near you no matter where you are.

Now, how to deal with GS-3? Assuming you are now familiar with the syllabus of GS-3, we will discuss a topic by topic what to read, from where to read and what not to read for these topics. TOPIC-1

 Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

This is a very broad area and includes both static and dynamic part. Before going for big books, it is compulsory to read following NCERT textbooks (download full textbooks -PDF without watermark)

  1. NCERT Class X – Understaning Economic Development 
  2. NCERT Class XI – Indian Economic Development
  3. NCERT Class XII – Macroeconomics (chapters 2,5 and 6 are very important)
  4. ET in The Classroom (This is important in getting acquainted with basics of dynamic part of Economics – It is an excellent source. I have archived previous articles Here.)

Three books above will make your concepts very clear.  After understanding your concepts, you have to read the above topics by relating them to the current events. For this reading one Business newspaper helps a lot. Business standard is the best (if you are comfortable with ET or FE, it is fine. But do try BS once)

More questions from Economics can be expected in this paper henceforth. To be ready for any questions that UPSC might ask, it is good to read a standard book on these topics.

There are many books on Indian economy – all bulky. Fortunately, TMH has released a book on Indian economy for Prelims and Mains, and it is very good (by Ramesh Singh)

I think reading this book is a must. Don’t go for Uma Kapila, Dutt and Sundaram and Mishra-Puri unless you have plenty of time for these. For now sticking to one good book is advised.


Inclusive growth and issues arising from it

We had 11th Five year plan which exhorted the ‘Inclusive Growth’ mantra and then 12th Fiver year document, going a step further aiming for a ‘Faster, More Inclusive and Sustainable Growth’.

These two documents are good to understand issues related to inclusive growth, approach of the government and achievements in the 11th plan period. However, to get conceptual clarity, reading one or two articles from the following document would help you immensely.

For a thorough review of Inclusive Growth strategy in India read this article:


 Government Budgeting

It is nothing but knowing about what is a budget and how it is passed in the parliament and then how it is implemented.

These documents should help you understand these:


 Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems; storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers

Understanding concepts is important here too. NCERT comes to the aid here;

For cropping pattern read this, only this document:

For irrigation methods, irrigation systems and Irrigation in India,

For agriculture marketing, storage and reforms in these areas, one should resort to ‘State of India Agriculture report’ and Economic Survey.

E-technology for the aid of Farmers


Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing

This is the most important topic in this paper – all sub-topics are dynamic in nature and 1-2 questions will be directly asked from these. This topic encompasses the broad area of Food Security, which is a hot topic these days.

Apart of getting conceptual clarity on these topics, aspirants also have to develop critical perspective on these sub-topics. I will provide links to important articles that have come in The Hindu, Business Standard and Business Line.

First, Minimum Support Price and Farm Subsidies:

News Articles (to develop opinion)

Regarding Public Distribution System, it is a vast area, so careful study of less materials is needed.

News Articles;

For basics of Food Security – NCERT source – Class IX Economics

Now, technology missions! Government of India is fond of launching these technology missions for various crops to boost their production, area coverage and make their production profitable.  This is a boring topic and I don’t think UPSC will ask any question on this (it is completely factual)

I will provide links to few such Technology Missions;

(You need to know only what these missions were meant for and what’s their progress so far)

Economics of Animal Breeding! – This has come from nowhere. Study it here

You can have a look at this report of Planning Commission (only 3 pages)


 Food processing and related industries in India- scope and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.

Food processing is a sunrise industry and lately there has been a lot of thrust from the government on this industry.



 Land reforms in India

This is a hot favourite topic for UPSC and luckily you get plenty of material to read on this topic. That is the problem. In this exam, sticking to one source is the secret of success (of course, not for all topics)

For this topic read from following two sources (IGNOU):


Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth

You can read these topics from the above mentioned book by Ramesh Singh. It is explained very well.


Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc

Just two sources; one, India 2013 and Economic Survey

TOPIC – 10

Investment models

This is a puzzling topic. Because it is given along with Infrastructure related topics, I assume it to be related to investment models applied to the same field. If not, one can enumerate so many investment models just for financial sector alone!

For example, within PPP model, there are various modalities are involved (see below)

Table 1: Schemes and Modalities of PPP


Build-own-operate (BOO)
Build-develop-operate (BDO)
Design-construct-manage-finance (DCMF)

The private sector designs, builds, owns, develops, operates and manages an asset with no obligation to transfer ownership to the government. These are variants of design-build-finance-operate (DBFO) schemes.

Buy-build-operate (BBO)
Lease-develop-operate (LDO)
Wrap-around addition (WAA)

The private sector buys or leases an existing asset from the Government, renovates, modernises, and/ or expands it, and then operates the asset, again with no obligation to transfer ownership back to the Government.

Build-operate-transfer (BOT)
Build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) Build-rent-own-transfer (BROT)
Build-lease-operate-transfer (BLOT) Build-transfer-operate (BTO)

The private sector designs and builds an asset, operates it, and then transfers it to the Government when the operating contract ends, or at some other pre-specified time. The private partner may subsequently rent or lease the asset from the Government.

Source: Public Private Partnership, Fiscal Affairs Department of the IMF.

These two sources might help:



 Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life

. Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

. Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights

There are many sources for these topics:

First, for non – science grads, a reading of NCERT Class VI to X Science Texts is advised. This will clear many concepts for you and will enable you to understand other topics in the syllabus.

Second, earlier, toppers used to recommend a book by Spectrum publications,

The problem with this book is its vastness – they have simply dumped every topic in detail like paranoid. For students with science background this book is advised, they have released 2013 edition – you have to study it selectively. Very selectively. This book has all the topics that are included in the syllabus and that are not included also.

If one goes through previous question papers, one can observe that UPSC has always asked questions on S&T from within the syllabus. For example, there will be a question on biotechnology, space, robotics, nanotechnology and computers – they might be from latest developments in the respective fields, but all are from the syllabus.

Third source is The Hindu and Frontline. Every Thursday, The Hindu carries a separate page on S&T –  if one is regular with this page and have the collection of cuttings, this will help in 5 mark and 2 mark questions asked from current event section.

Fourth source is Wikipedia and New Scientist sites. From this site, read articles on Nanotechnology, Robotics, IPR etc.

Under IPR, you may have to read about Novartis case, so The Hindu article is here. Also TRIPS is important.

For India’s achievements in the field of S&T, you must read India 2013 Year Book (chapters on Defence and Scientific and technological developments)


Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment


This particular topic encompasses topics such as biodiversity and climate change, forest and wildlife conservation, river conservation, pollution in cities, waste management, pollution from human activities, marine pollution etc – so it is a vast area.

This has to be read with respect to India and the world.

First choice should be The Hindu Environmental Survey 2012 (they may release 2013 survey now).

Sources from the ministry of environment(look at the left side for related links  when you land on the page):

Annual Report of the Environment Ministry 2012-13 (for chapters on conservation, EIA and forests etc) – Click Here.

Complete info on Conservation. click here.

Complete details on – Environmental Impact Assessment, FAQ’s on EIA

Current events on EIA – The Hindu article

TOPIC – 13

Disaster and disaster management

This is again a current event and a dynamic portion.

Download special edition of Yojana on Disaster Management.

A report on Disaster Management. (read selectively). You will find everything in it you ever wanted to know about the topic!



. Linkages between development and spread of extremism.

. Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.

. Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention

. Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism

Internal Security – Internal Security Challenges

Cyber SecurityNational Cyber Security Policy 2013 – assessment

Money Laundering – 

For a starter, here is a book just released by Oxford University Press, exclusively on these topics. Titled ‘India’s National Security – A Reader‘ and written by eminent scholars in this field, it covers external and internal security threats by state and non-state actors, as well as nuclear issues too. Read the review here.

You can buy it from Flipkart . (Buy it only after reading the above review)

(This section will be updated with latest news articles – soon)


Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate

This topic is completely factual. You can read it on Wikipedia.


Until now we saw what books to read. Now the question is how to remember most of the things we read and how to translate them into better answers.

  • A common mistake most of the aspirants commit is reading so many books for a single topic.This mistake costs both your time and ability to remember things clearly and concisely.
  • Stick to a single source and read it again and again. Remember The Same Source. Avoid the temptation of doing ‘Research’ on a topic.
  • Always Remember – UPSC tests Basic Understanding. Not mastery over a topic.
  • Make short notes on each topic. It is while making notes that readers tend to do RESEARCH and scout various sources. Stick to one book even if you are not 100% satisfied with it.
  • Remember that old saying? – Jack of all trades, master of NONE. If you try to do Research, most probably your name won’t appear in the Final List. I guarantee it.
  • For Paper-II (i.e GS-1) being thorough with Current Events plays a crucial role in enabling you to acquire analytical skills.

Very Important Part In The Preparation

  • Writing. Writing. Writing.
  • But what? – One must practice answer writing to Previous year questions, or take a Mock Test. Whatever, before you enter examination hall, you must have spent lot of time on answer writing.

Most Important Part In The Preparation

  • Revision. Revision. Re-Revision.
  • You do this and you appear for the Personality Test.
  • If you don’t Revise what you read all these months – you slightly miss the Personality Test, or You narrowly miss appearing in the Final List.

Well, to sum up. To get the interview call all you need to do is: Read, Re-read the same source, Write and Revise.

Preparation for this  paper can be finished in 20 days provided you are focused and determined.

Of course. Eat well, Sleep well and Keep a good health. If you get a running nose on the day of the exam, 2 hours out of 3 hours goes in draining it and drying it.

(This article is not final yet. It will be updated soon with further inputs and resources. Suggestions are welcome.)

  • phani

    superb article sir..very very helpful.the book u recommended on internal security is a must and is a real awesome read.

    • Thanks!!

      • ias 2014

        Thanks a lot Sir…
        Sir what about Ethics portion?

  • Sudha

    Nice article. Good coverage

  • sudhir kumar bommana

    sofar,i havnt seen such elaborate strategy on net.really worthy thing i want to ask if i folow dis strategy dis enough to score gud marks in dis paper?..thanks a lot..

    • Sudhir,

      No, this is just a guide to lead you in the right direction in your preparation. Scoring good marks depends on how much hard work you put, how systematically you plan and execute, and how well you practise and improve on it. The links and resources I have provided are from Primary sources such as Planning commission, Finance ministry, RBI, environment ministry, UN, PIB, IGNOU etc. They are authentic. It depends on you – how well you cull information from them.

  • abhishek

    I would like to express something in points.
    1) How can I help this website? As it helps us to such a great extent.
    2) What I have concluded after reading comprehensively about CSE preparation that
    a) get an unassailable command over the static portion of the GS(P+M), by reading all the popular books suggested.
    b) try to master the dynamic aspects of the CSE exam by reading the dynamic sources (Newspaper/Magazines/Websites).
    c) Whatever you read try to make point wise notes out of it. When ever you complete a topic of the syllabus, try to frame as many number of questions of the UPSC level, as you can.
    d) Writing practice is paramount.
    thanks insights

    • Abhishek,

      You summed it up very well. Three points you mentioned, if followed very well, will help you score good marks in both prelims and mains.

      You can help this site by letting know your friends about this site, sharing it on forum and especially informing people who can’t afford coaching in Delhi. 🙂

  • Kirthi

    Thanks a lot Insights.
    Can’t be more grateful.
    Let us know if we can help you in any way , probably only way we can thank back.

    • Thanks Kirthi 🙂 You can share link to this site with friends or on other forum. If this article helps you that itself is a reward.

      • gaby solis

        Would you also tell which chapters are to be read from the various books that you had mentioned.

        • od


      • dv

        I second abhishek and kirthi..Let us know if we can help you in any way. we are really grateful to you..have already started to spread your website name.

  • Jagdeep Singh

    I havent yet started answer writing challenge since my target is to complete the syllabus by this month. So,can i start writing and posting from day 1 of this challenge??

    • Yes you can answer all the questions from day one. Also, don’t wait till you finish all syllabus – keep writing along with studies too. Writing everyday helps.

  • manish

    Undoubtedly, you are superb and your road for IAS aspirants are extremely excellent. I am following you fron the day 2013 pre over and still following as it is very genuine. I couldn’t qualify this year but hopefully with this proper strategy i would next year. Sir do you advise me to cover whole chapter of ramchandra guha or first cover the syllabus of UPSC and if time permits go for remaining chapter?

    • Thanks a lot Manish.

      First cover Syllabus part and then read whole book. You will get clear idea after December about the nature of questions that will be asked. You have lot of time, till then focus on syllabus.

  • Akesh

    Thank you sir for this detailed strategy for GS-3.Waiting for article on integrated PRELIMS+MAINS preparation…

    • Thanks. Yes I will post it once I finish mains related articles. Till then you can focus on finishing mains part.

  • premkumar

    The motivation ur giving is awesome pls carry this motivation , stragey of gs paper 4 help for aspirants like me thank u sir

  • sudhir kumar bommana soon as posible plz upload an integrated strategy for gs prelms cum mains..thanks for da excelent guidance..regards!

    • I will. Soon after finishing some 3-4 mains related articles.

  • ekta yadav

    Thank you indeed Sir, I was eagerly looking for gs3 sources. Very helpful for aspirants like me who can’t afford coaching in Delhi having sky high fees. are these sources ( except standard books and ncerts) equally applicable for mains 2014? for eg. india 2013 year book , and some reports, etc. sir I have purchased india 2013, I’m preparing for upsc 2014. Should I read this or wait for india 2014 year book??

    • ekta yadav

      Can anyone suggest if the famous Sriram notes for economics are good enough, or these topics are covered by Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh also?

      • Vicky

        Ramesh Singh is good enough for basic understanding of economics. You have to relate them to current economy happenings and prepare accordingly.

    • Ya they are applicable for 2014 too. There won’t be drastic changes in India 2014 in the chapters I have mentioned above.

      After Mains exam, I will update these articles depending on the nature of questions asked. All the best for your preparation 🙂

  • Asha Goud

    Sir how can i thank you.
    I was completely lost looking the syllabus. It appeared as lots of topics to me. After reading this article i could create a map of these topics in my mind and put them under specific headings.
    And the effort made by you in collecting and sharing all the relevant material is truly commendable. Lots of respect.
    Thank you.

    • Thanks a lot Asha 🙂 I am glad this article helped you.

  • sneha verma

    sir tell me how i get previous years question papers of essay, general studies and commerce and accountancy…

  • R. Sathish Kannan

    God gives you to us (IAS Aspirants).

    • Thanks 🙂

      • ajay

        sir you are real GOD for us………….

  • haren

    though lately came to know about this site, it is becoming very helpful for my daily preparation. thanks insight. keep doing this good work

  • sneha verma

    thank u sir.

  • Deepthi Dandu

    Thank you sir……..


    i have graduated in electrical engineering and opted public adminstration as my optional subject for mains….after clearing civil services exam can i get the job in indian railways as a engineer(technical) as i have not opted electical engg subject for optional paper

    • You will get either Indian Railway Traffic Service or Indian Railway Personnel Service in Indian Railways if you clear this exam. Your optional subject or educational background has nothing to do with this. You won’t get engineering job through UPSC Civil Services exam.

  • Anjali

    Its very very great efforts you are putting to help us, thanks a lot Insights.

  • Kirthi

    Can we substitute spectrum with sci reporter?
    Spectrum looks very frightening :-/ and any good online or off line source for current developments? I havent read much on S&T before prelims.

    • Kirthi,

      Yes you can go for science reporter. Spectrum is bulky (No wonder it scared you). You don’t have to read everything in it. Why I recommended it is because it contains everything in one place. But most of it is not needed. Focus should be on topics in the syllabus (finish them first, make small notes).

      To be honest, it is difficult to study for dynamic part – but still you can focus on events that are related in some ways to the topics in the syllabus.

  • Kirthi

    That is very true, everything at a place. Will try and make notes. Thanks a lot for the help. 🙂

  • Maaduri

    Its really helpful that you have put a strategy for such a vast syllabus

  • akku

    Nice post sir.
    sir i gave prelims this year but couldn’t make it.I am now preparing for 2014.I am focusing currently on static part .But i seriously find lot of problem regarding current affairs.I read the hindu thoroughly but i find it very difficult to remember it .
    Secondly I have read B.V.Rao for world history .Is it suffice?

    Thirdly what do i need to do for essay paper?

    For economics paper I started reading uma kapila after completing NCERT do i still need to go for ramesh singh or there are still some topics that are given in ramesh singh and are not covered in uma kapila?

    For culture after NCERT will this much will suffice?
    I dint find any mention of India year book except in science section .Is it not necessary to read all the topics of year book?

    for foreign policy V.P.dutt of nbt publication is good or not?

    and lastly for history refering V.K.agnihotry is fine or do i need to go with your sources.

    Thanks in advance..:)

    • Thanks Akku,

      You have to keep paper cuttings/ or small notes from The Hindu to revise again and again.

      I don’t know about B V Rao. I suggest any one good book is enough. One should not worry too much about world history. Understanding the events is important.

      For essay, you have to practice writing them. At lest 2-3 in a month. You don’t need special preparation. But you need to learn to fit many thoughts into a good structure.

      For Indian Economy, you have to study Ramesh Singh. May be you can buy a new edition next year.

      Indian art and culture above sources are enough. Important – solve all previous questions related to this section.

      India year book should be studied selectively. No need to study it entirely.

      V.P Dutt is not good. It is not updated. It’s old school.

      • akku

        thanks sir for the rep,
        what about V.K.Agnihotry for history ?

        For essay do i need to write 1200-1400 word essay every time or it could be some short essay to make myself habitual and where i can find the current topics for the essays i mean which topic should i chose to write an essay.
        for International relation my friends suggested globalization of world politics i haven’t purchased it yet can you tell me is it worth reading?

        can you suggest what all chapters should I refer from year book.
        and lastly what about the 12th five year plan document should i read the whole document i.e. volume 1,2 and 3?
        thank you..:)

        • For History – Bipan Chandra and NCERT are enough. You can also go for Spectrum (mainly from Prelims point of view)

          Practice a minimum 1000 word essay. You have to frame topics. Essay won’t come from current events (most of the time) Search previous Sociology or History Mains papers and you can write essay on regular questions too.

          Globalization of world politics is also a very good book. But, don’t go for too many books. Stick to one book. If you buy this, stick to it. Sikri is also good.

          About Year Book and 12th Plan I may have to write a small article. Please give me some time.

          • Akku

            Thank you be waiting for year book stuff .but u cleared most of my doubts :thank you.
            My optional is philosophy .i am fully dependent on patanjali’s this right? Or do i need to follow a text book also..

          • Akku

            Sir, i have seen globalisation of world politics on book stall.
            I want to ask whether book covers syallabus frm upsc point of view as i think upsc asks on indian relation with other countires .does this book cover this aspect or i need to go through more sources.?



  • Dhruvi

    Ramesh singh as a whole has to be read or selected topics. Can you please list them?

    • Dhruvi

      For mains….

      • All topics are important. Because of paucity of time, you can focus on the following chapters:
        Chapters- 2,5,7,9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 21 and 22 (From 4th edition)

        I personally think that this books if read in entirety will help immensely in understanding many important concepts.

  • naveen

    i found THE INDIAN ECONOMY by sanjiv varma, has a good book for civils economy he discussed every topic and he compiled very orderly so that if anyone without basic knowledge of economy reads i surely guarantee you that he can get full INSIGHT of economy. if you dont know that book please go thorough that book and suggest that book because ramesh singh is so vast and it is not required for civils,, because we doesnt need to do PhD in any subject but we need to understand…

    • naveen

      sir what you say about my above comment..replay…

      • I saw review on this book. It is a good book but mostly for beginners. Thing is, UPSC asks different kinds of questions from the Economy part. One should be ready for its unpredictable behaviour.

        You are right that aspirants don’t need PhD, but I don’t think you need to study Ramesh SIngh book completely. Anyways, I will suggest Sanjiv Verma book for beginners. Thanks for bringing this into notice.

        • naveen

          what i found is, one should read sajiv varmas economy and then start reading any one of news paper whether it is hindu or indian economy, i think this is suffice for civils mains anyhow economic questions always related to current situations.

          • Naveen,

            I will suggest the same for new aspirants. Also, let’s see how questions will come in this year’s main exam.

  • sudheer nandigam

    Thanq very much sir….

  • jyoti prakash

    A very thanks to you sir for posting such a nice articles on gs.
    sir , i am preparing for 2014 ias exam . but i am very confused on making notes from newspaper. is it necessary ? if it please suggest me how to read and make notes from the hindu.

    • Jyoti Prakash,

      Thanks 🙂

      About making notes: It depends on your speed and mode of preparation. Many have got top ranks without ever making notes too.

      If you are not comfortable making notes from newspapers, better cut important articles, underline important points and keep them in separate files named after topics from the syllabus.

  • Chesstanho

    Hello sir,
    This blog has to be one of the most perfect guide. Thank you.
    However the topic on cropping patterns..

    Monoculture, double cropping, mixed cropping, intensive cropping etc…are these the cropping patterns


    Rice wheat rice mustard Rice groundnut are these referred to as patterns..because everywhere these have been mentioned as cropping systems..

  • Ciril Abraham

    you are the best!
    i have been following you since two months and i must say its contributing to my preparation. May Almighty God bless you.

    • Thanks Ciril. I am really glad to know that this blog was of some help to you.

  • Mohacina saji

    Dear Sir

    This is really good and it is indeed a guiding star in the way of our preparation..T
    hank u so much …

    • Mohacina,

      Thanks a lot 🙂 I am glad you found it useful.

  • Shantan

    I have started my preparation late for Mains with only 3 months now left for preparation. Can I cover the GS part from the sources you suggested? Or do I need to go for more selective reading?

    • You may not be able to cover 100%, but you can study selectively to cover important portions of the syllabus. Do practice answer writing on important topics.

  • Anny Middha

    Thanks a lot Insights. This is very helpful..
    Hve you posted strategy for paaper 5 too?

    • Anny Middha

      Please reply
      I meant paper 5- GS 4
      And kindly inform me about material for topic 14 relatec to internal security and extremism.
      Thanks a lot:)

      • In 4-5 days, strategy for Paper-V will be put.

        I will give links to articles dealing with the internal security and extremism topics soon.

  • Akku

    Sir, i have seen globalisation of world politics on book stall.
    I want to ask whether book covers syallabus frm upsc point of view as i think upsc asks on indian relation with other countires .does this book cover this aspect or i need to go through more sources.?

    • That books is used by people opting for Political Science as optional. It is for specialized study that covers many things. I think you don’t need that much of information.

  • Chesstanho

    In the 12th five year plan there is a good section on land issues..relating to leasing of lands, tenancy reforms etc..I think it would be useful 🙂

  • Kaushal

    Sir, very well summed up article. I will definitely be following your dos and donts. Sir I got one doubt. Being a professional I cant afford covering two news papers. In that case which one you recommend, Hindu, Indian Express or ET or BS.. Please tell ur preference and suggestions. thanks.

    • The Hindu. If two papers is not possible, The Hindu is the only option.

  • Dhiwahar Ramalingam

    Sir..thank you..:) for the insightful review about the mains-syllabus.(GS-II,III,IV)

    kindly say is it possible to complete each paper in just 20 days to get the syllabus covered with analytical skill??? since we have very much topic to cover.+ newspaper( the hindu) cause i m taking atleast 3hrs to complete it.

    I have failed to clear prelims in 2012 (partial prep) & 2013 since i have did bad in 2nd paper this time due to poor time management.

    So can you kindly guide me as how to approach 2014 CIVIL SERVICE EXAM??

    Thank you. Awaiting your response.

    • It is possible to finish reading in 20 days. Analytic skill is something which you need to develop from the beginning and through writing practice and discussing with friends.

      Reading The Hindu in itself is part of developing analytic skills. But you should write something after reading.

      I will write an article on 2014 approach (prelims+mains).

      • Dhiwahar Ramalingam

        thank you sir…will start write articles:)

  • sachin mayekar

    Sir first of all you are doing a great job.The articles and various pdf’s mentioned by you shows your dedication for helping upsc aspirants.Sir if possible will you guide us with the newly added ethics,integrity,aptitude topics?

  • vikas

    from Cropping Pattern in India (give stress to understanding the concept in it, no need to read entire paper)
    there are General and specific cropping pattern related issues wrt cereals,leguminous and horticulture,
    Do we need to prepare general issues and also some Major Specific cropping patterns (Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country)?

    • Prepare general issues and pattern for major food and cash crops.

  • Raman

    Hi All,

    I am preparing for CSE-2014. Can anyone let me know how to study 12th five year plan documents. Do we need to study the entire documents and prepare notes out of it.

    Raman S V

  • Anshu

    Hello sir,
    I consider myself lucky enough to have found this website. I’m not a civil services aspirant though but the websites has inspired to be one. I would like to ask if I can prepare and write 2014 exam or I’m late? Secondly, if the sources you mentioned for various G.S exams would suffice?
    Thank you.

  • Anshu

    thank you for your valuable guidance sir. can you please suggest me the magazines to follow? also I’ve started my preparations with ncerts and I’m studying for 5-7 hours daily. I know it isn’t about numerics but is that sufficient to crack the exam? considering I’m giving my 100%?

    • I recommend only Frontline and EPW (very selectively). If possible Science Reporter also.

  • sachin mayekar

    sir when will you post the strategy for paper 5 gs 4

    • shailesh

      give him some time, he will post the strategy as soon as he gets authentic sources for that paper. For the time being u may refer to

      1) 11th & 12th psychology ncert
      2) ARC – Ethics in governance
      3) a manual of ethics – jadunath sinha.
      4) ethics in governance – R.K.Arora

      • sachin mayekar

        Thnx shailesh

        • shailesh

          its ok..

  • Anky

    I am beginner to this competitive arena and i want to ask a simple questions to you…
    1.What are changes in the GS syllabus mainly observed in the years and please elaborate about the areas which remain static throughout undergoing negligible changes as seen according to analysis of previous years question papers?
    2. In what concerns one must consider the future forthcoming changes in UPSC pattern in years to come in GS…I mean after 2013 onwards…
    3. Will the core or deep study in each subject sphere necessary or preparing for the latest pattern changes as exam point of view and adding few topics as the syllabus changes occur to the previous syllabus in course of preparation will suffice ?
    I will be very grateful if you answer my doubts elaborating the facts that would satiate me and fuel me toward my preparation for the final attempt..

  • Pratyay

    Are you sure god did not send you to guide UPSC Aspirants like us?…jokes apart…this is awsome…please keep up…

  • rahul

    Request you to help us in Supply Chain management.

  • brijesh

    Dear Sir Ji, It is an awesome effort. Thanks very much.


    A lot of Thanx whole INSIGHT team really you are doing a great job for IAS ASPIRANTS Like me

  • santosh

    Hi frnd;

    It is very precious informaion you provided for the aspirants like me.


  • rashmi

    Thanks a lot .


    Dear all IAS aspirants have an ambition in your mind


  • Sagar Hegde

    This is just too awesome, i have been going through many sites for last 2 years, but this is something unimaginable, most of the times sites just upload what comes in their way, but this just crispy and exactly to the point. I think if we follow this thoroughly nothing can stop someone from clearing UPSC, Whoever you are who have put so much efforts in getting this, point by point, line by line , topic by topic it is just great…All The Best…Keep Going, any help just a mail away…

  • Rajjo

    Hello SIr,

    I found an article detailing the reasons for growth of Naxalism in India. Kindly have a look.



    • Dutt and Sundaram is for Economics optional. But reading does no harm. I will let you know which chapters. Please type is small letters. 🙂

  • spoorthi

    Sir, the website is not opening . Am not able to access the links for the reference you gave . Please check if the links are working sir.

    • It is working fine here. Give me the link which is not working. Try to refresh your browser or clear cache.

  • mrutyunjay m. kacharde


  • Soumyadeep Das

    You are real Karma Yogi.

  • bhargava

    Sir, do we need to read the 12th plan document for economy portion?, Please do reply sir, m confused

    • Read chapters on education, health and regional disparities.

  • azhar

    thanks 🙂
    and one more thing currently i m going through ramesh singh
    so what should be the approach to study it?
    2) i have to read full book or selected chapters?
    3) for pre and mains i m doing ramesh singh + economic survry – is it sufficient?


      hi azhar
      you are on the right way very nice u do deep study again again of ramesh singh it is very nice book i am also studing it
      as you know more study more confusion dont touch more books on a sigle subject
      we want to become an ias officer not a profeesor


      • azhar



    sir in india economy specially planning we read only the process of basic of planning or study also about planning commission of india
    please also clear the concept of mobilization of resources

    • You have to study all five year plans, their record, next plan and its scope. Effect of planning on the Indian economy and society. Comparision of our planning with that of other countries’ etc.

      I think I have given reference for resource mobilization in Daily Answer Writing Challenge. Please check.

  • Amit Srivastava

    Many thanks sir.You’re doing an excellent job helping us all.I’m to write the main exam in December and i have no qualms in saying that your blog has helped me immensely. Thanks again.Please keep posting.

  • kumaraswamy

    Thank you sir..i got clarity about preparation with your valuable information..

  • azhar

    thanks 🙂
    and one more thing currently i m going through ramesh singh
    so what should be the approach to study it?
    2) i have to read full book or selected chapters?
    3) for pre and mains i m doing ramesh singh + economic survry – is it sufficient?
    sir plz rply

    • You have to read only few chapter. Not whole book. However if u r preparing for 2014, I suggest you to read it fully once.

      Apart from two books, you should read economics portion from current events.

      • azhar

        sir which are those few chapters ..
        plz rply soon..:)

  • Ashwin Nair

    Sir firstly Thanks alot for Ur great work . .the only thing making me sleepless is how its humanly possible to complete the strategy you mentioned for each gs papers in 20days . . . .sir please I want a reply I’m preparing very seriously for 2014 please guide me . .practically speaking. . . .eg ramesh singh (you mentioned we have to read it compulsory) there are 728 pages on an average 37pages we have to read daily is this possible? Never ever . . . . . Then how about whole gs3!!!!!!!!! Sir waiting for you valuable reply Thank you . .

    • Ashwin Nair

      hello insights team I am awaiting reply for my question

      • If you have less time and lot of pressure to complete something, it’s humanly possible to finish it in 20 days.

        As you are giving exam in 2014, you stil have 395 days for your next mains. You can afford to give 50 days for each paper. But try to finish it in 20-30 days. try it. If you can finish it in 20 days, I am sure you will still finish 60-70% of it. That’s something you should be proud of it.

        First try it then be apprehensive. If you are scared before trying it, you will go nowhere.

        No need to read Ramesh SIngh fully. Have I mentioned it above to read it fully? I guess not. But it is suggested to read it fully in case u have time with you. It won’t be a waste of time.

        • Ashwin Nair

          Sir Thanks alot for your valuable reply . . . . hats off to insights team Huge Research Great Work . . Thank you

        • Hi Insight sir,

          Because of your forum iam able to study mains syllabus since i failed to clear prelims this year your work on mains syllabus gave me a lot of idea what to study and your work on this forum is truely inspirational and motivates us to study who cannot afford to get a coaching class.

          Thank you very much sir.

          • Thanks Kiran. Never lose heart, over not clearing the prelims. Instead you make sure that, your Mains(2014) preparation is well on track for another 5-6 months from now. Yeah, our aim is to motivate the aspirants and give them a proper direction to clear this exam. We have provided you a forum and its upto you to make the best use of it. All the Best!!

  • Ashwin Nair

    Sir Thanks alot for your valuable reply . . . . hats off to insights team Huge Research Great Work . . Thank you

  • Sharan gouda

    Thanks alot for your wonderfull work and giving proper guidelines to civil service aspirants

  • manish

    Hi Sir,
    Till what date have you archived ET in the classroom ? This comes daily in the newspaper? Have completed till Archives 5…What about after archive 5 ?
    Kindly let me know about it thanks 🙂

    • Manish,

      It doesn’t come every day. It comes occasionally. I think up to April 2013 it’s covered. If you can search on Google, you might get the latest articles.

  • samarth

    thanks for this !
    is there any detailed explanation of books as above in case of history optional.

  • alok

    i am aspirant of civil services and completed by mba in 2013. i am little bit confuse in selecting the optional subject. as per the knowledge of revised pattern of upsc. we can take only one subject and sit in the exam with two paper of that subject. so my question is , is management subject scoring and how it will help me in gs syllabus.also suggest me the good book for that. thanks

  • Gurinder Singh

    @Insights, Sir Any reviews abt ‘Oxford companion to economics in India’?
    Will It help build a concrete conceptual layer just above the NCERTs?

  • lokesh

    sir good article. i have a couple of questions coming out of my mind. let me introduce my self im doing general under osmania university hyderabad . after joining b.con i felt it is very easy so i planned to do CA along with i have cleared my cpt in CA exam im appearing for ipcc this november . but actually i joined to write ias exam . later i thougt doing CA is waste of time so i decided to take cs exam after my so from now i have 1year 6 months to prepare. im very much confident to prepare for cs without coaching but not well guided that what to read . which books should i read what is process . im very poor at hindi but im avg at english . which books should i purchase. how many hours should i spend on preparation . even i can study upto 12 hours a day constantly. but i dont know how to start my journey , i want to crack ias in my very first attempt , for that how should i prepare my self. you said be in touch with current events , unfortunately i dont know nothing about cricket, or any other sports what to do if they ask about those sports in exam im having good no. of days to prepare well all i need is guidance . please provide me info about syllabus and books relating to reference. i decided to read from basic level i.e, from 6 th standard to 12 th standard . and i have doubt about optional subject upto 10 standard im from science stream , after 10 th i chose commerce stream am i bound to select commerce as optional or which will be better for me im more interested in geography and forests can i choose geography as my optional . please sir give me reply as soon as possible

  • Manu Raghav

    As i started late(started preparing two months before prelims) for this years mains and exam approaching next month, will it be sufficient that i follow the above mentioned links and articles for GS IV? I’m hardly done with the remaining GS papers.
    Manu Raghav

  • lokesh

    sir im new to this . im from hyderabad, doing my general 2 nd year . my aim is to become ias officer and do some thing tothe district where i born . my quiery is how i should start my preparation,what is syllabus , which books i need to refer im from commerce background so im weak at science and maths , at the same time in hindi also being a south indian im very poor in hindi as my mother tongue is telugu , what is process , what to do from right now , by looking all the posts and quierys im little bit confused, please give me basic fundamental details regarding civil services exam pattern , process , how many years it will take to complete this exam cycle , which books should i study, im very interested in general topics , i .e geography, knowing about new places, what is the basic quality an ias aspirant should have, i know its respect towards nation , but beyond that, how to start my preparation , which books should i read,how many hours constant study is sufficient to get fruitful results also as my friends said to go to coaching centre , but i dont like to do parroting like a parrot , i want to learn the basic aspects regarding my country, and im very anxieted to read again those school books, as my friends said you should read atleast 18 hours a day, you should study all the school books upto graduation le el again is it true , please sir give me all details .

  • Anil Reddy

    Today i have visited this site.This is the best site that i have seen.Here you have elaborated very neatly.Good job!.
    I want to appear for the civils exam 2014.I am working in a company.Can you please help me how to start and do to reach exam standards.

  • yogesh arora

    I am also preparing for RAS mains exam (RAJASTHAN PSC).
    but I am very confused about the preparation strategy for GS paper 3 of RAS exam. Pleas help me which books/material should I prepare for the
    bellow mentioned syllabus which RPSC has recently chaged.
    I can not afford coaching sir.. and coaching just for getting just a dam book list…

    India in Global Perspective-
     Current Global Developments impeaching upon Society and Economy of India.
     Emerging World Order in the Post Cold War Era, Role and Impact of UNO and different world Organisations.
     Comparative status of Developing, Emerging and Developed Countries,Problems of Developing Countries.
     Threat of War and Disastrous Weapons, Risks of Nuclear Power.
     Global Economic issues and trends-
     Issue of Economic Imbalances.
     Role of World Bank, IMF WTO & other Important International Organisations in world Economy
     Impacts of Globalisation, Privatisation, Liberalisation,
     International Affair and Diplomatic Strategy-
     International Affair and Indian Foreign Policy.
     International Treaties and Summits.
     Geo–Political and Strategic Developments in India’s Neighborhood and their Impact on India.
    Current Sensitive Issues
     Issues related to National Integrity and Security :Potential areas of Socio-political conflicts between and within Indian States,Traditional, Contemporary and Emerging Threats; Internal and External Threats; Threats of Conflicts, Naxal Problems, Terrorism, Trans-border Infiltration and Insurgency Issues,Communalism, Organised crimes, Cyber issues, Drug trafficking and other such issues.
     Governance Issues : Sustainable and Inclusive Growth, Current Social Challenges, Issues related to Youth, Women, Children, Old Age People, Minority, Weaker Sections, Tribal, Farmers, Labourers and Professionals in India and Rajasthan. Gender Equality, Women Empowerment, Human Rights, Social Justice, Land Acquisition. Challenges pertaining to Urbanisation, Demographic imbalances, Regional imbalances and Social Conflicts.
     Pressure Groups and Organisational Development:-Role of NGOs, Civil Society, Action Groups, Activities of Self Help Groups; Producer’s Associations, Consumer Forums, Co-operative Groups.
    Possibilities, Resources and Programmes for Development in Rajasthan
     Important Issues of Development with Special Reference to Rajasthan
    Infrastructure & Resources of Rajasthan – Current Status, Issues & Initiatives
     Various National Missions, Projects and Schemes of Rajasthan- Their Objectives and Impact.

    General & Administrative Management
     Management, Administration and Public Management: Meaning, Nature and Importance; Theories of Management and Work Leadership; Functions of Management : Planning, Organization, Staffing, Coordination, Direction, Motivation, Communication and Control.
     Concept of Power and Authority, Responsibility and Delegation.
     Corporate Governance and Corporate Social Responsibility.
     New dimensions of Public Management, Management of Change.
    Administrative Ethics
     Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, Determinants and Consequences of Ethics in human actions; Dimensions of Ethics; Ethics in Private and Public Relationships.
     Aptitude and Foundational Value of Civil Services : integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship,objectivity,dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker sections.
     Emotional Intelligence : concepts and their utilities and application in administration and governance.
     Strengthening of Moral values in Governance and Public Administration

    • sana

      Yogesh , I also appeared for RAS Pre 2013 . Based on Pre Paper , I feel that mains paper would not be easy this time . Could you please tell me what will be the cut off for general girls .

      • yogesh arora

        U r right sana… Mr. Habib khan must be looking for candidate of IAS -mindset… cut off for gen girls wont go beyond 80 marks… i.e. 75-80 marks…

        • Sana

          Yogesh , could you please tell me from where to study all these topics that you have mentioned above . I am working professional and have no time to attend coaching classes and not able to find relevent material for these topics .
          Analysing the level of difficulty and few comments over internet ,I think the cut off this time would not go beyond 80-83 for general boys and normally it is lower for girls so would be somewhere between 70-72 .
          RPSC has released answer key for RAS Pre . How much marks are you getting after deduction of negetive marks ?

    • Yogesh,

      The syllabus is quite similar to that of UPSC. So, you can refer to similar books for GS in RPSC too. Besides, the goverance and management portion can be best covered by two books – Prasad and Prasad (Administrative thinkers) or Fadia and Fadia. I would not recommend the former because i do not think they will going that deep. You can definitely cover it from Fadia and Fadia(Public Administration).

      However, for covering the GS portion(not related to Rajasthan), you should read the following.

      Newspapers+Yojana magazine+Internet – These would cover the dynamic part of your syllabus – Social issues, conflicts, international issues etc.
      12th NCERT – Politics post-independence, Contemporary world politics, Macroeconomics
      3.11th NCERT Economy + Ramesh Singh- Indian Economy(selective reading)+ 12th Macroeconomics (selective reading)
      Read India’s foreign policy on the internet
      12th Human geography NCERT
      For other issues Internet is the best source of preparation. Lay special emphasis on newspapers and Yojana as most issues will be covered by it like Naxalism, Urbanization, women empowerment etc.
      For the Ethics portion purchase this book “Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude for Civil Services Main Examination (Paper – 5) 1st Edition” Authored By: G. Subba Rao, P. N. Roy Chowdhury. It is quite comprehensive.

  • viplove zoad

    respect to the gentleman behind this magnificent site.
    1st day of my visit here, i guess i am going to be here for a long

  • sirhan

    (This section will be updated with latest news articles – soon)…..sir when u l update that :)please do the needful as and when u get time …..pls

    • It is not updated. After Mains we will update all articles.

  • Prachi

    Is it necessary to read ncert microeconomics ?

    • No. It is not necessary. Macroeconomics is what one must read.

  • Sir ‘The Hindu Survey of Indian Industry 2013’ released.
    Is it useful for GS paper?

    • It will be useful for 2014 Mains. Some chapters are directly related to the syllabus. As it covers current trends, would be helpful as a reference book for some new perspectives.

  • mrinal

    is reading science reporter compulsory for this ,please advice me

    • It is not compulsory. Reading The Hindu regularly is sufficient. This year, most questions of S&T were from The Hindu.

  • dinesh babu

    sir….in which year this site started…??? if this is the year…..then from now on wards many toppers will say about role of INSIGHTS in their preparation…..really it is toooooo good….!!! even though i am in delhi…and taking coaching…it is worthless….because every institute is looking to score their money…..not considering about students score in exam….the self preparation is bestest and for that your guidance is the bestest……keep on continuing…!!! if i get rank….definitely my first word will be….HATS OFF to INSIGHTS…..!!!!

    • Thanks Dinesh 🙂 We will get better with support like this.

  • Aditya

    Thank you for this article, it is really helpful. I wanted to ask you, in which section will the issue of GM technology fit? What kind of question might be asked related to it?

  • manish

    Hi Insights and all,
    I am mentioning some NCERT books and I want your/other’s opinion whether I am missing any NCERT books to read as for as Pre and Main concern:

    1) Our Past-I (6th)
    2) Our Past-II (7th)
    3) Our Past-III (Part I) (8th)
    4) Ancient, Medieval, Modern (11th,11th,12th)
    5) World History – old (10th)

    Political Science
    1) Contemporary World Politics
    2) Politics in India since independence

    1) India Physical Environment (11th)
    2) Fundamental of Physical geography (11th)
    3) Indian People and Economy (12th)
    4) Human Geography (12th)

    1)Indian Economy Development (11th)
    2) Introductory Macroeconomics (12th)

    1) India Society (12th)

    Please help me in this regard.
    Thank You 🙂

    • Mannishji u can even read economics 10th ncert. It’s good. And read 9th,10th pol sc book which is easy, fast, and thought provoking. Also read Indian constitution at work 11th ncert

  • Davinder chahal


  • manish

    Hi Sir,
    For the topic 4 – “Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country” in paper 4, i am not able to understand what to study??? 🙁 Very confused !!!!! What to read for this topics? I see the link you have provided, but could not understand it. Could you please simplify it ??
    Thank you in advance for your supportive help 🙂

  • Janmejay thakker

    Sir I have misra and puri for economy. I have completed with ncert economy as you suggested. Is it compulsory to buy Ramesh singh or misra and puri would do though it’s a vv bulky book and also u have mentioned about new edition of Ramesh Singh so which one to purchase sir. Please reply soon sir. I await your reply.

    • sachin mayekar

      If u hav misra & puri then just read that no need to buy ramesh singh

      • Janmejay h thakker

        Thanks sachinji. Insights sir aap kidhar ho? Really great work. I am going full to complete my syllabus only. Aur aap itne logo ka prep monitor kar rahe oh, even doing research, clearing doubts. A true karma yogi. Sir please answer my doubt and if misra n puri will do please help which chapters to do or if no misra thn I’ll have to purchase Ramesh Singh.

  • Narahari javaji

    sir,iam from Hyderabad
    I wrote last mains,defects found in preparation are
    first i did not visit this site before starting my mains preparation
    I spent my whole time on completing syllabus without practicing much
    lot of confusion regarding syllabus and preparation strategy.
    now my doubts are
    For polity and governance I referred Indian govt and politics-BL Fadia is it worthful
    For GS-4 after seeing the Q paper what is the preparation strategy, is there any additional changes in your strategy given

    • bivash

      hi give your phone number. call me: 8019938967 .i am also from hyderabad and gave this mains. what are your optionals?

  • Narahari javaji

    regarding essay is it necessary to denote the statistics, I wrote GDP,GDH essay but I didnt mention any statistics

    • No need to mention stats. They are not needed. Examiners look for ideas and concepts.

  • Narahari javaji

    for economy i referred Mishra and puri,It covers agriculture,land reforms,foreign trade,economic interaction with the world very much useful but infrastructure ,fiscal policy planning ,industry not much useful

    • bivash

      call me or give ur no.

  • rohit

    sir, i have completed ncerts, indian polity by laxmikant, economics by ramesh singh once….now m thinking of joining a coaching for geography as it is my optional….the problem i am currently facing is how should i divide my time in different phases so that to revise ncerts and the standard books once again as well as studying for csat….plz throw some light upon this…

  • santosh

    thanks a lot for such a lucid elaboration on each topic and got a clarity on how to approach towards exam .is it the same material and strategy to be followed for 2014 exam and give some suggestions on how to prepare notes through this material .

    • Write down important points as you scan through all the materials. Don’t make exhaustive notes. Just jot down important points and make a flow chart.

  • sudhakar akula

    A wonderful site with a lucid explaination of every aspect of the syllabus and is it possible to prepare simulateneously along with job as I am working in state bank as PO and it is quite difficult to manage as working hours and pressure is also more in the bank job Thinking to quit but I am unable to take decision please give me suggestion and any working aspirant please share your preperation strategy

    • Thanks Sudhakar. It is risky to resign and it is difficult to prepare while working also. What we suggest is if it’s your last attempt then you should resign and try your luck (take risk), if you are young, try to balance work and preparation. PO in SBI is a good job and it’s not prudent to leave it.

      It is really difficult to post strategy for working professionals as we believe that minimum 6-8 hours of focused preparation is a must and it’s not possible for all working aspirants to devote that much of time.

      • sudhakar927

        thanks for your suggestion sir and I am doing writing practise but my english is notthat much good and I am using simple language and please suggest how to improve my writing skills and does the literature subjects fare well in this new pattern of syllabus

  • anilyadav

    first of all thanks to your efforts
    sir in answering to qousteions if we use our own ideas in writing answers will it be appreciable and marks fetching

    • It will be appreciated and will fetch good marks as long as it’s relevant o the question.

  • anilyadav

    like in delimitation issues suppose in delimitation commitie if we have members from sc st and bc commisions and having people from ec we can increase the transparencey in reervation of seats to sc and st this is one issue while writing answers like wise ideas as a conclusion can be written is my way of thinking is right or wrong sir please evalute me so that i will come out of it


    sir, the link u have given for inclusive growth ” ‘Faster, More Inclusive and Sustainable Growth’” shows error would you upload the alternate one…

  • anilyadav

    anil yadav
    thanks alot sir for your response to me if i secure in 2014 that complete credit id yours sir like following issueof delimitation wheter my thaughts are correct please asses them
    like in delimitation issues suppose in delimitation commitie if we have members from sc st and bc commisions and having people from ec we can increase the transparencey in reervation of seats to sc and st this is one issue while writing answers like wise ideas as a conclusion can be written is my way of thinking is right or wrong sir please evalute me so that i will come out of it

  • rohit

    sir, i have completed ncerts, indian polity by laxmikant, economics by ramesh singh once….now m thinking of joining a coaching for geography as it is my optional….the problem i am currently facing is how should i divide my time in different phases so that to revise ncerts and the standard books once again as well as studying for csat….plz throw some light upon this…

  • anilyadav

    sir, does the books and material suggested by you will also be useful for prelims sir please suggest me a strategy for prelims sir please

  • sunny


  • Sumit Srivastava

    Hi sir,
    Do you intend to update these sources (for all papers) in light of the questions asked in mains 2013? Not that I am implying that these aren’t helpful….but I was just wondering if these are comprehensive enough.

  • amit dubey

    sir, i m not able to download 12th five year plan document on faster sustainable and more inclusive growth because of problem in the link pls send me the link again to my email [email protected]

    • sanchita ghosh roy

      me too can’t downoad it………………..

  • sajjad hussain m

    thanks a lot…..May GOD bless U forever…..grt effort….

  • Kumar Bhaskar Bhushan

    Really very helpful to achieve success in first attempt itself…
    One needn’t to join any coaching just by following Insights we can achieve our target. Carry on helping us…
    Thanks a lot…

  • AVINASH Singh

    this is what i cal as information OVERLOAD…..Totally confused…after reading the above syllabus…i think i shoul do P.hd on UPSC preperation then try to attemp this exam….they could have directly written for syllabus that everything under the SUN is counted as syllabus

  • sanchita ghosh roy

    I knew about this website a few days ago.I am from west bengal and not too good in english.I am a 1st year student will appear UPSC on 2017.Now I have two questions.
    1st,if I appear the exam in my mothertongue bengali,will it reduce my chance to get selected?
    & the 2nd question is,what do u mean by basic understanding?e.g. we have a topic on various security forces and the main problem is their are so many informations to remember & it’s quiet tough.So,plz if anyone can guide me,it will really be great thing for me………….


    • no affect of your mother tounge
      basic understanding means the basic concept and basic problemof any current problem

  • sanchita ghosh roy

    I knew about this website a few days ago.I am from west bengal and not too good in english.I am a 1st year student will appear UPSC on 2017.Now I have two questions.
    1st,if I appear the exam in my mothertongue bengali,will it reduce my chance to get selected?
    & the 2nd question is,what do u mean by basic understanding?e.g. we have a topic on various security forces and the main problem is their are so many informations to remember & it’s quiet tough.So,plz if anyone can guide me,it will really be great thing for me………….


  • Nir

    Thanks a lot for the detailed Explaination. It will prove to be a boon to students especially who cannot afford to go to Mecca of civils preparation Delhi 🙂 I am sure it only keep getting better further. Keep up the good work. I do not want to sound too demanding but
    just wanted to know if the article is updated with the pattern of questions in mains 2013 as every question was related to current events..

  • anugya singh

    sir when will you come up with an article on how to approach UPSC 2014?

  • sorry to say you there is no option for downloading

  • kapyS

    Please suggest a good source for direct and indirect farm subsidies.

  • sir can u please upload all recent articles of security issues from newspapers and magazines ……….because it is current related subject

  • neeta

    hello, sir i want to knw what is the difference between type of irrigation and irrigation system reply me plzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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  • Rohit Sigh

    The topic wise syllabus appropriately coves the entire topics but there is overlap in contents related to certain topics ca you add those overlapping part. Also the survey report etc are also to be included as per the current year please make those changes asap.


    b Feeling blessed with this article….
    I’m a Hindi medium CS aspirant. I have just started preparation for CSE since December… I joined a coaching institute in Delhi and found it really difficult to cope up with the complexity of this syllabus of UPSC… Because this syllabus contains almost every traditional as well as dynamic part of related subjects and being CS aspirant we are always advised to death that this is most important to be very clear about WHAT TO STUDY AND WHAT NOT TO STUDY while you are preparing for this exam.. Now the point is this, I was always very unclear in my study like am I studying the significant and relevant topic in the context of CS’ syllabus or just wasting my time in irrelevant efforts to develop insights for something that is not going to help me in this examination.. Because when you prepare for this exam everything seems important and scary that there is nothing sure about UPSC whatever it can ask… So I was looking for a classified syllabus and fortunately reached to this article and now I’m very certain about my way to complete the syllabus throughly …


      And please translate these articles in Hindi also.. 🙂

  • Sonam

    For 2015, would you still recommend the above mentioned articles or will the above list of articles be subject to change ?

    • They all will be updated after Prelims.

  • manpreet singh

    Great job sir..really hats off 2 u …but please update it soon….and write something more about how to make notes of all these material….u have already explained but please elaborate it more

  • sand

    sir when r u going to update reference books, source etc

  • abhay kumar

    sir I am fresher kindly and started my studies after 13-14 years. the whole knowledge base is washed away and the and study material suggested by appears to be very lengthy for a working professional in defence like me. the hindu is known to be a bible of civil services kindly tell me how to read the news paper and how to take notes keeping the whole lot of syllabi suggested by you needs urgent reply as I am about to leave the service in jan 2016

    • Unfortunately there is no short-cut. Read The Hindu and one more newspaper such as Business Standard or Economic Times regularly. Try to go through Secure Mains initiative – it will answer how to read these papers.

      You still have plenty of time till Jan-2016. Read all standard books. All the best.

  • Bunty

    The entire book list and study material seems mammoth.Is it really possible to finish it in 20 days ( time mentioned here ) by a working professional?

  • srilatha

    very very nice and very helpful advice given thank u very much sir

  • Subh kumar

    A very good effort to provide the lengthy syllabus in a precise manner.
    I am preparing for 2015.So want to know whether these articles will be valid for 2015 mains???

    Plz reply.

  • ias aspirant

    sir, thank you so much for your expensive guidance to us. sir, can you please provide likewise analysis of maths optional also. thank you sir.

  • nasir maner. pune

    Good efforts….but want more analysis on these paper 3….so one could implement his/her statergy for study from here only,no need to go for coaching classes.

  • manu

    Sir kindly update it asap.
    Mains is only 75 days ahead

  • Sir,
    I finished my mechanical engineering this year ..i got placed but did not go for job as i have decided to give cse thing that boggles my mind is that whether current affairs related notes have to bemade from now on or after cse 2014 finishes?

  • sudhir thakur

    If one follow insights with complete focus and devotion, one would not need any coaching for clearing civil services.

  • medha

    Wonderful….n quite splendid…tx u sir…plz do suggst wat shuld be the strategy for 2015 aspirants….n how to gather related articles????

  • Hi Insights,

    Came across a link for technology mission on cotton –

    There are some differences between the pib link and this one. Could you please take a look?

  • priyanka

    Hats Off SIR….such a nice article. I have started my preparation just b4 a week. bt frankly speaking nt in a force. it will be my 1st attempt. i have read all things wch u hve mentioned on “how to prepare GS papers” blog. My optional will be LAW bt i could nt find any material for my LAW paper on insight. Can u plz guide me 4 it??????? nw m collecting all the books wch i need for my preparation n will start studying seriously by the month of Dec. will I be able to complete my reading of all the books (NCRT & other ref books?) by the month of March?????????

    THANKS & Regards,

  • Arpit Patel

    Conceptualizing Inclusive Growth..not able to download..

  • Bold Challenge [सत्यमेव जयते]

    Hello Insights,

    Topic – 14
    (This section will be updated with latest news articles – soon)

    Can you please update that section since you have said that “you will be updating with latest news articles” please ? 🙂

  • Al Qaeda

    U r doing a great job by helping aspirants like me who can’t afford was a Great Help,
    May u get everything in ur life

  • mini

    Good effort ..please keep updating it .

  • Richa

    SIR ,
    I am beginning my preparation for to manage the time between pre ,mains and optional paper. as i am totally confused how to start for main. Now i am doing ncert only. I am also confused for my optional commerce and accountancy.. Plz suggest..

    • sagar

      What booklist are you using for Commerce and accountancy. I was not able to find one.

  • Rahul Rana

    Where is bio diversity topic ?

  • anil

    do u think after 2014 exam stil the material is suffcient enough for a person who is working coz i m following same thing and depend on only on insight please give ur view

  • anil

    sir will this source is enough for 2015 as well ?

  • Ram

    ‘Faster, More Inclusive and Sustainable Growth’. .. Hyper Link Not working 🙂

  • aspirant

    u can download free e-books and civils materials visit ….

  • ramya

    I started my preparation and confident enough after reading your how to prepare articles/ Now i got clarity on how to plan my preparation for 2015 exam. Thank u Insights.

  • Akshara Bharat

    Sir Is this source valid for 2015 mains as well???

  • mns

    Sir paper 3 being dynamic can you please update regarding what should be read for it in the context of 2015 exam
    thanks in advance

  • tarun

    Nice job…pls update it for 2015

  • VJ

    Sir..Thanks for guidance..
    As we know Five year plan has been scrapped by govt and NITI Ayog has been does it impact in Topic 5 and Topic 6 etc., mentioned above?

  • Csha Nambiar

    dear friends, i think this link will be useful for the topic

    Linkages between development and spread of extremism

  • Vyom Saxena


  • Csha Nambiar

    If somebody knows the source for topic
    Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate
    Kindly reply

  • Aditya Anand

    Dear Sir,
    Its a long time that I have been following Insights but its the first time I came up with a query in the comments section . Can you please tell me the name of book from which you have uploaded the pdf of Govt. Budgeting section. As its language is highly lucid, I wanted to read other parts of the same.
    -Waiting for reply

  • siddhartha paul

    A very exhaustive in depth analysis . Thank you Sir

  • siddhartha paul

    Same question from me also. Are these the same sources for 2015/16 also.

  • ashwini n

    thanku sir…..what an great service

  • upsc online academy


  • manpreet

    Sir plz update this section. It will be really helpful for those who are going to appear in mains this year. Thank you.

  • sanjeev kumar gupta

    sir kindly update the page from 2016 exam point of view.
    thanking you!

  • sagar m

    Sif, please modify and update the above list w.r.t 2016 examination point. Thanks.

    • sneha basu

      Please @Insights … it is a major request… Thanks for all you efforts 🙂

  • Tinks

    Please update the article w.r.t 2015 mains.. Please…..!! Waiting….

  • nks01

    @insights…sir can we follow the same for 2016?

  • Neha Gupta

    Can you give topic wise strategy for geography optional? It will be great if you could coz finding the right source takes a lot of time.

  • jai

    Hello sir, Nubies like me need this articles to be updated

  • shubham

    @insights sir can we follow up this article for 2017?

  • Diya

    sir please update the article as per the present requirement. will be very thankful

  • Optimus

    Please update for 2016!! it as been three years.. As many of us are not taking any coaching and following this page only, for everything, I request you to take out some time from your busy schedule and update this page ASAP.

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