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Let’s Begin the Real Journey –



The first and foremost task every UPSC civil services aspirant must do is to remember each and every topic of exam syllabus. Secondly, he must know what is the demand of this exam.

For example, if one remembers the following line (Given in UPSC Civil Services Mains syllabus):

The main Examination is intended to assess the overall intellectual traits and depth of understanding of candidates rather than merely the range of their information and memory.”

then, preparing for this exam becomes fun and meaningful. You can enjoy preparation when you are trying to ‘understand’ an issue rather than trying to memorise it. We believe that you will understand an issue only when you comprehend it, create your opinion on it and then reproduce it in the form of answer to any question asked on this issue.

We have seen that our daily answer writing initiative – Insights Secure – has been able to motivate many aspirants to read newspapers productively and help them understand an issue better from exam point of view. (we are saying this based on feedback received).

But, Secure is focused mainly on current events. There are many topics in the Mains syllabus which should be studied either from some websites or from some standard books – these topics can not be covered from newspapers. Of course UPSC can frame a question on arts and culture from a news article, but you need to know basics or art and culture to produce a good answer. Same applies to polity, history, economy and other topics.

So, studying static part is very important to understand current events. In this regard, we intend to start asking questions from static sources within Secure initiative. We did this on experimental basis. But come March, we will start something radical. We will give a week’s timetable beforehand so that you can read them and be prepared to answer any questions on those topics.

All you need is self-motivation to start answering questions. Because you are preparing for this exam to get IAS or IPS or IFS, you must put in lots of efforts no matter where you stand today. You get these posts with good preparation and with a tiny bit of luck. You know that luck favours the prepared mind. Start preparing and be prepared.

We won’t misguide you by asking you to read something irrelevant. We will try our best to keep in mind what UPSC expects from you and how it designs its exams. Be assured that ‘homework’ or ‘assignment’ will be given regularly to keep you on track – every day of your exam preparation.

Some aspirants complain that their exam preparation is going nowhere despite putting lots of effort. This happens because they lack a plan. Once you know beforehand what to do for a whole week, your will have a sense of responsibility, a sense of urgency and a clear roadmap. Work hard and finish the syllabus every week. With each passing week, you will have a sense of fulfilment. Believe us, this gives you lots of confidence. Once you are confident, you will start enjoying your preparation.

What we are going to do is not a ‘one size fits all solution’. Choose to follow it only if it suits you. You may have an alternative strategy. If it’s working, please follow that. If you can accommodate ours, please accommodate it. This initiative is mainly intended to help those who find it difficult to ‘streamline’ their exam preparation.

You may be spending lots of time on newspapers and not able to ‘find’ time for studying world history, polity or NCERT books. You may be studying NCERT, but missing daily current events.  You might have started reading Laxmikanth’s Indian Polity, but abandoned it after reading 3-4 units for some reasons.

If you have faced or facing issues like this, then we hope what we are going to start from March 1 would help you read all important books and sources before Prelims-2015. In case you are preparing for 2016, this will be immensely useful (you know why). Main advantage is that not only you will read, you will read these books with a real sense of purpose and urgency. When you know that tomorrow we are going to ask questions on Fundamental Rights, or on American Revolution, the way you read these topics will be different than when you read them casually.

Please participate actively and create a community. Reviewing of others answers is very important. This encourages them to write regularly and helps you get new insights too. This will also motivate them to review your answers.

So, let’s begin with General Studies Paper – 1. We will ask you to read following resources for Paper – 1:

1) NCERT books – All History, Geography (Class VI to XII),  Class XII Sociology (Indian Society) and An Introduction to Indian Art (Class XI Fine Art book) 

2) Struggle for India’s Independence – Bipan Chandra

3) World History – Norman Lowe

4) CCRT Website (for Art and Culture)

5) India Since Independence – Bipan Chandra

Other topics in Paper – 1 are covered through current events.

We will ask 3-4 questions every day from given topics in the timetable.  Please note that it is necessary to ask you to read more number of chapters or topics to complete the syllabus fast – so, you may need to put extra effort.  Next week we will try to give timetable for the whole month of March 2015.

For March First Week (March 2 to March 7), please read the following:


March 2, 2015

Source: CCRT

Indian Architecture

Indus Civilization

Buddhist Architecture

Temple Architecture

 Indo-Islamic Architecture

Modern Architecture


March – 3, 2015

Bipan Chandra – Struggle for India’s Independence

Chapters 1,2 and 3


March – 4, 2015

Source – CCRT

 Indian Sculpture

 Indus Civilization

•  Buddhist Sculpture

•  Gupta Sculpture

•  Medieval School of Sculpture

•  Modern Indian Sculpture


March – 5, 2015

Bipan Chandra – Struggle for India’s Independence

Chapters 4,5 and 6


March – 6, 2015

Source: CCRT

 Indian Painting

•  Wall Painting

•  Miniature Painting

•  Modern Painting


March – 7, 2015

Bipan Chandra – Struggle for India’s Independence

Chapters 7,8, 9 and 10


We are very sure that those who follow this plan will feel good later. The key is to stick to the plan at any cost and follow it. Do it to believe it. We are doing this because we know that this will work for you. (We reiterate that this plan is not ‘one size fits all solution’) 🙂

Note: This whole thing is part of Secure initiative. You need to read newspapers daily along with the topics we give. Please also make sure you do not neglect Prelims and Optional preparation.

Wish you all the best.

Please feel free to ask doubts in the comments section (we will surely answer them this time!) Thank you.