Thursday, November 29, 2012

Strategy and Booklist for General Studies

Many aspirants are asking me how to tackle the most dreaded subject called General Studies(GS) at home on their own. This is how you can do it. I am formally putting it here under the notes of IAS Help...

For Prelims GS -

Start reading NCERT 8th to 12th in all subjects except English, Hindi, Accountancy and Business Studies. Make notes in less than two months.. and keep reading newspaper(The Hindu only)... for Magazines you can look upto Yojana and kurukshetra- to update your notes with the latest figures

This will be all for the prelim examination.. Prelims, in the new pattern of UPSC is not very tough. it could be cleared easily through NCERT and reading newspapers only. How to read newspapers? check the bottom of the article.

GS for Main Examination-
For main you need to make up a mindset suitable for an IAS. You have to think like an IAS Officer. Not to criticize but to find solutions to the problems.. for that you need to enlarge your knowledge base and study a bit deeply... you need to know the real India. What I did personally recommend You to start by getting yourself along with the Gandhi's Talisman.

The book list goes as

1- Indian Polity by M. Laxmikanth

2- Constitution of India (Bare-act) by P M Bakshi(Language will be different that is why Laxmikanth's polity should be read along with it)
[{D D Basu is very old and outdated. If however anyone wants to read it then they should do in free time. leaving it alone will not trouble you at all!}]

3- Indian Economy by Dutt and Sundaram (Not full. Just go through the concepts and how it is affecting us now. After reading you need to think it over a bit!)

4- Economic Survey by M/o Broadcasting can be downloaded online

5- Approach Paper to 12th Plan by Planning Commission can be downloaded online

6- India's Struggle for Independence by Bipin Chandra (Pearson Publication)

7- A Brief History of Modern India by Spectrum Publication

8- Science and Technology by Spectrum Publication

9- Oxford School Atlas(should be used while reading Geography NCERT)

10- Cover up Budget from all the Magazines you come across during the Budget time.

11- India's Foreign Policy Since Independence by V P Dutt

12- India and the World Dynamics by Pearson Publication

How to prepare Newspapers?I would suggest you to go with the Hindu newspaper only. and most other newspapers are no upto the standards of UPSC and moreover they lack in one area or the another. Hindu has been the landmark for IAS aspirants for many decades. It is advisable for you to go with it.
Now how to study it is the biggest question. Make a separate register to make notes from the newspaper. As you can see, many questions in mains were asked (as well as prelims) on women, children, governmental acts and legislations etc. so divide your register in sections after analyzing the question paper of Mains from "2010 - 2012" (division should be as per your convenience because every person is different and which ever way you decide it will only be GS, so do not worry to much!) for example - children, population, women, senior citizens etc.( the issues as you see appearing over a long time in newspaper.
yopu can read any magazine you like but I would suggest you to follow newspapers only and not the magazines as they have a limitation of paper. they cannot include every news which are important for IAS. What they do is they cover the important issues of the month. even if they want to they cannot do it as they have to arrange advertisements as well. If you have your own formula to study for GS then I would suggest you to stick to you own method. What you do is best for you. This is for those who have no idea on how to approach this exam.


  1. very informative post indeed.. being enrolled in,I was looking for such articles online to assist me.. and your post helped me a lot :)

  2. Thankyou for the above information. It was very helpful .
    It is for all those who are preparing for the IAS exams. I was preparing for IAS Exam and was looking for regular coaching but was unable to find. Then i opted for the online course for IAS general studies and it was beyond my expectations. It is both time and cost effective. So got myself enrolled at :
    IAS General Studies and CSAT Prelims Online Video Coaching Course

    Check it guys!! it's a must and a great Online Coaching course for IAS preparation.hope it was helpful!! thanks !!!!