Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Strategy for GS Mains 2012

Preparation for GS Mains 2012
1. Dear friends with best of my wishes I would say that you  must have scored good marks in prelims paper, and you will surely writing this year's Main paper.   Here I am writing about GS Mains 2012 preparation.I am also providing booklist for the GS also. But this booklist only for aspirants appeared in CSE Prelim 2012.
2. Secondly kind of variations GS paper is having I won’t recommend reading too many books though I have provided you detailed booklist. It is now more about your understanding and analysis about the issues.

Book list for GS Mains 2012:-

Paper 1
1) History 
For history Spectrums Modern India is the best source. One can refer to Bipin Chandras book but I feel it is not important considering the time available. Secondly since last 3 years many questions are asked about Art & Culture so it is very much advisable to read Spectrums Art & Culture book. In this year’s prelim good coverage is given to NCERT (new Syllabus). So one should quickly go through NCERTs for History

Four NCERT of class 11 & 12 are sufficient for Mains geography preparation.
Also it is advisable to briefly see into topic of Land from INDIA year book.

Laxmikant’s Indian polity Or Wizards Indian polity any one of the two both the books are equally good.

4) Current national issues and social issues
As provided by UPSC this is just to test aspirant’s general awareness it means how carefully you read newspaper and interpret some substance from it. Thus good newspaper reading is essential for this part. I would suggest Hindu or Indian Express or Both or any other newspaper you deem fit for it. 
Also if you are not able to follow newspaper properly then one can refer to Chronicle magazine. 
If time permit one can refer to Yojana and I think reading Kurukshetra does not really help. But Yojana is definitely helpful.
For economic planning - Shriram IAS notes
Social Issues, Health issues, Law & order issues and other- Wizards book on social Issues
Environment- Few topics from Geography NCERT & INDIA year book topic on Environment.

Paper 2:-

1)India & World, International Relation
Primary focus should be given to countries with which we have immediate ties. Focus areas should be SAARC countries, USA, Russia, China etc. Secondly Some countries or blocks gaining importance in recent times so relation with them also need to be analyzed.
Newspaper is only source available. But if one thinks that he/she don’t have sufficient knowledge about past history and past ties of India with some of the countries in such case one can go for internet (Wikipedia). Also one can refer to Subhra Ranjan Madams political science paper 2 notes in brief but this is entirely optional and only to bring more clarity in understanding.
Secondly Wizard comes with its current affairs addition few days before Main exam that book also gives good coverage of International relation. 
Even during exam time different classes in Delhi come up with current international relations notes. One should read as per available time.
Finally I would say for this section one should have good understanding about different milestones in the relationship and concentrate on different angles like Defense, Economy, and Political issues etc.

Vajiram class handwritten notes are very good. One can read Shriram class notes in addition if time permits. Even one should broadly understand economic survey but no need to study everything in detail

3)Science & Technology
Vajiram Class notes and current developments in science & tech from newspaper.
Science & Technology chapter from INDIA year book.

Statistics book of spectrum series.


3. After booklist I would like to share about different approaches for mains GS. Since last 3-4 years score in GS is towards lower side. Secondly the amount of efforts one required to put in GS are very much exhaustive compared to the optionals. In such scenario I would suggest one should focus more on optional than GS for first 2 months( till prelim result)
4. For first two months one must concentrate on completing the core part i.e. History, Geography, polity Some basics about Economics, Science & Technology  and IR( International Relations) core part.
5. But one should not miss a single day newspaper. Out of my experience I can say newspaper is lifeline for UPSC. You may not get any direct answer from newspapers but it develops your analysis unconsciously. And that will surely help you in writing quality answers both for GS & for your optional. Even for current developments in IR, Science & Economics only source is newspaper.
6. For the first two months you should give about2-3 hrs daily for GS d (advised) and rest of the time for the optionals. After prelim result, divide your time in three equal parts for GS and two optionals. Then cover-up the remaining GS syllabus. As you have already covered substantial syllabus of GS in preceding two months you will be in better position and focusing only on current developments.
7. While studying your focus must be on optionals but make it a point that you are writing at-least 2-3 answers for GS. Kindly do this exercise religiously and within time limit.
8. During preparation time you will be bombarded with thousands of current material. I would suggest you to follow any one source from the list or with which you are convinced.
9. During preparation we think a lot about what others are reading and if we found someone reading different than what we reading we get anxious and started reading that source also. This does not make any sense. Again I am telling you pick-up any current source and follow it. No matter what others are following!
10. I told you what I followed and this is not absolute. I will urge you to develop your own strategy based on your need. 


  1. Sir
    is it required to go through history ncert of ancient and medieval india?

  2. Sarvesh Sir,

    Many Many thanks for such a wonderful guide towards GS mains preparation.I respect u all for your sincere efforts in providing all kind of information to IAS aspirants...

  3. Sir,
    Can you please specifically mention which NCERTs for History one has to read?

    1. Ganesh..there are 3 ncerts of history for class 11 & 12..broadly cover these ncerts..and thanks for ur support

  4. sir kindly mention the books to be used for economics

    1. aditya..there are books available for economics but for concise preparation i suggested u vajiram and shriram class notes.
      But if u have time n wish to read book then u can go for Uma Kapilas Indian economy

  5. We students really appreciate the sincere efforts that you have been putting up even after passing d exam, just to guide students like us.
    Thank You sir.
    We definitely look forward for ur constant support.

  6. Dear Sarvesh Sir,
    Thanks a lot for ur so precise and too precious guidance!!!
    Hats Off to your Efforts ...

  7. Sarvesh Sir , When u mention class notes of any institute . Is it hand written notes of student or printed material of the insti?

    1. Julian for vajiram - handwritten class notes and for shrirams class - printed noted

  8. optionals are marathi literature and indian i might not get much more time to read newspaper as both optionals are vast..for me also newspaper would be beneficial in GS would not of much use in my both i am not getting how can i manage that?little in confusion.

  9. Newspaper reading is very essential. It is not only needed for General Studies but also for Essay and Interviews. Many times in optional also (say History) question are asked, which has direct linkages with current events.
    Neglecting current events is suicidal,self defeating. You can decide (say at least one hour)how much time to devote for newspaper, and can collect information related to current events from Magazines like Chronicle.

  10. Hello sir i am junior from JP....thank you for your support...sir could you please suggest some book for covering traditional part of S & T ?

    1. There are many book available for s & t part..i will suggest u to go for vajiram class handwritten notes for core part...and if u want to read some book then read wizard or spectrum but while reading these books u need to be very selective cause books are very bulky..

  11. rughved sir can you tell suggest me gs mains paper book list plz

  12. can you know some marathi medium books for upsc mains exam than also give me because i will given in marathi so plzz sir

  13. hello sir,

    for some of the topics you had mention about referring Vajiram&ravi handwritten class notes, sir as for me i am from village of Tamilnadu i don't have facility to go for Delhi or i don't have any Delhi friends, what shall i do instead sir

    1. Nargish..u can refer to any standard book on that particular topic..reading notes is not mandatory u shd choose the source as per ur convenience..

  14. hello sir...can u suggest me book for constitution of india? and p.m.bakshi is the good book for that?

    1. For General Studies Main exam Laxmikant's book on Indian Polity is more than sufficient. P.M. Bakshi book is very good but not needed.

  15. Sir
    I want to know about the resource for prelims.

  16. sir i want to know about books for mains my optional subjects are.... history and political science and in medium marathi..plz suggest me useful books sir

  17. respected sir,
    sir a humble request..please give us some detail about approaches and strategy for those who are going to give attempts on 2013

    thank you sir

  18. respected sir,
    opt is pub ad,indian history concentrating to reading=aug to jan 2013.along with
    general studies mains from now to up to compition my prelims...tell me how it is...?plz suggest me,if it is not fit..and adding some interrelated things...thanks sir regarding santosh

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