Sorry for the delay in reply

Hi there…I am sorry to have not replied to the queries. I haven’t had the time to do so. Moreover, I feel I have shared almost everything regarding the old pattern. I am completely out of touch with the current trend and change in pattern.

Kindly go through the posts as well as the comments and responses. I am sure you would find most of your doubts cleared.

Remember, you might face setbacks but how well you fight back is what matters in the end. All the best!!!

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Post list

Post number Title Date published
1 General Studies – Mains 9 June 2010
2 Psychology Mains 9 June 2010
3 Psychology Answers 10 June 2010
4 Public Administration- Mains 10 June 2010
5 Public Administration Answers 10 June 2010
6 Importance of mains 10 June 2010
7 Essay strategy – Puneet Gulati, AIR 319 with 140 in Essay (2009) 11 June 2010
8 How to choose the optionals 12 June 2010
9 Coaching classes, test series, correspondence courses I attended/enrolled for 13 June 2010
10 Test series for pub ad 19 June 2010
11 GS Prelims 19 June 2010
12 Tips on covering the books 22 June 2010
13 Newspaper reading 24 June 2010
14 Public Admin paper 1- sample answers 6 July 2010
15 Public Admin- sample notes 6 July 2010
16 Indian Constitution 20 July 2010
17 Upcoming posts 20 July 2010
18 Civil Services Chronicle- July 2010 issue 26 July 2010
19 Psychology- sample notes 9 Aug 2010
20 References 21 Aug 2010
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As I have pointed out, there is no one strategy to score but many. You have to just chalk out yours and try your best to implement it. Keeping in mind this maxim and the fact that there are many optionals, I am putting up a list of some of the successful candidates and info about them which might be of use to you.

Name Rank Optionals Blog fb/orkut
Prakash Rajpurohit 2 Maths and Electrical Engg fb+o
Tanvi Sundriyal 6 Sociology and Public Admin fb
Garima Mittal 8 Sociology and Psychology

Rashmita Panda 13 History and Public Admin fb+o
Tarun Rathi 19 Geography and Hindi (a community on orkut for Civil Services aspirants) fb+o
Abhijeet Agrawal 24 Physics and Chemistry fb+o
Ghanshyam Thori 25 Geography and Psychology fb+o
Rahul Dwivedi 40 Maths and Pali fb+o
Ashutosh Salil 54 Law and Public Admin
Maitrey Kulkarni 103 Mechanical Engg and Pol Sc fb+o
Rajiv Ranjan Singh 191 Sociology and Public Admin
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Psychology- sample notes

I am uploading some of the notes I prepared for psychology from June 2009 to September 2009. Kindly go through the Psychology mains post for the strategy and sources I referred.

I will explain how I prepared the notes. But I repeat- this is the strategy I followed in 2009 for psychology. If what you are doing is very different, don’t worry. There are n number of ways to score. Just chalk out a plan and try your best to implement it.

MK: Morgan and King/ MP: Mukul Pathak sir’s notes/CK: Chaplin- Krawiec

Paper 1- Chapter 2: Observation

Since I prepared every topic as a 60 marker, for observation I collected 15-20 points which I could later expand in the exam. An easy way to do that is to compare the given topic with other related topics. So if observation alone comes as a 60 marker (most likely it will be in conjunction with some other topic), just link it with case studies, experimental research, interview, etc.

Paper 1- Chapter 3: IRT

Since IRT can be asked as a 60 marker, I prepared the basics in detail. There is no point in collecting 20 pages on it. Sometimes questions asked are very difficult to predict and attempt even when the topic has been prepared. In that case, I attempted some other question. But I didn’t go much beyond the basics. Every thing has to be balanced in the limited amount of time available for preparation.

Paper 1- Chapter 4: Growth and development

It is a topic which has been very well covered in the books. So I didn’t refer any other source. I just noted each and every thing I could find in one place so as to make revision easier. A lot of time can be saved this way.

Paper 1- Chapter 5: Attention

It is well covered in Mukul Pathak sir’s notes and the models are explained very nicely in Morgan and King and other books. So I wrote everything in one place point-wise.

Paper 1- Chapter 12: Stereotypes and prejudices

It is an important topic not only for the psychology paper but even for other optionals such as Sociology, Essay and for GS. Since examples can be included very easily, I concentrated on collecting the keywords and theories that explain the two. This topic should be linked to other topics in both paper 1 and paper 2.

Paper 2- Chapter 7: Rehabilitation of HIV/AIDS victims

I am posting this topic because it is a classic example of those topics where a lot of material is available on the net, yet the time which might be invested in collecting data which is relevant might be much more than what you would invest if you think about the points on your own. I just collected some facts from the net.

Paper 2- Chapter 11: Government policies for promotion of entrepreneurship among youth including women entrepreneurs

Again a topic where we need to use our GS knowledge. I noted some of the schemes and institutes which I could find on the net. I added all the schemes and various bodies which are working in this field that I had come across in the India Yearbook.

I have uploaded only the 1st page. Details can easily be found on the net.

Paper 2- Chapter 13: Psychology of terrorism

I concentrated on collecting as many theories, key words and points as I could. Enough is available on the net.

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Civil Services Chronicle- July 2010 issue

Here are some pointers:

  • It should ideally take 5-6 days to go through an issue of CSC if you have recently started to prepare for the exam (apart from newspaper reading on a particular day).
  • If you have gone through 7-8 issues of CSC, it should take around 2-3 days to go through an issue (apart from newspaper reading on a particular day).
  • Reason: As you read more and more (CSC, books, newspapers), the level of knowledge and understanding increases and therefore, what you need to read and mark naturally reduces.
  • I am reading the magazine from Mains point of view. But I will let you know now and then what might be important for the prelims but not so much for the mains.
  • What I am trying to convey through this post is not the quality of articles or CSC july issue in particular, but about the orientation required for the exam, i.e. what is relevant when you read newspapers, magazines or books. But again, this is what I did during my prep and needn’t be followed if you disagree.

I am covering the magazine page-wise.

Page 8: This is an excellent article. It is loaded with facts and covers the topic comprehensively. Right from Indus water treaty to all the current disputes have been listed. Any particular project can be asked as a 2 marker: Baglihar dam, Kishenganga project, Tulbul, Nimoo Bazgo, Uri, Chutak, etc. Even this whole water issue may be asked as a 10 or 15 marker.  You need not mug up the exact figures of reservoir capacity, etc but need to know what river the project is on and what is the dispute about. So an important article from both mains and prelims point of view.

Page 14: The article is OK. You need to know what the oil spill problem was briefly and that it is termed the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  Again, no need to remember exact figures. Emphasise on the ecological effects of oil spills and its impact on fisheries and marine ecosystem.

Page 18: May come as a 2/3 marker. Need to know what G15 is and when it was formed and where the current meeting was held. No need to remember exactly which 15 nations constitute it. Just remember few of the countries and that India is a part of it which is why it is important for us. Just mark the important issues discussed and even if you don’t remember them in the exam, use common sense. There are certain issues which are discussed in every meeting/summit: economic crisis, international trade, developing- developed divide, etc. Also, note some other important forums like IBSA fund, Chiang Mai initiative and PetroCaribe initiative. Look up on the net if you don’t know about them.

Page 22: Not that important article. Just mark what ESCAP is and from the graph that Asia-Pacific is growing at a much faster rate than other regions. But at the same time, from the graph on page 26, note the fact that the social expenditure as percentage of GDP is much lower in this region. This can be used in essay, GS or even pub ad. Do read the India specific paragraph.

Page 28: Another not so important article.  Just note what Amnesty International is. It is not a government body and so it is highly unlikely that its report will be asked in the exam.

Page 32: A good article. Know terms like international currency, internationalisation of Rupee, currency convertibility (current account and capital account), Tarapore committee, etc. It is all the more important this year as the news symbol of Rupee has been adopted. (I came across D Udaya Kumar on wikipedia just now. Just remember that he is the designer of the symbol if you didn’t know as well.) Also, no need to remember the exact figures in the pre-conditions laid down by Tarapore committee.

Page 36: A good article. Caste based census is important from mains point of view as well as interview. The article contains good number of facts. When was 1st caste census held, when was last held, the two Backward Classes commission, etc need to be remembered.

Page 40: A good article on capital punishment. This is also an important issue. Facts stated should be remembered. What is the Supreme Court’s stand, how many executions have taken place in India, present situation in India and other countries. Also, note that you should not write in the exam that Amnesty International says so and so. Just write down that 58 countries have abolished or not carried out capital punishment in the last 10 years. So present it as if you know it as a fact. Pros and cons stated are good as it is primarily an opinion based issue. Also, 55 executions have been carried in India since 1947, the lowest among countries that retain it, is a very important thing to remember.

Page 44: Not important. Just remember what PIIGS is.

Page 60: India watch: relevant ones: slum-dwellers, defence tech commission, linking rivers projects, Dholavira (just remember what it is; the article is not relevant) and UID.

Page 64: India & World: the articles in itself are not relevant, just few things here and there: know what TAPI is, what is a sovereign wealth fund (look up wikipedia for better understanding), what is gross national happiness and India- China trade value.

Page 68: World watch: Nile basin pact important for prelims point of view as well. This is another point which you can write in a question on water issues in the mains. SCO important. SOFA important. Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline important (look up wikipedia for a better article on it). IONS important.

Page 72: Constitution watch: Governor article good, especially for pub ad. Latest development. Just go through the constitutional terms. MPLANDS important. Green tribunal bill important.

Page 76: remember terms like LIBOR, ECB, etc. PTA is important. Economic terms on page 78 important. Should know briefly about BASEL norms.

Page 79: National mission on clean power and Banking services to all important.

Page 80: S&T:  Should know STS and Atlantis. Akatsuki and Cassini for prelims, not so much for mains. Internet protocol important; IPv4 and IPv6. Look up on the net for more on it.

Page 84: Health and nutrition: none of the articles in relevant for either prelims or mains. But iPS is important. Rest assured there will be better articles in Chronicle where iPS would be covered.

Page 88: Kaziranga national park important. Also, should know what is the difference between national park, wildlife sanctuary and biosphere reserve. Look up on the net to find out. IUCN is important. Look up wikipedia for the IUCN red list classification. INCCA and article on GHGs important.  Green India mission and NAPCC very important.

Page 92: States watch: Should know briefly about Laila and Hogenakkal controversy. Other articles not important from UPSC CSE point of view.

Page 96: FDI in India: excellent article. Covers the whole topic in a nice manner. Terms and bodies like automatic route, FIPB, ADR/GDR/IDR, FEMA, FCCB, ECB, Repatriation and remittances, SEZs, EOUs, STPs, etc can be asked for 2/3 marks. India- ASEAN and SAARC + SAFTA has been covered well. Terms like MFN are important. IBSA, BRIC, DDA, DTAA and anti-dumping are of course very important. Pros and cons of FDI are important. The only thing irrelevant in this article was the box on page 104. There is no need to know sectoral caps. Such in-depth knowledge is not required.

Page 106: The article isn’t that good. But the issue of synthetic cell (Cynthia) is important. Newspapers covered the event very well. Look up on the net for a better article if you don’t have one. Genomes, chromosomes, DNA, DNA sequencing, etc are always important.

Page 136: The Qs which are relevant from CSE point of view: Q 3, 6, 7, 10, 16 and 19.

Page 141: People important: Ratan Kumar Sinha, Salil Shetty, Kamla Persad Bissessar, David Cameron & Nick Clegg.

Page 143: None of the awards are important from CSE point of view. But Antrix Corp is important. Look up on wikipedia. That much is enough.

Page 144: ICGS Vishwast important. National Defence University is also important. Kasturirangan Committee is not that important, but just get an idea.

Page 146: National Advisory Council is very important. Biodiversity article is worth a read.

Page 148: Should know about REDD. Look up wikipedia for it.

Page 150: Should know Pele is FIFA’s player of the century.

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Indian Constitution

I am giving a list of the Articles, Amendments and some of the important cases which I mugged up. But please go through my earlier posts on GS pre and How to read the books (DD Basu part) if you haven’t. In this post, I am not covering anything related to the strategy.


Since almost all the Articles are quite important, I will provide a list of the Articles that can be left. Articles that have been repealed are not included in the list. You can surely ask me why I left a particular Article even though it might seem important.

So the NOT SO IMPORTANT Articles are:

6, 7, 8, 10, 119, 135, 146, 147, 209, 229, 233A, 237, 273, 276, 277, 282, 283, 284, 290A, 295, 296, 313, 336, 337, 371 (all of them A, B, C, …), 372, 373, 374, 375, 376, 377, 378, 392, 393, 394, 394A, 395.


Just go through the title and remember which Schedule talks about what.


Some of the important amendments that I tried to remember were:

1, 7, 24, 26, 35, 36, 42, 44, 52, 58, 61, 69, 86, 91, 92, 93, 94.

Some important cases:

1967 Golaknath vs State of Punjab/1973 Kesavananda Bharati vs State of Kerala/ 1980 Minerva Mills case

1978 Maneka Gandhi vs Union of India

2007 IR Coelho vs State of TN

2002 TMA Pai vs State of Karnataka/ 2003 Islamic Academy of Education vs State of Karnataka/ 2005 PA Inamdar vs State of Maharashtra

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Public Admin- sample notes

I am going to try to explain how I prepared the notes. Examples, etc can either be prepared beforehand or you may come up with something then and there while writing the answer. Also, linking various topics is extremely important as it leads to a complete answer. I don’t mean topics only in Pub Ad paper 1 and Pub Ad paper 2, but also relating topics in Pub Ad paper 1 and Psychology Paper 1 OR Psychology paper 2 and GS.

PA paper 1:

I have posted the notes I prepared for Kautilya from Prasad & Prasad. Through this I attempt to achieve the following:

1. How to reduce what you have to read for the exam, in order to make it manageable to revise.

2. The content remains the same, it’s only the presentation and wording which changes depending on the question asked.

3. How you can look forward to relating the topics once your notes are ready.

So this is everything I did for topic 1 from chapter 1 of paper 2. Similarly, I prepared for Mughal Administration from Fadia and Fadia & tried to revise the 2-3 pages I had again and again so that I would be able to remember the content in the exam.

Next is a topic from paper 1, Chapter 12: Public borrowings and public debt

I covered this topic from Fadia & Fadia and searched on the net for some facts. After I was finished with enough content to write a 60 marker, I did not refer anything else. I emphasised on revising as many times as I could the content I had.

Also, I would like to point out that most of the data I collected even for paper 1 topics was that of India. I never differentiated whether the topic was mentioned in paper 1 or paper 2. Answer had to be based on India. This is what the right orientation and approach is all about, and was taught very well by Pavan sir.

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