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Sanskriti Jain IAS Rank 11, Strategy, Journey, Sample Notes And Model Answers – Philosophy Optional

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Ethics & Public Administration Strategy by Prabhat Malik AIR 68

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IAS AIR 299 : Parth Jaiswal – Mathematics Optional Preparation Strategy

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Tackling Public Administration – Arpit Sagar, IAS, 163 Marks in Paper 1

ForumIAS Member Arpit Sagar has scored 163 Marks in Public Administration Paper 1 – among the highest marks in Public Administration this year. She shares her strategy below:

Hi Everyone, I am Arpit Sagar. I have cleared the Civil Services Examination Service this year. I would like to share my strategy of Public Administration Optional. I hope some of you find it useful.

The basic books/notes that I referred during my preparation:

  1. Mohit Bhattacharya
  2. Prasad and Prasad for Administrative thought
  3. Fadia and Fadia (only for some of the topics)
  4. Pawan sir’s notes,. Buy Here 
  5. Vajiram notes. Buy Here 
  6. Synopsis of ARC report, Puncchi commission report
  7. The Hindu

Please note that I did my coaching first, and later on supplemented it with the above mentioned books. For some of the chapters like financial administration and Management, Pavan Sir’s notes (Pavan Kumar IAS) were good in bringing about clarity in those topics. I had previously taken coaching from Vajiram & Ravi for earlier attempts. In this attempt, I read Pavan Sir’s notes in particular and revised them. Considering the type of questions being asked in the last few years, it has become essential to understand the questions properly and write the answers in a very simple language.

Suggestions to maximise your score in Public Administration (Paper I):

  1. More focus should be on understanding the topic in the simplest of manners. There is no point in reading myriad books as it would create unnecessary burden and result in a huge wastage of time. Basic book like Mohit Bhattacharya are good for revision. Focus more on the concept rather the content.
  2. Please note that most of the preparation for Pub Ad should be completed in the first attempt itself. In subsequent attempts, you only need to brush-up and revise.
  3. Answer-writing is the most important aspect of the preparation. I joined Pavan sir’s test series. Apart from the regular test series, I also wrote some answers from previous year question papers. (I would be discussing separately on the answer writing techniques)
  4. Chapters like Administrative thought, accountability and control and public policy should not be ignored but understood nicely as they are relatable and easy to score.
  5. You should not be too scared about the question paper. In fact you should treat it as any other test you write during your preparation. Too much anxiety creates pressure on you and it affects your performance during the examination. So, be really calm and cool about this so that you can handle all kinds of questions.
  6. Optional is a very important factor in Mains. It should not be ignored at the expense of GS preparation. Like, my marks in GS papers (81 + 94 + 79 + 100) were average but Pub Ad score increased the Mains tally tremendously.
  7. You should focus on paper 1 and paper 2 of Pub Ad equally and prepare every chapter thoroughly. Do not leave any topic unread.

Do’s and Don’ts for Answer Writing:

  1. I wrote my answers in a mixed format i.e. both paragraph form and point format. It should be decided as per the demand of the question.
  2. Answers should be to the point i.e. as per the requirement of the question, do not answer more than what the question is asking.
  3. I can’t stress enough – it is very important to understand the question. So, one should spend enough time in reading and understanding the question properly during the examination.
  4. Another mistake that I have made in my previous attempts was the use of many Pub Ad related jargons in my answers. In fact, a very simple language should be used to explain the concept which I strictly followed in all my answers this time.
  5. Also, the kinds of questions being asked these days are very general in nature and cover a wide arena. The best way to handle these questions is with utmost clarity. One should also acquire the ability to express himself/herself in a logical manner.
  6. Facts, name of thinkers, Articles from the Constitution etc can be used to substantiate your answer provided it is really fitting-in.
  7. You should take a fair stand on issues explaining it with appropriate arguments.
  8. Last but not the least; you should complete your question paper within the stipulated time.

Confusion on Pub Ad as an optional:

Now let us talk about the people who are at the starting phase of their preparation and are still confused whether to take Public Administration or not, considering the kind of score obtained in Pub Ad these days. You should decide in accordance with the below mentioned steps:

  1. You should first go through the syllabus of Public Administration and try to read some topics from the basic books. Only if you find it interesting, you should go for it. According to me, no subject is easy or difficult. You have to put-in the same amount of effort in all the optionals. The optional that you find interesting keeps you motivated during the preparation.

I was initially inclined towards Public Administration as my sister cleared the exam with Pub Ad as the optional but that is not the right way of choosing your optional. Later on, I found it relatable which made me choose it.

  1. There is nothing to be scared of this optional as it is similar to all the arts based subjects.
  2. Regarding the kind of checking in Pub Ad. It has really fluctuated in the last few years. I have suffered too in my previous attempts because of the marking pattern. Just take the example of the kind of marks I scored in my previous attempts:

2010—350/600 (171+179)

2011—270/600 (Don’t exactly remember the distribution but definitely scored very less in Paper I)

2012—136/600 (55+81)

2013—181/500 (78+120)

2014—278/500 (163+115)

But the same thing happened in other subjects like Psychology (which was my second optional during the previous format), Geography and Philosophy etc. Therefore, I didn’t see any point in changing my optional as it would have required a lot for preparation again from the beginning.

Overall tips:

  1. Always be as calm and composed as possible while writing your examination.
  2. Do not try to guess questions that can be expected in the exam. It only leads to tension and anxiety.
  3. Believe in yourself and especially your preparation. You only need to write good answers and rest will be taken care of.
  4. You should simply try to write your exam with a clear mindset, coherence and comprehensively.

I hope that the above information would help the candidates in their preparation for Public Administration.

All the best!!!

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Art & Culture TopperSpeak UPSC Preparation Strategy

ART AND CULTURE – SIMPLIFIED

This article has been written by ForumIAS Member @doodlebean selected in the CSE 2014. This article is intended to be used by aspirants preparing for CSE 2015 Prelims to quickly brush up “Art & Culture” whose significance has only increased in Civil Services Prelims. However, aspirants who are preparing for 2016 may use this 20 day formula to quickly prepare Culture *forever* in twenty days.

Art and Culture is one area which I dreaded the most. UPSC is so much in love with this topic that the demon exists not only at the Preliminary stage but in Mains too.

So, let’s do something. Let’s give some days to this topic and live the rest of our UPSC years like a King. There will be no more anxiety in the preparation from Art n Culture side after this.

OK…. gather the ingredients first.

1) NCERT (should ideally take 7 days)
Do these in small classroom sessions. They should be fun, like beautiful pictures of temples and all the accompanying characteristic features like vimaana, shikaara, torana etc in one sitting. Read them like a 5th standard kid; curiosity in mind , eyes looking for itsy-bitsy tiny-winy details.
From 6th to 10th standard — read them twice. Cut the pictures and paste them in a notebook, and write notes on peculiar features of the same.

2) CCRT culture notes (should also take 7 days)
Do these like homework. Last year 95 percent of the culture questions were from these notes only. You have to reverse the procedure here. You will get notes here, and have to supplement them with pictures. Search for pics, and attach them to temples, dances, musical instruments etc, and notice each and every detail which is written in those notes in these pictures. The link to CCRT website is here.

3) Our very own Nitin Singhania’s Culture notes (5 days)
I promise, it will not take more than 5 days to complete this. The PDFs are available here or here. (ForumIAS staff: The pages may take some time to load, so be patient).

Believe me. Just put a “poorna viraam” (full stop) on Art and Culture preparation after this. No bulky books, no extensive notes, no coaching to be attended. If you invest these 19 days wholeheartedly, it will take only 3 days to revise the Art and Culture part just before exams. A cake-walk in the literal sense of the term.

4) Over your preparation, strictly follow The Hindu and The Indian Express. You cannot afford to miss even a single topic related to Art n Culture. Whether it is an op-ed article on the GI tag for Kanjeevaram Sarees or ASI talking about restoring some ancient sites, nothing should go unnoticed. This is a steady and unending process, but will not take more than five minutes everyday.

Ek baar try to karo 😀

Best wishes
Doodlebean
ForumIAS Moderator

ForumIAS Gyan Articles are written by experienced ForumIAS members and are aimed at guiding aspirants. They may be original articles or may be picked up from comments posted in on ForumIAS.com/Discussions.
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Interview with IAS-2014 RANK 20: Aman Mittal

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Interview with IAS-2014 RANK 18: CM Saikanth Varma

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IAS RANK 34: How Arunraj Cracked IAS In First Attempt

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Reading the Hindu is key to success in UPSC. IAS Topper tells you how.

You wake up  to be faced with the gigantic task of climbing the Himalaya everyday. Reading The Hindu is no less an affair in an IAS aspirant’s life.

If you are a beginner and a late comer, that is a bigger problem, because most of you are preparing for Prelims with little preparation for Mains, and you will end up missing the news which are relevant from Mains point of view.

For instance, you wouldn’t know that you need to focus on certain kind of International Relations & Foreign affairs articles, because they are not asked in the Prelims Examination.  Since your preparation will be largely Pre centric, you have been doing previous years paper, and maybe some pre test series, and you won’t find the Mains oriented news articles helpful. This is especially true for those of you who have not prepared for Mains, and want to begin UPSC preparations with Prelims first.

However, reading the newspaper requires an integrated approach. When you read the newspaper, you prepare fodder for both the Prelims & the Mains examination. Not to mention, it helps develope your personality for the Interview.

Roman Saini , who secured 18th rank in Civil Services Examination 2013 tells you how to read The Hindu in 90 minutes or less.

Roman guides you through some of the most pertinent questions regarding the newspaper, like :

  • What to read in The Hindu
  • Which pages to focus on in the newspaper
  • What keywords are important in choosing the right articles to read.

Roman also deals with the question if a business newspaper is necessary for IAS aspirants – a rather tricky question with varied opinions.

Go ahead, watch this video, and learn How to read The Hindu in 90 minutes or less.