PSIR - Strategy, resources & discussion - ForumIAS

PSIR - Strategy, resources & discussion

Hi peeps. Let’s do this!

1. Previous papers from 2009 (both papers are in the same PDF):here

2. Topic-wise PYQs: here 

3. Look for PDFs of books here: b-ok.cchttp://libgen.rs/archive.org

4. Model answers from SR:here 

5. OnlyIAS notes, if you need extra matter for a few topics:here 

6. SR notes, typed:politicsforindia.com

Bajrang Lonikar,Saloni2607and88 otherslike this
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Makes sense! Especially given the fact that a significant number of students are likely following almost exactly the same source every year.

Do you know what GS Score does differently?

No clue as I’ve not enrolled into any paid programs anywhere yet, but I think each teacher has a particular area of the syllabus on which he/she spends the most time on and I think that area is IR for Piyush Sir and Political Theory for SR.

If you see his introduction video on strategy for political science he’ll repeatedly emphasise part B of both the papers - saying how dynamic nature increases scope for scoring higher et al. Who knows really, all this is just a HOT TAKE tbh. 

whatonly,
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This quoting scholars thing... is it given as much importance even for actual students in BA/MA pol sci exams? I mean, is it such an important aspect of the study even in a proper academic course? Humanities students would know if there are any here? Since the examiners are likely profs.

It always seemed a bit off to me - surely if people have been doing the same thing for years, and since a lot of the views will tend to get repeated, it should be rewarding to try something different?

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Caesarsaid

@whatonly nothing much. I took classes from there only. Ma'am covers 2A better, piyush sir is good in 2b. Overall maam's notes are better, esp. 1B. 


2A me sir dictates from Heywood's book. Ma'am mostly relies on Baylis & Smith(as much i have seen). That's the difference in notes. Problem is Sir does not cover the topic comprehensively & organically. It's mostly one para from here another from there, that's why he's not very good for 2A

whatonly,
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@Caesar @Villanelle Okay. Guess we just have to collect more independent content then!

Villanelle,
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@Caesar @Villanelle Okay. Guess we just have to collect more independent content then!

That’s pretty much what I’ve concluded too. 

whatonly,
3.8k views

This quoting scholars thing... is it given as much importance even for actual students in BA/MA pol sci exams? I mean, is it such an important aspect of the study even in a proper academic course? Humanities students would know if there are any here? Since the examiners are likely profs.

It always seemed a bit off to me - surely if people have been doing the same thing for years, and since a lot of the views will tend to get repeated, it should be rewarding to try something different?

It does add weight to your answer, esp in theory part. But I do think scholars should be used to support your argument and not the other way round. And answers should not be completely about scholarly views. Like a ques on nuclear detterence should not be ltd to Waltz, Sagan and theories but extend to current events, history and 2-3 lines of your own. That's what I think, others can elaborate 

Villanelle,whatonlyand1 otherslike this
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Shubhra Ma'am notes were 100% solely part of my prep. Nothing absolutely NOTHING beyond them. This was a conscious choice since i prepared after prelims mostly.

Her crash course notes are a gold mine for paper 2. In paper 2 i attempted 2 ques in 2B part all thanks to her notes. 142 in paper 2 only because i could quote books and scholars from her crash course answers. 

In paper 1, it seems i need to add more content for which i think test series, pyq and selected reading of standard books might help. 

Although this time csat is stuck so not so hopeful :(


Porus,noOneand10 otherslike this
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Shubhra Ma'am notes were 100% solely part of my prep. Nothing absolutely NOTHING beyond them. This was a conscious choice since i prepared after prelims mostly.

Her crash course notes are a gold mine for paper 2. In paper 2 i attempted 2 ques in 2B part all thanks to her notes. 142 in paper 2 only because i could quote books and scholars from her crash course answers. 

In paper 1, it seems i need to add more content for which i think test series, pyq and selected reading of standard books might help. 

Although this time csat is stuck so not so hopeful :(


Thank you :) and i truly hope you clear the csat, would be great to learn alongside someone who has scored such good marks

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Shubhra Ma'am notes were 100% solely part of my prep. Nothing absolutely NOTHING beyond them. This was a conscious choice since i prepared after prelims mostly.

Her crash course notes are a gold mine for paper 2. In paper 2 i attempted 2 ques in 2B part all thanks to her notes. 142 in paper 2 only because i could quote books and scholars from her crash course answers. 

In paper 1, it seems i need to add more content for which i think test series, pyq and selected reading of standard books might help. 

Although this time csat is stuck so not so hopeful :(


Amazing... you must have revised them really really thoroughly! Especially if you prepared mostly after prelims. Hope you get a chance to excel this year too :)

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@Blueberry thank you for your inputs. I was just about to ask you the same, since your paper 2 marks have been an exception. It's a relief honestly that atleast someone is getting rewarded. Hope things work out well this year. There's also another saving grace. I saw another marksheet just a while back, 159 in paper 1. Didn't get into the list (paper 2 was 119). So probably all is not so gloomy 


Hitman2021,
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From how I understood things after my first mains (2018), where I'd relied on Shubhra maams notes entirely, was that they're enough to get you till 275-280. The real game for the next 50 marks starts after that. For every additional mark in this segment, one has to put disproportionate amount of time, be it going beyond standard sources for selective topics (theory part particularly). Yet the real scope to take a lead away from the pack lies in part B of both papers, but more importantly 2B (SR notes usually lack in this, but her crash course notes cover up the gap). One can go without them also, by keeping track of books, data, editorials etc but this has to be done over a long term process, otherwise it is a huge task to be done between pre and mains. And lastly, writing practice to write better, faster answers with good presentation and complete the paper. 

I'm yet to dig deeper as to how this year gave such drastically variant results for myself. But in the end, my way forward would still be to do the above- consolidate notes that I already have, make them crisper (I liked@AzadHindFauz  style as seen few pages back), add value points from whatever material you see (topper copies, model answers from test series, peer review copies, and then just writing more and more mock tests. 

Caesar,JuniorGand1 otherslike this
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hi@Porus , just wanted to knw one thing, giving attempt in 2021, did mam course would cover, all the scholars n thinkers we need to quote in 2B , because i feel i m reading too much editorials and really dont knw what to quote

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@sstarrr see, I'm not getting results in 2B, so take my suggestions cautiously.@Blueberry  has explained her approach a bit above. See editorials from exam perspective are mainly to understand the critical analysis. Quoting part is very specific, say, some data used in that editorial (eg Bilateral trade data). Scholars ke case me one has to be more careful. I'll give an example, say question is on India's Afghanistan concerning Taliban. A lot of editorials are coming nowadays on this. For such topics, just collect two kinds, one who are visibly against and those who are pro. Once you've segregated, then you just do name dropping and can even write your own overlapping opinion and not bother about their exact quote. Like you should know, and the examiner would know also, that Vivek Katju wants you to talk to the Taliban. You can't put him in the other segment of scholars asking to shun Taliban altogether. Or say middle East strategy, C Raja Mohan has clearly stated it's in Indian interests to align along the UAE-Saudi-Israel axis. Or what Bhadrakumar would argue contrarily, ki Iran ko nikalne mat do haath se. So you can just collect scholars as per that to argue. Obviously much better if you know their actual arguments, say for nuclear doctrine, you can quote K subramanian for general strategic argument, then say Gurmeet Kanwal on Tactical Nuclear Weapons. It would be disastrous if you quote subramanian for TNW because they weren't in the picture then. 
There are generalist scholars like Harsh V Pant, C Raja Mohan, who would keep writing lot of stuff. Use the editorial as the base of your reasoning and analysis. Lift their views for arguments only if they are very specific. Like I wouldn't find it valuable to quote Harsh Pant for a generic thing say, HV Pant argues that India US relationship has become stronger over the years. 
Also use the editorials to search for any book or thinker they quote from, like I remember finding about Paul Keneddy's idea of Imperial Overstretch from an editorial. He wrote that about the Roman Empire but clearly applicable in the case of US nowadays. 


Monkey D. Luffy,Spockand6 otherslike this
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Additionally, look for editorials or scholars' pieces (ORF, Diplomat etc) for particular phrases they've coined or like to use. 

Shashi Tharoor, Samir Saran: The New World Disorder and the Indian Imperative

- It may be time for aNew Delhi Consensus, which is not a metaphor for Indian exceptionalism but a call for a more inclusive and participatory world order

Or even what the PM says, like for BRI- On BRI

Modi: criticised countries for offering 'development partnerships that become dependence partnerships ' 
You can use Evernote to copy paste and keep compiling stuff. 

So this is an intensive process. You have time, so one can keep collecting stuff. If someone is giving mains this year, one just to do the bare minimum of finding 1-2 scholars on each side, some beautiful quote (Abe quoted Dara Shikoh for Indo-Pacific). And you're kind of sorted. 
Caesar,Hitman2021
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@Porus @MarcusA  guys it would be really helpful for this year mains students if you can provide your notes. 

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@Porus Did you write all this scholars and technicalities in paper 2 in 2019?just curious if it works or not in actual exam


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@Porus @MarcusA  guys it would be really helpful for this year mains students if you can provide your notes. 

 i am relying on shubhra mam class notes.. see if you can arrange them from market. however, i would suggest you to buy directly from the centre.

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@Porus  I agree that at least in Theory part, if one wants to go beyond ~270, they will have to do something extra. Mainly because
1) the competition in theory portion is way too high. Everyone relies on questions in 2A and 2B
2) questions are repeated, either verbatim or their variation.
Model answers, topper copies, solved pyq are simpler ways of getting additional content. 
However, as SR says, we must always prepare keynotes. These are very crucial for multiple revisions. We can keep adding stuff from other sources in these keynotes. Immensely helpful for me. 

Finally, the anser writing part is very crucial for this optional. While attempting mains 'dearth of content' is not the issue, it is the flow and the way of presenting right scholars quotes, and data. 

I've also seen some of the topper copies this year, nothing out of the ordinary in content. But whatever is required in an answer is there. 

Let's see marks of rank 31, 35, 67 etc. We may get a clearer picture. 

Porus,tarunkrsingh
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Deleted


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@Aurang_mirasudar  yep it works.
As@Porus said, collect scholars on every major bilateral relation. SR class notes are not updated here. Crash course covers this gap. I remember she gave trade data, PM quotes, interesting quotes from Shyam Saran's book "how india sees the world" etc on major issues.
Next question is that what if we don't have a relevant scholar to quote for the question asked? Here i think theory part scholars help. 
For example, on a question on leadership role in foreign policy quote fareed zakaria's neoclassical realist approach/kautilya, or Nye for soft power's importance etc. I quoted AT Mahan for BRI question last year because i had no significant scholars here. These theory scholars and concepts give more weight to answer than just CRajamohan imo. 


Porus,
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