The vie for civil services in India is not new. Over one million candidates take this prestigious entrance examination every year for around thousand vacancies including services such as IAS, IPS and IFS. Without any second thought, most of you agree with us that the screening or the preliminary round is the toughest one in entire selection process.
The civil services preliminary consists of two papers, namely General Studies and Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT). The CSAT paper is a qualifying paper and marks obtained here will not be considered for selecting candidates for further rounds. After this announcement, many students started seeing the general studies paper as a saviour and now give it their best to gain more marks.
Starting from current events to general science, aspirants are putting their best foot forward in each section. However, tackling the Indian Polity needs a combination of hard work and strategy. If you ask, "how do I prepare on my own for this paper", we simply suggest you scroll down for an answer. As many aspirants are preparing for the preliminary round, we have decided to make this article to help them.
Understand The Syllabus
The UPSC has clearly published the syllabus of the Indian polity and governance through its official notification. It consists of Indian constitution, political system, panchayati raj, public policy, rights issues, etc. Aspirants who are aiming to prepare on their own should know the syllabus because there will be no one to guide them on the boundaries.
Keep Yourself Updated
The question in the Indian Polity will not be based only on the facts. Many times the UPSC has asked the questions on the latest developments in the politics such as committee and amendments. So never ignore the recent developments considering them as current affairs. Aspirants should mix the conceptual knowledge and current affairs to understand better. One should read the recent government bills and governance actions.
Start With Indian Constitution
There is a myth amongst the civil services aspirants that one has to know the Indian Constitution meticulously. To be honest with you, no one can remember all the articles, clauses and amendments in the Constitution. However, one should know the important ones. We suggest aspirants to start their preparation with the Indian Constitution because it will generate interest and eagerness.
What To Read In Indian Constitution
Aspirants should start reading the Indian Constitution with the preamble because the UPSC has surprised the test takers with a question on it. After the preamble, read the union and its territory and citizenship topics. Give special attention to the fundamental rights, DPSPs and fundamental duties.
The part-V in Indian Constitution consist of the union and part-VI, the states. The candidates analytical skills are required for these parts. One should start analysing and try to interrelate with concepts. Until the part-XI (relations between the union and the states), candidate should not skip any area. From part-XII (finance, property, contracts and suits) to part-XIV (services under the union and the states), there is less weightage. Keep them at the end. However, never ignore part-XV (elections) and part-XVIII (emergency provisions).
Interrelate The Concepts
We suggest aspirants to start preparing their own notes while reading the articles and schedules in the Indian Constitution. After reading the most important areas in the Indian Constitution, aspirants should now focus only on interrelating the concepts. For instance, the emergency. They should think about what is the primary difference between the financial and national emergency and how the political system depends on it.
Focus On Panchayati Raj
Over a course of time, this particular section has earned much attention due to government's excessive focus on rural development. Starting local self-government to elections in villages, every topic is important. Also, never ignore 73rd and 74th amendment acts.
The notification clearly reads that the public policy and right issues are required. Candidates are suggested to focus on important programs, missions, laws and policies launched by the government. Reading the tribunals is required though they are important for the main examination.
Best Books For Indian Polity In Civil Services
- Indian Polity for Civil Services Examinations - M. Laxmikanth
- Introduction to the Constitution of India - Durga Das Basu
- Our Parliament - Subhash Kashyap
- NCERT textbooks