The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) CSE preliminary examination in 2022 is just three months away. The clock has started ticking for the serious candidates. This year, UPSC has increased the vacancies to 1011. The number of vacancies has thus crossed the psychologically important benchmark of more than 1000 after six years. It is imperative that by this time, a serious candidate should have their book list ready, as well as a list of important topics for the exam in hand.
Books for General Studies Paper-I
— GC Leong
— Class 11th and 12th NCERTs
— Indian Struggle for Independence by Bipin Chandra
— Spectrum’s A Brief History of Modern India
— NCERT Class 11th Ancient India textbook
— NCERT Class 11th Medieval India textbook
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Art and culture:
— Indian Art and Culture by Nitin Singhania
— NCERT Class 12th textbook-An Introduction to Indian Art
— NCERT Class 11th: Indian Economic development
— NCERT Class 12th: Macroeconomics
— Indian Economy: Ramesh Singh
Science and technology:
— NCERTs from Class 6th to 12th
Environment and ecology:
— NCERT Class 12th Biology
— Shankar IAS booklet
Books for General Studies Paper-II
Also known as CSAT (Civil Services Aptitude Test), it is a qualifying paper that requires only 33 per cent marks to pass. Any marks scored above this qualifying percentage do not increase a candidate’s likelihood of selection. CSAT manual published by Mc Graw Hill and an analysis of previous years’ question papers will help the candidates to prepare for this paper.
The questions in the civil services preliminary exam reflect an increasing importance of current affairs. Issues of national and international importance, particularly those that are expected to catch a careful reader’s eye, carry an increasing likelihood of being asked in the exam. Consequently, certain dynamic (and even static) syllabus topics become more relevant for the exam preparation. So, keeping a close tab over the important issues of the year is an imperative part of the exam preparation strategy. Provided below is a list of important topics for this year’s exam, so far:
— Cryptocurrency, it’s regulation and future
— Russia Ukraine war
— Covid-19 Vaccination drive
— World’s oldest cave paintings discovered in Indonesia
— World Heritage tag for Kakatiya Rudreswara Temple
— Moplah Rebellion
— Reclining Buddha at Bodh Gaya
— Sub categorization of OBCs
— Vanniyar Quota law
— Elimination of the Question hour during the pandemic
— Governor – Chief Minister relations
— Police Reforms
— Triple Talaq bill
— The Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill
— Minsk Agreement
— Tonga Volcanic Eruption
— Gangetic River Dolphin
— Mekedatu Dam
— National Marine Turtle Action Plan
— Green Hydrogen Policy
— mRNA vaccines
— PSLV-C52 Mission
The list, of course, needs to be continuously updated till the exam.
How to prepare important topics
While studying these topics, it is important to pay equal importance to their historical background as well as contemporary relevance. Often, some static syllabus portions like history find a resonance in contemporary public discourse. For instance, 2021 was the centenary year of Moplah rebellion and courted public controversy. So, a question may be asked on the history of the event.
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The topics that have been in the news recently need to be studied in entirety. For instance, one may be asked about the mechanism of volcanic eruptions because of the recent Tonga volcanic eruption in January 2022.
Therefore, a religious reading of the newspaper to zero down on topics that are repeatedly in relevance is of paramount importance. Apart from studying, candidates also need to attempt a good number of mock tests for the preliminary exam during preparation. Those appearing this year are also advised to make mock tests an integral part of their preparation.
— Authored by Pranay Aggarwal, an expert in IAS exam preparation who has been mentoring civil services candidates at IAS Gurukul
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