Sunday, January 18, 2009

Preparing Political Science for UPSC/IAS Prelims

Political Science is almost as popular as Public Administration as an optional and where political science scores over other optionals is that it covers a very scoring segment of General studies in Mains as well.My very good friend Vivek took political science as his first optional despite coming from an engineering background and he has appeared in interview twice and awaiting the result of mains.Here he is sharing his views on preparing political science and general studies for UPSC/IAS prelims...

I(Vivek Tripathi) have a background of computer science and yet i was lucky enough to qualify prelims and mains in my both attempts with political science(prelims) and psychology as optional subjects.The result of mains for 3rd time is awaited by me. The strategy followed by me in both general studies as well as political science was simple-Rotate/Twist all the information which you encounter in books or newspapers.Neither too much nor too little thinking on particular topic is required.I will explain this by few examples-

General studies-Everyone knows that Sam Pitroda is head of NKC.The UPSC will never ask this question. Rather we should ask to ourselves that why Sam Pitroda was made head of NKC.It is he who pionereed telecom revolution (C-DOT exchanges) in India. It is this critical information that we must know. Similarly, we can see Sulabh Toilets outside every railway stations.Thus, we should know who is behind this movement( Bindeshwar Pathak!) .Also, we are facing the problem of naxalism these days. As an intelligent citizen, we should know when,how and where this problem started-1967-Naxalbari village(darjeeling district,west bengal).The early leaders were Charu Mazumdar and Kanu Sanyal.In this way we can approach toward the general studies.The paper of general studies in prelims is,now, too general to need any coaching.In my opinion,a regular and intelligent reading of newspapers alongwith efficient use of wikipedia,if possible, is sufficient enough to provide cutting edge in prelims paper.

Political science- I never took any any coaching or guidance for political science.One can easily score 85-90+(after negative marking) in this paper with certain degree of conceptual clarity.For begineers, I would recommend following books-
1.The Constitution Of India- D.D.BASU
2.An Introduction To Political Theory-O.P.Gauba
3.Spectrum's Political science for Prelims
4.The Constitution Of India-P.M.Bakshi
The thorough study of O.P.Gauba may help you in getting basics entrenched in your mind.This subject is so wide that it is difficult to make a list of all the books that are required.I can only suggest the approach through which one should/may go toward the subject. For instance,
Art 1 of the Constitution states that India that is Bharat shall be union of states.This article gives us several important information-
a) The use of word 'union' rather than 'federal' ;The word federal is nowhere used in the consitution.This point is explained in all the major books on the subject.
b) What about Union Territories??? This means that India can exist without Union Territories but not without states.Of course, the boundaries, name and ,in fact, new states can be created. But States in some form must exist.India can not exist without states. You will not found this point in many popular books on the subject.It is this ability of extracting hidden information from the common information that comes when one go repeatative and of course, focused study of the subject.The 'common sense' of any person actually unravels the effort person put on the suject.
c)What about panchayats?????Think about it!
Important point-The term 'states' here do not have the same meaning as the word 'state' in Art 12 of the constitution.

I hope all this strategy/approach etc. become redundant for you once you actually start putting effort for the examinations because you will develop your own method of qualifying this examination! Best of luck !!!

Vivek Tripathi

33 Comments:

prasad said...

Hi Vivek,

you had said the excellent technique of studying GS.
Can you clearly tell me what to study in NCERT books regarding GS?
and for optional as well.

Regards
SVN

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
vivek tripathi said...

prasad,
you can go through class x NCERT books.Just take a broad overview of history and geography from NCERT.There is no need to have in-depth knowledge of history.
Regards
Vivek Tripathi

gajanan said...

Hello Vivek,

Are there any classes available in Mumbai on which we can believe about the guidance....If someone has attended some classes feedback about the same would help...

Thanks,
Gajanan

Abhishek said...

@Gajanan ... dere must be some kind of coaching available in mumbai as well but i dont have much idea abt it ,as far as coaching in pol.sc. is concerned Vivek did not take any coaching for political science ,he prepared on his own ...in case of any further queries concerning pol.sc u can post them here and i will ask Vivek to answer them if possible ...gud luck !!!

ekansh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ekansh said...

hi abhishek, what shoud i do to prepare of science and geography for GS prelims

Abhishek said...

@ Ekansh ... i will be writing a post covering geography nad general science from GS point of view for prelims soon ... for the time being for geography get good grip on Atlas ...u shud cover one continent every day for 20 minutes or so before sleeping, figure out al important locations,straits,mountain ranges,tropics of cancer,capricorn or equator cutting across which countries and so on ... also do this exercise religiously for India as many location based questions are asked in prelims ...for general science u shud cover the biology part thoroughly and little bit of physics and chemistry ,just follow some special edition of Competition Wizard or any other such magazine ... all d best !!!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Could u please tell me can i take poli sci and public admiistration together as my 2 subjects....

Abhishek said...

@Anonymous ... u cannot take pol.sc and public admn . together as your two optionals because both these papers are held on the same day in mains ...

Anonymous said...

Hey hi....
I want to pursue my masters in poli science, could u plz tell me the names of some nice colleges....

Avinash said...

Hi Vivek,

I have taken Geography as 1st optional.

For my 2nd optional i am in Dilemma with PubAdministration/Psychology/PoliticalScience. I am from Electronics engineering background and i have not studied pol sci anytime. But i think i have an advantage with this optional in GS main.
Let me know your view on this at the earliest.

Thank You

Anonymous said...

is axis or vaji better institute for polsc coaching?do reply in my id if u find time as i am confused n a new student----ashirvad_29@yahoo.in

Anonymous said...

Hey anyone plzz tell me! Can i take pol sci and sociology as my 2 subjects??

Anonymous said...

Hi
Can any one suggest me anthropology books(apper 1 and paper 2)

regards,
akhila

Anonymous said...

Hi Abhishek & Vivek,

Thanks a lot to both of you. Indeed it's a very good post.It's quite useful for beginners.

Can you please give us one more favour. Please provide the books names also for political science. Agree with Vivek that it's a wide subject & it's a difficult thing to list all the books names to refer.But if possible try to enlist the names as after browsing several sites also I'm unable to find out best books to follow as on each site there are different books which are more confusing & some time even misleading.

So it's a request if you could post all the books names for political scince it'll really be a great help.

anviti said...

hello abhishek,

ur blog is really helpful...thnxzz for all the info....plz suggest me some good books for pol sc. mains...also which coaching is good for postal guidance in pol.sc.

vansh said...

hello vivek,
I'm vansh doing my MBA( finance and HR), so i was thinking of taking management as my optional for mains.. but everybody is saying that its success ratio is very low.
so what should i do now,
should i go for management and political science or
psychology and political science/ public administration.
for you as a student of engineering wasnt psychology a little tough?
plz help, i'm eagerly waiting for your reply.
and yeah i read your blog its really gud and helpful.
thank you

pankaj singh said...

Hello Sir,

I am pursuing 5-year Undergraduate B.A. LL.B. (Hons.) course from one of the National Law Universities. After much deliberation I have decided to opt for Political Science (for Mains) along with Law. In this regard, I need your kind help/opinion to resolve few issues I am confronted with.

First and foremost is that even while I believe that Political Science is a wise selection for me (considering all the benefits of Law and Pol Sci together and my aptitude and interest in the subject) I am not very confident about my choice. After three years at a Law school I am apprehensive about my capability to handle the dynamism and demands of Pol Sci. Also, my seniors are still endorsing Public Administration for the obvious reasons of concise syllabus, static nature of subject etc.

The second issue is that how should I go about my preparation given the fact that I have still two years at university and I will make my first attempt only in 2012.

I would always be grateful to you if you will give your opinion on the above.

Thanking you.

Shiv said...

I am a B.Tech. student.Can I take Pub.Admin. and Pol. Sc. as two optionals for mains? Plz give some advice about choosing opionals.

Anonymous said...

Hello ! i have taken pub ad. m reading from Laxmikanth for prelims. can u suggest me some other books for prelims

nisha said...

hello sir....
plz suggest me one or two book for political science which is havng entire syllabus of i.a.s and help me in crackng prelims......plz sir do reply

nisha said...

hello sir....
plz suggest me one or two book for political science which is havng entire syllabus of i.a.s and help me in crackng prelims......plz sir do reply

nisha said...

sir i had done my b-tech from computer science.as being cs student i had never gone trough pol.science.sp plz suggest those books which help me preparng for upsc

kammarsumanth said...

hi vivek

despite ur continuous qualification to interview u couldnt crack the final step. are there any special reasons for this? because knowing the ways to failures really help a lot... please specify. also ur guidance towards freshers is outstanding.. thanks

ishan said...

hi vivek,
i am confused between political science and pub ad as an optional....although i have started studying pub ad...still i think if i could get some kind of suggestions from you regarding the advantages and disadvantages of both, that would really be helpful.
Regards,
Ishan

Gazal Bharadwaj said...

hey i was quite confused whether 2 choose pub ed or political sc. as my 2nd optional along wid history....
your blog was informative.

prajahk said...

hi vivek
my optionals are pol. science and philosophy , is this a gud combination??
also i heard that pol.science covers around 80%of GS mains is this true.??? pls reply asap

Anonymous said...

Hi Vivek,

you had said the excellent technique of studying GS.
Can you clearly tell me which books should i refer for political science mains examination
Regards

Akash said...

hello sir i am akash...i have completed my btech computer science with 55%..sir i am an avg student but i gud memory power.. my aim is to become an IAS ...and i am planing to take coaching in delhi...sir i will u please tell me some basic things so that i can improve myself before starting my preparation for prilims..
Thanking you...

Aravind Anu said...

hello sir, I am aravind from andhra and i have recently completed my b.tech.I want to take psychology and pol.scnce as my optionals but many are warning me that both are heavy subjects.but i am damn interested in them .please tell ur opinion

Jayesh Mohan said...

I have an electronics background. Now working as software engineer. I have a great desire to become an IPS officer. I have decided to pick History and Political Science as my optional subjects. I don't have any idea about political science.Just gone through the syllabus. Is it a right decision to pick these subjects as my optional subjects.

Jayesh Mohan said...

Hi Vivek/Abhishek

I have an electronics background. Now working as software engineer. I have a great desire to become an IPS officer. I have decided to pick History and Political Science as my optional subjects. I don't have any idea about political science.Just gone through the syllabus. Is it a right decision to pick these subjects as my optional subjects.