Sample Notes

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Indian Polity

INTRODUCTION

 

Indian Polity is a major part of General Studies Paper 1 in Civil Services Exam Prelims. This paper will include questions from Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues etc.

“Indian Polity and Governance” is a universal topic in the syllabus for Civil Services Examinations. It permeates all through the three levels ‐ Prelims, Mains and Personality Test. Invariably there will be questions from Indian polity, constitution and governance. The subject is quite scoring, provided the candidates prepare it systematically and get the concepts clear in their minds.

The pattern of questions for Civil Service Examination has undergone changes. It has become more complex especially with the emphasis on application of concepts. So the mode of preparation has to be more of “smart work” than “hard work”.

The Preliminary Examination is in the form of Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) with negative marking for incorrect answers. Each question carries two marks. This portion on polity and governance carries about 25 marks out of a total of 200 marks. In comparison to various other topics in the prelims syllabus, the share of polity and related areas is quite high.

In the Mains examination also there will be substantial number of questions from topics connected with Indian Polity and governance. They comprise of

Constitutional   and non constitutional topics. One has to understand the concepts behind them and their application, often in the context of current events. This needs an alert mind and analytical capability, which of course can be developed through conscious effort and perseverance.

In the General Studies Paper II “Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International Relations”, one can expect questions for 80 to 100 marks out of a total of 250 marks. In the Personality Test also, one can reasonably expect to get some questions on polity and governance in the backdrop of current events. Here again clarity of concepts and their logical application are crucial to score above average marks.

Apart from the General Studies papers, the topic appear under Economics, Developmental Issues, Social Justice and International Relations, Security etc. Besides its is useful for optional subjects like Public Administration, Political Science, History, Law etc.

The questions in Civil Services Examination are aimed at assessing the candidate’s ability to understand issues, their analytical skills and views on national and international issues. The questions may not be direct, especially in the Mains paper, where the candidates are asked to discuss critically, give arguments in favor or against, seek what are the implications and impediments etc. It means, preparation for examination demands understanding of concepts and issues as well as guide analytical response to them.

To elucidate the point, consider the following two simple questions.

Q: According to the Constitution of India, which of the following are fundamental for the governance of the country:

A: a) Fundamental Rights

  1. b) Fundamental Duties
  2. c) Directive Principles of state policy
  3. d) Fundamental Rights and Fundamental duties

If the question is not well understood and is attempted purely from a layman’s approach it is very likely that a candidate may give an answer anything other than the correct answer which is (c) from amongst the four alternatives.

Now take the second example in the context of the current events in Arunachal Pradesh.

Q: Which of the following are the discretionary powers given to the Governor of a State:

A: a) Sending a report to the President of India for imposing the President’s     rule

  1. b) Appointing the Ministers
  2. c) Reserving certain bills passed by the State Legislature for consideration of the President of India
  3. d) Making the rules to conduct the business of the State Government Select the correct answer using the code given below.
  4. a) 1 and 2 only b) 1 and 3 only
  5. c) 2,3 and 4 only d) 1,2,3 and 4

> The correct answer is (b)

Unless the candidate knows the specific constitutional provisions, answer given on assumptions will certainly go wrong. The specific knowledge gained will also help in answering possible related questions in the General Studies Papers or in attempting the Essay Paper or answering questions in some of the optional papers. Clarity of concept is the key to identify the correct answer from amongst the given options. Superficial knowledge will not.

Intensive and extensive reading is necessary to handle questions under polity and governance. The basic document for Indian Polity is its Constitution. Even before one starts studying the Constitutional provisions, one has to gain fair knowledge of the historical background and making of the constitution, for a critical appreciation and understanding of the document. Popular text books like NCERT books of 11 and 12 standards, “Constitution of India” by D. D. Basu, “Indian Polity” by M. Laxmikanth, etc are those commonly used by aspirants.

Apart from studying the Articles and Amendments to the Constitution, it is equally important to learn about the landmark judgments of the Supreme Court and their impact on the constitutional provisions.

Mere dependence on standard text books alone is not enough. More extensive reading is required, since there are various other aspects of governance like political system, panchayati raj, public policy, rights issue, etc. which have to be essentially linked with current events of national and international importance. Standard newspapers provide very valuable inputs to address this challenge. But cursory reading of newspaper is of no significant value. The civil service aspirants as a rule should learn the art of “studying” newspapers. They should know how to avoid news and articles that are irrelevant from the examination point of view. Attention should be confined to relevant reports and articles and critically analyse them. Reading between the lines to understand the nuances and developing ones own opinion is a hard task to begin with but will overcome gradually. Aspirants should also assiduously cultivate the practice of making brief notes along with reading. The notes so prepared should be classified and kept ready for frequent reference. This would help them relate different issues to one another as they progress in their studies. It would also help them in recalling easily what they have learned while answering questions.

Thorough preparation is important for identifying the correct choices and to

manage time. Candidate should essentially take pains to improve their reading and writing skills so as to efficiently manage time. It is possible to gain speed by constant exercise in writing, forwhich there is no alternative. It is an added advantage to learn rapid reading skills

.

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Civil Service is a heaven born service. The Civil Services of India runs the entire administration of the country. The elected ministers of India lay down the policies required to properly run the administrative machinery, which is then carried out by the civil servants in various central government agencies.

In the eyes of a common man District Collector is the government. Civil Services are as old as our civilization. Civilizations sustain due to the timely and effective provisions of civil services. Most probably, Civil Services as a career started with the monetization of the economic system or earlier when the barter system was in existence.

These civil servants are selected through the Civil Services Examination (CSE), the toughest nationwide competitive examination in India with a success rate of 0.1-0.3 percent– the least in the entire world.

 

Indian History

INTRODUCTION

 

  • The Civil Service concept in India dates back to ancient times.
  • It had its presence in Aryan’s administrative system to the Kautilya’s Arthashastra to Gupta age to Mughals and Britishers and still it is relevant for easy and smooth functioning of government.
  • Mauryan Empire was founded by Chandragupta Maurya 326 B.C.E.
  • The system was of centralized bureaucracy so that the operation of the state and a bureaucratic taxation system that financed public services can be moved without obstacles.
  • The administrative network consisted of a higher bureaucracy recruited mainly from the upper castes category, and thus attracted high status and handsome salaries.
  • The recruitment method was not well defined.
  • The lower bureaucracy was recruited on local basis so that they can be more aware of the ground realities and can implement the programs and policies impressively.
  • The upper bureaucracy had a largely managerial function.
  • The administration mainly revolves around revenue administration.
  • Land was used to act as an asset and land revenue acted as the prime source of treasure, which could have been used for social welfare.
  • This bureaucratic system founded by Kautilyas, Chandragupta and Ashoka was adopted by the successive emperors of the Guptas.
  • A very unique feature of the Gupta administration was that instead of salary in cash, it was paid in kind i.e. in the form of land.
  • Only personnel of the military service were paid cash salaries.
  • A new stage in the evolution of the administrative order came at the time of Delhi Sultanate.
  • To consolidate authority and control over conquered area, a new class of civil servants had been set up.
  • The Mughals tried to create a centralized bureaucracy as opposed to old feudal systems to administer the huge empire ranging from north to south.
  • The Mughal government brought new methods of administration based on Persian administrative models and practices.

Officials (Muslims) were organized in military ranks. They were ranked and paid according to the number of troops they commanded. Fewer officials now were given lands instead they

  • were paid through nonheritable revenues thus making this new warrior elite dependent on the Great Mughal.
  • This was known as the Mansabdari system. The British had set the civil services on the scientific terms to demarcate between civilian and military officers which were missing in Mughal era.
  • The recruitment process was however on the patronage basis according to the will of the court of Directors who usually nominated their friends and relatives for the services.
  • The novel idea of ‘open competition’ for recruitment was proposed by the Macaulay Committee which was listed as Charter Act of 1853.
  • Finally, a merit based system based on open competitive examination set up along with the new system of cadre based Civil Services.

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Indian Geography

INTRODUCTION

 

Geography is a major part of General Studies Paper 1 in Civil Services Exam Prelims. This paper will include questions from Indian and World Geography – Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the world.

Geography is an important topic for IAS Preliminary as well as Main Exam. The discipline of Geography is broadly divided into Physical Geography and Human Geography. The concepts of Geography need to be applied to questions related to Indian Geography as well as World Geography.

Indian Geography In Brief : Topics To Cover

Indian Geography can be divided into three – Physical Geography, Economic Geography and Social Geography. The major sub-topics under Physical Indian Geography are Physio-graphic divisions, Drainage, Climate, Vegetation, Natural Resources etc. Topics related to environment like Wild-life, Soil, Flora etc should be given stress too. Economic and Social Geography related aspects of Indian Geography should the studied in parallel to Physical Geography. Tip : NCERT Books will turn really handy for preparation of Economic and Social Geography.

Physio-graphic regions

  1. Mountains (Himalayas).
  2. Northern Plains.
  3. Peninsular Plateau.
  4. Coastal Plains.

Drainage

  1. Himalayan Rivers.
  2. Peninsular Rivers.

Climate + Four Seasons of India

  1. Hot Weather Season.
  2. Advancing Monsoon.
  3. Retreating Monsoon.
  4. Cold Weather Season.

Vegetation

  1. Tropical Rain-forest.
  2. Tropical Deciduous Forests. (Monsoon Forests)
  3. Mountain Vegetation.
  4. Desert Vegetation.
  5. Marshy land Vegetation.

Natural Resources

  1. Minerals including Petroleum and Natural Gas.
  2. Wild Life.

Human Geo: Economic Geography

Study in detail about the economic activities related to Agriculture, Industries and Services in different areas of India. Learn how the geography of a region affect the economic prosperity of the same.

Human Geo: Social Geography

Learn more the details like Demographics, poverty, hunger, literacy rates, unemployment etc. in a geography perspective.

Click Here For Indian Geography Notes

Click Here For Indian Geography Notes

 

Indian Art & Culture

INTRODUCTION

 

Culture plays an important role in the development of any nation. It represents a set of shared attitudes, values, goals and practices. Culture and creativity manifest themselves in almost all economic, social and other activities. A country as diverse as India is symbolized by the plurality of its culture.
India has one of the world’s largest collections of songs, music, dance, theatre, folk traditions, performing arts, rites and rituals, paintings and writings that are known, as the ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage’ (ICH) of humanity. In order to preserve these elements, the Ministry of Culture implements a number of schemes and programmes aimed at providing financial support to individuals, groups and cultural organizations engaged in performing, visual and literary arts etc.

The mandate of the Ministry of Culture revolves around the functions like preservation and conservation of our cultural heritage and promotion of all forms of art and culture, both tangible and intangible. The Ministry’s task is to develop and sustain ways and means through which the creative and aesthetic sensibilities of the people remain active and dynamic. The functional spectrum of this Ministry is wide, ranging from generating cultural awareness at grassroots level to promoting cultural exchanges at international level. In order to achieve these objectives, the Ministry undertakes various activities that flow from subjects allocated under the Govt. of India’s Allocation of Business Rules.

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Indian Economy

INTRODUCTION

 

Civil Services Examinations focus heavily on several general awareness topics and the book entails all the important topics that help students deal with the rigorous questions based on the Indian Economy. From 5 year plans to basic concepts of Economics, every single topic has been covered in depth by the author to help students score efficiently in the Civil Services Examination.

The Indian Economy is an important part of most competitive examinations and the book Indian Economy : For Civil Services Examinations seeks to provide a holistic approach to studying the topic for efficient problem solving.

Course Introduction:

The Economics section is a part of the first round of the UPSC exam – CSAT. This course has been designed by FACE Prep for aspirants looking for a structured IAS preparation guide with effective techniques to crack the Economics section of CSAT exam.

Course Objectives:

At the end of the course you will:

  • Have a clear understanding of the history of the Indian economy.
  • Know the difference between microeconomics and macroeconomics.
  • Understand how international economic organizations function.
  • Understand important concepts like banking, budgeting, taxation and accounting.

Pre-requisites and Target Audience:

This comprehensive course has been designed for UPSC aspirants seeking to ace the Economics section of the UPSC Prelims examination.

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Biology

INTRODUCTION

Biology is the study of living things. It encompasses the cellular basis of living things, the energy metabolism that underlies the activities of life, and the genetic basis for inheritance in organisms. Biology also includes the study of evolutionary relationships among organisms and the diversity of life on Earth. It considers the biology of microorganisms, plants, and animals, for example, and it brings together the structural and functional relationships that underlie their day-to-day activities. Biology draws on the sciences of chemistry and physics for its foundations and applies the laws of these disciplines to living things.Aspirants keen to pursue research and higher studies in the field of Biology in India’s premier institutes like CSIR – Labs,Medical Jobs etc, OSN Academy is the best destination. We provide meticulously designed Study Material under the supervision of our academic experts in the area of “Biology”. The material covers all the topics needed to qualify IAS PCS UGC NET  CSIR – JRF,  and other leading exams for higher studies and research in India.



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Chemistry

INTRODUCTION

The science that deals with the properties, composition, and structure of substances (defined as elements and compounds), the transformations they undergo, and the energy that is released or absorbed during these processes. Every substance, whether naturally occurring or artificially produced, consists of one or more of the hundred-odd species of atoms that have been identified as elements. Although these atoms, in turn, are composed of more elementary particles, they are the basic building blocks of chemical substances; there is no quantity of oxygen, mercury, or gold, for example, smaller than an atom of that substance. Chemistry, therefore, is concerned not with the subatomic domain but with the properties of atoms and the laws governing their combinations and how the knowledge of these properties can be used to achieve specific purposes.


 

 

 

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Decision Making

INTRODUCTION

As a civil servant you are expected to make quick, reasoned, logical and welfare oriented decisions. Once the decision is taken you should stick to your stand and should not bow down before political or industry pressure. The questions based on this will test your decision making skills, something, which the prelims never did. You will also be tested on your sincerity, honesty, and integrity towards the civil services values. Till now candidates feigned these qualities in the IAS interview and got through. This will be possible any more.

This part of the examination measures your ability to use logic and common sense in solving of problems confronted in modern day today administration. The questions will generally relate to situations that require you either to take some action, to explain why an action has or would be taken or to interpret what the action implies. In Problem Solving and Decision Making there is a classic five step approach which would enable you to solve most the questions easily. The steps are:

  • Indentify the problem
  • Indentify the possible solutions
  • Select the best solution
  • Eliminate other solutions
  • Make the decision

Now let us look at these steps in greater detail-

  1. Identify the problem : Read the question carefully, and clearly identify what is being asked. What is special problem or point of the question? Is there any specific order you must follow? Are there any special instructions you must follow?
    2.Indentify the possible solutions : Read all the choices carefully to identify one that best solves the problem.
    3. Select the best solution and then defend it : Answer the question why does this solve the problem? Does it solve the problem with least risk, danger or damage. Always keep in mind that the consequences could be physical or mental. Will it solve the problem within the reasonable time? Have you answered all the parts of the question? Are they in correct order?
    4. Eliminate other choices that :
  • Are contradictory to what is required
  • Call for unnecessary actions or risk
  • Require that an instruction be disobeyed
  • Insult, disregard or interfere with the basic values of our constitution
  • Benefit only specific person or group
  • Only partially solve the problem
  • Procrastinate the real problem
  • Call for an action you are unauthorised to take are not in a position to implement
  1. Make the decision and record it.

Sample Question

  1. You are the District Collector of XYZ district of India. One morning you reach the office and while you were going through some files, you hear some noise of conflict from out side. You call the assistant and enquire about the issue. The assistant tells you that a communal riot has broken out in the city. What would be your immediate course of action?

Analyses the following options and choose your answer using the codes given below-

(a)You will rush to the scene of the conflict immediately and call the leaders of the both the communities to calm the mob.
(b) You will summon the SP and other senior officials for conference to take the stock of situation and to take necessary action
(c) You will inform the Divisional Commissioner and wait for his instructions.
(d) You will instruct the SP of the district to look into the matter.

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