Lecture by S. Maitra on IAS Indian Economy at Civil Services Study Centre


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Lecture by S. Maitra on IAS Indian Economy at Civil Services Study Centre

  1. 1. CSSC/ATI, Salt Lake/CSE-2014/General Studies (Prelims)/Prof. S. Maitra/Lecture #1 1 How to prepare for CSE Prelims Introductory Lecture by Subir Maitra, Associate Professor The civil services examination is basically a test to choose suitable administrators. It tests the candidate right from the stage when one starts the preparation. One common misconception about the prelims is that it is a test of facts and figures. This is not so. A candidate should have the right frame of mind and the will power to succeed in the exam. A proper action plan is needed for the preparation itself since he /she will be tested for some essential qualities like power of retention, clarity of concepts, ability to identify the correct alternatives with efficiency and accuracy. All this requires a quick decision making power. Since the preliminary exam in particular is a test of endurance the candidate needs to prepare himself on the physical as well as mental level. The main constraint is the time one gets to answer questions. On an average one gets around 70 seconds for each question for GS Paper-1 and around 90 seconds for GS Paper-2. One sure way of dealing with this stress is to count numbers or to take a few deep breaths. Meditation and Yoga also help in dealing with stress to a great extent. Now we come to the actual preparation for the prelims exam. Since it is a multiple choice question paper, it needs a different preparation and a proper strategy. The first thing a candidate needs to bear in mind is that the examination is designed to evaluate certain qualities like a sharp memory and basic retention power. There are ways to increase one's memory like preparing charts. One gets confused when faced with mind boggling facts and figures. Important facts and figures can be simplified and represented on charts and they can be arranged in the form of tables or graphs. Another thing to remember is to make short and brief notes on each topic so that the entire syllabus can be revised a day before the exam. It is better to use diagrams and link words which make it easier to understand difficult concepts. One more technique to help in retaining information is the use of abbreviations. Since the syllabus involves exhaustive information abbreviations help you to remember it better. It is a good method to remember dates, facts and figures in a picture format and to break up complex names and places into smaller and simpler words. The last and the most important technique is doing regular revision. This helps in retaining the maximum information. A separate time slot should be given to doing not only regular but multiple revisions like daily, weekly, monthly etc. Many candidates make a mistake of overloading themselves with lots of information and end up remembering nothing. One should be able to differentiate between relevant and irrelevant information. Since the preliminary exam is an elimination round the candidate should also learn to focus only on the information needed and filter out the rest. It helps to discuss with friends and teachers but the most reliable way is to past years question papers for the optional subject whereas for the general studies paper, one should keep abreast with current events and information related to them. An important thing to remember is that for this exam it is just enough to remember information but to understand the concepts well instead of memorizing facts and figures. The questions asked in the General Studies paper are of 10+2 level. Therefore emphasis has to be on conceptual clarity. Any concept has to be understood with its origin, merits and de-merits, then it needs to be analysed with other relevant topics and lastly it has to be correlated with the events that have taken place during the year.
  2. 2. CSSC/ATI, Salt Lake/CSE-2014/General Studies (Prelims)/Prof. S. Maitra/Lecture #1 2 The preliminary exam requires candidates who have the acumen and the ability to choose the right option of many given options. This needs a proper method of elimination. It is a good idea to go through previous years and model question papers and solve as many as possible. Taking a mock test of a certain number of G.S. questions would be a good practice and help to pick out the most appropriate option. Each prelims paper is for two hours but a lot of time is wasted in signing attendance sheets etc, therefore there is a lot of need for effective Time Management not only for the exam but in the preparation as well. It is not enough to know the right answer but it has to be marked correctly on the answer sheet. Speed and Accuracy are important, so solving model question papers on a regular basis would be a great help. A good presence of mind is needed to eliminate the least appropriate options and arrive at the right one. Tick out the least correct answer first and go on to the next option. Even when faced with a question for which you do not have a ready answer, with basic common sense and a good presence of mind, it is possible to make your guess a smart and a correct one. Throughout the preparation for the prelims exam, it is important to remember that any topic or concept should not be studied in isolation. It is better to understand and establish a correlation between related concepts from other subjects and current events and happenings. Even with all this preparation, it is necessary to have a positive attitude and a great amount of will power to succeed to achieve your goal, that of getting through the civil services examination with flying colors! Success Secrets: Hard work: Remember that there is no substitute to hard work. All successful candidates say the hard work is one of the first pre-requisites for the success. There is no short cut to success and hard work never goes unrewarded. Planning and systematic study: Proper planning right from the stage of selection of optional subjects and selection of text books is absolutely necessary. Though there is no one way of studying, there are ways to study more effectively and with less stress and more enjoyment. It is important to know how to make use of the sources available to you in the best possible way. It is wise to take a three pronged approach to preparation, reading to learn, making effective notes and able to write answers to various kinds of questions. Time management: Effective time management is another requirement. If we spend our time in a frenzy of activity, we can achieve very little because we are not concentrating on the right things. We keep hearing the word "Busy" a lot. There are two kinds of „busy‟(ness): chaotic, disorganized busy and calm, effective busy. It goes without saying that being the latter helps to pack in more productivity in your work. Improving our "effectiveness quotient" calls for mastery of basic time management skills. Self-confidence: Your self-confidence can make the difference. Your self-confidence should be at an all time high - always. You should be in the company of people, who can increase your motivational levels high and can inspire you. Form a group of close friends, who are as determined as you are to make it to the Civil Services Examination.
  3. 3. CSSC/ATI, Salt Lake/CSE-2014/General Studies (Prelims)/Prof. S. Maitra/Lecture #1 3 Dedication: Be totally dedicated and focused in your studies. You have to sacrifice something like movies, parties, and entertainments etc at this stage of your life to achieve bigger things. Patience: As the CSE preparation spans a minimum of one year, right from the Preliminary stage to the interview state, it requires a lot of patience to maintain your tempo. One should not lose patience and the tempo throughout the preparation period till success. Tips for answering questions at the Prelims: ( I am indebted to Mr. Parvez Dewan, IAS for giving me some of these tips.) Don’t waste time: Start answering the questions from the minute you get them. The time allotted is very limited, so waste no time on reading the entire question paper first. First answer all the question you are sure you know the answers to. Skip all the difficult questions in the first round: in this round if you find yourself stuck in a question for more than 10 seconds, just skip it. However, keep making a small mark on the question paper to indicate that you have skipped that question in the first round. This will enable you to save time in the next rounds. If you answer a question in the second round, cancel this mark, so that in third round you know which questions still remain unanswered. Three rounds should be sufficient, but you could break the process into a fourth round too. Allocate time for each answer: In GS Prelims Paper-1, since you are to answer 100 questions (80 questions for Paper-2) in two hours, you have an average of 72 seconds (90 seconds for Paper-2) for each question. So on pro rata basis you should answer 25 questions every 30 minutes (20 questions every half an hour for Paper-2). But be harsh with yourself in the first hour. Allocate 40-45 seconds for each question (55-60 seconds in case of Paper-2). Thus if in the first 30 minutes you haven‟t answered 30-35 questions (25-27 questions in case of optional subject), you should tell yourself that you are not doing well. This is because in the first hour you will be answering the easiest questions and in the last half-hour you will need plenty of spare time for “logic and guesswork”. Even bright candidates sometimes find themselves slower than the pro-rata speed in the first half- hour. So unless you consciously try to be faster than that speed, you will run into trouble later. Negative marking: There will be penalty for wrong answers marked by a candidate in the objective type question papers. There will be four alternatives for the answer to every question. For each question for which a wrong answer has been given by the candidate, one-third (0.33) of the marks assigned to that question will be deducted as penalty. If a candidate gives more than one answer, it will be treated as a wrong even if one of the given answers happens to be correct and there will be same penalty. But if a question is left blank, i.e. no answer is given by the candidate, there will be no penalty for that question. Hence you need be very cautious in the second and third rounds when you are attempting those questions you are fairly, but not absolutely, certain about or those questions that you know absolutely nothing about.
  4. 4. CSSC/ATI, Salt Lake/CSE-2014/General Studies (Prelims)/Prof. S. Maitra/Lecture #1 4 Analysis of GS Prelims questions related to Indian Economy (2005-2013): The questions were asked on the following topics: CSE GS Prelims 2013 1.Balance of payments; 2.RBI’s regulation; 3.Bank Rate; 4.Deficit financing; 5.Disguised unemployment; 6.Capital account; 7.Inflation; 8.Liquid asset of bank; 9.Open market operations; 10. Priority sector lending by banks; 11.Demographic dividend; 12.Inflation; 13.Economic growth; 14.National income; 15.Credit to rural poor; 16.Foreign exchange reserve; 17.Inflation; 18.Demand and supply of money; CSE GS Prelims 2012 1. National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) and Indian agriculture; 2. National Rural Health Mission; 3. National Rural Livelihood Mission; 4. Multi-dimensional Poverty Index of UNDP; 5. Thirteenth Finance Commission; 6. Industrial Policy; 7. Ryotwari Settlement; 8. Demographic transition; 9. Index of Industrial Production; 10. Janani Suraksha Yojana; 11. Employees’ State Insurance Scheme; 12. District Rural Development Agencies; 13. Reserve Bank of India; 14. Capital gains; 15. Measures to increase in the money supply in the economy; 16. Foreign Direct Investment; 17. Price of a currency in international market; 18. Lead Bank Scheme; CSE GS Prelims 2011 1. Union Budget 2011-12; 2. Food Inflation; 3. Fiscal Stimulus; 4. Visit by foreign nationals to India; 5. Current Account Deficit; 6. Base Effect of Inflation; 7. Demographic dividend; 8. Value Added Tax; 9. Closed economy; 10. Difference between FDI and FII; 11. Aam Admi Bima Yojana; 12. Mega Food Parks; 13. Micro Finance; 14. MGNREGA; 15. Union Budget; 16. Finance Commission; 17. Australia Group and Wassenaar Arrangement; 18. Difference between Vote on Account and Interim Budget; 19. IMF;
  5. 5. CSSC/ATI, Salt Lake/CSE-2014/General Studies (Prelims)/Prof. S. Maitra/Lecture #1 5 20. Teaser Loan by commercial Bank; 21. Growth of Indian economy; 22. Agricultural credit; 23. Inclusive Growth; 24. Disinvestment of the public sector; 25. Economic growth and Inflation; 26. Bank Rate; CSE GS Prelims 2009 1.Infant Mortality Rate; 2.Private companies—Business house associated; 3.Financial organization—Service provided; 4. International auctioneers; 5. Funds from UNFCC; 6. Carbon credit; 7. World Economic Forum; 8. The Climate Change Accountability Bill—country 9. Important events of Indian economy; 10.Population density in south Asian countries; 11.Different taxes in India; 12.Stock Exchanges in India; 13.Energy Statistics; 14.Stock indices in different countries; 15.CACP—National Food Security Mission; 16.Deepak Parekh Committee; 17.Five Year Plans-Objectives; CSE GS Prelims 2008 1.Green Revolution –Father of; 2.Stock Index—S & P 500; 3.Census 2001—State with minimum population; 4.Prisoner’s Dilemma; 5.Census 2001—State with highest % of rural population; 6.World Summit on Sustainable Development; 7.Clean Development Mechanism-carbon credits; 8.Census 2001-Million plus cities; 9.Name of PSUs; 10.UN Monetary and Financial Conference; 11.BRIT (GOI); 12.Important International Organisations—India as a member; 13.Census 2001-Persons above 65 years of age; 14.GDP per capita, Wheat and Rice production; 15.Rural Electrification Policy; 16.National Population Policy,2000; 17.Biodiesel Mission; 18.Indira Gandhi Old Age Pension Scheme; 19.Scheme to provide training and skills to women in trades. CSE GS Prelims 2007 1.National Child Labour Project and Gurupadaswamy Committee; 2.Aluminum company—Location; 3.National Highways and States; 4.International companies-Products; 5.Changing sectoral contribution to Indian GDP; 6.Steel Industry in India; 7.National Housing Bank; 8.Food grains production in India; CSE GS Prelims 2006 1.Famous companies-area of work; 2.Census 2001-Area,Literacy rate, Population;
  6. 6. CSSC/ATI, Salt Lake/CSE-2014/General Studies (Prelims)/Prof. S. Maitra/Lecture #1 6 3.BOP concept; 4.Bharat Nirman Plan and National Rural Employment Guarantee Act,2005; 5.Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act; 6.Indonext; 7.Non nationalized Bank; 8.Value of India’s export and India’s share in merchandise exports; 9.SAFTA; 10.Carbon tax-world’s first; 11.ASEAN members; 12.National Rural Employment Guarantee Act,2005; 13.World Economic Forum meeting at Davos; 14.Life Insurance Corporation, National Insurance Company and United India Insurance Company; 15.Service Tax; 16.Nirmal Gram Puraskar; CSE GS Prelims 2005 1.Census 2001-States with 2nd largest population; 2.Chamber of commerce-FICCI-President; 3.India’s Forex reserve and whole sale price index; 4.First airport owned by Public Limited Company; 5.ASEAN members; 6.PRGF of IMF and Singapore Regional Training Institute(STI) 7.Sensex and New York Stock Exchange; 8.Important companies-Business House; 9.Census 2001-Area and population of different state; 10.Census 2001-% of scheduled caste; decadal growth of population; State with least population; State with highest sex ratio; 11.Global Trust Bank and PNB amalgamation; 12.National Family Planning Programme and National Population Policy; 13.No. of Post Offices; Year of formation of BSNL and TRAI; Major topics of GS Prelims questions related to Indian Economy (2005-2013): 1. Census 2001 and Census 2011; 2. Basic statistics relating to Indian Economy; 3. Five Year Plans; 4. Government Policies; 5. Government Schemes, Projects and Missions; 6. Committees and their recommendations; 7. Public Sector Enterprises; 8. Stock Exchanges and Stock Indices—National and International; 9. Bank and insurance sector-Role and functions of Reserve Bank of India; 10. Famous private companies—business houses associated with them and their products/services; 11. International trading blocks—India as a member; 12. Environment Economics-- National and International; 13. Taxes and subsidies; 14. Miscellaneous;
  7. 7. CSSC/ATI, Salt Lake/CSE-2014/General Studies (Prelims)/Prof. S. Maitra/Lecture #1 7 Reading List: 1. NCERT textbooks (XI-XII) on Economics: Read the following sections: From XI: Course II, Units I—IV; From XII: Course II, Units IV—V; 2. Census 2001 and 2011Reports; 3. Economic Surveys, GOI,(2012-13 and 2013-14); 4. India 2013 and 2014; 5. One good guide book on CSE Prelims (Access/TMH/Unique/Spectrum); 6. One/two good monthly magazine on competitive examination; 7. One/two national English dailies; 8. One economic/business daily, if possible.