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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Public Administration for UPSC Prelims

Public Administration remains the 'optional of choice' for UPSC/IAS prelims.The reasons are not far too seek.For one, Public Administration(PA) has a short and precise syllabus (relatively speaking)and reputation as an optional which can be prepared in comparatively lesser time.This post which contains information derived from experience has been contributed by my very good friend Anoop,who is in IPS and posted in Orissa.He has taken time out from his busy schedule to share his thoughts on preparing GS and PA for prelims .I am sure the information and tips provided by Anoop would be helpful to all IAS aspirants.So here it is in Anoop Krishna's(I.P.S.) own words ....

First let me start with some general tips

The first and foremost thing in life is taking care of ones health even if you are preparing for the mother of all exams ,i.e. UPSC civil services exam. Have enough sleep everyday, do some regular exercises and take nutritious food. Civil Services Exam does not require a ‘24 X 365’ type of approach. Study for 5-6 hrs daily and regularly. This will help in preventing early burnouts which is a common syndrome among the C.S. aspirants.

Don’t go for lot of books unnecessarily. You are preparing just to clear an exam, not to get a PhD or masters in the subject chosen by you. Do keep it in mind. You just need to make your basics very strong.

Don’t read/study continuously for more than 45min/1hr. Our brain cannot concentrate for more than this time. Take a break of 20-30 minutes after every one hour, listen to music that you like, or read some periodicals or entertainment news in the news papers which relaxes your mind and then go for the next session.

Don’t read when you don’t feel like studying or are not able to concentrate. Be honest to yourself. Burning hours does not fetch results, what really matters is how much time you spent effectively. So, it is much better to spend 2-3 hours productively than merely sitting in front of book for 12 hours to prove to yourself and others that you are working hard.

Find sometime for your friends, talk with them regularly, gossip and relax……

.Do find some time to take a walk outside in the evenings or play some game which will keep you both physically and mentally fit.

Public Administration

Basic books(only aimed for prelims)

  1. Administrative Thinkers( Prasad and Prasad)
  2. Indian Administration ( Ramesh Arora and Rajni Goyal)
  3. Public Administration( any basic book which tells things in a simple way)
  4. Indian Constitution( Subash Kashyap)
  5. Indian Constitution (guide book-lakshmikanth)
  6. Coaching material from any good institute/teacher
  7. Question banks (eg..braintree)

Don’t try to read many foreign authors and waste your time. With the above mentioned books, one can easily pass the prelims.

First of all, read the basic text books and get an overview of the subject. Then keep the prelims syllabus near you and read chapter-wise from materials in your hand ( ie. text book, coaching material etc). Then attempt a mock /model Question paper of that particular chapter and try to complete with in the UPSC time-limits. Evaluate your performance and rectify your mistakes. Then only go to the next chapter and so on. Once you are finished with the individual chapters, then start attempting model Question papers, previous years prelims papers etc, that too with a time limit. Evaluate and repeat the exercise. The more number of sample questions you can practice, the better will be your confidence level to face the exams.( There is no need to go for mock tests conducted by coaching centres, do it yourself).If you do this you can surely cross the prelims hurdle with flying colors.

Remember what matters in the ultimate analysis is doing things differently and not just doing different things.

The strategy for mains preparations is an entirely different game which can be discussed later. Best of luck !!!

Anoop Krishna,IPS

(98th Rank ,2005)


Naga said...

Hi Abhishek,
What you have wriiten so far is good. Do visit my blog www.GsCurrentAffairs.Blogspot.com wherein i update notes from the Hindu news paper.

Mail me tellnaga123@gmail.com. We can try to work together to help fellow aspirants.

Nagarajan M

mazak said...

@ Nagarajan ... sure we can work together to help fellow aspirants,will be mailing you ... thanks !

rajat nayyar said...

thanks for the information.
i think there are different things right now, may be the first step of how to go about it.
i mean, suddenly this thought has struck me to give the exam, i am working full time , so abviously there are no chances of me consulting any academy.
now, what i want to ask is what exactly is there in the prelims . i mean do we have this option to select a particular subject be it P.A , commerce etc.. and is this general studies exam mandatory in the prelims ..
i might sound a bit unknowledgeable to an experienced guy like you, but i believe its all about clearing your doubts somehow rather than just being blank and stuffing yourself up with information which is just going to confuse u up. i hope you re getting me.
will wait for your reply and i wish you best of luck for the results.

Unknown said...

Thanks Abhishek Ji
for the info provided. Would be waiting for PUB AD Mains strategy and more GS updates.


Abhishek said...

@ rajat .... believe me , the aim behind starting this blog is to help persons like you who want to give this exam but dont have access to coaching institutes etc ... i m sorry for replying a bit late as i was caught up with some work and comments/questions from readers work as an elixir for a blogger ... regarding ur query abt prelims ...it is an objective type exam where you will have to select one subject(called optional which can be Public Admn.,History,Commerce,Psychology etc) and general studies(compulsory).Both papers are for 2hrs duration and objective type,u can get all the information abt optionals frm UPSC website(www.upsc.gov.in).Feel free to ask any query regarding prelims and all d very best :-)

@ashish ..thanx ashish , i m planning to give some regular updates on current affairs and traditional areas of GS but i need the encouragement and involvement of readers...feel free to comment and ask anything related to this exam .... all the best !!!

Sona said...

Hi Abhishek,
Firstly,thank you so much for this terrific initiative!
I am a 2009 aspirant.Just started prelim prep.
Have chosen public administration as my optional . I have enrolled for brilliant tutorial's correspondence course. I was wondering if that would suffice in terms of prep for the entire exam-both prelim and mains?Or would i require more books,guides etc.
There is really is no chance of me attending classroom coaching either.
Any suggestions whatsoever would be extremely helpful.
Many thanks,in advance.

Abhishek said...

@ Sona ... thx , i think u have to have at least laxmikant's book for PA to start with , infact my friend Anoop has suggested the books which u can read as priority...self-study in most cases is sufficient n u do not need to opt 4 coaching especially a subject like PA where ultimately ur understanding is what that counts.So please go through the books that have been suggested by Anoop alongwith ur brilliant's material.Reading books is always preferable to reading notes as u never know what might be asked in the exam ....all the best !!!

Sona said...

Thank you for SUCH a prompt reply!
Is that what you recommend?
I had always presumed that material from one coaching institute would suffice.
Apparently not,then?
Would you say the same about general studies and anthropology?
Also, isn't the Laximakant book something like a guide ?
Its not a textbook,ia it?

Abhishek said...

@ Sona ... in future also i would try to be as propmt :)
...coming to ur queries one by one ,my response is as follows :
1. I think only brilliant's notes would not suffice for PA prelims (which is my personal opinion).As in prelims you need extensive study.But you know what there is no one single way to prepare so you got to decide for yourself.
2.For GS coaching can be helpful as usually aspirants get totally lost while preparing for GS as it covers virtually everything under the sun and beyond.So it might be of help but coaching by itself is no guarantee of success.So right guidance helps big time.
3.Regarding anthropology i have no idea but generally speaking if u r new to the subject ,read the basic books and then depending on ur comfort level with the subject decide to take coaching or not.
4.Laxmikant's book as you rightly pointed out is a guide but a very good guide.It will be of immense help.This year my friend Dr.Madhu Teotia,IAS(78th rank) got 392 in PA and she told me herself that Lamikant has been the key to her success !!!!
ur queries /suggestions are most welcome , i will try and get a friend to write about anthropology if possible... gud luck !!!

Sona said...

thank you SO much! You are very kind:)
Coaching unfortunately is NOT an option.
I have to study by myself,so :(
Infact THIS is the precise reason on why i scourging around the internet in the hope of guidance or help.
I guess i WILL get laxmikant's guide in a couple of days.
So,it helps in the MAINS as well,eh?
Thats fabulous then :)
And as for Anthropology,do you think i should start rightaway?
And THANK YOU SO much once again,for all the help!

Abhishek said...

@ Sona .. thx :) , i guess if u r an aspirant for prelims 2009,may be its better if u start focusing on gs and ur first optional from now onwards.Anthropology can be covered in two months after prelims,many people do that ...even i did that for PA(my 2nd optional)in my first attempt.Luk fwd to ur queries/feedback n suggestions ...gud luck !!!

shruti said...

hi Abishek

i am sure it will great work for me.THANKS.

Abhishek said...

@ thanks shruti :)

Sona said...

Hi Abhishek,
I think i will do just that :)

NIKHIL said...

hello sir!i am nikhil,presently pursuing up my B.Tech from National
Institute Of Technology,Jalandhar in Chemical Engineering from 2nd Year.I want to get myself geared for the civil services exam right now.i also
cleared my iit-jee exam twice but was
not offered a good branch both time.so could u plz suggest which subjects option would suit me d best(scoring n interst point of view) nd also the strategy for it.Looking forward for an earliest response frm ur side....

Sona said...

Hi Abhishek,
I have a small query.. You kept referring to chapterwise question banks in your post-where does one get such question banks?
I'm sorry if i sound silly to you,but seriously speaking i'm clueless!

Abhishek said...

@ Nikhil ... since you are in 2nd year of engineering , u can maybe start by making newspaper reading a habit if u r not alraedy doing it.The Hindu is the best newspaper for IAS preparation and start taking interest in current happenings both in INdia and abroad. As far as optionals are concerned you can opt for Chemistry if that has alink with your engineering subject or you can think of social sciences optionals like Public Admn, Psychology,Geograpy(preferred by engineers),History,Political Science etc.But cross the bridge when u get to it.For now, just keep in touch with current affairs and read books that interest you :)

Abhishek said...

@Sona... plz dont feel that way , its a valid query :) ... even in Laxmikant they have given questions after each chapter and also in the end part.Also you can refer IIMS publications question banks ,i used that for Psychology and am pretty sure that it shud be available for PA also.Also coaching institutes also give chapterwise question banks which mostly is a colection of previously asked question from UPSC papers.For Public Admn. material shud not be a problem :)

Anonymous said...

oh...my my.. forgive my saying this, but this is becoming a pretty expensive affair !
Each one of these books seem to cost over 500Rs and here i was thinking that the coaching material would suffice.
Thanks a lot though! Very thoughtful of you to take some of your time to answer our inane queries!

norulez said...

Hey Abhishek,

I am preparing for CSP 2009 by myself. I am an IT Professional and just cannot join any coaching classes because of time constraint. Can you suggest some good books for GS and psychology?

Abhishek said...

@ Norulez ... books for psychology i have already suggested in one post 'Books for Psychology",plz refer that and books for GS have been suggested in separate posts concerning particular area of GS.For instance modern india portion of history can be covered by spectrum or NCERT books of class 8 n 9,since this is a very common question ,i m planning to write a post on books for GS within a few days :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Abhishek
firstly i would like to say thanks to u for such a grt job. well I m 2009 aspirant.I am an Software Engineer and just because of time constraint i cannot join ny coaching classes or nything like dat .I have chosen PA as optional subject for the exam, but i dont have ny idea about this subject, for dat i have to start from scratch, but donno from where and how can i start :(( .... Can you suggest some good books for GS and Public Ad. so dat i can start from scratch? Thanks in @dvance..

Abhishek said...

@Aryan ... for GS books u can refer my post "Books for GS in Prelims" ... and for PA in this very post my friend Anoop has given a list of books ... end of the day basic books have to be read again and again to get clarity of concepts...gud luck !!!

Ankur said...

Hi All,

Very Good article,Actually i am a software Engineer working in an IT firm.
Please i request someone to guide me to start the preparation. I simply have no idea where to start from,but i want to clear this mother of all exams.I am ready to study and work hard till any point. But please someone Guide me...from the scratch.

Abhishek said...

@Ankur ... kindly read the introductory articles in my blog on understanding the nature of upsc prelims ,what not to study for prelims and so on ...this shud give u a fair idea of exam process n what all is required to crack it ... then u can also check upsc's official site www.upsc.gov.in to get a clear idea of exam process ...u r welcome to post ur queries here ,all d best :)

Ankur said...

Thanks A lot Abhishek,i read your initial posts,they are very informative.
I tried to check upsc.gov.in but it is always down and not opening.
Anyways thanks a lot for Replying.
Being a Software engineer you have cracked this hard nut,thats simply great (because i myself is a software engineer !!! )
All the best !!!


Ankur said...

Abhishek,one more query for you,please answer when you get time...

I am thinking of Psychology and Sociology as the optional subjects.

Please tell me if this is the right and productive combination. Also please let me know some good books on these subjects.



pushpendra meena said...

what is the safe cut off for general candidates if he have 50 absolute ques. in GS..

Abhishek said...

@ Ankur ... thx ,the nut is yet to be cracked fully ..lets see :)
all d best to u !!!

@ Pushpendra ... its very difficult to give an exact figure as upsc itself doesnt disclose cut-offs ,so all one hears is make-believe stuff about likely cut-offs ... the first time i was very interested in knwing cut-off but then one realised that if u do really well in ur optional and at least a decent performance in gs ,then u r comfortably placed to clear prelims ...gud luck !!!

Surendra Parimi said...

Hi Abhishek

I am a software engineer working for an IT firm in USA. Ia m very much interested in Civil Services and I found PA as a good optional due to my personnel interst. Anoop's article helped me to plan a roadmap for the PA Prilims.

As you can understand, that I can't take any coaching, andI need to depend upon my own self study, can you please help me give some inputs for Preparing for GS. Also can you please provide some inputs for preparation strategy for both mains and prelims ans it is going to be completely self study and I dont any group of aspirants here to discuss with.

A brief out line wahat should I pay attention in "THE HINDU" (I mean, most importantly)

Which way is better to follow the news abroad.

Another thing thats worrying me is that, I do like read news papers regularly but, oflate I am not doing that very regularly after comming to US, so do you think, it is fine if I start doing it nowonwards or I need to refer to the older papers aswell?

Sorry to bother you with toomany questions, but I am really clue less and found you very premt in helping the aspirants, so kindly help me with this.


Abhishek said...

@Surendra ... the aim of this blog is to reach out to aspirants like urself who for some reason cannot access coaching ... regarding making notes from hindu ,u can refer my post
reading the online edition of Hindu should be fine for u ...focus on news from now on ,previous inforamtion can be collected from manorama year book and other such publications...kindly go through the blog archives and read all relevant posts as taht will give u a fair idea of how to start with gs preparation ...for any other info u r most welcome to post ur queries ... all d best :)

Surendra Parimi said...

Thanks Abhishek

Surendra Parimi said...

Hi Abhishek

In the Guidelines given by Anoop for PA, he mentioned "any basic book which simply explains PA", can you please suggest me one such book.

And, among the books Anoop mentioned, which one should I start with (I mean in the begining) and it helps if you give me some order of preference.

Thanks for your help in Advance Abhishek.

priya said...

Hi Abhishek,

What you have written so far is very good and encouraging. I do need some clarifications reg Prelims. Please respond when you hav time.

I am presently in Europe and preparing for the exam for my self. Taken Public AD for Prelims..and material frim Brain tree. I finished reading all the material which is given by Brain tree but I really find that there is much more info which is reqd to go further.

I hav strated taking up online exams but could score only 40% including negative marks. Do you hav any idea on what approximately the passing score will be? I am new to this subject but anyways it doesnot matter when I come to an open exam..

I hav seen from your blogs that Laxmikanh's guide is playing an IMP role in Pub Ad exams.. may I knwo if you any link or website to access this book online? THere is no way that I will get material by post to europe now.. So had to depend on Online availability..

I really need guidance reg this..and also pls tell me some sites which are conducting online tests...and suggest some online books...

Abhishek said...

@Surendra... sorry 4 d late response ,but since PA was not my first optional and ur query was related to wht Anop has written ,i asked him and this is wht he told me ...LOOK I made IT CLEAR that not a single book is covering C.S pub ad fully.thats y i suggested to search for a book which explains things in a simple way.any way for pub ad II PART ramesh arora and rajani goyals book on indian administration is enough+ he should be aware of whats happening in india....in polity and administration.........,then there is another book by maheshwari named public administration...........its also simple........but not based on syllabus.....then one text book about administrative thinkers by prasad and prasad+pub ad notes frm any coaching institute and polity guide by laxmikanth
start with PART II of pub ad which is interesting .ie ramesh arora's book on indian administration...

Abhishek said...

@Haripriya...i understand and appreciate ur position ,since u r abroad its difficult for u to get books etc ... but i m really not sure whether laxmikant et al is avavilable for online download etc ...maybe if any of ur frend is coming frm India then u can ask him to get it for u ... all d best !!!

priya said...

Thank you Abhishek..for the response.

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

hello its good to see all the hardwork of experienced people. I have appeared(I attempt) in pre2008 with pub admn and cleared it, but i am not expecting interview call as I coudnt do well in mains and I am preparing for pre2009. after looking at all above ques and suggestions I thought I shud also share my experience. I had joined SRIRAM coaching but trust me I left in in one month I wasted all money of mine, batch started in oct and stopped going to the coaching from I week of nov any coaching for pre only your hardwork can help you. Istrongly believe that for pre there are standard books that u have to read and there is no way out. same is true fo GS also. Let me I share the Optional, for PUB admn 3 months are more than enough to be able to clear pre, following are the book list strategywise: 1) laxmikant, do this book religiously and as many times as you can as this book covers almost 75% facts of pub admn. for theorry portion u shud also go through 'New Horizons' M B. nicolas henry prasad and prasad, s. robbins for indian portion laxmikant polity guide plus goyal arora should do. I am repeating if u do laxmikanth properly with all the questions one will certainly be able to do 55-60 ques. for rest of the questions of the theory portion above mentioned books are enough, as you dont have to answer full paper. personally I had done 85 in pub adn and 70 in GS (NET SCORE.you may find it a bit difficult to mug up laxmikant but I dont think there is anyother way. I have literally mug up whole laxmikant page by page. and above mentioned material for pub admn pre is enough I dont think there is any need to refer any other book and notes, read and revise therse books as many times as possb, 90-100 ques may come form above mentioned material, like in pre 2008 there was a question on John woodward ( no-82 in 08)you wont find his name in laxmikant but it is there in the ne horizons by M B. so above mentioned books are enough for pre Pub admn. another Ques in 08 about Leon Festinger, which is there in S. Robbins. as far as GS is concerned, govt publication like IYB and economic survey must be done nicely.

Abhishek said...

@ Aditya ... thanks for sharing ur experience here and i wish u all d very best !!!

Ruban said...

Hi Adhishek,

Thanks for your guidence so far.
I have a question regd the practise questions of PA for Prelims, As of now I've completed Laxmikanth's chapterwise questions and Previous questions from 1987-2007.

I feel i need to practise much more. Can you suggest on this.How will i get braintree question bank. I broused and not found in Braintree site this info.

You can contact me @ rubanchristopher@gmail.com

Thanks in advance for your guidence in this regard.

Unknown said...

@ Christy

its good that you have completed laxmikant pls refer to my earler post. rd those books also and questions of laxmikant are enough for practice because it has all the questions of previous years. any other question bank misht not be having good questions in it so if you have practised the ques of Laxmi and you are able to maintain the score around95-100(in negative marking) the your prepration is really solid and look for facts in other books that i have mentioned in my earlier post....

Anonymous said...

HI Maneesh,

Thanks for your reply.

Can you please tell me about Braintree Test/ Question Bank details.


K K Reddy said...

Hey what about your 2008 result ? They are out dude.

Anonymous said...

I posted last blog under diff name by mistake mains results are out and i couldnt qualify. i tell you that its really painful to put the hard work and result comes negative nevertheless gotta work harder

Anonymous said...

@ Christy,

May I know where are you putting up? If in delhi then you may then the question bank of braintree form jawahar book depot or from some photocopy shop nera coachings in rajendra place and mukherjee nagar. even i tried to serach them on the net but no luck. If you want you can do the braintree material, but personlly I dont think that you need them if you have completed the laxmikant, this time is to work over your weaker areas. like i think basic concepts and principles is more conceptual so i work more over it and the systems unit. and please dont get overconfident as these two monts are most crucial for pre revise as many times as poss.

Anonymous said...

@ Abhishek

Hi dude mains results are out whats the result. i really hope it to be positive from the bottom of my heart.

Abhishek said...

@Aditya ...thx yaar, i had my interview on 23rd march ,so from my side all formalities of UPSC are complete,now its upto god and destiny ...all d best to u as well !!!

Anonymous said...

Abhishek, really good to hear that, well i had an intuition that you must be busy in int'w. hey to be precise wizard and spectrum shoul do for CAs right???reply soon

Unknown said...

hi abhishek..

by now your intw results must be out and after seeing the blog and your spirit to help others to the extant you can..

I really wish you are selected.

coming to my case.. i had been preparing for 2009 prelims for last 10 months(including kind of PA mains coaching in bangalore)

but i didnt do my prelims well.. looking at the key released by various institutes i am getting around(effective) 68 in GS and 58 in PA.

could you please tell me, what i can do now, what are the prospects.

should i start preparing for mains.?
how should i plan for it.


Unknown said...

and yes , I am working.

In retrospect, I feel i didnt plan properly.

need your suggestions.


Ravi Shankar said...

@ Venkat, am also planning to opt for pub admin and sociology for CS 2010, could you pls suggest good coaching insti in Bangalore

anuj said...

Hello abhishek. This is Anuj
I have just completed my engineering in Metallurgy from IT-BHU and is preparing to give CSE 2010. The same dilemma is with me regarding optionals. I have decided to choose public ad. as one and searching for another one.Can you help me out.???
I have discussed with few other persons and they have suggested to take psychology as one can complete the course after prelims.in less time (ofcourse giving your 100%).
i would be thankful to u...for your consideration..and help..

Rohit said...

Hi Abhishek,

Could you pls ask Anoop to share the Pub Ad Mains Strategy?

Thanks a lot for this great initiative.


sandeep said...

hello abhisek i have the same question like one of rohit.canyou please give us some direction regarding ias mains preparation of public administration.thanks in advance

Anonymous said...

sir i want to thank u for ur wonderful job.can u pls suggest me precise books for political sci & philoshphy for mains.pls sir iam waiting for ur reply..........

Neeraj Singh said...

Hi Abhishek,
As we heard in news that Preliums are going to be replaced by a common apptitude test and main remains same, do we kbow what kind of apptitude test these guys are talking abt? and would this be applicable for this year also???
I am targeting 2010.
Please let us know If any updates on this one arises. Thanx!!
Neeraj Singh

chets said...

Once my friend told me that Pub. Ad Pre questions are lengthy so consume lot of time. This may lead to many questions being left unattempted. How far is it true?

NIKHIL said...

hello sir..well am aiming for CAT next year with a final aim of civil services...so can u please guide me with the info. that is the mgmt course economics go hand in hand with civil services economics...or there is how much similarity b/w the two??

Unknown said...

hello sir...
i'm a second yr engineering student (in ECE).
i want to start my preparations from now only and the optional subjects i have choosed are mathematics and electrical engineering coz m quite familiar with them.
can u pls suggest me that according to you are these subjects fine...i mean...regarding the scope of these subjects or posts in upsc?
m really very much confused coz i want to take subjects of science stream only and anyhow have to start from now...
pls guide me for it...

Unknown said...

hi every body, i m a student ba ist year,, i have to get answer of some question,,,pls guide me...
1. i have choosen history and public administration..is this ok,,,, pls suggest me..
2. my english is not very well,i m a hindi spearker, what should i do,,what is the medium is good for me.....pls help me as soon as possibe ,,i want to start my prepration from now,,,,,,,,,advanced thanks to all who will help me thanks again...

Pratyush said...

I am an army officer presently serving in pune. i get an average of 6 hrs to study everyday. i have chosen PA and history as my subjects. CSAT paper II wont be much of a problem as we are taught a lot of those things in the army.kindly suggest books for my pre. As i am serving I cant join a coaching. Please guide

Anonymous said...

Hi sir ... Am presently doing my B.E 2nd year... I am very much interested in doing civil service... Nw i 've a confusion in choosing the options whether to take PA or sociology and political science ... Could u pls suggest sme idea and some books to start my preparation....

Unknown said...

@ abhi hi thanks for ur inspirational thoughts and a good words,i'm a CS background student i don't have any knowledge about public administration,i chose pAd as optional is it ease to know ...?& if it is Hw far it takes to complete whole syllabus...?