GENERAL STUDIES – 3

 

GENERAL STUDIES (Paper III)

This paper has very vast portions ranging from Indian Economy to Disaster management. If we look at the syllabus below it is very sketchy but the aspirant has no other option but to devote the time and prepare well. The syllabus sounds very vague like technology, Bio- diversity Environment etc. The purpose of including these topics in the syllabus is that the bureaucrat is expected to know a whole range of issues and should be able to broaden their scope of implementation.

UPSC Syllabus for GS paper-1 (Synopsis)

Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management

  • Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
  • Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.
  • Government Budgeting.
  • Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers.
  • Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.
  • Food processing and related industries in India- scope and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.
  • Land reforms in India.
  • Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.
  • Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways, etc.
  • Investment models.
  • Science and Technology – developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
  • Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
  • Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.
  • Disaster and disaster management.
  • Linkages between development and spread of extremism.
  • Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.
  • Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention.
  • Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism.
  • Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.

We have tried to breakdown GS-1 syllabus, section by section, making it as simple as it can be:

If the syllabus is known thoroughly than half the task is completed. If not studying smartly then the UPSC will bump off the candidate from the chair. This Syllabus will be going to your Bible or your Gita for a while. Memorize it understand it and keep with yourself until you don’t make through the final list J

 

Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment

  • Macro Economics: Inflation, GDP etc. (relate with the present scenario and the steps taken by the government and RBI)
  • GDP contributions to Primary, secondary and tertiary, employment etc
  • Land, Capital, human and other natural resources
  • Multi-dimensional issues like environmental degradation, opposition from local community etc.
  • Stalling of the Land Bill and proclamation of the era of ‘Ordinance Raj’
  • Problems in allocation of resources to various sectors
  • Historic contribution to Indian economy,
  • Changing pattern of planning from centralized to decentralized
  • Relevance of planning in India for allocation of resources,
  • Setting of goals coordination of various agencies
  • Planning machinery in India and its weaknesses: Both Procedural and Institutional
  • Difference between Growth and Development

To cover this portion of GS-3 is relatively easy. You read these in books, you can also easy relate to current events. Economic Survey of each year are always helpful.

Questions asked from this sections are mostly analytical and related to current issues. E.g.:

Question: The nature of economic growth in India in recent times is often described as a jobless growth. Do you agree with this view? Give arguments in favor of your answer. (2015)

Resource/Reference:

Ramesh Singh: Indian Economy

Economic Survey

Newspaper: The Hindu, Economic Times

Magazines: Yojna

 

Inclusive growth and issues arising from it

  • Challenges of achieving inclusive growth
  • Measures to achieve it
  • Government schemes related to it
  • Inter-relationship between Financial Inclusion-Inclusive Growth-Skilling India-Social Change

Questions are asked related to recent government schemes, actions taken, scope and challenges. Government programs and schemes become really important here. You don’t have to memorize all the schemes with every single point. But you should be analyse some important things like how a scheme can bring desired changes, what are its limitations and so on.

For Example, in 2016 a simple question was asked:

Question: Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) is necessary for bringing unbanked to the institutional finance fold. Do you agree with this for financial inclusion of the poor section of the Indian society? Give arguments to justify your opinion.

Resource/Reference

Magazines: Yojana

Daily News Papers-The Hindu, Indian Express

 

Government Budgeting

  • Budgeting process and various definitions related to it like revenue deficit, fiscal deficit etc.
  • Zero based budget, Gender Budgeting, program planning budgeting and other models.
  • Types and issues in accounting and auditing government accounts
  • Major sources of revenue for government and broad allocation to various sectors with effective utilization of revenues
  • Capital expenditure vs revenue expenditure and measures to curb revenue expenditure etc.

A very relevant question was asked from this section in 2016:

Question: Women empowerment in India needs gender budgeting. What are the requirements and status of gender budgeting in the Indian context?

Resource/Reference

Ramesh Singh: Indian Economy

Newspaper- The Hindu, Indian Express, Livemint etc.

 

Agriculture

Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers

  • Crops, Cropping Patterns & Irrigation Systems-
  • Transportation, storage, proper packaging (within India/exports) etc
  • The indirect effects it has in poor realization of income for farmers, increased prices for consumers and the overall inflation effect on the economy
  • The reasons for fragmented markets in India and major provisions of APMC act in various states
  • Measures taken by some states: Apni Mandis, Rythu Bazaars, etc.
  • Use of technology for integration of markets
  • Contract farming, commodity trading, entry of private agencies in marketing etc.
  • Recent initiatives by GOI in overcoming these through model APMC Acts, Mega Food Park scheme, warehouse receipts etc.

When the PM makes the announcement points has to be jotted down and one should make sure to go through the key highlights of the speech of PM

Resource/Reference

Ramesh Singh: Indian Economy

Magazine: Yojana

Newspaper- The Hindu, Indian Express, Livemint etc.

 

Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and Minimum Support Prices; Public Distribution System objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; Issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions

  • Subsidies given by GOI and State
  • Benefits and Negative Consequences of subsidies on Economy, Environment, etc. One must inter-relate the benefits as well as the consequences with other discipline. Analytical discussion should be the key here.
  • New methods & successful experiments adopted by States: PDS

Objectives of PDS: Issues of poor targeting, eliminating Ghost beneficiaries, Real time delivery,  Innovative measures adopted in few states, PDS Model in overcoming these weaknesses

Food security concerns of India: Overstocking of food, Food wastage in go-down sowing to poor storage, Excess food grains vs hunger population, Revamping of PDS, The recent recommendations of Shanta Kumar committee, Cash transfer vs kind transfer.

WTO constraints in maintaining food stocks, Indian position in WTO and its obligations

Resource/Reference

Ramesh Singh: Indian Economy

Magazine: Yojana

Newspaper- The Hindu, Indian Express, Livemint etc.

Economics of Animal-Rearing, Food processing and related industries in India – Scope and significance, Location, Upstream and Downstream requirements, Supply Chain Management

The UPSC is testing the candidate here so that he/ she should be free of biased and it is not only important to understand the concept but to approach ian analytical wayay. If the ordinance bill is passed an ordinance Raj is placed then it becomes a very important topic.

Land reforms in India:

This topic is easy and simple. You read from many sources. You also can keep a sort notes for it, useful everywhere.

In 2016, a simple basic question was asked-

Question: Discuss the role of land reforms in agricultural development. Identify the factors that were responsible for the success of land reforms in India. (2016)

 

Resource/Reference

Magazines: Yojna and Kurukshetra

Modern History- Land Settlement Policies

Newspaper- The Hindu, Indian Express, Livemint etc.

Some more questions asked from this section in previous years are:

Question: Given the vulnerability of Indian agriculture to vagaries of nature, discuss the need for crop insurance and bring out the salient features of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY). (2015

Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth

This section includes various subtopics many of these are related to recent developments:

  • Make in India
  • Manufacturing Industries (NMP, DMIC project, FDI policy, changes in IIP)
  • Financial sector Reforms (RBI Role, FTI allowed, private Banks etc.)
  • New Industrial Policy
  • Crises of 1991 and Economic Reforms i.e. New Economic Policy
  • Impact of 1991 reforms

Question asked from this section are related to basic understanding of the terms, their meaning and impact analysis. E.g.:

Question: “Success of make in India program depends on the success of Skill India Program and radical Labour reforms.” Discuss with logical arguments.

 

Question: Justify the need for FDI for the development of the Indian economy. Why there is gap between MOUs signed and actual FDIs? Suggest remedial steps to be taken for increasing actual FDIs in India (2016)

Resource/Reference

NCERT 11th

NIOS- L 1+ 3 + 23 + 24 + 25 + 26 + 27 +28

Planning + Industry + Agriculture- IYB

Newspaper: The Hindu, Indian Express etc.

 

Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

Infrastructure financing, Waterways, Civil aviation, and Railways.

Most of the times direct questions have been asked from this section. One must be aware of challenges of each of these sectors and their growth and expansion. Also, have knowledge about government programs and scheme related to modernization of these infrastructures.

Resource/Reference

NCERT- Class XI Chapter 8

NIOS L-29 + 30 + 32

IYB-Energy + Transport + Water

 

Investment models and Types of investment

  • Investment models: PPP, Build-own-operate (BOO), Build-develop-operate (BDO), Design-construct-manage-finance (DCMF)

This is a complex topic. You’ll never know exactly what to read and from where to read. So, try to go once through these terminologies and stay tuned to developments around these topics. This topic also includes Industrial Sector, a Public sector in India and Disinvestment.

Resource/Reference

Indian Economy: Ramesh Singh

News Paper- The Hindu, Economic Times, Livemint etc.

 

Science and Technology

This topic is a scary one for many especially those who have a non-technical background. In-fact more difficult is to understand what to read and from where to read. But one must try to work smartly that sit down and do nothing.

It includes subtopics such as recent developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; Indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, Nano-technology, biotechnology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

So, one must try to stay tuned to development of ISRO, NASA, and other space agencies. Also, technologies which can bring a social change also become important. Sometimes questions asked are about basic awareness. Here we have tried to list down various important topics for this section-

  • Space, Challenge of ISRO, Significance and achievements, Developments and achievements in India, Developing new technologies (ISRO, DRDO, MNCs etc)
  • Biotechnology: use and recent developments.
  • Nuclear and Defense Technology
  • Robotics and Nanotechnology
  • IPR issues
  • Bio digester Toilets, Android, solar cell etc.
  • Doping, green patenting, bio technology, recent advancements
  • Nanotechnology: Nano chips, Nano devices, Nano medicines, Nano particles etc.
  • Robotics: Artificial intelligence, the role of defense, laws of robotics etc.
  • Computers: Development, supercomputing, semantic web, Net Neutrality, QR Codes etc.
  • Scientists: CNR Rao, Ashok Sen, Home Bhabha, APJ Kalam etc
  • IT: Mobile technology, Modern technology, Government’s policy, Issues
  • Space technology: satellites and types, types of orbits, Launch Vehicle, International Space Centered, International space Missions etc.

Let’s see some questions which have been asked in previous years:-

Question: Discuss India’s achievements in the field of Space Science and Technology. How has the application of this technology helped India in its socio-economic development? (2016)

Now if one was tuned to India’s Mars Mission and IRNSS, he/she can easily answer this question.

Question: India’s Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) which has a database containing formatted information on more than 2 million medicinal formulations is proving a powerful weapon in country’s fight against erroneous patents. Discuss the pro and cons of making the database available publicly available under open source licensing. (2015)

This question was related to IPR. India’s traditional Knowledge were copyrighted by many foreign institutes and individuals to which India objected then. So, it was also in news.

 

Biodiversity, Environment and Disaster Management

This topic is a very vast topic. It can be divided into a various number of subtopics. Most of the Environment section we read during our Prelims preparation but prospects are changed for Mains Examination. You have to be more thorough and analytical.

  • Ecology and Natural Resources
  • Biodiversity
  • Environmental Pollution
  • Sustainable Development, Climate Change, and EIA
  • Environment impact assessment (Risk assessment, Environment management, Post product monitoring, methods, screening, steps, decision making, public hearing etc)
  • Global Warming, Desertification, Acid rains, Arctic Melting
  • Fresh water Decline, population, and development, Bio diversity loss, forest decline
  • National Biodiversity act, Endangered species, extinct species, threatened species
  • Project Tiger, project elephant, ex-situ, in- situ etc.
  • Depleting water resources, energy efficiency, green building, smart cities etc.
  • Marine, national conservation, wetlands, wildlife sanctuaries, soil, and land etc.
  • Impact: Fossil fuels, deforestation, industrialization, modern agriculture etc.

Disaster and Disaster Management

This topic is very much relevant. Questions asked are sometimes very basic about preparedness and methods to minimize the impact of disasters.

This is the important section in whole paper 3 as it carries more than 75 marks.

Some questions asked are:

Question: Rehabilitation of human settlements is one of the important environmental impacts which always attracts controversy while planning major projects. Discuss the measures suggested for mitigation of this impact while proposing major developmental projects. (2016)

Question: With reference to National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) guidelines, discuss the measures to be adopted to mitigate the impact of recent incidents of cloudbursts in many places of Uttarakhand. (2016)

These questions are mostly from current affairs news, Government policies and actions etc.

Resource/Reference

NIOS (exhaustive coverage)

Shankar IAS: Environment

Disaster Management: 2nd ARC Report: Crisis Management

 

Security Issues:

It also covers a vast number of topics like-

Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security. Linkages between development and spread of extremism.

Challenges to internal security through communication networks, the role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention.

Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate: Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism.

 Now these topics can be divided into following subtopics. Try to go through one by one:

  • Security challenges: External State-Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal (Border terrorism, drug trafficking, Illegal migration, String of pearl etc.)
  • Non-State Actors: NGOs, Religious organizations, Drug cartel, Al-Qaeda, ISIS, IM, Maoist etc.
  • Peace talks, surrender policy, operation green hunt, Salwa judum etc
  • Extremism: Lack of Governance, Socio Economic issues, Left wing extremism etc.
  • SEZ, Land acquisition, tribal rights etc.
  • Ministry of Defense, NCRB, NIA, CBI, State police, IAP, INP, ICGP, central armed forces, paramilitary forces etc.

Questions asked are basic either related to some current event are policy and planning. E. g.:

Question: The terms ‘Hot Pursuit’ and ‘Surgical Strikes’ are often used in connection with armed action against terrorist attacks. Discuss the strategic impact of such actions. (2016)

Now, as surgical strikes were hot news last year (2016), this question was most expected.

Question: ‘Terrorism is emerging as a competitive industry over the last few decades.”  Analyze the above statement.

This question was taken directly from President’s remark.

Resource/Reference:

IDSA Website

2nd ARC Report: Capacity Building for Conflict Resolution

Newspapers: The Hindu, Indian Express, Livemint etc.

So this is all about GS paper-3. We would not suggest you to think about covering the whole syllabus in one week or month. Take these topics one by one. You will evolve with the syllabus.

 

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