Saturday, 30 June 2018

Preparing for the UPSC Civil Services Examination - Mains - G.S. Paper 3 by Satyakam Dutta - Part 4

As we have discussed earlier, General Studies (GS) papers (I to IV) constitute 1000 Marks in the UPSC Civil Service Mains Examination, each paper carrying 250 marks. The General Studies III Paper also carries 250 marks. The Syllabus of the General Studies III Paper of the Civil Services Mains Examination is given below for reference.
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.
Similarly like the Papers I & II, if we take a look at the syllabus above closely, we can see that the Paper III primarily consists of Indian Economy & Industry, Agriculture, Science and Technology, Environment and Ecology, Disaster Management and Internal & External Security. There are some other topics also above, which also needs to be studied. Let us now try to analyse each section and suggest specific reading material for each sub-section.
Indian Economy & Industry: One has to understand the basic concepts of economics initially and has to tackle difficult issues later. Therefore, it is necessary for one to devout considerable time in understanding the basics. NCERT Books and Indian Economy by Uma Kapila are must reads while the Annual Economic Survey published before budget is a nice report to follow. The Economy page in The Hindu/Assam Tribune is a must for aspirants.
Agriculture: For this part, the “Agriculture” page in The Hindu is a good read. The weblink is One can also read the monthly magazine “Down To Earth”, which regularly publishes a lot of important articles on various issues related to Agriculture.
Science and Technology: Questions related to Science and Technology are generally framed on the latest developments on the front of Science and Technology such as nano-technology, robotics, IT, space etc. Emphasis would be on India’s advances and future programmes on Science and Technology. Therefore reading the news about Science and Technology in newspapers is a must. The Hindu has a weekly page on “Science and Technology” and reading this page is a must for every serious aspirant.
Environment and Ecology: The “Environment” page of The Hindu every week gives weekly updates about Environment and Ecology. The weblink is However, I used to read the monthly magazine “Down To Earth” and can say that for this topic, this magazine is the best resource.
Disaster Management: For this topic, the NDMA (National Disaster Management Authority) website,, provides a lot of information and updates.
Internal and External Security: The Home Ministry is responsible for internal security. Its website contains vital information on the internal security architecture including agencies, plans, mechanisms. Therefore, one must visit this site and extract highly useful material relating to internal security. About external security, is a good read.


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