(Getting Started for IAS Mains) Analysis of Syllabus, Suggested reading & Strategy for IAS Mains G.S. Paper - III

(Getting Started for IAS Mains) Analysis of Syllabus, Suggested reading & Strategy for IAS Mains G.S. Paper - III

Economic Development, - 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;

Sc & Technology, - developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology;

Indigenisation 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.

Bio-diversity, - Environment, - Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment Disaster and disaster management.

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

Strategy for paper 3

Before you start reading further, please remember the following important mantra given by the UPSC:

“The questions are likely to test the candidate’s basic understanding of all relevant issues, and ability to analyze, and take a view on conflicting socio‐ economic goals, objectives and demands. The candidates must give relevant, meaningful and succinct answers.”

This sentence is the guiding light for your preparation. You don’t have to master in the topics, all you need is BASIC UNDERSTANDING and the ability to analyze. Basic understanding comes from reading and re-reading. Ability to analyze what you have understood from reading comes from WRITING PRACTICE.


This is a very broad area and includes both static and dynamic part. Before going for big books, it is compulsory to read following NCERT textbooks NCERT Class X – Understaning Economic Development

NCERT Class XI – Indian Economic Development

NCERT Class XII – Macroeconomics (chapters 2,5 and 6 are very important)

ET in The Classroom (This is important in getting acquainted with basics of dynamic part of Economics – It is an excellent source. Three books above will make your concepts very clear. After understanding your concepts, you have to read the above topics by relating them to the current events. For this reading one Business newspaper helps a lot. Business standard is the best (if you are comfortable with ET or FE, it is fine.
More questions from Economics can be expected in this paper henceforth. To be ready for any questions that UPSC might ask, it is good to read a standard book on these topics.

There are many books on Indian economy – all bulky. Fortunately, TMH has released a book on Indian economy for Prelims and Mains, and it is very good (by Ramesh Singh)

Indian Economy for Civil Services Examinations – Ramesh Singh

2015-16 Budget Highlights


There are many sources for these topics:

First, for non – science grads, a reading of NCERT Class VI to X Science Texts is advised. This will clear many concepts for you and will enable you to understand other topics in the syllabus.

If one goes through previous question papers, one can observe that UPSC has always asked questions on S&T from within the syllabus. For example, there will be a question on biotechnology, space, robotics, nanotechnology and computers – they might be from latest developments in the respective fields, but all are from the syllabus.

Third source is The Hindu and Frontline. Every Thursday, The Hindu carries a separate page on S&T – if one is regular with this page and have the collection of cuttings, this will help in 5 mark and 2 mark questions asked from

Printed Study Material for IAS Exam (UPSC) (Combo)

(Download) UPSC, IAS MAINS Exam Previous Year Question Papers

(Syllabus) IAS MAINS Examination (GS + Optional)

Environment and Pollution

This particular topic encompasses topics such as biodiversity and climate change, forest and wildlife conservation, river conservation, pollution in cities, waste management, pollution from human activities, marine pollution etc – so it is a vast area.

This has to be read with respect to India and the world.

First choice should be The Hindu Environmental Survey 2015

Sources from the ministry of environment

Annual Report of the Environment Ministry 2015-16

Disaster and disaster management

This is again a current event and a dynamic portion.

Special edition of Yojana on Disaster Management.

A report on Disaster Management. (read selectively). You will find everything in it you ever wanted to know about the topic!

Security issues

Cyber Security – National Cyber Security Policy 2013 – assessment

Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA)

What is Money Laundering – Basics

FATF on Money Laundering

For a starter, here is a book just released by Oxford University Press, exclusively on these topics. Titled ‘India’s National Security – A Reader‘ and written by eminent scholars in this field, it covers external and internal security threats by state and non-state actors, as well as nuclear issues too.

Visit ministry of home affairs website regularly

Suggested reading for each section of paper 3

Science & Technology:-

1. Newspaper (especially The Hindu Wednesday edition)
2. Ministry of S & T Website
3. Department of Space Website
4. MoEF Website
5. India year book, latest edition
6. Study material iasexamportal.com


1. NCERTs – 9th,10th 11th & 12th
2. Economic survey (very useful)
3. Newspapers
4. Indian Economy by ramesh singh


1. IUCN website
2. The Hindu
3. NCERT 10th 11th
4. Annual Report MOEF
5. Study Material iasexamportal.com

Security Issues:-

1. Newspaper
2. Magazine - Frontline, Yojana Selected Articles
3. Home Ministry Website

Printed Study Material for IAS Exam (UPSC) (Combo)

(Download) UPSC, IAS MAINS Exam Previous Year Question Papers

(Syllabus) IAS MAINS Examination (GS + Optional)

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