Union Public Services Commission
Strategy For Preparing General Studies For JKPSC Mains
Dear Aspirants, before you start your Journey towards your Cherished Goal, Plan. Remember If You Fail to Plan, you Plan to fail. Your Plan should be based on a clear Understanding of what is required of you. As JKPSC says in its Syllabus “The Mains examination is intended to assess the overall intellectual traits and depth of understanding of candidates rather than merely the range of their information and memory.” The General studies (G.S) paper for JKPSC Mains exam requires very in-depth knowledge of wide ranging topics from Indian National Movement, Indian Polity to Statistics. Unlike Prelims, where just one or two time reading of a fact can work, here you have to not only have comprehend and remember the facts but you should be able to write whatever is asked of you. So one needs to understand whatever he is reading rather than cramming the facts. A good base in General studies is important for clearing the civil services exam as well as for a Better rank. As far as the exam is considered, 600 marks in the GS papers, 150 marks in essay and 250 marks in interview depend on your General knowledge base. Thus around 1000-1200 marks depends directly on your General studies. Here first of all, I will give a list of reading materials which are must and need to be covered comprehensively.
Paper I (300 Marks)
Modern History of India and Indian Culture:
This Section is one of the Core areas of Paper-I. The total number of marks allocated to this topic ranges from 140-160 marks. i.e. more than 50% of the total marks of Paper I. For its complete understanding, NCERT’s Modern India by Bipin Chandra or SC Mittal of Class XII (Old Version) and Rajiv Ahir’s A brief history of Modern India (spectrum) are Sufficient. The latter one is also helpful for specific topics such as Evolution of press, History of Western education in India etc.
Current Events of National Importance:
For Current National Events, the need is to read National Newspaper ‘The Hindu’ regularly. Issues such as Naxalism, Corruption, Nuclear Energy, Land Acquisition, Gender inequality, Poverty etc. should be focused on. Yojana and Kurukshetra are also a good source of covering this section. Civil Service times or Chronicle Should be consulted to keep oneself aware of the National Happenings.
Current Events of International Importance:
For Current International events, both related to India and the world and International Politics, one should read NCERT’s Political Science of XII class (Old Version) .Chapters related to India's Foreign Policy should be focused on. The International page of ‘The Hindu’ and Civil Service Times would be handy for updating yourself with International happening. Manorama Year Book is very important for International Organization such as UN, Regional Organizations,etc. Try to have a Deep Understanding of Important sections rather than a superficial viewpoint.
Statistics is the last section of Paper I but should be the first one to be attempted in exam. This section carries fifty marks and one can score cent percent in this section. For this section, NCERT XIth class ‘Statistics for Economics’ is essential for Understanding the basics of statistics. Spectrum’s Statistical Analysis is good for practicing statistical problems. Time management is the most important thing in Statistics. This section should not be allocated take more than 40 minutes in the exam and as such Practicing of previous years paper is essential.
Paper II (300 marks)
For Indian Polity, Laxmikanth's Indian Polity is a must read. Subash Kashyap’s Our Constitution should be read for applied questions like Role of Governor, centre state relations, Review of Constitution etc.
Geography of Jammu and Kashmir:
Are you thinking that this is Typo error. Definitely, Not! Though this section is not a part of your syllabus, 40-60 marks have been asked from the last two years in this section. One should consult Geography of Jammu and Kashmir by Majid Hussain or G.N. Yatoo.
NCERT’s XIth class India’s Economic Development is essential for understanding the basics of economics along with the Structure and problems of Indian economy. For an in-depth analysis of Indian Economy, one could rely on Uma Kapila’s Indian Economy. For two markers Pratiyogta Darpan special issues are important. The current happenings in Indian economy can be studied through Economic survey (2011) and the Business page of ‘The Hindu’.
Geography of India:
Questions can be asked from Physical, Economic and social Geography of India. NCERT India’s Physical Geography of class XI and India’s People and Economy of class XII are enough for covering this section. Non- geography optional students don’t have to go in-depth as not more than fourty marks are asked from this section.
Science and Technology:
With Nearly sixty marks asked questions can be asked on both convential and applied. One should concentrate more on Nanotechnology, Environment, Bio technology and Sci-tech column from The Hindu, Yojana and Chronicle’s Science and Technology would be sufficient.
One should first read the basic books (NCERT) rather than going for journals and Reference books, what is required as a first step is the mastering of the basics of the subject. While reading, your focus should be on the conceptual understanding rather than simply memorizing the facts. The Facts are easier to memorize if the concepts are clear. The facts can be memorized by Using Mnemonics or other methods .The ultimate success depends on not ‘what all you have read’ but ‘how’ much you retain it’ Solve as many questions as possible. One should solve all the previous year’s questions of KAS and solve them again and again. There should be no ambiguity in the answers. Writing skill comes through practice. Writing skill is also based on your knowledge base and conceptual understanding. This only can give flow and lucidity to your answers. The conceptual understanding will make your answer well organized and well integrated. Thus, writing skill and content both should complement and supplement each other. There are many intelligent students, well versed with knowledge about their subject matter and yet they do not score in the Mains Examination. Why? Of course, Kismat connection is there. But another reason is faulty writing skill. Inshallah, I will Deal with the writing skills in subsequent article. Thank you.
Courtesy: by Mr. Shoaib Noor