Study Tips for UPSC Civil Service Exam-part II GS paper 3,4


Study Tips for UPSC CS  GS Paper 3 and 4

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With a humongous syllabus that covers everything- ranging from economic growth of the country and the issue of NPA to ethics and decision making, UPSC exam checks you on every point. There remains not a single corner of one’s ability set that CSE doesn’t knock into. With the amount of syllabus to be covered and the pattern of Mains exam where you’ll have to improve speed through giving more and more time to improve your writing skills and practicing with time limits, compilation of succinct and precise notes will help aspirants a lot. In the second part of this 2 part series, we will focus on the must cover topics for GS Paper 3 and 4.

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A Paper-Wise, Must-Cover Topics in the Notes

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GS Paper- 3: Following parts have to be covered under this paper-

• 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

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• 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.


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GS Paper 4: This paper has to be completed along these issues-


• Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics in private and public relationships; Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of family, society and educational institutions in inculcating values.


• Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.


• Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service , integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker sections.


• Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance.


• Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.


• Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.


• Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity; Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.


• Case Studies on above issues.

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Also, remember that UPSC wants one to have a general knowledge about everything, while making notes mark out only those areas that define the core of the topic. For you won’t have either the space to write all the information that you know, or the time. Be selective to ensure selection!


Happy Preparation, people.


Author: Anushka Mishra