1. Prologue
    1. Rule#1: DONOT read in linear sequence
    2. Rule#2: Organizations imp. BUT evolution is NOT
    3. Rule#3: Location not important for Misc. organization
    4. Rule#4: Ignore Bolbachhan
    5. Rule#5: Schemes/funds/projects what to read, what to skip?
    6. Rule#6: Policies: Must maintain separate notes
  2. Chapter 1: Land and People
    1. Ch1: Mock MCQ Questions
  3. Chapter 30: States and UT
    1. Ch30: Mock MCQ Questions


Last Month, Ministry of information & broadcasting published the book India 2014 (in English) || Bharat 2014 (in Hindi)
They’re Commonly known as “India Yearbook” among the toppers, senior players and coaching classes for UPSC.

In this [Yearbook] article series, we’ll see how to utilize this book effectively for preparation of UPSC civil service exam.

Rule#1: DONOT read in linear sequence

India Yearbook has total 32 chapters + appendix. Donot read them in linear fashion (1,2,3,4,5) instead go topic wise.

India Yearbook 2014 Chapter classification


Area/subject/topic first finish then read IYB chapter finally, newspaper/magz+
  • Geography
  • EnB
  • Sci.Tech
NCERT & NIOS 1, 4, 12, 25, 27, 30 12th FYP
Economy NCERT 8, 11, 17, 19, 26 12th FYP, budget, economic survey
  1. Polity
  2. rights issue,
  3. development
Laxmikanth: English / Hindi
  • polity: 2, 3, 20
  • 10, 15, 16, 21, 23, 24, 28
12th FYP
defense, IR For international relation basics: IGNOU module MPSE-001 9, 18
Misc.GK nothing 5, 22, 29, 31, 32, 33

Some of the chapters will overlap in multiple topics. For example:

  1. Ch1: Census data during education, welfare etc. chapters
  2. Ch4 Agro:  during finance/insurance, food-civil supply, welfare.
  3. Ch9 Defence: some Misc. GK, some IR/bilateral, some Sci-tech research.
  4. Ch11 Energy: Part of it with EnB (renewable) and part with infrastructure (thermal)
  5. Ch23: Planning chapter will overlap in other areas e.g. EnB: environment forest; Economy-infrastructure; welfare, education and so on.
  6. Ch30: state UT will also overlap- in agro, forest, water, energy, culture/tourism etc.

Anyways, we’ll see them in detail- where and how they overlap. But point being, that if you read the book topicwise, you’ll become less vulnerable to trap MCQs, you can write more comprehensive answers and essay/mains.

Moving to the next rule:

Rule#2: Organizations imp. BUT evolution is NOT

Often the IYB will tell you evolutionary story about a ministry/department/organization. For example:

 “__ department was setup in ___ year under ___ ministry. In the ___ year, department was shifted to _____ ministry. In the year ___, the ministry was renamed into ____, blah blah blah”.

  • This type of GK/chronology/Evolution was important under Public Administration optional subject in preliminary exams (i.e. before 2011).
  • But in 2011, UPSC introduced CSAT system (no more optional subjects in prelims). = such details are useless.
  • and even for Public Administration optional subject in Mains exam- such “evolution” details are no longer asked/useful.

Therefore, don’t bother with such details. Whenever you read any organization, only focus on three things:

  1. Nature: Constitutional/statutory/executive/attached office/society/PSU/SPV/autonomous body/anything else?
  2. Boss: Who is the boss? Under which ministry does it fall?
  3. Function:
    1. What’re the functions/schemes/policies associated?
    2. in Sci-tech related organizations you’ll find fancy terms/inventions associated. you need to dig their feature/benefit from google- for the GS3 paper.

While you’re reading IYB, try to maintain an excel spreadsheet, mindmap, or handwritten micronote about ^this. (and continue updating it from newspapers, Pib.nic.in and yojana/kurukshetra magazine.)

Rule#3: Location not important for Misc. organization

Do not waste time in memorizing the locations of relatively unknown organizations. for example

  1. Harishchandra research institute, Allahbad
  2. Institute of mathematical science , Chennai
  3. Institute of physics, Bhuwaneshwar.

“Match the following (Chillar) institute vs location”= this type MCQs were asked in late 90s-early 2000s era. But since last three years, UPSC has stopped harassing aspirants with such trivial GK.

  • Besides, even if 1-2 MCQs are asked from this area, the cost:benefit is terrible (in terms of the amount of effort required to mugup & recall the list in the exam).
  • You’re better off investing that much time in the “Core” areas of CSAT- polity, geography, science, EnB, economy and aptitude.

Rule#4: Ignore Bolbachhan

While describing schemes/policy/functions, the IYB-writers give a lot of bolbachhan (Filler information.) Observe:

  1. Under ____ scheme, the ministry has initiated new and improved processes, improved functionality and efficient cost effective services, network integration, human resources development…”
  2. The Department of ____ also has a specialized center to analyze metals, alloys, organic and organometallic compounds, inorganic compounds, rocks and minerals.
  3. The national institute of ___ provides an integrated M.Sc.+Ph.D course in biology, chemistry, math and physics.
  4. During the year ___ , Doordarshan’s DTH platform was upgraded from 50 to 59 SDTV channels and 65000 set top boxes with an Expenditure of Rs.____ crore.

Such details are useless for prelim-MCQs. such details won’t even fetch any marks in descriptive question under Mains /Essay.

In short, dates-numbers-fancy things are almost always useless. Even if one or two things help directly/indirectly in the exam- the cost benefit is still terrible. Therefore, always focus on facts-features relevant to the exam. Ask youself “can this be asked as MCQs? can I quote this while writing a descriptive answer?” if answer is “NO”, then don’t bother reading such data.

If you’re totally new to this game, DO go through at least last three years’ prelims and mains papers of UPSC. that’ll give you a basic idea of what is important and what is useless from exam point of view.

Rule#5: Schemes/funds/projects what to read, what to skip?

In the schemes related paragraphs- there is lot of bolbachchan. Example

  1. During the 11th Five year plan, Rs._____ crore were spent. Out of this, ____ number of beneficiaries were given ____ Cores. Under the 12th five year plan, the allotment has been raised by __%….
  2. Then a big table is given, showing the allocations made to each state/UT etc.

Nearly 70% of scheme related paragraphs are full of such junk. Ignore it. And extract ONLY following five things:

  1. When did the scheme start?

Absolute year is not important but you need it for Chronological type MCQ Which came first? or what is the correct chronological order in following?

  • Q1. Project Tiger/elephant/crocodile?
  • Q2. Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan / right to education / mid-day meal?

Because ^this type of MCQs are still asked.

  1. Who is the boss? [i.e. which ministry/department looks after?]
  2. Where does the money come?
    1. Does Union government provide 100% funding, or do the states need to contribute something as well? 10%/20%/25% etc?]
    2. In some cases, even Private sector gives money e.g. India Inclusive Innovation Fund – 100 crore by Union and 400 by banks/FI/donors etc.]
  3. What are the salient features
    1. Who is eligible beneficiary?
    2. What benefit does he/she get?
    3. How does he get benefit? (direct cash, “in kind” (e.g. tractor, wheelchair), indirect benefit via subsidy to fertilizer company and so on)
  4. + any other term/condition that you find worthy of a UPSC level MCQ.

Sometimes you’ll not get all of this data within IYB. In that case dig pib.nic.in

Hint: in google search box, type “site:pib.nic.in *name of the scheme*

Rule#6: Policies: Must maintain separate notes

Usually 90% of the policy paragraph is just bolbachhan filler junk.

We only need to dig five things:

  1. Year (not absolute year, but you need to be aware of chronological order, for MCQs)
  2. Boss: Which ministry / Department is responsible for this policy? (e.g. Manufacturing policy=Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) under Commerce Ministry.)
  3. Features: What are the salient features/targets?
  4. Methods: What schemes/projects have been launched to accomplish this policy?
  5. Analysis: (for mains & interview): the pros/cons/suggestions.

Often, you won’t find all these details in IYB (because the author got so carried away in writing bolbachhan, he forgot to provide the essential details.)  In all such cases, dig pib.nic.in for topic 1 to 4 and; for #5- dig Hindu, Indianexpress etc.

hint: to find a policy on pib.nic.in quickly, open google search box, and type

site:pib.nic.in *name of the policy*

Don’t do Ph.D while gathering content. Try to make a revision note that summarizes every policy (and its five area) in single side A4 page (or even less.)

  • I’m writing this article on Mar-03-2014. Meaning less than 5 months left before prelims. It’s ideal time to gather these details right now.
  • After mains, you’ll be caught up with so many other topics of GS and Optional subjects, you won’t have sufficient time to cover hte policies.
  • Then you’ll try to take shortcut by getting some coaching note/current affairs book= useless, because most of them are just bolbachhan copy-pasted from IYB, newspapers and government sites. Such details will not stay in long term memory. You cannot recall the points in examhall = bogus quality answer.

But if you prepare a self-note in your own words-revolving around those five things, and keep revising it regularly, then you can handle pretty much any descriptive question related to xyz policy, you can recall the answer points quickly.


Approach remains similar to policy topic:

  1. year
  2. boss
  3. features (from prsindia.org)
  4. analysis (from prsindia, other newspapers)

anyways, let’s start with ch1.

Chapter 1: Land and People

DONOT read entire Chapter 1 in a single sitting. Instead, approach in following manner

Read this section from ch1 then directly shift towards
  1. Indian Geography
Ch. 30 States and UT
  1. Flora Fauna
Ch. 12 environment (and then to 12th FYP)
  1. Census
Donor read census right now. Instead, come back to refer census, when you’re reading education, health, welfare related chapters.

The first four pages the first chapter of IYB are dedicated to this topic “Indian (physical) Geography”.

#1 Pre-requisite: NCERT Indian Geography

If you directly read the land-people chapter. It’ll be a big “hathodaa” (hammer) on your head. So, first make sure you’ve thoroughly finished with NCERTs (for Indian Geography)

India Basic 6 7
9 1, 2, 4
11* 1 and 2
Rivers 9 3
10 3
11* 3
12* 6
Economic Geography 10 1,5, 6, 7
12* 7 to 12
Human Geography 9 6
12* 1to 4

*For Class 11 and 12, NCERT has three books of Geography, but In above table

  • Class 11 Geography means “India-Physical-Environment-Geography”
  • Class 12 Geography means “India People and Economy”

PS: all NCERT, NIOS PDFs are available at Mrunal.org/download

#2: DO keep a school atlas

While reading these (NCERT) chapter and IYB topics, if you keep reading only text like “western Himalayan region extends from Kashmir to Kumaon….” without referring to atlas, it’ll never go in your long term memory. Then, despite having read the text, you won’t be able to solve the MCQs.

Assuming that you’re done with #1 and #2. Welcome back. Now open the chapter 1, page 1 of IYB14.

  1. First para. Quote of Mark Twain = important as Essay title.
  2. Second para. well you’d know this by reading NCERTs
  3. From (Page1 Para3) to (Page4 Para2): finish while simultaneously referring to Atlas. This is mostly location /mapping type GK in a compressed form.
  4. Then climate-flora-fauna thing starts. ignore it at the moment (because we do it in Environment-biodiversity section)

Let’s check a few demo MCQs

Ch1: Mock MCQ Questions

Q1. Consider following river basins

  1. Ganga-Brahmaputra-Meghna
  2. Brahmani-Baitarani
  3. Luni
  4. Subarnarekha

Which of them are examples of composite river basins?

  1. only 1 and 2
  2. only 3 and 4
  3. only 1
  4. only 3

Q2. Find correct statements about drainage system in Western India

  1. West coast streams are short in length, have limited catchment area.
  2. Streams of Western Rajasthan are ephemeral.
  3. Both A and B
  4. Neither A nor B

Q3. Which of the following rivers don’t drain into sea? (1) Luni (2) Macchu (3) Saraswati (4) Ghaggar

Answer choices:

  1. only 1 and 3
  2. only 1, 2 and 3
  3. only 1 and 4
  4. 1234

Correct answers

answer/hint IYB Page#
Trap MCQ. “Composite” doesn’t mean composite word as in English grammar. Composite river basin = having  area between 2k to 20k sq.kms => correct are Luni and Subernarekha 4
Both are correct 3
None of them drains into sea 3

So far you finished India’s physical geography: mountains and rivers from Chapter 1.Now directly shift to Chapter 30.

Chapter 30: States and UT

You’ll have to refer this chapter back and forth many times (for culture, polity, mining, infrastructure etc.)

You finish everything at once e.g. picked Andhra, then read everything about Andhra: history, geography, agro, irrigation, power, industries, transport, tourism…everything. Only move topic wise PER state.  example

  • History, tourism, festivals: Andra, Assam, Bihar…
  • Agriculture: Andra, Assam, Bihar…
  • Forest wildlife: Andra, Assam, Bihar…

and so on

use this approach for:

  1. first sitting.
  2. state service exam (only your state)
  3. UPSC interview (all the states where you’ve been – in terms of birth, school, college and job).
use this approach for

  • Subsequent revisions in second, third, fourth sittings.
  • UPSC prelims (because often they ask “comparative” type MCQs, match the following: state vs tribe, state vs festival, state vs. wildlife sanctuary etc. so you need to prepare in parallel manner.)

Note: in the market, many GK books deal with such data: state vs festival, tourism, river etc.– those things will work fine for SSC, Bank type exam. But they often ignore non-popular, non-clichéd data such as

  1. Sualkuchi, Assam = silk;
  2. Hajo, Assam= Meeting point of Buddhism ,Hinduism and Islam

But you’ll find these things in IYB. So, do prepare Ch30 religiously.

Important: IYB 2014 doesn’t contain information on the newly formed State of Telengana. But do dig the similar details via google. (Power plants, tourist attraction, sanctuaries, rivers etc.)

Ch30: Mock MCQ Questions

these are only meant to test your “recalling” power. otherwise, UPSC MCQs will be way tougher than this chillar stuff.

Q1. Which of the following dynasties have ruled over Andhra/Telugu region?

  1. Satvahan
  2. Ahom
  3. Sakas
  4. Ikshvakus

Answer choice

  1. 123
  2. 13
  3. 134
  4. 1234

Q2. Consider following caves: Ajanta, Elllora, Elephanta, Kanheri, Karla.

Which of them are located in Maharahstra?

  1. all except Kanheri, Karla
  2. all except Karla
  3. all except Elephanta
  4. All of them

Q3. Consider following data

State name in the ancient texts
  1. Odisha
  1. W.Bengal
  1. Assam

Which of them are correctly matched?

  1. only 1 and 3
  2. only 2 and 3
  3. only 1 and 3
  4. all of them

Q4. Match the following

  1. Meghalaya
  2. Mizoram
  3. Nagaland
  4. Assam
  1. Nongkrem Dance
  2. Cheraw Dance
  3. Hornbill festival
  4. Bhaona

Correct match

code I II III IV
a 4 3 2 1
b 2 1 4 3
c 3 2 1 4
d 1 2 3 4

Q5. which of the following is correct about Vijayanagar Kings?

  1. They had helped Goa’s king to fight against Alfonso de Albuquerque.
  2. Their empire crumbled after the humiliating defeat in the battle of Talikota.
  3. Both A and B
  4. Neither A nor B

Q6. Consider following rivers: Rabi, Chenab, Beas, Sutluj, Yamuna. Which of them pass through Himachal pradesh?

  1. All except Beas
  2. All except Yamuna
  3. All except Chenab
  4. All of them

Q7. Consider following fruits: Apples, pear, peach, guava, and litchi. Which of them are temperate fruits?

  1. all except guava and litchi
  2. all except pear and peach
  3. all except pear and litchi
  4. all of them

Q8. Consider following statements about Lakshadweep

  1. its capital is Minicoy
  2. its coconuts have highest oil content in the world
  3. its per capita fish availability is highest in India
  4. its administrator is called Lt.governor

Incorrect statements are

  1. only 2 and 4
  2. only 3 and 4
  3. only 1
  4. only 1 and 4

Q9. Consider following

  1. Harvalem falls
  1. Elephant falls
  1. Vantawng Falls

Which of them are correctly matched?

  1. only 1 and 3
  2. only 2 and 3
  3. only 1 and 3
  4. all of them

Q10. Match the following

  1. Sikkim
  2. Tripura
  3. Himachal
  4. Uttarakhand
  1. Garhwali
  2. Pahari
  3. Kokborak
  4. Lepcha

Correct match

code I II III IV
a 3 4 1 2
b 4 3 1 2
c 3 4 2 1
d 4 3 2 1

Q11. Consider following

  1. Wollastonite
  1. pyrophyllite
  1. chyrsolite asbestos

Which of them are correctly matched?

  1. only 1 and 3
  2. only 2 and 3
  3. only 1 and 3
  4. all of them

Q12. Consider following statements about the tribes of Andaman Nicobar?

  1. Negrito tribes live in Andaman group of islands
  2. Mongoloid tribes live in Nicobar group of islands
  3. The Shompen are an example of Negrito tribes.

Which of them are correct?

  1. only 1 and 3
  2. only 2 and 3
  3. only 1 and 2
  4. only 1 and 3

Q13. Which of the following statements are correct about Onge, Jarawa and Sentinalese tribes?

  1. all of them live in Andaman group of Islands
  2. all of them are Negrito tribes
  3. Both A and B
  4. Neither A nor B

Q14. Correct statements about Diu-Daman vs Dadra-Nagar Haveli?

  1. Majority population of population in Diu-Daman is tribal
  2. Majority of area in Dadra and Nagar Haveli is under forest cover.
  3. Both UT are administrated by the same chief commissioner.

Answer choice

  1. only 1 and 2
  2. only 1
  3. only 2
  4. all of them

Chapter 30: Correct Answers

  1. C. Ahom = Assam. remaining are correct
  2. D. all of them.
  3. D. all of them
  4. D. 1234 all given in correct sequence in the table itself.
  5. B.only second statement correct
  6. D. all of them pass through HP
  7. A. Guava, litchi = subtropical fruits (hint: read Kashmir section of Ch30)
  8. D. incorrect statement=only 1 and 4. Capital Kavaratti and Administrator is called administrator.
  9. D. all falls are correctly matched
  10. D. 4321
  11. D all match
  12. C. because Shompen are Mongoloid.
  13. C. both right
  14. B. only first statement right – Diu Daman majority tribal

So far you’re done with

  1. chapter 1 (minus flora, fauna and census)
  2. chapter 30

Next article, we see how to handle Ch.7 Environment (+12th Five year plan). Click me

visit Mrunal.org/yearbook For more on Yearbook related topics/articles.