1. Download Economic Survey
  2. Do I need to prepare this new survey?
  3. Should I prepare Modi Budget or Interim budget?
  4. Why are you not uploading the Hindu Science tech compilations?
  5. To pass CSAT, you’ve to respect CDS & CAPF
  6. High priority revision
  7. Medium priority Topics
  8. Low Priority /IGNORE 4CSAT
  9. What to read “Exactly”?
  10. Don’t be a “Gujarati”, if you want to succeed

Download Economic Survey

Finance ministry has uploaded the Economic Survey for year 2013-14 in both English and Hindi.  My summary articles on them coming soon.

Download links:

  1. Hindi Economic Survey
  2. English Economic Survey

Do I need to prepare this new survey?

after all, examiner may have framed the question paper already!?

  • Yes, although barely 45 days left before exam but that doesn’t mean examiner won’t ask from this survey. Because this Survey contains data of financial year 2013-14.
  • So it’s not entirely “new” current affairs.
  • Lot of these events have happened already- CAD, fiscal deficit, inflation, disinvestment etc. Which UPSC examiner would have noticed from newspaper, Committee reports, journals etc. even before this survey was written. So, yes, you’ve to prepare it.
  • But on many pages, author is merely “reading out” the graphs/tables and doing “Bol-bachchan”, Hence the survey looks so lengthy. But you don’t have to read it word by word, just focus on following aspects:
    • Ascending descending order of quantity, production, demography etc.
    • chronology (not exact years but order)
    • Schemes, policies, and recommendations.

Should I prepare Modi Budget or Interim budget?

Ans. BOTH.

  • Although Modi budget coming ~45 days before prelims but Lot of the things have already been in news. For example DTC bill provisions, GST, companies Act, GAAR etc.
  • So if tomorrow Jaitley implements/mentions some of those topics (without altering provisions) and If UPSC asks, then it’ll be difficult to say whether Examiner had framed MCQ AFTER looking at budget speech or had he framed the MCQ weeks ago already, from the background events?
  • same way, tax collection, deficit ascending descending order might also remain the same. Therefore, Modi budget should be prepared as well.
  • Besides, once you’re done with economy theory and budget – tax classification, then actual budget is very small thing. You don’t have to prepare how much money allotted to each sector or how much bidi-cigar will get costly? Just prepare following details:
What to focus in budget for MCQs?
Interim budget Modi Budget
Ascending descending order of direct, indirect tax collection, revenue/capital income Expenditure yes (quantity may change but order may remain almost identical)
New funds, schemes and bodies. yes (new developments expected here)
Tax rates yes
Negative list of service tax yes (perhaps minor changes)
formulas for various deficits and ascending descending order yes
subsidies ascending descending order yes

Also prepare 7th Schedule taxation powers, money bill, finance bill etc. from M.Laxmikanth.

Why am I not uploading Hindu Sci-tech compilations?


  • If you observe recent question papers of CSAT, CAPF and CDS carefully- there are hardly any direct questions from Hindu’s Thursday science tech.  (not even in mains exam)
  • And the amount of effort required to prepare all the background science theories for each of those article = too much time consuming.
  • If I start on Sci-tech, I won’t be able to cover Economic Survey in time.
  • And Economic survey summary + its background static content has much better cost:Benefit than Hindu’s Thursday sci-tech even for my own bogus marketing propaganda that xyz question came from Mrunal.org(!)
  • Therefore, Hindu Science tech not in my priority right now.

To pass CSAT, you’ve to respect CDS & CAPF

  • Last CSAT was conducted in 2013. More than a year has passed, we don’t know what’s going on in DP Agrawal’s head on how to break the backs of senior players, coaching classes and Hindi maadhyam.
  • But, just like preamble is the key to unlock minds of Constitution makers, same way by observing the trend in CAPF and CDS exams (conducted AFTER CSAT-2013) you can see which direction the game is going. Plus, some of the topics get recycled in all three exams, for example vulture-diclo, foreign travelers in ancient India and so on.
  • Therefore, DO go through the answer key and analysis of CSAT-2013, CAPF-2013, CDS-2014 and CAPF-2014(upcoming): all posted on Mrunal.org/answerkey

CSAT: High priority revision

like I said, first observe answerkeys of previous CSAT,CAPF,CDS. It’ll help you gauge, which direction your preparation has gone, and which direction is UPSC asking. Then revise books, notes accordingly.

  1. History UPTO 1857: TN Class11-12 OR Old NCERT. Use New NCERT for maps of Ashokan inscription, other kingdoms etc. With prime focus being relion, art, Architecture, Jain-Buddhism.
  2. History POST-1857: Spectrum OR Bipin Chandra (not both, else you won’t be able to revise other things. besides last year freedom struggle question weren’t that deep. You don’t need to be a History scholar.)
  3. NCERT Socio+Pol.sci: for definition/characteristic related MCQ. You’ll be given 2-3-5 statements, will have to identify the correct / incorrect; assertion-reasoning type question, in culture-society and polity segment. For these Assertion-reasoning question, don’t apply “logic”, only tick as per what is explained in NCERT.
  4. Geography: whatever book you’re using- focus on Indian Geography related to Environment, Energy and Agriculture. Plus India Yearbook Chapter 1,11,12,30.
  5. Budget, Econ. Survey Summary and whatever background theory/static topics it leads to. For example, who prepares inflation data? What are the qualitative and quantitative tools in monetary policy to fight inflation? what is the weightage of each component in IIP? Who gives FDI clearance? and so on.
  6. M. Laxmikanth + IYB Ch2,3,20,21,28. (although ch3- refer to PMO site for new ministries list.)
  7. Do refer to your self-made notes for current+theory. If you’ve diligently prepared notes then you must revise it faithfully. Trust me, good number of MCQs will come directly from your notes only. So don’t chase some new “bazaaru-material” at this stage.
  8. I’ve already covered how to handle Comprehension, Maths, Reasoning, Decision making. Spend morning-noon-evening for GS. Spend night for practicing aptitude. So brain doesn’t get sleepy after dinner. Avoid heavy dinner to stay awake longer.

as far as CSAT paper II goes:

Don’t suffer from any inferiority complex about being a non-English medium non-engineer.
Don’t suffer from any inferiority complex after looking at profiles of whatever 10-12 topper-interviews that I’ve uploaded so far. Sample size too small to make generalization and even if such generalizations were true, still all you need is just ONE Topper SEAT.

Toh baaki kitne log Hindi maadhyam se hai,

kaun engineer hai..kaun nahi hai,

woh sab chintaa chhodo, aur prelims pe focus karo.

You have to have faith in yourself.

Medium priority Topics

  • After preparing answer key for CDS-2014, I observed that examiner did not ask as many direct questions from Laxmikanth and Class 7 to 10 science NCERT like he used to do in the earlier years.
  • This time, examiner had ventured into 11, 12 Science textbooks. He asked certain Parliament procedures, parliamentary Committees that are not discussed in Laxmikanth. Perhaps this was a hint of the new backbreaking moveTM for next CSAT-2014.

So, if time permits, do go through following (click links for free download):

  1. Parliament Handbook 2014: Chapter: 1,2,3,5 and appendix on adjournment. (Remaining chapters are just bol-bachchan)
  2. NCERT Science 11-12 (following)
Which chapters to prepare?
Subject 11th 12th
  • 4,5;
  • 7to16
CHEMISTRY 1,14 14,16
PHYSICS 1,5,8 15
  • If running out of time (or If you find these 11-12 too difficult) then only focus on environment related chapters from class11-12 biology and chemistry.
  • Even in above chapters, Ignore formulas, chemical structures. (Although he may ask something indirectly, example rust composition).

#3: Atlas

  • UPSC doesn’t regularly ask map based questions. but they indirectly help in history/culture questions as well (e.g. places in north to south, east to west order, or rivers and parks in xyz state)
  • So yes, you should revise the atlas including those scattered maps and diagrams given in NCERT e.g. Ashoka’s inscriptions.

More can be written about high/medium priority topics but it depends on how much stuff you’ve already covered and was it aligned with UPSC’s trend for 2013-14’s CSAT, CAPF and CDS exams? There are no readymade answers for this. Therefore, I again recommend you to refer those answerkeys and fine tune your revision plan, for the remaining days accordingly.

Hurt locker and CSAT revision

Of course, UPSC is not legally bound to follow the same “trend” from past papers, but usually there are no 360 degree turns. (E.g. asking no environment question and focusing only current affairs based on dates, names and numbers).

Low Priority /IGNORE 4CSAT

  1. Hopeless & unrealistic studyplans to cover past laziness. For example “I’ll download entire Archive of all science-reporter/yojana articles of last one year and finish them in next 45 days”……Bigger the plan, bigger the #Epicfail. Brain has limited capacity to retain data. So, Better practice, revise and ruminate whatever you’ve done in past few months. You cannot expect MIRACLE by doing something in these ~45 days, that you’ve never touched in past.
  2. Current affairs WITHOUT covering background theory:
    • At present, market flooded with lot of “Current affairs material” basically cut-paste-bullet from theHindu. But UPSC examiner doesn’t ask “Current” directly.
    • Examiner usually attaches some background theory related statements into MCQ, and asks you to identify correct/incorrect statements.
    • So unless you’re prepared to walk the whole nine yards of current + theory, don’t waste time in cherry picking current affairs from some “Bazaaru-material”. AGAIN better practice, revise and ruminate whatever you’ve done in past few months.
  3. Rail-budget except core issues like freight corridor, rail tariff authority, high speed rail etc. PLUS whatever is discussed in economic survey.
  4. NCERT 12 Microeconomics (except selective topics mentioned on Mrunal.org/economy)
  5. Medieval History (MINUS Culture-Religion-Architecture angles) at max, go through TN Class11.
  6. Geology & world geography BEYOND NCERTs. Reason: geology MCQs too tough, Goh Cheng Leong becoming insufficient- even for CAPF and CDS.
  7. DD Basu, Subhash Kashyap, MV Paylee, Dutt Sundaram, Uma Kapila and whatever else goes. They’re good academic book in their own capacity but UPSC moving in a different direction nowadays. Like the famous/infamous Dr.Roman Saini remarked- “UPSC is no longer about Depth but Range.”
  8. Hindu Thursday Sci-Tech UNLESS you’re prepared to dig all the background scientific principles and theories.
  9. Sports, Awards, Persons in News (at max, international summits and themes.) but mind it- this PIN-2014 topic can easily fetch you 3-5 MCQs in SSC, CDS, CAPF and other non-CSAT exams.

What to read “Exactly”?

(This tip is not specifically for economic survey- but overall GS).

Nowadays, in most MCQs, they give 2-3-4 statements and you’ve to identify the correct or incorrect statements. So, whenever you read a topic, focus on following areas:

  1. Classification
  2. Chronology (not exact years but the order)
  3. Ascending-Descending (particularly for tax collection, import-export, production, literacy etc.) you’ll find these details in Economic survey.
  4. Definition, Principles, Features, Pro-Con, cause-consequence.
  5. Jurisdiction of an organization / law: for polity-administration related topics.

Observe the previous papers and next time you read anything in any books/newspaper, ask yourself “can I twist this statement /fact to ask a UPSC type MCQ? if not, then ignore that much content and move forward.

Hindu reporters’ presentation format is:

first para some current combined with “statement” From some opinion
Second para
  • Some background theory /static points.
  • For example, first para they may talk about present controversy on Lokpal selection, second para will talk about “existing Lokpal selection rules”. OR first para may talk about present controversy on NCLAT appointment, while second para talks about provisions in Companies Act regarding this statutory body.
Last para Again some Experts’ comment/opinion (that may again contain some background theory.)

Most Newreports have this combo of current+theory+expert opinion.

This is the reason why you should read Hindu/Indian express till morning of the exam. Because second para may still contain some useful theory points EVEN IF Examiner has framed question paper five weeks ago.

For exam oriented preparation: keep your (written, electronic or mental) notes in following format:

  1. first background theory point
  2. Then current facts
  3. Then expert opinion.

Don’t be a “Gujarati”, if you want to succeed

There is a saying “Praarambhe shoora Gujarati. ” (प्रारम्भे शूरा गुजराती)

Meaning, Gujarati people are enthusiastic only in the beginning, for any project. (MINUS a few exceptions like Gandhi vs British and Modi vs Congress party).

  • But this proverb applies to majority of UPSC candidates irrespective of their domicile state.
  • Everyone has booklist, Hindu and a few kilos of (authentic or XEROXED) coaching material. Then why can’t everyone clear prelims?
  • Because their enthusiasm vanishes after a few weeks. Then remaining time is spent daydreaming, changing Profile pics on Whatsapp & Facebook, randomly surfing internet or DishTV channel, whining about DP Agrawal on online forums, and virtually making no progress in learning any topic.
  • Hindu papers get piledup on your desk (or in feedly), economic survey PDF is only for downloading and not reading. After single reading halfhearted reading of Laxmikanth- you think you’re master of polity. You’ve bought 4-5 different books on geography, yet fumble answering even one MCQ, you’ve gathered 20-30 mock test papers from various institutes and yet cannot solve one data interpretation set without making silly calculation mistakes….and so on.
  • Then comes another bank, SSC or state service exam, so focus is shifted. You begin gathering new material for it, BUT there too, your enthusiasm vanishes after few weeks.
  • Ultimately situation becomes similar to a “dhobi kaa kuttaa”. You neither clear UPSC nor you clear any Non-UPSC exams.
  • Like this, 2-3 years are wasted. Then you’ve to pick a private sector job, but it’s really difficult to prepare while on job given the stress, fatigue and travel. Although, now your ‘purchasing power’ has increased, so again the vicious cycle of “gather material-loose momentum-fail in exam” continues.
  • In your heart, you know you’re not going to clear exam with this attitude. But you just keep fondling a teenage fantasy hoping for a divine intervention & “luck by chance”.
  • And like this, your entire 20s youth life is wasted.
  • Point being- Weapons alone don’t win the war. Hard work, Perseverance and Faith are necessary. There are no secret books or tips that only you’ll gather and no one else can. And even if there is a magical secret book from where all 100 MCQs are going to come, still it’s useless unless you revise it minimum 4-5 times.
  • Yes, even with best preparation, Not every one of you will become an IAS/IPS/IFS, because the number of seats are limited. Still there has to be at least one (UPSC/non-UPSC) exam where you can make a decent score to brag in front of your neighbors, relatives and kids. Otherwise you’ve wasted your jawaani for nothing.

In the end

Poster Milkha Singh last race

Paki coach: Milkha Singh, this could prove to be the last race of your life. (Because our champion Abdul Khaliq will win, and you’ll have to retire in shame.)
Milkha Singh: I’ll also run like that (as if it is the last race of my life.)