IAS PREPARATION TIPS FOR BEGINNERS - Insights

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Simplifying UPSC IAS Preparation

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IAS PREPARATION TIPS FOR BEGINNERS

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Some Myths About UPSC IAS Exam Preparation – Truths 1) They say IAS is the mother of all exams. Is it? Wrong. This is just another exam. The mother of all exams is Life. You can afford to fail in IAS, but not in Life. So, take IAS preparation as a phase in Life, not as your Life. 2) They say IAS is not for faint-hearted. Is it?

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If you think you are faint-hearted, better start preparing for IAS soon – it makes you stone-hearted. 3) One topper in an interview said that she studied 20 hours every day for 365 days. Is this true? May be she suffered from insomnia. Even now she will be working 20 hours a day as an officer. On a

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serious note, good sleep is very necessary to prepare well for this exam. It keeps you in good health. Don’t study beyond 14 hours unless you suffer from Insomnia. 4) Now you are saying 14 Hours! Are you mad? Calm down. If you have left your job, as a punishment you should devote these many hours. Didn’t you work 12 hours for your company? Anyway, every day at least 8 hours of planned study is required. If you can study more than that, it is well and good. But please ensure that you also get 6-8 hours of sound sleep. 5) My English is very poor. They say I am out of the race. Am I? No. You are still part of the race. Now you have figured out the problem – that your English is poor.

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Work on it. All you need is basic English. Moreover, you can write this exam and give the interview in your mother-tongue. Buy a basic Grammar book – read it, listen to English news on TV and radio, try to write something in English, everyday (don’t worry if it is very bad, keep trying) Necessity should push you to learn. Push yourself. Win the race. 6) I am worried. I can’t go to Delhi because of some personal reasons. They say it is Mecca for IAS aspirants. Can’t go to Delhi? Wow. That’s great. These days you can study from home itself. IAS preparation is neither religion nor life to seek enlightenment in a far away concrete desert. Do your duty sincerely, if

RECENT POSTS Insights Daily Debates: Issues that Matter – 6 (Modern India doesn’t need either Censoring or Censor Board for Movies) February 19, 2018

pleased, almighty UPSC will call you to its shrine, if pleased with your personality, it will give you a pass to Heaven – the IAS. Why go there uninvited? 7) So how can I study from my home? These days you can buy books from online. Every topper has studied the same set of books as lakhs of aspirants do every year. The difference is that toppers plan their studies and execute those plans well. They practice writing. They take tests. They are confident. And they also have some luck. 8) Oh! So luck is needed for this exam. Ya, only if you think you are unlucky. Anyway, let me modify a famous quote for you – Success is one percent luck and ninety-nine percent perspiration. Don’t let that 99% thing slip from your hand. Toil sincerely, and you will be rewarded with that 1 percent luck. 9) It was my last attempt. I failed in Prelims. Now I want to kill myself. Help me. To kill you? First, kill your ego, not yourself. You took a journey but couldn’t reach the destination. It doesn’t mean the end of your life or the end of the road – start a new phase in your Life from where you are now. What matters in the end is how well you lived your Life, not how many successes you

QUIZ – 2017: Insights Current Affairs Quiz, 19 February 2018 February 19, 2018 Insights into Editorial: For India, it should be neighbourhood first February 19, 2018 Insights Daily Current Affairs, 19 February 2018 February 19, 2018 SECURE SYNOPSIS: 16 FEBRUARY 2018 February 19, 2018 Insights MINDMAPS: “Live Streaming of Supreme Court’s Proceedings”. February 19, 2018 Insights Static Quiz -1, 2018 February 19, 2018

achieved. If the King has painful piles in his anus, what is the use of diamond studded golden throne? [Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains

10) Lakhs of aspirants give this exam and only few get into IAS. I am scared.

Answer Writing Practice: 19 February 2018 February 19, 2018

Though lakhs of aspirants apply and write this exam, the real competition is between only 2000-3000 serious aspirants. Those who study systematically and consistently, get into service. If you do the same, you will be one among them. Don’t have fears even before you start. You must enter the race and work hard to win it. Remember this: “I never did a day’s work in all my Life. It was all fun” (Edison). Make the process fun, enjoy reading, love what you do and do everything to please your heart. Not the society.

7) Introduction of compulsory attendance in research universities disrupts nuanced and proven practices of academic heterogeneity and autonomy, and also suffocates free thinking spirit of students. Comment. February 19, 2018 6) Learning from the success of Operation

11) They say there is corruption in recruiting IAS officers. Is it true? This allegation is utterly false. The whole examination is so opaque that you have to trust it blindly

Flood, to succeed, the newly announced Operation Greens must build forward and backward linkages between farmers and

(Oxymoron). There may be lacunae in the way examination is held, or there may be loopholes in how

markets. Discuss.

an UPSC member is appointed, but there is never corruption involved in the recruitment of civil service

February 19, 2018

officers. The steel produced is pure. You can trust it. (it gets corroded later, that is a different story though) 12) Those veterans laugh when I tell them I am preparing for IAS. Instead, they insist I should say that I am preparing for civil services. What is the difference? When you say you are preparing for civil services, you are not sure about getting into IAS/IPS. When you say you are preparing for IAS, you are confident that you want only IAS and you know how to get it. Choose the one suits you best. Not the veterans’.

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13) I am getting headache while making notes. There are so many books to refer and I want my notes to be the best. What to do? Note this. Leo Tolstoy writes in Anna Karenina “If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content.”

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Also someone said, “Perfection is the child of time“. When you scout too many sources to make that

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preparation is the most important aspect of this examination. Read one or two books for a topic. Re-

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read the same book even if some coaching institution or a publication house releases new notes/book in the market that has become famous.

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14) They say IAS is the best job on Earth! Is it? Well, I thought becoming the President of US was the best thing on Earth. Anyway, the above statement is wrong. Ask Durga Shakti Nagpal. 15) At least in India it is the best job. Right? Yes. If you want to make a positive impact on the lives of thousands of poor, IAS is the best job. But you have to swim in the ocean infested by so many sharks. You should know how to swim, be fearless





UPDATES

Insights New Secure Initiative – List of Topics 18 FEB, 2018

The People – if you do a good work, help the poor man on the streets and in the huts, people will love

New SECURE – 2018: How to Use Insights Secure Initiative for more Effective Mains Preparation?

you. Sharks love votes. And the ocean will be safe for you.

18 FEB, 2018

and armed with ammunition. There is a silver lining though. The ammunition is personal integrity and

16) Some say this exam is like a vast ocean and questions are asked from outside the syllabus, even from extraterritorial sources. Is it?

UPDATE: Regarding Secure Article (How and Why of Secure) 17 FEB, 2018

No. Again wrong. UPSC strictly adheres to the syllabus. Though sometimes it seems like questions are asked from outside of the syllabus, they are actually in some ways related to it. For example, if there is a question like this, ‘Opportunity on Mars‘, one should not get bedazzled why UPSC is asking questions from ET source and start answering like, ‘If Nuclear war takes place and the Earth is

UPDATE (Exciting News): Coming Soon – Revamped Secure Initiative 14 FEB, 2018

destroyed, the opportunities on Mars are immense for the Humankind…...’

NEW INITIATIVE: Insights IAS Daily Static Quiz

Opportunity is the name of a Robot that was sent to mars in 2003. Awareness on ‘Robotics‘ and ‘Space‘

13 FEB, 2018

is part of the UPSC syllabus (Paper-IV). 17) I have a disease. I keep buying all the magazines and coaching material. Is there any cure for this?

MOTIVATION: Don’t Give Up Yet (Especially Looking at UPSC Civil Services Exam 2018 Notification) 10 FEB, 2018

If you are rich, donate some money to this site. Jokes apart, yes there is a cure. You know very well that you don’t read all the magazine and materials you buy. When you buy more and don’t use them, it only worsens your situation. The sight of those books frightens you. The cure is simple: first understand why you are buying so many books. You buy them to buy yourself momentary satisfaction, that you are doing right thing in your preparation. No, wrong. Always finish reading what you have now. If something is really missing from the book you have, then go for a new one. When you become aware that you are not going to read all the books you buy, you will stop buying them.

UPSC Interview – The Dividing Line. Or Probably Not. 19 JAN, 2018

Insights IAS Interview Guidance Program – 2018: Debates, Mocks by Senior IAS/IPS/IRS Officer, Discussions and Brainstorming Sessions 11 JAN, 2018

UPDATE: Insights Core Batch 2018 Details available on Prelims Test Series Site 7 JAN, 2018

MOTIVATION: Topper’s Story – Nishant Jain, Rank – 13 CSE-2014 : Story of Inspiration and Hard Work 1 JAN, 2018

MOTIVATIONAL POSTS

MOTIVATION: Don’t Give Up Yet (Especially Looking at UPSC Civil Services Exam 2018 Notification) 10 FEB, 2018

MOTIVATION: Topper’s Story – Nishant Jain, Rank – 13 CSE-2014 : Story of Inspiration and Hard Work 1 JAN, 2018

MOTIVATION: Road to Success 31 DEC, 2017

MOTIVATION for Mains 2017 – Next Seven Days will Decide your Fate 27 OCT, 2017

MOTIVATION: An open letter to those who couldn’t clear Prelims – Mittali Sethi, Rank 56, CSE-2016 28 JUL, 2017

MOTIVATION: Emotional Intelligence 17 JUL, 2017

RECENT CURRENT EVENTS POSTS

Insights Daily Current Affairs, 19 February 2018 19 FEB, 2018

Insights Daily Current Affairs, 17 February 2018 17 FEB, 2018

Insights Daily Current Affairs, 16 February 2018 16 FEB, 2018

Insights Daily Current Affairs, 15 February 2018 15 FEB, 2018

Insights Daily Current Affairs, 14 February 2018 14 FEB, 2018

RECENT SECURE – 2016 POSTS

[Insights Secure – 2018] Daily UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice: 19 February 2018 19 FEB, 2018

Insights New Secure Initiative – List of Topics 18 FEB, 2018

New SECURE – 2018: How to Use Insights Secure Initiative for more Effective Mains Preparation? 18 FEB, 2018

[Insights Secure – 2018] UPSC Mains Questions on Current Affairs: 17 February 2018 17 FEB, 2018

CURRENT EVENTS QUIZ

QUIZ – 2017: Insights Current Affairs Quiz, 19 February 2018 QUIZ – 2017: Insights Current Affairs Quiz, 17 February 2018 QUIZ – 2017: Insights Current Affairs Quiz, 16 February 2018 QUIZ – 2017: Insights Current Affairs Quiz, 15 February 2018

MINDMAPS

Insights MINDMAPS: “Live Streaming of Supreme Court’s Proceedings”. Insights MINDMAPS: “India’s ‘Look West’ Policy”. Insights MINDMAPS: “National Urban Policy (NUP)”. Insights MINDMAPS: “Budget 2018 – Government Push on Artificial Intelligence”.

RAJYASABHA TV NEWS DEBATES

The Big Picture – ASEAN-INDIA Summit 3 FEB, 2018

Rajya Sabha TV- Security Scan: Security issues in Indian Ocean 3 JAN, 2018

INSIGHTS INTO EDITORIAL

Insights into Editorial: For India, it should be neighbourhood first Insights into Editorial: States of health Insights into Editorial: Are fiscal risks increasing? Insights into Editorial: Big discoveries have small origins

TOPPER’S STRATEGIES

UPSC Interview – The Dividing Line. Or Probably Not. MOTIVATION: Topper’s Story – Nishant Jain, Rank – 13 CSE-2014 : Story of Inspiration and Hard Work Albert John, AIR 179, Prelims strategy 145(2016), approx 130( 2017) Writing an Essay – Showing who you are, on paper. – Mittali Sethi, IAS (Essay -160 marks) As Mains approaches – Strategy and a few words. – Mittali Sethi POLITICAL SCIENCE AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS OPTIONAL ‘STRATEGY’, Aishwarya Dongre, AIR 196 LAW OPTIONAL STRATEGY : Pratik Tayal , AIR 92 CSE 2016 TOPPER’S STRATEGY: SHAURYA SUMAN, AIR 119 (CSE-2016), GS Marks 481, GS Strategy MOTIVATION and IAS TOPPER’S Detailed STRATEGY, Notes: Dr Naveen Bhat, Rank 37, Second Attempt, Insights Student (Download His Full Notes) IAS TOPPER’S STRATEGY: Santhosh B M, Rank 307, Third Attempt, Insights Offline Student

RECENT ESSAY CHALLENGES

Insights Weekly Essay Challenges 2018 – Week 7: Threats being Faced by Liberal Democratic Systems are both Dangerous and Permanent Insights Weekly Essay Challenges 2018 – Week 6: For India, Stigmatised Capitalism is Better than Crony Socialism Insights Weekly Essay Challenges 2018 – Week 5: Art, freedom and creativity will change society faster than politics. Insights Weekly Essay Challenges 2018 – Week 4: Politics of Identity is the Politics of the Weak Insights Weekly Essay Challenges 2018 – Week 3: Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime

MUST READ BOOKS 1) Introduction to the Constitution of India 20 Edition 2) India Since Independence - Bipan Chandra 3) India's Struggle For Independence – Bipan Chandra 4) Indian Economy : For Civil Services Examinations 6th Edition (2014) - Ramesh Singh 5) Indian Polity for Civil Services Examinations 4th Edition - Laxmikanth 6)Geography of India- Majid Hussain - 5th Edition 7) Ethics In Governance 8)India After Gandhi: The History Of The World's Largest Democracy 9) Mastering Modern World History -5th Edition, Norman Lowe 10) Select Constitutions: 16th Edition - S Chand 11) Challenge And Strategy : Rethinking India's Foreign Policy - Rajiv Sikri 12) India's Foreign Policy - Muchkund Dubey 13) History of the World from the Late Nineteenth to the Early Twenty First Century Arjun Dev 14) Social Problems in India 2 Edition - Ram Ahuja 15) Politics and Ethics of the Indian Constitution 16) Public Institutions in India: Performance and Design - PRATAP BHANU MEHTA

17) Certificate Physical and Human Geography - Goh Cheng Leong 18) India’s National Security – A Reader 19) Indian Social System - Ram Ahuja

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IAS PREPARATION TIPS FOR BEGINNERS - Insights

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