Keystone IAS Academy


Article 1:

Heading: Analysis of Last 10 Years UPSC CSE Prelims questions

Year  History  Geography Polity Economy Science and Tech Environment Current Affairs
2019 17 14 15 14 7 11 22
2018 15 8 13 16 7 13 28
2017 14 7 22 8 4 11 34
2016 15 7 7 18 8 18 27
2015 14 14 13 13 7 10 29
2014 17 12 11 10 13 17 20
2013 11 9 13 15 11 13 28
2012 17 12 11 13 9 12 26
2011 11 11 12 19 19 15 13
Article 2: Heading: Best strategy to score high marks in History subject Detailed Analysis of History Previous Year Questions
Year  Art and culture Ancient India Medieval India Modern India
2019 4 2 3 8
2018 3 1 2 9
2017 3 3 8
2016 4 2 9
2015 2 2 3 7
2014 4 1 4 8
2013 2 3 1 5
2012 4 2 2 9
2011 3 1 7


Based on the analysis of the previous ten years question paper, the weightage given to History was about 15-20%. The sections of history are Art and culture, Ancient India, Medieval India and Modern India. Out of these topics Modern India has the highest weightage in Prelims question paper. So its important to cover Modern India in detail and we are going to allot more study hours and revision hours for this topic.

Let’s start with Modern India..

First understand the sequence of events that happened from the early 18th century to till date. The entire phase starts from the fall of Mughal Empire, Marathas and consolidation of British rule in India. The next phase was all about Freedom struggle which consists of 1857 revolt, organisation of Indian National Congress and the role of Moderates and Extremists. The last phase was the Gandhian era, freedom movements and Formation of Constituent Assembly. Note down the chronology of events or major movements which helps to remember the facts.   To cover all these portions it’s recommended that one has to go with either
  1. 11th and 12th NCERT or
  2. Spectrum – Modern India, Rajiv Ahir or
  3. TN Samacheer – 11th and 12th History
The above mentioned books are more than enough for prelims. But if you find difficulty in understanding, then start with the basics of NCERT books given below.
  1. 6th NCERT – Our Past
  2. 7th NCERT – Our Past – I
  3. 8th NCERT – Our Past II and III
  4. 9th NCERT – India and the Contemporary World – I
  5. 10th NCERT – India and the Contemporary World – II
  After selecting the books to read, it is utmost important to understand how to read Modern India and what are the relevant points to remember in Prelims point of view. It is recommended to read a book thrice to grasp the concepts clearly. In the first reading go through the whole book line by line it will give you some idea about what’s inside the book. Before you start with the second reading go through the previous year question paper and syllabus. In the second reading underline the points which are related to the syllabus. The focus points are..
  1. Famous Personalities related to freedom struggle like Mahatma Gandhi, Subhash Chandra Bose etc..
  2. Movements – its purpose, causes for the movement, people involved and the consequences of the movement
  3. Role of Press and Literature
  Article 3: Heading: Book lists suggested by Toppers for UPSC CSE Exam Prelims and Mains   Civil Services Exam (Prelims + Mains) Booklist   A comprehensive book list has been provided for UPSC CSE Prelims cum Mains examination in the document which covers the static as well as the dynamic part of the UPSC Syllabi. The book list is a basic and standard structure which is followed across India by aspirants. The list is subjective to changes if the Mentor (Faculty) of a particular subject feels that the source list has to be enlarged for a detailed study by the aspirants. What to study? NCERT’s give the basic idea of what is what and hence it has to be read to gather the ideas that are fundamentals to the preparation. The other sources have been provided such that the aspirants can go through once they are strong with the fundamentals. The dynamic portions include Indian Polity, Economics, Environment etc., has to be integrated with the Current affairs as guided by the Mentors concerned.   Source list: NCERT’s + Other important sources+ Reference books.  
  Subject                       Book
GS – I Paper                 History ANCIENT INDIA: 1.  NCERT Class VI- Our pasts I (Ancient India) 2.  NCERT Class XII- Themes in Indian History I 3.  Old NCERT- RS Sharma MEDIEVAL INDIA: 1.  NCERT Class VII- Our pasts II (Medieval India) 2.  NCERT Class XII- Themes in Indian History II 3.  Old NCERT- Satish Chandra MODERN INDIA: 1.  NCERT Class VIII- Our pasts III (Part I &II) 2.  NCERT Class XII- Themes in Indian History II OTHER STANDARD REFERENCE SOURCES: A Brief History of Modern India- Spectrum
Art & Culture 1.  NCERT Class XI- Introduction to Fine Art 2.  Art and Culture – Nitin Singhania
Post- Independence Consolidation 1.     Chapter 6 to 12 of India Since Independence – Bipan Chandra 2.     Vision IAS Notes + Institution Notes  
    World History 1.     NCERT Class IX – India and the Contemporary World – I 2.     NCERT Class IX – India and the Contemporary World – II 3.     NCERT Class X – Themes in World History
  Indian Society NCERT – Indian Society Class 12 Social Problems in India – Ram Ahuja.
        Geography 1.     Fundamentals of Physical Geography XI NCERT 2.     India: Physical Environment XI NCERT 3.     Fundamentals of Human Geography XII NCERT 4.     India: People and Economy XII NCERT 5.     Certificate Physical and Human Geography: GC Leong 6.     For Maps Oxford School Atlas
GS – II Paper     Indian Polity 1.     NCERT Class XI – Indian Constitution at Work 2.     Indian Polity by Laxmikanth 3.     An Introduction to the Constitution of India by D. D. Basu
    Governance & Social Justice 1.     Institution Notes + Current affairs 2.     2nd ARC Reports (Selected topics) 3.     Strategy for New India @ 75 – NITI Aayog (read selectively). 4.     Selected committees and commissions report (read selectively).
Welfare Schemes 1.     Government & Ministry websites 2.     Current Affairs – PIB site regularly.
  International Organisations 1.      International Organizations and Bilateral Relations for Civil Services – by PrepMate       (Or) 2.      Shankar IAS International Organizations Prelims material
International Relations Institution Notes + Current affairs MEA Website
GS –III Paper         Indian Economy 1.     Indian Economic Development – NCERT Class XI 2.     NCERT Class XII – Macroeconomics (chapters 2,5 and 6 are very important) 3.      Indian Economy Key Concepts – Shankar Ganesh (Only for Concepts) 4.      Indian Economy – Ramesh Singh (Detailed Coverage) 5.     Economic Survey. (Indian Economy Trends and Statistics) 6.     Union Budget
  Agriculture 1.      Indian Economy – Ramesh Singh (topic Agriculture) 2.     Institution Notes + Current affairs
      Environment 1.     NCERT Class XI – Chemistry Volume 2: Unit 14 & Biology: Units 4 & 5 2.     Science: NCERT Class XII – Chemistry: Unit 16 & Biology: Units 8, 9 & 10 3.     Environment by SHANKAR (6th) Revised Edition 4.     Current Affairs: Down to earth and Vision IAS Materials
    Disaster Management 1.     Home Affairs ministry (MHA) report on Disaster Management (read selectively). 2.     Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction – UNDRR (read selectively). 3.     Institution Notes + Current affairs
    Science and Technology   Institution Notes + Current affairs
      General Science   1.     General Science books – IX and X standard (read selectively). 2.     The Hindu (Note down and read about the latest scientific terms, discoveries and inventions frequently mentioned in news) 3.     Google and YouTube  
  Internal Security   Institution Notes + Current affairs
      Ethics     1.     Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude (ENGLISH, Paperback, M Karthikeyan)   2.     Ethics In Governance – 2nd ARC – 4th Report