Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Note: All the books mentioned on this page have been tried by me or highly recommended by fellow aspirants. Also I am constantly adding books to cover the entire syllabus gradually so keep visiting this page often. This page contains links to pages where you can purchase the books online. Wherever possible I have listed the current and previous year's edition of current affairs related books.
Books for CSAT Paper 1
Before reading any other books get the past 5 years Solved Section-wise Question Papers and IAS Syllabus as these are your best friends and constant companions throughout your IAS exam journey. These two reference books will save a lot of valuable time and effort as you start preparing for the Prelims so be sure to get the solved section-wise questions papers and the IAS syllabus.
General Studies Manual (GS Manual)
When starting out with prelims preparation it is a must to have a GS manual with you. What is a GS manual? Well it is a all-in-one book for civil services prelims covering all the topics like History, Geography, Polity, Economy, Current Affairs, General Knowledge, Mental Ability, Facts, and more. It is very useful for finding all information at one place. Also many times the standard books do not contain information, especially the latest ones. For this the GS manual is very handy.
There are many GS manual available in the market but I recommend Tata McGraw Hill's (TMH) GS Manual for prelims. Read my comprehensive review of TMH GS and CSAT Manuals.
I think the information provided in TMH GS manual is up-to date, relevant and of high quality. Also the maps in the Geography section are very good for understanding the concepts. Language used is simple to grasp and its General Knowledge section is quite good. Good part is some discounts on the cover price are available.
Manorama Year Book
A good Year Book is must for IAS Prelims preparation. If you analyze the past 4 years GS papers you will find that minimum 15 question each year have appeared from General Knowledge based Year Books. I and many successful civil services candidates refer to Manorama Year Book. The best sections in MYB are the World profile with information on all countries, recent happenings. The Gk section is exceptional with many facts, data, recent news, awards, etc Other thing to read in MYB is the 500 or so Questions section. I have noticed that even if you just look at those questions in passing you will be benefited greatly in the Prelims as 3-4 questions come from just this section in the IAS Prelims. Discount on the cover price is also available.
Book for Indian Polity
As seasoned civil services aspirants are aware there are three books widely referred for Indian Polity, An Introduction to the Constitution of India by DD Basu, Our Constitution by Subhash Kashyap, and India's Constitution by MV Pylee. Of the three books I always recommend Our Constitution by Subhash Kashyap as the language used is very simple to grasp even by someone who is studying Indian polity for the first time, it covers all the concepts required to gain a mastery of the syllabus.
After reading and understanding this book you will only be required to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in Indian polity. The book will take care of all the conventional questions like How has the SC interpreted Article 21 (Right to Life and Liberty), Relative power of LS Speaker and RS Chairman, Anti-Defection Law and many more.
While DD Basu's book is also OK, the language used is quite difficult to understand and the book has not been revised so it does not contain the recent amendments.
Another book to refer for Bare Acts of the Indian Constitution is Indian Constitution by PM Bakshi . This pocket-sized book lists just the articles along with all the amendment to the constitution and is very useful for Prelims as UPSC has started asking questions directly from the bare articles.
CSAT Books for Indian History
Indian History consisting of Ancient History, Medieval and Modern History is another important component of CSAT paper 1 and quite scoring too. Of these three sub topics the most number of questions are asked from the modern History part and the best book to tackle it is Bipin Chandra's India's Struggle for Independence. This book starts from the 1857 Revolt and continues right till the independence period.
India's Struggle is important not just from the prelims perspective but is a must read book to secure 40-80 marks in GS Mains paper as well. Another good reference book for Modern History is Brief History of Modern India by Spectrum. The book is quite useful for quick revision before the Prelims.
Also refer NCERT text books on Ancient, Medieval and Modern India. For Ancient and Medieval Indian History, only NCERT text-books are sufficient but for Modern Indian history, the books listed are a must-read along with NCERT Modern Indian History text book.
Geography CSAT Books
Nowadays more map-related questions are being asked in the IAS Preliminary exams than conventional type questions. In fact such map based questions are highly scoring if you just scan and observe the Indian and World maps for at least 15 minutes every day. You can then easily score 6-10 marks in the CSAT exam as about 6-10 questions are asked every year in the civil services Prelims from the Geography Atlas. From my experience and that of other successful civil services candidates, I recommend the Oxford Student Atlas for GS Geography questions. The Indian and World maps are quite detailed and the Physical and political maps are very easy to understand. If you need help in studying the Oxford Atlas, just leave a comment and I will be glad to help.
Another book to read is Certificate Course in Physical Geography by Goh Cheng Leong to tackle questions related to physical geography. Whether it's Climate, Earthquakes, Winds, or Oceans everything is covered in this book on Physical Geography.
Indian Economy Books for CSAT
Economy questions asked in the Prelims are a combination of facts and theory. For tackling the factual questions refer to the Economic Survey released by the Information Ministry before the Budget presentation every year. It contains a wealth of information on Indian economy including in-depth tables and figures in the second half of the book. Economic Survey is also a must read for GS Mains as some questions are directly asked from it.
Earlier I used to recommend the bulky Dutt and Sundharam Indian Economy book for basics. But this book has gone out of print and also, it is now outdated with lot of redundant information. In its place, I recommend TMH Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh. It covers pretty much the entire scope of Economy syllabus for Prelims. Starting from a brief history of Indian Economy and the uniqueness of the Indian economic system it covers all the relevant sub-sectors of Indian economy like Planning, Industrialization and Policy, Agriculture, Economic Reforms, Inflation, Banking and Capital Market, External Trade and so on. The syllabus coverage in Indian Economy is complete, language is reader-friendly and book is updated frequently. Combine it with Economic Survey to ace Economy questions in Prelims.
Science Books for CSAT
The TMH GS Manual has a pretty good Science section and is adequate for to tackle science related questions. However if you want you can complement it with NCERT textbooks of class IX and X.
Books for CSAT Paper 2
Earlier I used to recommend three different books for Prelims paper 2 (CSAT). Not any longer. Now I recommend the very well written and accurate TMH CSAT Manual for Paper 2. Please go through my review of TMH Manuals to get an idea of why the TMH CSAT Manual is the only book you need to refer for Paper 2. Save time and money by referring one comprehensive book.
Monday, March 25, 2013
Sunday, March 24, 2013
Here's an article authored by my father published in the well-known Indian MediaWatch website, www.thehoot.org
The summary is that while we have hundreds of TV and radio channels in India beaming content 24*7, there is no proper regulation nor a credible grievance redressal mechanism for viewers - a sorry situation we can't see in any other progressive country in the world...
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Friday, March 22, 2013
Thursday, March 21, 2013
The English essay paper of 100 marks in the 2013 Civil Services Main Examination, which raised a nation-wide controversy, has been dropped and the earlier practice of two qualifying papers in any Indian language and English restored, government said on Thursday.
"The English component (of 100 marks) from the Essay Paper will be dropped and the status quo ante of two qualifying papers of 300 marks each in any modern Indian language and in English -- shall be restored," Minister of State for Personnel V Narayanasamy said in the Lok Sabha.
In a statement on the issue, he said the essay paper would now be of 250 marks to be written in the medium or language of the candidate's choice.
Bowing to all-round pressure in Parliament, government on March 15 had kept in abeyance the recent controversial notification of the UPSC, giving more weightage to English in these exams.
As before, the candidates would be allowed to use any one language from the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution or English as the medium of writing the examination, he said.
The controversial conditionality imposed by the Union Public Service Commission that language would be allowed as the medium of examination only if a minimum of 25 candidates wanted it has been dropped, Mr Narayanasamy said.
Further, he said that a candidate would be allowed to take up literature as an optional subject "without the conditionality of having to do his/her graduation in that language's literature."
The Minister said these decisions were taken after the government took into account the views expressed by MPs in Parliament, representations on the notification and consultation with different agencies.
Government had kept the UPSC notification in abeyance after the two Houses of Parliament witnessed repeated uproar and adjournments, with members terming the notification as "unconstitutional" and demanding its rollback. They had also sought action against the UPSC chief and others responsible for the action, which they said went against regional languages.
Name : Rajesh Kankipati
Interview Before I may write anything, I take this opportunity to thank
1) Mr. K. Srinivasu IRS (IT) : My Interview Mentor.
2) Mr. R.C. Sinha- New Delhi IAS - He acclimatised me about many issues and made my approach towards interview more pragmatic and realistic.
3) My friends Aravind, Pradeep, Sandeep, Satish, Bindu and my intellectual friend Sai.
4) Mocks of Chanaknya IAS academy and the panel who made me realise my deficiencies and defects.
Background: B.Tech (Electrical and Electronics Engineering), Pondicherry central University.
Hobbies: Reading Books (Non-Fiction) and Story Telling.
Place of Birth: Rajahmundry
Place of Residence: Ramagundam (Telangana)
Optionals: Public Administration and Sociology
CHAIRMAN (CM): Purushottam Aggarwal
Time: 4.25 p.m-5.00 p.m
Me: Rajesh Kankipati
I was the last candidate for the day Bell ring and attendant opened the door
Me: May I come in sir?
CM: Yes Rajesh come in Went near the table and said "namaste Sir" (Confusion whether to say Good Afternoon or Good evening)
CM: Rajesh Take your seat
Me: Thank You sir
CM: Your hobbies is story telling (in an angry tone with large voice)
Me: Yes sir
CM: Do you write or imagine stories?
Me: I don't write or imagine stories. I have a hobbies of reading books. So, whenever I read something that is worth sharing, I narrate it.
CM: Why do you do it?
Me: It would help in inculcating and imbibing good values
CM: Whom do you narrate to?
Me: No reservation against any age group. School going children, room mates, parents, professors, rickshaw puller, any one sir for that matter
CM: Can you say a story?
Me: A man came from America to deliver a lecture at Hyderabad. After the lecture was over he went to a nearby lake to enjoy the scenic beauty. On the other bank of the lake he saw a woman washing clothes. While she was washing, some of her body parts were exposed. Seeing this, he was tempted towards her. But being ethical and honest he tried to control his temptation. After washing clothes the woman went into the lake to have bath.
When she removed her clothes he was not able to control his temptations. So he jumped into the lake. Went near her, hugged and embraced her. Started mindlessly kissing her. She began to shout for help but no one came to her rescue. This man still goes on kissing her mindlessly. After some time of 2 min, he begins to feel some roughness over the surface of her body. To see what this roughness is he opens his eyes. He saw to his amazement that this lady was a blind and leper. And sir at that moment he said a word that really touched my heart, and he said "I never knew how leper my heart was till I touched this leper". Sir the moral of the story is that everybody in life suffers from a leprosy of heart, if addressed I believe, the world would be a better place to live
CM: (with a very satisfied look asked me) whose story is this?
Me: Malcomm Mug ridge
CM: Who is he?
Me: I don't know about him sir. I read about him in a book' Chairman passes it to the first member
M1: Rajesh do you know what is a apocryphal story?
Me: Sir, I never heard about this term.
CM: What story you said now is a apocryphal story. Then all the panel members laughed loud. I just gave a smile
M1: Rajesh when a story is of a doubtful authenticity but also carrying a prophetic message that is narrated with good dramatics is a apocryphal story.
Me: Thank you sir.
M1: Do you know India has a rich repository of ancient traditions of story telling. Can you name some of them?
Me: Sir Amarchitrakatha
CM: Don't talk about all this. what you are saying is a recent phenomenon. We are asking you about ancient traditions (in a very angry tone).
Me: Sir, I am extremely sorry. I am not aware about the literary aspects of story telling. But I know that in Andhra we have a tradition of "Harikatha, Burrakatha and Tholubomma" and in north we have stories of Panchatantra.(CM was looking for the same answer.He concurred with me when I said this and to my amazement he knew abot Andhra stories.So I gave command to my brain that I should not bluff to him.come what ever may).
M1: Ok, You are from Rajahmundry, why did you go to Pond cherry to study?
Me:Sir I appeared for the AIEEE and I got seat at Pondicherry engineering college. And it is a central university. So I believed that my career prospects would be brighter.So I was attarcted.
M1: What is your opinion about grading system in schools?
Me: Sir It is a good move. That would help in de-stressing of the student because we see many child suicides for marks in schools.
M1: I don't think it would make any difference. I was about to defend but he didnt allow me to reply.He wanted to de-motivate me.
M1: So you are an engineer, why I A S?
Me: Sir, I was inspired by many surrendered naxalaites to become an IAS officer. At a very early age of 12-3 years I came to know what an IAS officer can do. And sir apart from that I also understand that the career progression, prestige and esteem offered by these services are unparalleled.
CM: Rajesh What is this naxalism?
Me: Sir, naxalism is an extremist thought who believe in the doctrine of maoism
CM: what is this Maoism?
Me: Sir, they want to overpower and overthrow the state through an armed rebellion to establish a socialist state. They believe that power flows from the barrel of a gun and not the ballot
CM: So, do you think what they are doing is right?
Me: Sir, I have gone through the Planning commission document on Development challenges in extremist affected areas. And the report rightly acknowledges the good work done by the maoists.
CM: Do you feel they are also perpetuating injustice??
Me: Sir when their core interests get affected, they also join the corrupt political-bureaucratic-contractor nexus.
CM: U know one collector was abducted?
Me: Yes sir, Mr. Vineel Krishna
CM: Do you think the government was right in releasing the naxalaites for the release of collector
Me: Sir, Definitely the government was right. If he was not released it would be de-motivating for honest and sincere officers that government would not come to my rescue when I am in need
CM: But Rajesh, dreaded criminals were released
Me: Sir we need to have a anti-hostage policy and train the national disaster response force to deal with theses issues
CM: Do you know we have a anti-hijacking policy that says no negotiations. Do you support?
Me: Sir policies serve as a deterrent. But any decision should be taken based on the gravity of the situation.
M2: So, You are from Rajahmundry?
Me: Sir, I was born at rajahmundry, but I am from Ramagundam.
M2: So what is this Telangana movement?
Me: Sir it is a sub-regional movement, that should be seen in the context of demand for equity, development, empowerment and representation?
M2: Do you think Telngana is needed?
Me: Sir I strongly and sincerely feel that telangana state is needed?
Me: Sir right from 1956 every provision and gaurantee was violated.4 cr people of telangana want it.And more importantly there is lack of representation of telangana leaders.
M2: Do you know 117 legislators go to state assembly from telangana?
Me: But thier representation in cabinet is very less.
Me: Sir while legislators are elected by people,cabinet is the prerogative of the CM.And CM is never from Telangana Region. Coastal Andhara and Rayalseema MLAs combined will have more number than Telangana. So representation is limited.
M2: Why no CM from Telangana?
Me: Sir a CM has to command the respect of the majority of people in the state and the support of the legislators, Which a telangana leader may fail to get because of his regional aspiration. And as Weber says there is a need of charismatic authority which a Telangana leader might fail to get because of the regional aspirations
M2: wanted to ask further, But CM intervened and stopped him and passed it on to the third member who was a lady. I felt M2 was from coastal andhra region. He was not agreeing with me. But it is the opinion and demeneaour when we say our opinion matters more than our answer.
M3: Rajesh we had the fortune of listening a story from you. Now i will say a story and you should say the moral of the story. A young blind boy is begging on the road with a slate in his neck.The slate reads."I am Blind, Please help me". A man passes by the lane everyday and finds that noone drops any money in his plate ever. SO he rubs the text on the slate and writes, "The day is beautiful, But Sorry, I am not able to see. Please help me". Then everyone starts to give him money. What is the moral of the story?
Me: Madam may i use an analogy to explain the moral of the story?
M3: Oh Yes!
Me: Looked at CM and said, sir may i be allowed to use the pencil and paper.
CM: Go Ahead
Me: I wrote on the paper "GOD IS NO WHERE", and i said sir any number of times we see, we read it GOD IS NO WHERE. But the same sentence can also be read as "GOD IS NOW HERE" if we attach the "W" in Where beside the word "NO" and it becomes "NOW". So in life we need to acknowledge postiveness to grow high .So, the moral of the story is there is a power of positiveness if harnessed man can be successful like the blind boy.
CM: I am not convinced with you.It is the power of expression that said "The day is beautiful " but not the power of positiveness.
Me: Sir I agree with you. But i feel it is the power of the positiveness of the expression.Expressions are there everywhere.But when positive energy gets augmented, the face of the expression changes.
M3: What is social marketing?
Me: Sorry madam, i never heard about this.
M3: Do you know Amitabh bachchan comes on the TV to advertise for polio.
Me: Madam, No TV, Old Rajindernagar is very costly.
CM :No rajesh, even in print media we see Sehwag and Bollywood stars promoting social causes?
Me: Sir i understand it is Corporate social responsibility. But i am not aware if CSR and social marketing are similar in concept.
M4: Rajesh you are from rajahmundry?
Me: Sir i was born there, but i am from ramagundam.
M4: Do you know in rajahmundry tobacco grows?
Me: Yes sir.
M4: What is the kind of tobacco grown?
Me: Sir it is called Virginia tobacco.
M4: So in India the area under tobacco is decreasing. What is the reason?
Me: Sir in 2008 India signed the Convention on banning of tobacco substances. There is a mandate under the convention to decrease area cultivated under tobacco.
M4: Do you think it is justified?
Me: Sir while tobacco is causing many health hazards, it is also supporting livelihoods. So government has to provide altenative skills for livelihood. And the area should be decreased in a phased manner.
M4 :Do you know what ITC is doing?
Me: I don't know sir
M4: It is doing what you have just said.
Me: Thank you sir. I am humbled.
M4: Ramagundam has a power plant, do you think thermal energy should be encouraged?
Me: Sir thermal energy should be encouraged keeping in view our growth rates, infrastructure needs and keeping in mind the technology and efficiency aspects.
M4: Do you know the unit cost of a thermal and hydro power plant?
Me: Sir thermal is Rs2-Rs3/KWHr while hydro energy is Rs 1/KWHr
M4: So why cant we encourage hydropower?
Me: Sir,while there is every need to diversify our energy basket, thermal energy is an imperative to us keeping in view the needs.Apart from that hydropower plants involve lot of tribal displacement, submergence and huge gestation period.
CM: Ok, Rajesh, Your interview is over.
Me: Sir can i remove the paper i used and throw in the dustbin
CM: NO. NO. It is not your job.
Me: Thank you sir I walked without showing my back till the door. I bowed again in humility to the board at the door and came out. The lady member smiled. And I came out.
My Observations: Interview is not a question and answer session. It is about discussion. Always the question is from biodata and news papers. Interview is not about what you say but about how you say. It is about demeanor. Mark is not for knowledge. Mark is for confidence, honesty, intellectual integrity, knowing ground realities and variety and depth of your understanding. Trust the board. Don't have prejudices.
Finally assessment is from what you have answered not from the question that you have not answered. Board cant test your personality from a question you have not answered. So forget the question that you have not answered and answer the question to the best of your ability in a question you know.
The easiest question in an interview is the question that you don't know. so feel happy about it. Finally its all about the attitude one displays that pulls or pushes you on the ladder of marks.
All the best.
Thanks & Regards
Exam Interview Details:
Interview Marks: 190 marks, 103 rank
Subjects Taken: Public Administration and Sociology
Interview Board: Purushotam Aggarwal
Result of Interview: Qualified
Roll No. : 004376
All India Rank:103
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Subject Maximum Marks Marks Obtained --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Essay(Paper III) 200 106 General Studies (Paper-IV) 300 136 General Studies(Paper-V) 300 105 Optional I, SOCIOLOGY(Paper-VI) 300 174 SOCIOLOGY (Paper-VII) 300 175 Optional II, PUBLIC ADMIN.(Paper-VIII) 300 163 PUBLIC ADMIN.(Paper-IX) 300 173 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Written Total 2000 1032 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Interview Marks 300 190 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Final Total 2300 1222 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
|Sl.No.||Service||Address of C.C.A.|
|1||IAS||D/o Personnel & Training|
|2||IFS||Ministry of External Affairs, |
(Shri Kartik Pandey,
Under Secretary (FSP & Cadre)),
Room No. 35-A, Ground Floor,
South Block, New Delhi.
|3||IPS||Ministry of Home Affairs, |
(Shri Rajinder Kumar, Section Officer),
|4||IP&TAFS||Telecommunication Service Board, |
(Shri P.C. Panda, ADG (SEA)),
Room No. 710, Sanchar Bhavan,
|5||IA&AS||Office of the Comptroller & Auditor General, |
(Shri Anadi Misra, Asstt. C&AG(P)),
9, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg,
|6||IRS (C&CE)||Ministry of Finance, |
( (Shri N.P. Pant, Section Officer, Admin.III),
Room No. 243, North Block,
|7||IDAS||Ministry of Defence (Finance), |
(Shri Rajagopalan, OSD),
Room No. 15, South Block,
|8||IRS (IT)||Ministry of Finance, |
(Shri Manas Mandal, Section Officer, Admn. VI), D/o Revenue, CBDT,
|9||IOFS||Ministry of Defence, |
D/o Defence Production,
(Sh. Subhomoy Sen,
Under Secretary (D-FY I)),
|10||IPoS||Ministry of Communication & I.T., |
(Shri B.P. Pant, Asstt. Dir. General (SGP)),
|11||ICAS||Office of the Controller General of Accounts, |
(Shri Amitabh Tripathi, Dy. CGA),
Room No. 726, Lok Nayak Bhavan,
|12||IRTS||Ministry of Railways, |
(Ms. Mamta Kandwal, Dy. Director, Estt(GR)),
Raliway Board, Rail Bhavan,
|13||IRAS||Ministry of Railways, |
(Ms. Mamta Kandwal, Dy. Director, Estt(GR)),
Raliway Board, Rail Bhavan,
|14||IRPS||Ministry of Railways, |
(Ms. Mamta Kandwal, Dy. Director, Estt(GR)),
Raliway Board, Rail Bhavan,
|15||RPF||Ministry of Railways, |
(Ms. Mamta Kandwal, Dy. Director, Estt(GR)),
Raliway Board, Rail Bhavan,
|16||IDES||Ministry of Defence, |
(Shri S.S.S. Saran, Under Secretary (D Aptt.)),
Room No. 411, Sena Bhavan,
|17||IIS||Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, |
(Shri V.K. Sekhri, Under Secretary),
IIS Section, Shastri Bhavan,
|18||ITS||Ms. Vibha Bhalla, |
Joint Director General of Foreign Trade,
Directorate General of Foreign Trade,
Department of Commerce,
Ministry of Commerce & Industry,
Room No. 107, 1st Floor, H-Wing,
Udyog Bhavan, New Delhi-110011
|19||CSS|| Department of Personnel & Training, |
Lok Nayak Bhavan,
|20||RBSS|| Ministry of Railway, |
Under Secretary (E),
|21||AFHQ||Office of the JS (Trg) & CAO, |
Ministry of Defence, (Shri Anil Malhotra, Dy. Director (Rectt.)),
Room No. 170, E Block,
C-II Hutments, Dalhousie Road,
New Delhi-110011(Ph. 011-23016107)
|22||CAS|| Ministry of Finance, |
Ad.II(A) Section, North Block,
|23||DANICS|| Ministry of Home Affairs, |
Shri Baldev Raj Singh, Under Sercretary
|24||DANIPS|| Ministry of Home Affairs, |
|25||PONDICS||Chief Secretary, |
|26||PONDIPS|| Chief Secretary, |
|27||ICLS||Shri R.K. Pandey, Under Secretary, |
Ministry of Corporate Affairs,
Room No. 537, 5th Floor, A-Wing, Shastri Bhawan,
Rajendra Prasad Road,