History:In mains exam, mainly the questions from the modern India is asked….15 markers are asked from Modern India and 2 markers are asked from Ancient Indian History and Medieval History…Last year questions from Culture and Dances were also asked (This was a bouncer for me) but the general books that i considered were Modern India ( Spectrum Publication)
Indian Freedom Struggule (Bipan Chandra): read it from cover to cover.
Modern History: NCERT(Class XIIth) older version,,written by Bipan Chandra.
Modern India: IGNOU notes
For 2 markers of ancient and Medieval History: refer class notes of Vaji Ram & Ravi...I also got a ready made 2 markers notes from one of my senior which was very much helpful
Vaji Ram and Ravi class notes are good but it need to be supplemented from the books like Indian Polity by D.D.Basu.....for the new topics of Indian Politics,I referred the following books:
§ Democratic politics (NCERT Class Xth, newer syllabus)
§ Politics in India since Independence( NCERT Class XII textbook in political science, newer syllabus)
§ Democracy in India: Issues and Challenges (NCERT Class XIIth textbook in Political science, older syllabus)
§ Indian Constitution At Work (NCERT Class XI textbook in political science, newer syllabus)
§ Sri Ram IAS’ class notes are also good…They give some newer angles to the topics in Polity
I also referred to the questions of Indian polity and Politics asked in Political Science and International Relations mains papers… I made a list of questions that can be asked from the Politics section and prepared them from the above mentioned books...
Geography:I referred to the geography NCERT of Class XIth and XIIth…
Social Issues:This segment has no particular reference books that caters to most of the topics but some of the references that i read were:
Social Change and Developments in India( NCERT Class XIIth)
Class notes of Sriram IAS…
Class notes of Vaji Ram and Ravi of last 2 years…
I also referred to the old questions of social issues asked in Sociology mains paper…
Current National Issues:Regular reading of Newspapers like The Hindu and The Times of India ….also referred the class notes of Vaji Ram and Ravi, and also Sri Ram IAS….
International affairs:Class notes of Vaji Ram and Ravi and also of Sri ram’s class notes are helpful…refer to the class notes as well as Yellow Book of International Affairs of Vaji Ram and Ravi (not only the current year but also of last two years) because now a days the lot of questions are asked from previous year’s International affairs…Notes of VAJI Ram and Ravi are good only for the conventional areas of International Relations that are in news....but now a these days a lot of questions are asked which are not based on the current International affairs....In this regard the Class notes of Sriram IAS was quite helpful....In fact the Syllabus of International affairs never says " Current International Affairs" but it only states that "India and the World"so we need to focus on the conventional aspects of International relations...
For example, the following question can be asked:
- Discuss India's role in Global Disarmament.
- Assess the importance of globalisation in India’s foreign policy etc
So for these kind of conventional topics in International relations i referred the following books:
§ Contemporary World Politics( Class XIIth NCERT)
§ International relations chapters in the book Democracy in India: Issues and Challenges (NCERT Class XIIth textbook in Political Science, older syllabus) here is the link for the download of this book:
§ IGNOU notes of Political Science, here is the link :
this material will cover the the basics of India’s bilateral and multilateral relations..
I also referred to the old questions of international affairs asked in the Political Science and International Affairs mains paper…
The Economy portion in last 2-3 year has undergone significant change so it need elaborate preparation keeping in mind the current trend…the strategy that I adopted was to make a list of topics falling under broad sectors like Agriculture, Industry, Banking, Infrastructure, WTO, Monetary and Credit Policies, Finance, Globalization, International Agencies like WB, IMF,WIPO; Trade etc and prepare them from different sources…..
The references were:
- Understanding the problems of Indian Economy by Uma Kapila, Academic Foundation publication.
- Indian Economic Development(NCERT class XIth)
- Economic Survey
- India Year Book: Chapters related to Economics
- Class notes of Vaji Ram & Ravi for Economy ( get notes of last 2-3 years)
- Class notes of Sriram IAS for Economy
- Indian Economy: Rudra Dutt and Sundaram
- IGNOU notes of Indian Economy and International Trade and Finance…here is the link of the same http://www.egyankosh.ac.in/handle/123456789/1700
I also referred to the last 25 year questions asked in G.S. economy section and also the questions that were asked in Economy optional paper( especially Paper-2 )
Science and Technology: I followed the strategy of covering as many topics as possible in Science and Technology rather than going into depth of the topics that i know..for this reason i divided the whole Science and ech into 7-8 segments and prepared a list of topics that i knew...then i kept on adding the topics in respective segment...since i was maintaining a file so it was easy for me to insert various topics that i could prepare....the segments were: Biotechnology,Agriculture, Environment, Energy,Space, Nuclear Science, Electronics, IT & Computers and Misc...By this way i covered all the references and made a decently bulky notes...
§ VAJI Ram Classs Notes of last 2-3 years.
§ Shri ram Class Notes of Science and Technology
§ Science and Tech Book by Ashok Singh
§ Science and Tech Book by Spectrum Publication
§ All the topics that have come in Science and Technology Section "The Hindu" in last 2 years. here is the link : http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/seta/arcseta.htm
§ All the nobel prize winners in last 2 years (in Chemistry, Physics,Medical Sciences)
§ Biology NCERT Class XIIth(chapter 8-12)
§ All the question papers of Science and Tech of "Expert Brains" and "Shri ram" and "ALS Interactions" and "Civil Services Times"
§ Science and Tech questions asked in the Indian Forest Service Question papers and General Studies paper in the Indian Economic Service Examination.
§ Science and tech issues that had appeared in Frontline in last 1 year.
§ Put some of the key words in Wikipedia like " nanotechnology","Biotechnology"," Space Technology", "IT technology" etc...prepare the newer topics… here is the link for a list of emerging technologies: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_emerging_technologies
§ Some of the government of India's websites relating to the Science and Technology like: http://dbtindia.nic.in/index.asp
I prepared some of the key topics mentioned in these websites.
§ Science and tech Chapter in India Year Book