IAS Target

Anshul Kumar

Year : 2015

Rank : 293

Topper Story - ANSHUL KUMAR Background
Hello friends, I am Anshul Kumar, native of Kanpur (UP), but my upbringing has been in Ghaziabad. I did my B.Tech (Electrical Engg) in 2012 from MNNIT. I have cracked the civil service exam in 2015 with 293rd rank.My father was my inspiration
You will find a large no. of sources to refer to both on the web and in the market. But you have to be very selective in choosing these. I read the basic Ncerts and other recommended books. In this way, while my notes had real juice, I didnít have to worry that I may be missing some points on the subject. Because your time of preparation is limited, so instead of trying to gain finesse on one topic, use it productively in other areas of study.
Once you have exhaustively prepared the notes on one topic, just revise it again and again, and donít get impatient every time you see a new article on the same topic. In this way, you will cover more in less time. Also from the core notes, I prepared Synoptical notes. In this, I wrote just keywords related to a topic on some A4 sheets.
My last moment revision was limited to these sheets only. In my good days, I would go even beyond 12 hours, but this is not regular. You will have those days also when you feel depressed, lost. So these days I ensured that I read the newspaper, make its notes, and then chill Ė do whatever you feel like- Your one hour of concentrated study will be more productive than daydreaming in front of a book for 10 hours. Some of my friends followed another strategy ĖThey studied hard for the week and took Sunday off as a reward and the cycle continues.
I was very optimistic that I will clear the exam. So at no point in time, I was worried and never allow negative feelings to get to you. For this to always be in a company of optimists, talk to your family, and close friends regularly, watch motivational videos, go for running /do yoga/meditation.
Failure is a great teacher to those who humbly accept their mistakes and work to rectify it. In my previous attempts some of my mistakes were:
  • Not giving time to essay writing.
  • Not attempting all the questions.
  • Writing more than the specified words in some (leaving less time for others).
  • Less practice of answer writing.
  • Not getting my answers reviewed.
  • It is very difficult to change your writing style. Reason Being as Humans, it is usually difficult to accept mistakes and correct them.
But I assure you, this exam needs a good answer writing so have a Devilís advocate to review your answers and rest not till you have mastered the style.
Topic Strategy/Booklist
History Ancient Nitin Singhania notes, Vajiram class notes and booklet, Ncert (some topics)
History Modern (Freedom Struggle) Spectrum, Bipin Chandra (class XII and ďmoti wali alsoĒ)
Culture and society Nitin Singhania notes, Vajiram class notes and booklet, Ncert (some topics)
Polity (theory + current) Laxmikant , Newspaper
Economy (theory + current) Sriram printed notes and newspaper ,Mrunal
Science (theory + current) Vajiram class notes, Newspaper, research on web
Environment (theory + current) Vajiram class notes and booklet , Shankar IAS , 8-10 Ncerts
Geography physical Neetu singh and Vajiram Class Notes
Geography India Neetu singh and Vajiram Class Notes
Geography world Neetu singh and Vajiram Class Notes
Other national/international current affairs Newspaper and research from web on imp issues
Schemes, Policy & Filler Stuff Newspaper and research on Schemes from web
Purchase previous year Pre question paper book and be thorough with at least the last 5 year papers. Just Give more time to the core because it is static and questions are directly from books, so scoring here is relatively easier than the grey areas of culture, environment, or current affairs from which the question comes. Practice a lot of Mock papers. By this, you will get to build your confidence and know your strength and weakness.
You have to productively use your CSAT time to improve your Notes Management. Studying GS continuously may be tiresome in a day, so utilize that last 2-3 hrs in a day on Notes improvement. This will ensure productive use of your time without losing concentration. Secondly, try to make very concise notes, fill the entire A4 sheet with minute writing of important points. This will give you an edge and confidence. While everyone will be busy referring to books, in the end, you will be merrily revising just 10-12 pages. Donít be casual in the exam hall; give your best in Paper-2 as well. Test series is important to crack Pre. So practice some mock tests as well.

Anshul Tips on Essay Writing

Practice more and more for essays. Just remember that your marks on one GS paper are equivalent to an essay. So donít ignore essays in lieu of completing the GS syllabus. I wrote 3-4 quotes on various issues like Ė Inclusive Growth, Women, Child labor, Sustainable development, the relevance of S&T etc. Use the facts and findings of the reports you have prepared like NFHS, NSSO UN-RSOC, ASER for GS in your essays.
Be simple in essays, donít get technical, have a proper structure:
  • Introduction
  • Body
  • Conclusion
  • Show optimism and provide a short term and long term perspective on the issue.

Preparation of GS paper

  • General Studies (Mains) paper 1

Culture Nitin Singhania notes, Vajiram class notes(Jain Sir) and booklet
Indian history Spectrum and Bipin Chandra
World history My core notes were of Ojha Sir (Vajiram) and appended them with Class 9-10 Ncert (Arjun Dev) , some topics like decolonization and various isms from Vision IAS, research on web especially post 1945 world history.
Post-independence India Bipin Chandra (ĎMoti walií) research on the web
Indian society Mahapatra sirís class notes(Vajiram) , Synergy class notes , newspaper (most of them are current issues).
Role of women, poverty etc. Current affairs , Newspaper
Globalization of Indian society Mahapatra sirís class notes(Vajiram)
Communalism, regionalism, secularism Bipin Chandra (Post Independence)
World geo physical Neetu Singh and vajiram Class notes
Resource distribution Mrunal (no other coaching has covered it exhaustively)
Factors for industrial location Mrunal (no other coaching has covered it exhaustively)
Earthquake tsunami etc Neetu Singh and vajiram Class notes
impact on flora-fauna Neetu Singh and vajiram Class notes

  • General studies (Mains) paper 2

Indian Constitution, devolution, dispute redressal etc Vajiram polity notes and my Public admin paper 2 notes , newspaper
Comparing Constitution with the world Ravindran sirís note
Parliament, state Legislatures Vajiram polity notes and my Public admin paper 2 notes , newspaper
Executive-judiciary Vajiram polity notes and my Public admin paper 2 notes , newspaper
Ministries departments Public admin paper 2 notes
Pressure group, informal asso Public admin paper 2 notes
Representation of peopleís act Researched on important sections from the web
Various bodies: Constitutional, statutory Public admin paper 2 notes
NGO, SHG etc Public admin paper 2 notes
Welfare schemes, bodies Newspaper
Social sector, health, edu, HRD Newspaper
Governance, transparency, accountability Public admin paper 2 notes
E-governance Public admin paper 2 notes
Role of civil service Vajiram (kiran sir) , Public admin paper 2 notes
India & neighbors Newspaper and vajiram booklet, research on web
bilateral/global grouping Newspaper and vajiram booklet ,research on web
Effect of foreign country policies on Indian interest Newspaper and vajiram booklet ,research on web
Diaspora Research on web
International bodies- structure mandate Newspaper and vajiram booklet research on web

  • General studies (Mains) Paper 3

Indian economy, resource mobilization Sriram printed notes, Vajiram class notes , newspaper and web research , Mrunal
Inclusive growth Sanjeev Sir (Vajiram) and Vision Ias , 12 FYP
Budgeting Public Admin notes
Major crops, irrigation Manocha sir (Vajjiram)
Agro produce Ė storage, marketing Vajiram booklet
E-technology for famers Vajiram booklet
farm subsidies, MSP Shyam sundar Sir (Vajiram)
PDS, buffer, food security Shyam sundar Sir (Vajiram)
Technology mission Vajiram booklet
Food processing Government sites