UPSC Mains Strategy Introduction

UPSC Mains Strategy Introduction

This forum is for UPSC Mains Strategy Introduction.

Essay Strategy- Click here

Model Essay by IASbaba– Click here

Mains 2015 Question PapersClick here

Think, Learn & Perform (TLP)- Mains Answer Writing Initiative 2017Click here


UPSC Mains Strategy Introduction

The Civil Services (Mains) Examination has undergone a sea change in its content and character and has been completely revamped by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) in 2013. This change has been for the greater good and has ushered the exam into a new era, where General Studies plays a vital role in ‘making or breaking’ a candidate.

GS Paper 1 which is of 250 marks includes Indian and World History, Art and Culture, Indian and World Geography and Sociology. This new paper ensures that a candidate is judged on the basis of in-depth knowledge and understanding rather than just byhearting collected information at the last moment. A civil servant should know and understand the history and geography of a particular place, including the behavior of the society, to help himself mold and get transformed in such a way that his duties/actions would have the highest efficacy on the citizenry.

GS Paper 2 which is of 250 marks is all about governance at its core. This paper tests the wisdom of the candidate in areas related to the Legislative, Executive and the Judiciary. It also deals with various sacrosanct institutions and other development agendas which become imperative for a budding civil servant to delve into. Because, once they start on the ladder of their career, much of their lives will be affected by this activity of governance.

GS Paper 3 which is of 250 marks is based on Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Environment, Security Issues and Disaster Management. The syllabus imbibes various subjects from a very diverse arena of life. A budding bureaucrat is expected to know the issues in depth as well as in breadth as far as possible. Issues like economy and development can never be expected to be static and mere rote memorization will never equip them with enough weapons in their arsenal to attack the CS(M).

GS Paper 4 which is also of 250 marks is on Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude. The exam which earlier used to judge the level of knowledge and intelligence of candidates will now also look into their wisdom and moral conception. It also checks if the candidate has aptitude and values for surviving and successfully performing his duties as a civil servant. Thus, this step would theoretically make every new recruit ethical and moral with high integrity values.

It is in this context that we at IAS-Baba acknowledge this challenge put forth by the draconian UPSC and so are making a concerted and honest effort to come out with subject matter that can address the issues faced by the candidates. Our focus and approach have been in such a manner that a student gradually moves from a microscopic concept to a macroscopic view.

The website and this strategy have been designed in such a way that it is extremely comprehensive but at the same time, lucid and compact. This strategy intends to serve the objective of the aspirants by acquainting them with conceptual development so that they may channelize their effort in developing a critical understanding of the subject matter and eventually develop their own potential to the optimum level, which would help them in excelling this gigantic examination conducted by the UPSC.

These strategies are indicative only. We will come up with more detailed and focused strategy for each and every topics and subtopic right after Prelims. This will give you an overall idea about the previous year papers as well as the intelligent approach to be followed.

We will be publishing Mains strategy for Paper 1 to 4 in regular intervals. Following the same, the first strategy from IASbaba is for Paper 4- Ethics. Click on Paper 4 tab above for Ethics strategy. 

Do share your views and thoughts since your acknowledgment is our Fuel 🙂

All the very Best!

IASbaba Team

  • Udit Malik

    @IASbaba sir please share History optional strategy also.. I’ve a dilemma over books of Romila Thapar in ANcient, Irfan Habib for Medieval and L Mukherjee for World.. please tell which book is useful according to authors, as there mare other book written by same author for same period…

  • ammu

    Words won’t suffice for such a platform….thanku for the RIGHT GUIDANCE and right strategy … hepls a lot to not to beating around the bush….

  • Life

    Hello Baba…..
    Can you please enumerate what are the benefits of opting for literature optionals.
    You mentioned this in of your answers…
    If i am.equally good in Political Science ans Sindhi Literature and I have material and guidance for both… what should i zero on.. Please help.

  • mr x

    Paper 1-3 button not working only paper 4 working

    • You didn’t read the article then? We mentioned that, other strategies will be published in regular intervals

      • mr x

        I read already
        But i think prblem at my end
        Coz gs 4 is working but not other gs
        Anyways thanks
        Waiting for other gs

        • AB

          Paper 1-3 will be updated later , no problem at your side!

  • Abi

    Thank you baba 🙂 Most aspirants work very hard & have the potential to clear the exam .But the problem is lack of proper guidance & right approach .. You seem to deliver that .. Great blessing for aspirants like us 🙂


    what a fantastic post !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! we are very oblique to u to closely guide as to ensure we are prepare under right track .what inspires me , most is aspirants who cant afford , personal guidance, mentors, coaching will be hugely benefits as , iasbaba is our last resort and comes under right time!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Lee min

    Thanks thanks and thanks a lot… This site is truly a mine for a person wandering not knowing Wat to be done and what not to be done.. Thank you for this great initiative 🙂


    plz give d source for art and culture.

  • Panther

    Babaji please give the strategy for geography optional. Which books to refer? Etc.
    Thank you Babaji for all this.

  • Acanthus

    Occurring problem .. I can’t see the strategy for paper 1 , 2 and 3 …

  • divya singh

    please give the strategy for gs for beginner appearing in ias 2016

  • Manish Bansal

    babaji please please please release the startegy and detailed preparation method for other papers and subjects also so that we can start preparing . your IR and ethics are are outstanding and only after reading your strategy it completely changed my preparation approach towards editorial and books . now every time I read editorial and books, I know what are the important points . please please release your outstanding and detailed strategy for other papers too . please present the material like you have presented for IR prepration .

    moreover please let us know the online tools and softwares which will help us in our prepration .

    • We will release it very soon. Please give us sometime 🙂

  • Snehal Aher

    Baba, please post the strategy for other papers as well.

  • Sparrow Jack

    how to view the lectures on MEA website

  • siddhartha

    Baba Ji , Pls share your views & reviews on GS Mains we are need to prepare on the same ..

    Thnx in advance

  • Sujeet Kumar

    Baba ji ki jai ho.Thanks .Your 60 days pt test helped me very much (Hopeful for Qualifying in PT) . Whether we will get (booty) for mains also? Kindly share about optional strategy( Public administration) and answer writting practice.

    • Thanks sujeet
      Yes we will start it as soon as possible wishes 🙂

  • SPS

    i feel like missed iasbaba for prelims preparation.. i came to know such a great website exactly after prelims. anyhow i am getting good score to clear prelims.. will continue with babaji for mains preparation ….you are doing a great job…thank you…..

  • Suneel Urs

    Please give us detailed strategy with book list and answering techniques baba !!!

  • Juhi Singh Sujai

    Baba, you said you will be posting a detailed strategy and timetable for mains .. we all are awaiting. Please do that so that we can plan our schedules accordingly

    • Hi Juhi

      Just some more time. 🙂 Have patience. In the mean time read through other strategies and charge yourself

      • Juhi Singh Sujai

        ok sure.

  • Technokrat

    Baba ji…I had studied my initial schooling days in north but settled here in south for the past 8 years…Have lost touch with Hindi and I don’t know to write the local regional language here…..I am sure there are so many people like me baba…I request u to help us out with compulsory Language Hindi too…..plz

  • avishek

    i have started my preparation with ias baba…Babaji plz bless me….

  • Maddy

    Great initiative. Will wait for it

  • DSR

    Pranaam Babaji,
    Could you please advise on which would be a better book between ‘India since Independence-Bipin Chandra’ and ‘India after Gandhi-Guha’, for studying Post-Independence developments in the country?
    Many thanks!!

    • smita sharma

      Of course bipan chandra….
      Although ‘ india after gandhi’ is a great work but for our preparation bipan chandra’s is better…

      • DSR

        Thanks for the advise Smita 🙂
        The reason I queried about the two books is because I have read almost half of Bipan Chandra and what I have noticed is that at many a places the author’s have drifted away from the topic at hand towards glorifying two or three individuals and in this process have either missed out either on covering the topic comprehensively at one place or have missed bringing up key issues which should have been highlighted. One of my friends is referring to Guha’s book and has recommended it over Bipan Chandra, that’s why i am confused.
        Many thanks again!!

        • You can refer any of the available books but the point is to prepare relevant stuffs for UPSC 🙂 This you will get only through proper understanding of the requirements of the exam. Hence, sources cab be similar but your outcomes should be in coherence with exam 🙂

          • DSR

            thanks a lot for your guidance babaji 🙂 I have continued with Bipan Chandra itself and am trying to filter out the relevant points from it based on previously asked questions.
            Many thanks again 🙂

  • Maverick

    Baba when can I expect gs 3 strategy.. All strategies are exceptionally well..eagerly waiting

  • asma siddiqui

    Can you please advise some books on zoology for mains prep? Thanks.


      I have joined VISION IAS GS mains test series 2015 and i want to share with some 2-3 peoples..

      1. total tests are 24 and till now given 16 tests(with model answers) rest 8 take place from september to november. which i will give you as they take place

      2.current affair from august2014 to november 2015
      3. material of all GS four papers..

      I bought it for Rs21000 but i will share at a minimal cost of Rs1000

      if anyone interested my mail id is [email protected]

      • TEPIG

        Why u want to sell it now ??

  • Deepak

    Babaji ….. When will be GS paper III strategy be uploaded ???

  • siddhartha

    Hello Awaiting the P3 strategy plan from your end pls !!!


    Babaji there is one doubt please clarify by comment.
    How much i need to search on an issue for upsc on internet.
    Let’s take example of death penalty as in August and started due to menon hanging.
    Now do i need to search all things relative to death penalty on net means every newspaper like business standard indian express live mint etc.
    Or should i just follow the hindu editorials as 5 to 6 articles on it are there providing lot of info about it
    Please clarify

  • ChandAni VirGo

    going through the main strategy u have posted for p1 p1 p4……its so exciting!!!!!
    when will u post the p3 strategy baba jee….???

  • AJ

    sir pls provide strategy for essay paper also…..

  • manoj joshi

    sir please provide Gs 3 strategy

  • Ranjeeth

    any approximate date on gs3 strategy???
    I know its hectic for u guys but stillllllllll….
    i have deviced a plan fr gs3 and working on it but still feel ur guidance will help me to know where i missed or to tweak it in the right path….so PLS try to make it soon……
    Expecting it ASAP….

  • Venugopal Shetty

    Sir, need gs 3 strategy

  • siddhartha

    Baba Ji P3 plans pls

  • Vinay Dubey

    Thanks from heart for your guidance…

  • Akash Kumar

    GS Paper III Strategy still awaited babaji…

  • chetan joshi

    waiting for GS Paper III Strategy

    commendable job you are doing for those aspirants who cannot afford coaching

  • cseprotocol

    Babaji GS3 plz

  • Varun Singh

    Good site.. extensive research….
    I’m new to psychology.. please advise, also don’t want coaching..! so please advise accordingly..

  • nolan2010

    Brilliant work!!!

    I guess, it is the most comprehensive site I have come across, as here I can find the detailed analysis of every aspect of the examination.

    Hats off to the IASbaba Team.

    Just one request : Please start the TLP for psychology as well.

  • Karthik_(KK)

    Sir n team ??superb

    Thank you

  • Pari Sharma very useful GK Audio Website..Anyone Visit?

  • Indiana Nivas

    thanks sir

  • sushanta

    thank u sir

  • Dc

    Thanks BABA JI 🙂

  • Prajakta Jawanjal

    I know it seems overwhelming to answer all the queries, (mine might range in the absent minded section) but I’d like to ask about the “TN NCERT” which are mentioned in the micro plan. What does it stand for and where can I access them are the primary questions.

    • Hi
      Its Tamil Nadu edition books. Google it. Easily available 🙂

  • sonu77

    Hello sir please help me, am bit confused regarding my preparation for upsc exam. Sir I have given my last 3 attempt still I could not have clear my pre.and even if I could have clear it I wasn’t confident to write mains that time,not even now,”so my confusion is here” now am preparing for my mains gs and optional so shall I continue it for few more months as I have also enrolled for your ILP program or shall I switch to Pre preparation as am considering it my last attempt though I have next 2 extra attempt sir please do reply for this I have full faith on you if possible sir please mail me your valuable advice separately on my gmail.thank you sir….

    • Nitin Kr Meena

      Brother, Just boost up your self with full of interest in field of knowledge related to syllabus or more & never get yourself hopeless! i hope it will help you to motivate.

      • sonu77

        Thanks buddy

        • Chandu RedE

          Be brave. There’s light at the end of the tunnel.
          I understand you. But if you give up now, tour chances of missing it is 100%. So never give up.
          Take the courage and the pain with you and give your best in the coming 100 days of your preparation.
          You’re well equipped with the necessary books materials and notes. All you have to do is to revise them religiously by referring to the previous year prelims question papers and never skip attending ATLEAST 5 mock tests.
          Practise CSAT even though it is a qualifying paper.

          It’s YOU vs you.

          Don’t ever let your thoughts diminish your practise that indirectly effects your performance.

          My best wishes to you buddy.

  • ravi teja

    baba please give daily prelims questions as u given in 2015 prelims its very help ul almost 40 % questions u covered in the 2015 prelims paper please start this year also for 2016 daily prelims questions.

  • yogesh varma

    सर हिंदी माध्यम वाले विधार्थी क्या करे
    उनके लिए भी कोई रणनीति बनाइये
    कोचिंग वालों ने व्यापार की लूट मचा रखी है
    और जहां पर आप जैसे सराहनीय प्रयास किये जा रहे हैं वो सिर्फ कुछ अंग्रेजी क्षात्रों के लिए
    हिंदी से पढना गुनाह है क्या भारत देश में
    पकिस्तान ने तो अपनी आधिकारिक भाषा उर्दू घोषित की हुई है
    जापान में जापानी।
    रशिया में रशियन
    चीन में चाइनीज
    फ़्रांस में फ्रेंच
    जर्मनी में जर्मन
    सारे मेडिकल और इंजीनियरिंग कोर्स उनकी भाषा में चलते है तभी वो आगे है
    हम अंग्रेजी के पीछे क्यू भाग रहे हैं
    और कुछ लोगों के हित के लिये बाकी सारों का अहित क्यों कर रहे हैं
    गरीब तबका इंटरनेट के सहारे आपकी साईट का फायदा उठाना भी चाहे तो कैसे सब कुछ अंग्रेजी में है
    पहले आप दैनिक समसमायिक देते थे हिंदी में अब तो वो दुर्लभ है
    क्या आप स्वप्न अंग्रेजी में देखते है या गाली अंग्रेजी में देते हैं
    कोई भी मौलिक काम अपनी भाषा में किया जाता है
    तभी हमारे यहाँ नोबल पुरस्कार किसी को नही मिलता
    जापान का बच्चा बचपन से विज्ञान सीखता है जापानी। में
    भारत का बच्चा पहले अंग्रेजी सीखता है फिर अंग्रेजी में विज्ञान सीखता है ।
    कहने का अभिप्राय इतना है की आप एथिक्स सब्जेक्ट का जो मूल भाव है उसे चरितार्थ करे अर्थात अपने देश के गरीब तबके के जो लोग हिंदी से आगे बढना चाहते हैं उन्हें आगे आने दे उनके लिए पहल करें वो भी इसी संविधान के अधिकारी हैं
    वर्ना ये सब सिर्फ कागज में हि रह जायेगा मेक इन इंडिया । डिजिटल इण्डिया ।और इसके मायने सही में खो जायेगे
    आभार आपका
    आपका हितेषी और शुभचिंतक
    आपका प्रयास सराहनीय है।

    • Amit

      Agr hindi me padne k liye aap google par proper search kare.
      ya is website ko bhi dekhe shayad aapko kuch madad mil sake…
      “happy to help”

    • Nitin Kr Meena

      translate website from english to hindi by google translator. I hope you will find easy to Understand.

  • piyush gupta

    hello! i am in 1st year and i want to be an IAS. So from which point i should start my preparations.
    Reading NCERT can help in this..

    • Hi Piyush

      Yes start with NCERTS and be regular with current affairs. We suggest to follow our initiatives and browse through whole website to understand this exam and its requirements

      • piyush gupta

        okk thanku….

  • Hello…I am a service personnel and aspire to become an IAS Officer…I have decided to appear for CSE 2017 with all round preparation… and I have decided to opt Pub.Ad. as my optional ….So I need guidance on how to prepare for Pub.Ad. .,,,, what and how to start the preparation….so please guide me keeping in view I am a service personnel…as I get less time in a day so can’t take any sort of coaching regarding the preparation…but can avail internet 24/7….

    • Theja

      Subrat Public Administration covers essentials of management with a fundamental difference that in Business administration profit is at the core of functioning…in public administration “service” is at the core of functioning….
      Select Pub Ad if you find reading and thinking on administrative lines …eg. about greater meaning of administration, how policies are framed , how administration is changing with time…since it is contextual….
      Public Administration encompasses aspects of sociology, political science , social psychology and economics…
      It is a dynamic subject….
      Try reading Mohit Bhattacharya and check whether you like to think the way…as it suggests, does it bore you or interests you…
      Then talk to yourself and decide
      all the best..
      This is all I could give you.

  • Mickey

    Babaji……..strategy for essay?

    • Go to Home Page.. site Map me listed hai

      • vasanth M


  • umesh yadav

    BANGALORE Aspirants: HI, I am not preparing for IAS anymore, and I have printed notes from Sriram (complete set for prelims and mains- and recommended by Gaurav A), old NCERTs 11th and 12th, all new NCERT from 6th to 12th, Spectrum Geography, Shankar for Environment and host of other books and notes- Nitin Singhania’s notes too, laxmikant, Bipinchandra, Basu, IYB etc etc. I would like to sell all this at half price. Any Bangalore based aspirant can contact me/ mail me or leave a comment with his/her email id, in case you would like to buy.

    • Saikumar Dada Rj

      i will buy for sure please do contact me at 8123581194

  • Navjot Kaur

    Hello…plz reply….i read all the toppers post posted by you….in that they always wrote they practice answer writing in this site…i have mailed yoy regarding this but no reply…

    Where to write answer….we have buy package or you post question than we write answer than people evaluate???
    Please give link where you post question…not able to find in this site!!??

    Thank you

  • nd

    i am a beginner and want to prepare for ias
    i will be appearing for 2017 exams
    i am confused bout taking philosophy as my optional as i am a engg graduate
    please help me with the optional part so as to how to prepare for it and whether it would be the right optional
    also please recommend the strategy for philosophy
    please do reply

  • Diya Jain
  • ashutosh jaiswal

    Baba,y r u late for 2017 plan?
    Please hurry up !

    • Hi

      No we are not. 🙂

      Details will be posted in 3-4 days

      • ashutosh jaiswal


        • Khonu

          kfjdskljf kjfk dfj jkdfj dskjf dk

  • Dev

    When will the mains strategy come up?

  • Kartikey

    I really want to prepare and appear for 2017 exam and also clear it.
    Honestly i am a working professional and would say that i stand at 0 in terms of preparation as of now.
    How to begin and lay a roadmap.
    i need clarity on the ILP as well as it has already begun and i would have missed 2-3 blocks by now.

    • ranjani

      Hi Kartikey.. im also working… i joined ILP.. its very helpful and you can flexible read the portions and attend the tests..

  • Che

    Hi guys, I this essay test series is really brilliant…they give ample time to clarify doubts and give brilliant suggestions

  • Suprme Leader on Kharai-Camel

    Baba jee….Aapka zawaab nahi….!!
    #Yeh articles maine pehle kyu nahi dekhe….!!

  • Surv Vijay

    Hello i am a student of B.tec and i have joined this recently and i want to appear in CSE 2021 so would you please tell me that how i have to prepare for that so i do good in CSE 2021.. thankyou

  • Tulasi Ram Chowdary

    any one want complete UPSC civil services (prelims+mains) study material of website Civil services coaching
    contact me
    [email protected]
    ph no:9948877701,8985027337,8639403626

  • Abhijeet upadhyay

    Great thank to Babaji for posting this mains answer writing…. thank you so much babaji

  • pramod

    thanks babaji for dis main initiative

  • Sleepy “Sleepy Classes” Classe

    Not intending to spam.
    Just letting students know.
    That we are posting a lot of content in Hindi. Everyday.
    Because it’s time we start spreading the word.

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