IFS Topper’s Strategy: SHIVASHANKAR E – AIR 76- FORESTRY & GEOLOGY Optional

Youngest IFS Officer from IASbaba

SHIVASHANKAR E (AIR 76) Strategy for ‘FORESTRY & GEOLOGY’ Optional

 

On the request of many followers of IASbaba, Shivashankar E, the youngest (just at the age of 22 in his 1st attempt) to crack one of the most coveted All India Service – Indian Forest Service has penned down his strategy for Forestry and Geology Optional.
 
( A small piece on Shivashankar’s background-

Shivshankar comes from a very humble background. Born into an agricultural family in a remote village in Nagamangala taluk of Mandya district, Shivashankar has struggled hard to achieve his present status. Thanks to his father G Eshwaraiah who despite his painstaking welding job, motivated his son to be an officer.

Shivashankar is also one of the Key resource of IASbaba)

 For Shivashankar’s Interview Preparation -> Click Here

 

Forestry and Geology are the most popular Optional’s chosen by the candidates for IFS preparation. In this write-up, Shivashankar has put-forth his strategy in a more lucid way, for better understanding of the do’s and dont’s of the subjects.

 

Strategy :  FORESTRY OPTIONAL 

As Engineers or science graduates, majority of us are not exposed to core forestry topics, however by planning the syllabus and covering most important areas, we can optimize our score in forestry optional and thus get closer in clearing the coveted Indian Forest Service examination.

(The strategy I followed for forestry optional)

Forestry paper 1:

It has 2 sections, section A and section B. Section A has four questions (1,2,3,4) out of which first question is compulsory. Section B has four questions (5,6,7,8) out of which first i.e 5th question is compulsory. Out of the remaining six questions, we should answer any three selecting at least one question from each section.

First attempt 2 questions from section A and 3 questions from section B.

Why?

Section A contains silviculture of trees which is a pure forestry topic and difficult to understand and master for engineers.

Whereas in section B, all the topics are general and we would have a fair idea on those topics as we would study in our general studies preparation. So attempt 2 questions from section A and 3 from section B.

First how to tackle question 1 and 5, which are compulsory?

For question 1, try covering the first three topics of syllabus (silviculture, Silviculture-Systems and Silviculture – Mangrove and Cold desert). The fourth topic can be left as we hardly get one question from this topic. (focus more on silviculture and silviculture systems)

Attempting question 5 would be easy as we would have studied all the four topics (agro-forestry, forest soils, environment and tree improvement). Here focus should be more on agro-forestry and tree improvement.

 

Now we are left with 2 questions from section B and 1 question from section A.

Now you would have mastered agro-forestry and tree improvement, try to attempt those 2 questions which contain mainly the above two topics. You will have questions on environment as buffer, which you can attempt if at all any tough question arises from the above two topics (agro-forestry and tree improvement).

 

Lastly you are left with 1 question in section A. You have three topics in your hand, try to attempt that question which contains questions from those three topics and you are done with paper 1 of forestry.

 

 Forestry paper 2:

It has 2 sections, section A and section B. Section A has four questions (1,2,3,4) out of which first question is compulsory. Section B has four questions (5,6,7,8) out of which first i.e 5th question is compulsory. Out of the remaining six questions, we should answer any three selecting at least one question from each section.

The strategy here is, attempt 2 questions from section A and 3 questions from section B.

Why?

Section A has core forestry areas, where as in section B, all the topics are general and we would have a fair idea on those topics as we would study in our general studies preparation. So attempt 2 questions from section A and 3 from section B.

 

First how to tackle question 1 and 5, which are compulsory?

For question 1, try to cover forest management and forest mensuration topics, as these are the two most important and lengthy topics in section A of paper 2.

Note: notes making is appreciated for the above two topics as the topics are lengthy and confusing in nature. Notes will ensure quick revision during exam time.

For question 5 try to cover all the four topics in section B, as the topics are little general in nature and quickly we can go through them. More focus should be given to forest resources and forest legislation topics.

 

Now we are left with 2 questions from section B and 1 question from section A.

Answering 2 questions from section B would not be a problem as we would have covered all the topics in the syllabus of section B. It is just we have to select and answer the questions that we know the best.

1 question from section A:

This is the most challenging part of forestry paper 2. Answering this question depends on how we master forest management and forest mensuration topics. I am repeating again, note making would be very much appreciated for these two topics.

 

Reference books:

  • Handbook of forestry by LS Khanna and AN Chaturvedi – Part I and II

You may find it a bit hard to find the above book in bookstores, in that case one can go to

  • Indian forestry by Manikandan and Prabhu, which is widely available.

 

 

 

Strategy :  GEOLOGY OPTIONAL 

 

As pure science or engineering graduates, we are through with one subject like agriculture, mathematics or mechanical engineering etc and that subject can be selected as our first optional. However forest service exam demands two optional subjects. Second optional can be geology.

(The strategy I followed for geology optional)

Geology paper 1:

It has 2 sections, section A and section B. Section A has four questions (1,2,3,4) out of which first question is compulsory. Section B has four questions (5,6,7,8) out of which first i.e 5th question is compulsory. Out of the remaining six questions, we should answer any three selecting at least one question from each section.

First attempt 3 questions from section A and 2 questions from section B.

Why?

Section A contains General Geology, geomorphology and structural geology. General Geology and geomorphology are basic topics, for which enough material is available. Given few days one can master over the topics.

Whereas in section B Paleontology, Stratigraphy and Geology of India are core geology areas which are very difficult to master given the limited time available. So attempt 3 questions from section A and 2 from section B.

 

First how to tackle question 1 and 5, which are compulsory?

For question 1, try covering the first two topics of syllabus (General Geology and geomorphology) and selected topics from structural geology can be done.

Attempting question 5 would be very challenging as Paleontology, Stratigraphy and Geology of India are core geology areas. The strategy here is master Hydrogeology and Engineering Geology, try to know basics of paleontology (like micro and macro fossils etc) and study geological division of India from internet or geography text books for Stratigraphy and Geology of India.

 

Now we are left with 1 question from section B and 2 questions from section A.

Now we would have mastered Hydrogeology and Engineering Geology, we know basics of paleontology and also about geological division of India. With this preparation we can easily attempt 1 question from section B.

 

Answering 2 questions from section A would be easy as we would have thoroughly studied General Geology and geomorphology topics. A point to note here is from structural geology area, try to cover all sub topics like projection diagrams, stress and strain ellipsoid etc. Why because? If at all we get any question from this area, we should be in a position to answer something with ease.

 

Geology paper 2:

It has 2 sections, section A and section B. Section A has four questions (1,2,3,4) out of which first question is compulsory. Section B has four questions (5,6,7,8) out of which first i.e 5th question is compulsory. Out of the remaining six questions, we should answer any three selecting at least one question from each section.

First attempt 2 questions from section A and 3 questions from section B.

Why?

Note: Attempting this paper is very challenging. Smart work plays a very important role in attempting this paper.

Section A has Mineralogy, Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology and Sedimentology. All these topics are core geology areas which are very difficult to master given the limited time available. Hence we will attempt only 2 questions from this section.

Section B contains Economic Geology, Mining Geology and Environmental Geology. These are a little general areas and easy to master over a period of time. Hence we will attempt 3 questions from this section.

 

First how to tackle question 1 and 5, which are compulsory?

For question 1, answering this question, is a challenging task as all the 3 topics are core geology areas. Strategy here is try to study complete mineralogy topic and do a selective study on the remaining 2 tropics, so that we can ensure that we answer the 1st question comfortably.

Attempting question 5 would be very easy as we would have mastered all the 3 topics in section B.

 

Now we are left with 1 question from section A and 2 questions from section B

To answer remaining 1 question in section A, the strategy is try to study complete mineralogy topic and do a selective study on the remaining 2 tropics, so that we can ensure that we answer remaining 1 question comfortably.

 

We can comfortably attempt 2 questions from section B as we would have mastered all the three topics of section B.

 

Reference books:

  • Text of geology by PK Mukherjee
  • Geology by KM Bangar.

(These two books cover majority of the syllabus. For topics which are not covered one can refer internet and make some notes which can come handy while revising at the last moment)

 

A point to note:

It is not about how many hours we study, it is about how we study that matters the most in clearing the examination.

 

 For Shivashankar’s Interview Preparation -> Click Here

 

  • Vini

    Thank you very much sir for sharing ur strategy…. Really needed this, will really help a lot…Hats off to ur hard work and struggle… All the very best sir for your future… 🙂
    Thanks once again..:)

    • Thank you Vini, for those kind words

  • Nikhil Tiwari

    Could i get in contact with him?

  • Divya

    Thank you soo much for sharing the above post. It will help the aspirants like us in a grater way.

  • Divya

    I am preparing for UPSC-IAS with geology as my optional subject since I love reading geology. Can you tell me the same mentioned above suits right? (Books, Syllabus analysis & strategy)

    • Mr Underwood

      I’m looking for geology optional people. We can form group. It’ll be easier.

      • Ziaul Haque

        Plzzz form a whatapp grp

  • Gurjot Singh

    Text book of Geology by GB Mahapatra download
    goo.gl/Pmn1Yg

  • Mr Underwood

    Geology optional guys! Can we form a whatsapp group? If it already exists please add me.

    • Ziaul Haque

      8092456678
      For Whatsapp group -geology optional

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