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Now, how to deal with GS-3?

Assuming you are now familiar with the syllabus of GS-3, we

will discuss a topic by topic what to read, from where to read and what not to read for
these topics. TOPIC-1
Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development
and employment.

This is a very broad area and includes both static and dynamic part. Before going for big
books, it is compulsory to read following NCERT textbooks (download full textbooks -PDF
without watermark)
1. NCERT Class X – Understaning Economic Development
2. NCERT Class XI – Indian Economic Development
3. NCERT Class XII – Macroeconomics (chapters 2,5 and 6 are very important)
4. ET in The Classroom (This is important in getting acquainted with basics of dynamic part of
Economics – It is an excellent source. I have archived previous articles Here.)
Three books above will make your concepts very clear. After understanding your concepts,
you have to read the above topics by relating them to the current events. For this reading
one Business newspaper helps a lot. Business standard is the best (if you are comfortable
with ET or FE, it is fine. But do try BS once)

More questions from Economics can be expected in this paper henceforth. To be ready for
any questions that UPSC might ask, it is good to read a standard book on these topics.

There are many books on Indian economy – all bulky. Fortunately, TMH has released a
book on Indian economy for Prelims and Mains, and it is very good (by Ramesh Singh)

▪ Indian Economy for Civil Services Examinations – Ramesh Singh

I think reading this book is a must. Don’t go for Uma Kapila, Dutt and Sundaram and
Mishra-Puri unless you have plenty of time for these. For now sticking to one good book is
Inclusive growth and issues arising from it

We had 11th Five year plan which exhorted the ‘Inclusive Growth’ mantra and then 12th Fiver
year document, going a step further aiming for a ‘Faster, More Inclusive and Sustainable
These two documents are good to understand issues related to inclusive growth, approach
of the government and achievements in the 11th plan period. However, to get conceptual
clarity, reading one or two articles from the following document would help you immensely.

▪ Conceptualizing Inclusive Growth

For a thorough review of Inclusive Growth strategy in India read this article:

▪ Inclusive Growth in India – Past Performance and Future Prospects

Government Budgeting

It is nothing but knowing about what is a budget and how it is passed in the parliament and
then how it is implemented.

These documents should help you understand these:


▪ NCERT Class XII – Macroeconomics (Chapter 5)
▪ The Budgetary Process
▪ 2013-14 Budget Highlights
Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation
and irrigation systems; storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and
related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers

Understanding concepts is important here too. NCERT comes to the aid here;

▪ NCERT – Resources and Development (a quick reading of this book will also help in
understanding many other topics in this paper)
For cropping pattern read this, only this document:

▪ Cropping Pattern in India (give stress to understanding the concept in it, no need to read
entire paper)
For irrigation methods, irrigation systems and Irrigation in India,

▪ Irrigation Methods
▪ Types of Dams (storage structures)
▪ Irrigation types (Government Source)
For agriculture marketing, storage and reforms in these areas, one should resort to ‘State
of India Agriculture report’ and Economic Survey.

▪ Agriculture Marketing Reforms

▪ Agricultural Prices and Markets – State of India Agriculture Report
E-technology for the aid of Farmers

▪ E-technology in the aid of farmers

Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public
Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and
food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing

This is the most important topic in this paper – all sub-topics are dynamic in nature and 1-2
questions will be directly asked from these. This topic encompasses the broad area of Food
Security, which is a hot topic these days.
Apart of getting conceptual clarity on these topics, aspirants also have to develop critical
perspective on these sub-topics. I will provide links to important articles that have come in
The Hindu, Business Standard and Business Line.

First, Minimum Support Price and Farm Subsidies:

▪ Agriculture – Price Policy and MSP

News Articles (to develop opinion)

▪ Farms need a free market -BusinessLine

▪ How to fix agricultural pricing mess – Business Standard
▪ India’s food conundrum – The Hindu
Regarding Public Distribution System, it is a vast area, so careful study of less materials is

▪ Public Distribution System – IGNOU Notes – 1

▪ Public Distribution System and Food Security – IGNOU Notes – 2
News Articles;

▪ Food Security Bill – The devil is in the detail – The Hindu

▪ The shaky geopolitics of India’s food security – The Hindu
For basics of Food Security – NCERT source – Class IX Economics
Now, technology missions! Government of India is fond of launching these technology
missions for various crops to boost their production, area coverage and make their
production profitable. This is a boring topic and I don’t think UPSC will ask any question on
this (it is completely factual)

I will provide links to few such Technology Missions;

▪ Technology Mission on Cotton

▪ Technology Mission on Jute
▪ Technology Mission on Horticulture
▪ Technology Mission on Sugar
▪ New Missions under 12th plan
(You need to know only what these missions were meant for and what’s their progress so

Economics of Animal Breeding! – This has come from nowhere. Study it here
You can have a look at this report of Planning Commission (only 3 pages)

▪ Role of livestock in Indian Economy

Food processing and related industries in India- scope and significance, location, upstream
and downstream requirements, supply chain management.
Food processing is a sunrise industry and lately there has been a lot of thrust from the
government on this industry.

▪ PIB article on this industry

▪ Food processing ministry – schemes
▪ In the 12th Plan

▪ Economic Times
▪ The Hindu Businessline – Untapped Potential
▪ The Hindu Businessline – Key Challenges
Land reforms in India

This is a hot favourite topic for UPSC and luckily you get plenty of material to read on this
topic. That is the problem. In this exam, sticking to one source is the secret of success (of
course, not for all topics)

For this topic read from following two sources (IGNOU):

▪ Land reforms – 1
▪ Land Reforms – 2
Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on
industrial growth

You can read these topics from the above mentioned book by Ramesh Singh. It is explained
very well.

▪ Indian Economy for Civil Services Examinations – Ramesh Singh (Chapters 6 and 10, 4th
edition – the above link is for latest 5th edition)
Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc

Just two sources; one, India 2013 and Economic Survey

▪ India 2013 (chapters on Energy and Transport)

▪ Economic Survey – Chapter 11 – Energy, Infrastructure and Communications
▪ Latest Energy stats – Very Good Report
TOPIC – 10
Investment models

This is a puzzling topic. Because it is given along with Infrastructure related topics, I
assume it to be related to investment models applied to the same field. If not, one can
enumerate so many investment models just for financial sector alone!

For example, within PPP model, there are various modalities are involved (see below)

Table 1: Schemes and Modalities of PPP

Schemes Modalities
The private sector designs,
Build-own-operate builds, owns, develops,
(BOO) operates and manages an
Build-develop- asset with no obligation to
operate (BDO) transfer ownership to the
Design-construct- government. These are
manage-finance variants of design-build-
(DCMF) finance-operate (DBFO)

The private sector buys or

Buy-build-operate leases an existing asset from
(BBO) the Government, renovates,
Lease-develop- modernises, and/ or expands
operate (LDO) it, and then operates the
Wrap-around asset, again with no obligation
addition (WAA) to transfer ownership back to
the Government.

The private sector designs
transfer (BOT)
and builds an asset, operates
it, and then transfers it to the
transfer (BOOT)
Government when the
operating contract ends, or at
transfer (BROT)
some other pre-specified
time. The private partner may
transfer (BLOT)
subsequently rent or lease the
asset from the Government.
operate (BTO)

Source: Public Private Partnership, Fiscal Affairs

Department of the IMF.

These two sources might help:

▪ Infrastructure Investments – Planning Commission

▪ Public-Private Partnership in Indian Infrastructure Development: Issues and Options – RBI

Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life
. Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing
new technology.
. Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology
and issues relating to intellectual property rights

There are many sources for these topics:

First, for non – science grads, a reading of NCERT Class VI to X Science Texts is advised.
This will clear many concepts for you and will enable you to understand other topics in the

Second, earlier, toppers used to recommend a book by Spectrum publications,

▪ Developments in Science and Technology

The problem with this book is its vastness – they have simply dumped every topic in detail
like paranoid. For students with science background this book is advised, they have
released 2013 edition – you have to study it selectively. Very selectively. This book has all
the topics that are included in the syllabus and that are not included also.
If one goes through previous question papers, one can observe that UPSC has always
asked questions on S&T from within the syllabus. For example, there will be a question on
biotechnology, space, robotics, nanotechnology and computers – they might be from latest
developments in the respective fields, but all are from the syllabus.

Third source is The Hindu and Frontline. Every Thursday, The Hindu carries a separate
page on S&T – if one is regular with this page and have the collection of cuttings, this will
help in 5 mark and 2 mark questions asked from current event section.

Fourth source is Wikipedia and New Scientist sites. From this site, read articles
on Nanotechnology, Robotics, IPR etc.
Under IPR, you may have to read about Novartis case, so The Hindu article is
here. Also TRIPS is important.
For India’s achievements in the field of S&T, you must read India 2013 Year Book (chapters
on Defence and Scientific and technological developments)
Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment


▪ Environment and Pollution

▪ Atmosphere Oxygen and Pollution (Technical)
This particular topic encompasses topics such as biodiversity and climate change, forest and
wildlife conservation, river conservation, pollution in cities, waste management, pollution
from human activities, marine pollution etc – so it is a vast area.

This has to be read with respect to India and the world.

First choice should be The Hindu Environmental Survey 2012 (they may release 2013 survey
Sources from the ministry of environment(look at the left side for related links when
you land on the page):
Annual Report of the Environment Ministry 2012-13 (for chapters on conservation, EIA and
forests etc) – Click Here.
Complete info on Conservation. click here.
Complete details on – Environmental Impact Assessment, FAQ’s on EIA
Current events on EIA – The Hindu article
TOPIC – 13
Disaster and disaster management

This is again a current event and a dynamic portion.

Download special edition of Yojana on Disaster Management.

A report on Disaster Management. (read selectively). You will find everything in it you ever
wanted to know about the topic!

. Linkages between development and spread of extremism.
. Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.
. Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social
networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its
. Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime
with terrorism

Internal Security – Internal Security Challenges

Cyber Security – National Cyber Security Policy 2013 – assessment
Money Laundering –
▪ Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA)
▪ What is Money Laundering – Basics
▪ FATF on Money Laundering
For a starter, here is a book just released by Oxford University Press, exclusively on these
topics. Titled ‘India’s National Security – A Reader‘ and written by eminent scholars in this
field, it covers external and internal security threats by state and non-state actors, as well
as nuclear issues too. Read the review here.

You can buy it from Flipkart . (Buy it only after reading the above review)
(This section will be updated with latest news articles – soon)
Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate

This topic is completely factual. You can read it on Wikipedia.

▪ Indian Armed Forces

▪ Indian Paramilitary Services
▪ Agencies