Useful Resources

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UPSC Mains Books
Study Aids & Exams Preparation

New Addition: Check the column of essential books in Right Hand side bar under Essential books.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Regional Connectivity Scheme UDAN

The Civil Aviation Ministry has launched the Regional Connectivity Scheme on October 21, 2016. It is one of the objective of the National Civil Aviation Policy (NACP) 2016.

External Source: PIB (Kindly note, after sometime the links to PIB becomes non functional.

Vidyanjali (School Volunteer Programme)


Vidyanjali - (School Volunteer Programme) is an initiative of the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Department of School Education & Literacy to enhance community and private sector involvement in Government run elementary schools across the country under the overall aegis of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.
External Source: Vidyanjali

Scoville Scale

Scoville Scale:
It is the measurement of pungency of chili peppers and other spicy foods as reported in Scoville Heat Units (SHU). The measurement is done by Scoville Organoleptic Test.
Other way of testing is High-performance liquid Chromatography.
Relevance: This scale is news in case of the use of PAVA Shells use.
Source of Content: Wikipedia: Scoville Scale (Click to Access).

Friday, October 21, 2016

Nobel Prize Winners 2016

All the Nobel Prize Winners of 2016 can be noted from the site of the Nobel Prize Site itself. Click HERE to access the page.
It is repeated here that other links of the site should also be explored. There are questions in Preliminary on this organization on regular basis.

PAVA Shells: Pelargonic Acid Vanillyl Amide Shells

Full form of PAVA Shells: Pelargonic Acid Vanillyl Amide (PAVA) The Riot Control device and munition has been developed by Indian Institute of Toxicology Research, a Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) laboratory in Lucknow.
It has come into news when the Government of India adopted it as an alternative to the pallet guns which were used in Kashmir Valley.
Pelargonic Acid Vanillylamide is also called Pelargonic Acid Nonivamide is an organic compound found in natural chilli pepper. It is also used in self-protection sprays. It is biosafe. It temporarily incapacitates the target. It has a projected range of 4 to 5 meters.
The PAVA Shell are manufactured by Tear Smoke Unit (TSU) of BSF Gwalior. This unit was established in 1976. Presently it is producing 75 varieties of munitions.
Other Alternatives of Riot Control management are:
Tear Gas
Pellet Guns
Dye Marker Grenade with irritant
Tear Smoke Gas with Soft Nose (that melts after busting so that they can not be picked and thrown back)
Stun Grenade

Added and Supporting links: The Hindu and The Hindu (some additional points): Indiatimes:

Monday, October 10, 2016

Juan Manuel Santos Calderón

Juan Manuel Santos Calderón:
Juan Manuel Santos the President of Columbia. He is the sole winner of Nobel Peace Prize 2016. He was awarded the prize for negotiating a peace treaty with the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia Related wikipedia link Click) guerillas.
Additional Comment: Generally a question on Nobel Prize is asked in the Preliminary

Antonio Guterres

Antonio Guterres:
Antonio Guterres will be the next Secretary General of United Nations. He will take over from Ban Ki-moon on January 1, 2017.
Antonio Guterres is a former Prime Minister of Portugal.
Additional Comments: In Preliminary Examinations there are generally questions on the working of the Secretariat of the United Nations. It is also relevant to GS II. Keep Tap on UN Website (Click Here to access).
External Sources:
1. Business Standard
2. Wikipedia

Saturday, October 08, 2016


Arthapedia: It is a portal maintained by the Indian Economic Services. It gives the explanation of the concepts used in India economy policy. Such concepts help to understand the Indian Economy and its governance. The General Studies Paper III is related to the India Economy. A study of the portal will definitely help the aspirants. One can reach it by Clicking Here. Some of the suggestive concepts given below may help to appreciate the relevance:
1. Consumer Price Index
2. Jan Aushadhi Scheme
3. Kisan Credit Card
4. National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF)
5. Money Bill
6. Finance Bill
7. Appropriation Bill
Presently there are approximately around 400 terms. Many of the terms are of recent origin and they are highly useful for the forthcoming Mains papers. There are equally useful for the Prelims 2017.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Making Use of India Year Book

S N Reddy on ITCSA blog has given a very useful post on How to use India Year Book (Click Here to access). It is a "You Must Read Category".

Saturday, May 04, 2013

RTGS System

RTGS stands for Real Time Gross Settlement. For an authoritative FAQ check HERE a RBI FAQ.
For Wikipedia article, which contains a wider perspective Check HERE.
The Wikipedia Article contains points which makes it an important topic for preparation. Check here Economic Times article of this year.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Statistical Year Book 2013 at ITCSA

Check this Book HERE.
The book is available on Indian Telugu Civil Servants Association blog. The link will take you that site.
The book is must for Civil Services Mains. With the changed structure, a good reading and notes will be highly rewarding.
Just a side issue. Why do the government publication make Right Reserved fetish. On one hand, it is talking about RTI. On the other hand, It is promoting E-governance. However, while sharing basic data, they intend to exercise their intellectual Property right. Do these secretaries start feeling themselves as scholars and writers? Amusing.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Double Weightage to GS Mains But When

Kindly Check the Report HERE on Civil Services Examination Reforms. No comment for present.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Selecting the options: A suggestive Post by S N Reddy

I recommend that the fresh aspirants must read the post by S N Reddy, IRS (Click Here for the Post). It is nicely written in a lucid English. I believe that it will be comprehensible to everyone. Secondly, the contents relate to such queries which every new aspirant asks even if he or she is the future topper.
Mr. Reddy is quiet clear in telling that the criterion to be made basis for selection should be the interest in the subject. The different theories which are prevalent about the selection could not be easily pushed aside but even then, they are not the right basis of making selection.
Another thing, which I feel he should have emphasized is that the candidate should develop the idea of obtaining 350 plus mark in at least two paper. I mean to say, that even the General Studies Main should also be tackled with that mind set. If you are able to choose two elective options in which you can work hard to make 300 plus marks, then the result is always positive. With this criteria as a premises, the selection of options need to be based on interest than on the popular theories which he has already discussed.
Kindly Read the post of S N Reddy. It is worth reading.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Man Booker Prize 2012: Hilary Mantel: Bring up the Bodies

Hilary Mantel wins Man Booker Prize of her historic fiction "Bring up the Bodies". It is her second Booker Prize. She becomes the first women and the third person to win the Man Booker Prize twice.
Check the Report here which is nicely written. Seek answers to the following questions from the news report.

1. Who were the first two authors and the works to win Man Booker Prize earlier? 2. When did Hilary Mantel win her first Man Booker Award? 3. What is the nature of the contents of the novels of Hillary Mental? Also Check Wikipedia Article HERE.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Justice B. K. Shrikrishna Panel on Financial Sector Regulation

Business studies are now important part of the General Studies Preliminary and Mains examinations. The suggested post here (Click to access) provide a list of Financial Sector regulators. It will be useful for uninitiated aspirants who are from non-commerce stream to write notes on Business Studies.
Suggested terms:
1. RBI: Reserve Bank of India
2. SEBI: Security Exchange Board of India
3. IRDA: Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority
4. PFRDA: Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority
5. FMC: Forward Markets Commission
6. SAT: Securities Appellate Tribunal
8.FSDC: Financial Sector Development Council

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Justice Altamas Kabir: 39th CJI

Justice Altamas Kabir has been sworn as the Chief Justice of India. He is the 39th chief justice of India. His predecessor was Justice S. H. Kapadia.
Check the Hindu details here.

What is GAGAN?

GAGAN stands for GPS aided geo-augmented navigation. It is a technology which the Airport Authority of India would use with the help of ISRO for the navigation of the planes. The technology will be assisted by GSAT10 which is launched on September 29, 2012.
For further details Check HERE (A Wikipedia Article).

GSAT10 from Kourou

GSAT10 has been launched on September 29, 2012 from Kourou at French Guiana in South America.
Check here the Hindu Report which is note of a kind.
Next Question:
What is GAGAN?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Basel Accords

Check the following two links in order to understand the concept of Basel Accords. They are related to Banking. In light of the world economic crisis, an understanding of Basel Accords and especially Basel III which comes into force from 2013 to 2018.
Wikipedia Article Further links within in the article can be explored for a wider perception especially Basel II and Basel III.
Hindu Article.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Sunday, April 29, 2012

GAAR: What is it?

GAAR stands for General Anti-Avoidance Rules. It is aimed at checking the tax avoidance by companies. The Economic Times article HERE discusses the different dimensions and actual thought behind it. It is good for reading and making relevant notes.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Demographic Data for 60 Plus

India is a country which is growing young. In case of other countries, the old population is increasing more than young population. However, that does not mean that India would not be having the issue of old population. In coming years, the issue of the old age population would require attention of the government.

Check the Report HERE and make notes on the contents.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Demographic Data 2011

Demographic data is very crucial. Rather Demographic studies are must. Such a data is crucial for every country and nation for planning. Secondly, it is needed by all such sciences which deal in human beings whether it is sociology, economy, history, political science, public administration. The latest data is equally important as remembering some core ratios. It is useful for GS prelims, GS Mains as well as elective subjects.

Check the report HERE and study it attentively and make notes on change size of family over a decade. Along with that, there should be sensitization about the related problems like housing, child care and divorce rates.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Monorail Project

Surface Transportation and Urban Habitation Management are crucial issues. The questions can be expected even at Mains Level.

It is important to note that Progressive Movement in America during the first decade of Twentieth Century included the transportation issue as one of their problem areas.

Mark the report HERE and makes note.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

India Year Book 2011

The interested aspirants can download the India Year Book 2011 HERE.

The link is provided by an anonymous commentator on this website. The commentator has provided the link to The site has good information on other competitive examinations also. However, it has inbuilt links to other sites also. I hope that the candidates would find the link provided by me quite useful.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

La Nina

The present Cold weather is attributed to La Nina effect.

Check the Times of India Report HERE.

For details

Check the Wikipedia explanation HERE.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Indo-China Trade $67 billion:6700 crore $

Check the Outlook Story HERE.

It is a usual kind of a story on the news magazine. However, there are figures on Indo China Trade which are good for notes. Secondly, it has given a perspective on ground realities of Indo-China trade which can be useful for preparing answers for the interview.

The hurdles for small and medium Indian Businessmen
The objections of the Chinese Businessmen against the Indian business scenario.
The local ground realities of Chinese Market.
The support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The credit problem for the Indian Businessmen
The future prospects
The Indian Exporters expectation from the Chinese Market

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Onam Festival

Onam Festival: This topic has appeared again and again in the GS prelims as well as in Mains.

IBN news item gives a good description at What 'Onam' festival is all about?

On the other hand Wikipedia has a more elaborate write up. (Click Here to Access)

For further study on similar lines Check the social festival index on Wikipedia. (Click here to Access)

Kindly observe caution while making notes from the Wikipedia write ups. Sometimes they are subjected to vandalism or motivated tones.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Manas National Park

Manas National Park Assam is in UNESCO's World Heritage List.

Check the following Link for making further notes: Click Here

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

New Consumer Price Index

Before reading the post, Check the contents of a suggestive report here

From February 2011, the GOI has adopted new CPI. Shri Mallikarjun Kharge, Minister for Labour And Employment had given a statement in Parliament giving the detail of the composition of CPI.

It is interesting to read the contents of the statistics.

I am of the view, that this year question paper is going to be bulky. As the stress will to evaluate the analytic ability, therefore, some sets of data will definitely take space on the question paper.

Go through the data provided in the report. Try to question as follows:
If any change takes place in housing, which section of society is going to be effected more?

Which type of food items are consumed more in Urban area?

If you are businessman in a particular area of trade, which section of society, rural or urban, can be your customers?

Check the contents of the suggestive report here.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Murnal Blog

The author of Murnal Blog himself is an aspirant. He is taking up very pertinent queries on his blog. I have subscribed to his blog. I generally do not recommend any other identity. However, in his case, I have found that he has taken up such questions and queries that are sought by new aspirants and answered them in a very effective manner.

It seems that he has been associated with a website India Officer. He has borrowed material from numerous sources especially like In one of his write up, he has remarked that the people do not like to read the manuals. They require specific information. Now, it is here, that many bloggers like us are becoming useful. Before, recommending anything read the whole material yourself. Understand the requirement and then share the information. There are many e-books which I have been sharing only when some of you have approached me on phone or through email. However, in his case, as he seems to know some tweaking with html, xml and good understanding of free resources (, But I am bit reluctant to use every free resource on the internet), he has developed a better blog and assembled a good assortment of widgets and IT resources.

I strongly recommend that new aspirants subscribe to his blog if you are new to preparation. He takes up very pertinent questions and answer them in simple, short and effective manner. Let us hope, he continues  to blog and post with same zeal, integrity and approach.  Click HERE to REACH MURNAL 
(He seems to have good knowledge of capital market. Must be indulging in speculation and capital investment. He is from Gujarat!!! No apology to the person as it is a light hearted comment.)

India Year Book 2011 (Publication Division India)

Now you can get the India Year Book 2011 HERE. I acknowledge the contribution of one of the anonymous commentator for providing the link.

The India Year Book 2011, a reference manual published by Publication Division of India is available on the site of Publication Division. To access the book Click HERE.

During recent analysis of the last year papers, it has been found that lesser number of questions are based on the contents of the India Year Book. Even then, it is recommended that reading of this book is essential as it otherwise helps to understand many aspects of Indian Polity and Economy which require special study.

I strongly recommend to retain it as one of the essential book to be read for Civil Services Preparation.

There is one bad news this time in case of this publication. Earlier, the whole book was available free of cost. This year, at least I am not able to download the whole book. Presently only five pages are available which includes the index of the chapter. The price is Rs. 345/-.

General Information

UPSC has taken initiative to display Last Year Question Papers of CS, CDS, NDA, CMS, Engineering Service on its site. Check them out at The files are PDF.

The Result of Civil Services Examination, Main 2009 has been announced on May 6, 2010.

or go to and check what is new.


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