GS 2 – Polity, Governance, Social Justice, Constitution and International Relations
Polity, Governance part
- Laxmikanth ( Basic reading )
- Current Affairs – News Paper THE HINDU, post prelims I started reading INDIAN EXRESS editorial and Explained part ( HINDU is good for criticism of programs, while Express editorials gives some balanced solutions)
- Vision current affairs monthly compilation + Polity Mains 365
- Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture debates ( based on topic)
- Government Schemes and basic details about them.
- Budget allotment to education, health, social sector etc…
- Current Affairs ( News Paper THE HINDU + THE INDIAN EXPRESS )
- Rajya Sabha TV ( Big Picture + India’s World)
- Some videos on International Relations and world polity by WEF, Raisina Dailogue, ORF, MEA website etc.. ( mostly out of curiosity)
- VISION Mains 365
Answer Writing – Polity and Governance Part
- Structure of answer is very important. Need to have good opening introduction, side headings based on question requirement, suggestions and an optimistic conclusion.
- To me, the examiner should be able to understand the answer even just by reading the side headings and your underlined words. Focus this part more.
- Before attempting I would suggest u to see previous toppers papers, how they have approached polity papers and openings, conclusions etc..
- Your polity answer should have following for better scoring
- a) Constitutional provisions + Supreme court judgement + any committee/ commission report ( like standing committee, law commission, hota committee, etc…)+ linking with some current examples
- It would be good if you can make a compilation of major SC judgement of last 2-3 years and some details about them. You can use them in your answers
- Same case with committees, make a small short note of committees and commissions and map it with syllabus. You can use these reports in your conclusions ready-made.
- For example civil services reforms your conclusions can have – “considering the need for having civil services reforms, the government should look at implementing the HOTA committee report suggestions”
- For water resources etc…” Since water have significance beyond agriculture, state polity and extends to all sectors of society, the resources need to be carefully used. We can consider MIHIR SHAH/ or ASHOK CHAWLA committee suggestions”
- For center state relations u can have this “federal polity forms an integral part of basic structure. In order to implement the federal polity in true letter and spirit, greater efforts need to be made to implement PUNCCHI committee report. Only then we can have competitive and cooperative federalism ”
- Like-wise, in case you don’t have any opinion or conclusion, you can try very generic. For example simultaneous elections or UBI, etc…”since these decisions have larger impact not just on polity but also socio-cultural life of people, any decision in this direction need to be taken only after having greater debate and discussion”
- You can use some standard lines like”… we should uphold constitutional ethos and democratic spirit in all over decision making…”
- Or “… political parties rise above their political ideologies in order to strengthen the democratic institutions….”
- Even in case you don’t remember any committee, then try like this …in recent Parliamentary standing committee report/ law committee report/ in PM man ki baat etc said so and so…. because these people and committees have said something or other on every topic. this will make complete answer.
- Your answer must and must have link with current affairs. To my understanding if there is a question on right to privacy, the examiner expects you to include aadhaar issue, Justice Puttuswamy judgement etc.. connect as much as possible. Like-wise if he asks about office of profit, he expects u to bring Delhi MLA disqualification issues, Jaya bachan case etc…
- Some time you might not have any suggestions. I used to give general suggestions which fits for all the cases. You can use this for all the places. These are very general but suit every question.
- Use technology for better service delivery
- Greater focus should be on de-centralization and empowering people
- Create more awareness among common man
- Greater representation of women and weaker sections.
- Resource redistribution should be equitable.
- Access, quality and equity
- Strengthening our institutions like police, judiciary…
- Sometimes you can write – as per recent Standing Committee report or Law Commission report – so and so happened. Even if you don’t know anything, just include them because they must at some point or other must have told something on everything.
- Don’t write your points more than 2 lines, U might miss the actual content.
- If you write each point under 2 lines you can cover wide range of areas.
- You can be creative and innovative in your answers in terms of flow charts + venn diagrams etc..
- Questions last time are mostly very open ended. You cannot have any single answer. I would suggest cover diverse areas. This gives more score for innovation. Be open to new ideas….
- In certain terms like SC – never question SC judgement. Just leave statements like ‘ we leave it to wise judgement of SC.’ in case you don’t agree with them
- Where ever there is a need to take firm step, I think you should take. Don’t be neutral when u have an opinion and u truly believe in that idea.
- You don’t need to fill paper end to end. Put restriction on time and also no of pages per each question.
- Stay up to date with the legislative bills and debates.
- For terms like SHG, NGOs, etc.. prepare 200 word content on each of them. The problems and solutions etc. On every topic you should have some content to write.
- Even while you read a issue you should put it in a structured format in you mind and understand the issue.
- And finally, this paper has less scope for drastically improving the marks. The marks may increase by 10-15. So even you get less marks in practice tests don’t worry.
- Again I would suggest spend average time on this paper and try to maximize the score in optional or essay.
Answer writing in International Relations part
- In this IR part I didn’t run after and read many books. Because I understood that IR is dynamic and questions are always from current affairs. So no point in reading treaties and mugging them. I only had a basic understanding of the background of each relationship
- So I read newspapers and also watch regularly Rajya Sabha TV videos. I focused more on understanding the core of relations rather than treaties.
- For example India international relations I understood as following few core points
- US is retreating in world affairs, and China is trying to take up its place.
- So it is challenging the world order set up by US post WWII.
- It is in this context- China want to set hierarchy in Asia and it says to India – Hey look!! We are the boss in Asia and we don’t give a damn to India.
- So India’s reaction and response to chinease actions is current reality.
- This idea helps me to understand why we have ACT EAST POLICY, why we are having QUAD summits, Why we are cozying up with Japan, or even the South China Sea or string of pearls or Asia Africa growth corridor, or India buying oil from US, or India showing reluctance to OBOR or India hosting SAARC leaders for Republic day etc..
- I would try to fit all the events in this framework and answer questions.
- This basic idea I used to convey to the examiner in my answers.
- I would suggest you to understand this basic core in every relation and present the answer to understand this idea.
- And its fine if you don’t get this core. In case you don’t know anything about relations, you can use this thumb rule and present the answer along these points.
- Location : explain how location is important strategically. For example Maldives is key because it is in Indian ocean and its stability is key to peace in this region.
- Economy: how the other country depends on economy. Like west Asia we are dependent on oil imports, so we value them more. You can write this aspect in every relation
- Culture: see if we have any cultural ties and try to present that angle. For example you can bring Buddhist angle in our ASEAN relation. Etc..
- People to people relation and expatriates: see how people are connected. How our workforce in that nation. How can they help. Write about them as well. Like our students in Europe are key to our relations
- Energy : since future is more about energy, see how a country helps us in energy security. For ex. West Asia we have oil dependency. So stability in region is necessary for us. We view our relation in this angle.
- Security and terrorism : this is standard statement in our PMs foreign policy. So write how other country can help us.
- If you can write one point on each of above you will make a decent answer.
- You can improvise the answer with drawings, flow charts and maps.
- IR is very dynamic and there is no standard relation or permanent relations. So even if you don’t know anything. Write basic things and give general statement as conclusion. While writing IR answers see how everything should be to make India super power.
- Other suggestions is be curious in your preparation. Like if you see a country name- just find out where it is there, what is that famous for, how its relations with India are….
My papers attached….
ALL THE BEST GUYS…