Category Archives: UPSC Reference Books

Significance of The Images on Indian currency Notes

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How to study Social Issues for UPSC

Question on Social issues will be very general in nature and would require proper understanding of the Indian Society.
There are three Sociology NCERTs that have to be read
Std 11th- Understanding SocietyStd 12th- Indian Society, Social change and development in India.
If you still want to dig further, there is book called Social Problems in India by Ram Ahuja.
Generally follow current affairs regularly and you could answer most of the questions in the society part in the UPSC Mains.
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Review of India After Gandhi👇

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It is one of the best non-fiction books I have ever read. As the name suggests, this book deals with Indian history after 1947 and history assumes the form a of a story in this book. It is not everyday that you want a voluminous history book to never end. I wonder why Indian history post independence is not taught in schools. In my opinion, this book is a must read for anyone wishing to know about India’s modern and contemporary history.
1. Wide array of topics: The book gives an account of almost all watershed events; from integration of princely states to linguistic issues, from wars with China to liberation of Bangladesh, from Nehru’s non-alignment to Indira’s emergency, from Mandal commission to Babri Masjid demolition, from Kashmir troubles to Naga insurgency, from Khalistan to river disputes, from Kashmir dispute to LTTE troubles, from refugee issues to Operaation Bluestar, from party politics to regional leaders and from refugee problems to corrupt Congress leaders among many others.
2. International perspective: Guha has also tried to cite events from an international perspective, quoting foreign newspapers like Daily herald, delegates like Strachey and leaders like Nixon among others at regular intervals. This helps in understanding what other nations though of India in those times.
3. Well researched: Guha has put a superhuman effort in researching about many notes. The 90 page bibliography is a testimony to that. For some events, the author has identified the event which triggered a chain of disasters.
4. Unbiased: Guha has written in a journalistic style. The book has been written from an almost neutral point of view. The only thing the author seems to be against is communism. Though, at some points, one might feel that Guha is a Nehru-worshiper, but, then again as Guha himself says, “A historian is also a citizen”.
5. The Prologue and Epilogue: Brilliantly written. In the prologue, the author mentions that India is an unnatural nation that is divided along the axes of caste, language, religion and class. According to intellectuals, Indian democracy was a failed experiment and India as a nation would not survive? After listing all the trials and tribulations, disputes and conflicts, challenges and struggles, Guha questions as to ‘Why India Survives?’ in the epilogue. And he gives a brilliant answer.
6. Description of elections and Kashmir issue: Guha has described the Kashmir issue in a grandiloquent manner. Some complete chapters have been dedicated to the problems in Kashmir. He has called the 1951 elections as ‘The Biggest Gamble in History’ and has described it in a beautiful manner.
7. Quotes and Slogans: My favorite part of the book. Some of them are given below:
Election campaigning against the then defence minister: “Chini hamle hote hai, Menon Saab sote hai. Sona hai to sone do, Kriplani ji ko aane do.”
Heading of a US newspaper when Indira Gandhi went to US:”New Congress Leader comes begging.”
1967 elections: “Jana Sangh ko vote do, bidi peena chhod do. Bidi mein tambaku hai, Kangresswala daku hai”
Emergency times: “Janta ka dil bol raha hai, Indira ka singhasan dol raha hai”
Robin Jeffrey(historian): “Few people contemplating Indira Gandhis’s funeral in 1984, would have predicted that ten years later India would remain a unity but Soviet Union would be a memory”
8. Apples in the basket: This is the name of the third chapter of the book, in my opinion, the best one. This chapter is arguably a summary of V.P. Menon’s The Story of the Integration of the Indian States. Guha has beautifully described, the indefatigable efforts of Sardar Patel in integrating the nation.
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Review of Discovery of India & How to Use This for UPSC Exam Preparation?

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📈To classify this book as one of the historical accounts of India will be an incomplete assessment. Nehru is wrestling with many themes in this book- the vital links that connect past with the present and portend future trajectories; an individual’s sense of self and civilsational values he inhabits; and larger journey of humanity. The book tries to understand the pathways through which these themes feed into one another.
📚👉Definitely worth it, especially in our times,because
➡. Albert Einstein to write to Nehru: “I have read with extreme interest your marvellous book(The discovery of India)…It gives an understanding of the glorious intellectual and spiritual tradition of …India.”
➡. It is a very scientific, balanced, considerate, critical account of Indian history, by someone who was very well read, well experienced, with rational outlook and staggering command of the subject.
➡. It is authored by a great Indian, deeply devoted to his motherland. He subjects some of the Indian traditions to critical examination and yet doggedly justifies our ancient wisdom and knowledge.
➡And in times like this when it’s insinuated that being Indian means belonging to a particular religion or belonging to a religion means anti-Indian , this spectacular work by a true statesman who fought uncompromisingly for a secular India.
🎯For UPSC Preparation

  It was once part of the syllabus for UPSC examinations and thus was a must read. Which goes to show that the book is academic in orientation and highly informative.
👉It helps in Essays

👉Also Helps in GS1 And GS4

👉Some Times Rarely Helps in GS2 (Governance) & GS 3(Economics)
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🎯What chapters to read in ‘India since independence?

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📃The book “India since Independence” by Bipin Chandra et al is analysed below from the perspective of the new GS syllabus.
The GS- Paper 1 History part has included this new phrase in the syllabus: “Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country”

· There are 4 chapters on Consolidation of India as a Nation i.e Chapters 7,8,9 & 10. These are a must-read as the term in the syllabus seems to have been picked from here itself..:)

· Along with this, reorganization would also include formation of new states after 2000 i.e. Jharkhand, Chattisgarh and Uttarakhand. You need to study the reasons for their formation and the impact on polity, economy and social development. Other questions might relate to need for smaller states for better administration and the demands for further reorganization as seen in the case of UP etc.
From the syllabus perspective, other important chapters in this book are:

· Chapter 12: Foreign Policy

· Chapter 35 & 36: As Communalism word is mentioned in the new syllabus

· Chapters 29,30 & 31: Land reforms is in the syllabus of GS-3 ( Pages 566-570 provide the gist)

· Indian Economy chapters 25 to 28 can also be studied

· Chapter 38 is also important from GS-1 perspective
It is better if you study the while book but I have mentioned the bare minimum ones which are absolutely essential.
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