How to Prepare for GS Mains Paper II (All Topics): Target IAS 2018 and Beyond

For this paper, the main concentration is on Polity and Social Issues in the country.
This implies all the core topics of GS, which are very fundamental for understanding, and even to work on the ground. We have some very good and dedicated books for the subject and it is advised to read from these books.


Most of the polity aspects are very logical, and hence try to reason out all the aspects and other constitutional provisions.
DD Basu is one of the fundamental books for understanding the Indian Constitution, its historical underpinnings, evolution, features and other significant provisions.


One always need to have a latest copy of the Constitution of India kept along with you, to know the exact wordings and the philosophy. Amendments need to be updated, and hence use Internet to find out the most recent of the copies.



PM Bakshi is one another book where lots of Supreme Court cases and other related information and discussions are included for each of the articles for deeper studies.


This book comes after you get a basic idea of the subject either through DD Basu, NCERT or any other book. List of amendments can be collected (Laxmikanth is a good choice).



No more material is as such required apart from the above fundamental books, but if you prefer reading more, books by Subhash Kashyap would be very interesting (books on Parliament, Constitution and other related matters).


Make sure you cover all the topics mentioned in the syllabus with regard to Polity. They are very easy if properly and logically studied and even interesting.


Some important acts should also be covered (like the one mentioned in the syllabus, The Representation of People’s Act), and all of these are very mentioned on (one of the best compilations of all the central acts in the country).


For social issues, magazines and other current affairs related material should be followed. Frontline, Yojana, Kurukshetra are some of the names that we come across. Take any one of them as per your choice and convenience and make sure you cover the topics, not the books/magazines.



Selective reading is very tricky, whenever more books/magazines are suggested; it is not to read them from cover to cover, but only for the topics under discussion.


The only other section in this paper is the International Relations. Make a list of 25-30 countries with which we have good relations, and try to make a one page notes for each of these countries’ relations in your own words.



Many institutes were able to come up with good compilations for the international relations and other international affairs, so it is recommended you take any one institute’s material to cover all the countries that you made list of. All other NRI/PIO related issues are to be covered either from these materials or through magazines.


Similarly, make a list of all the International Organizations, events, summits and pacts that are in the news. PIB is a great source to get all the pacts and agreements entered into by India.


Suggested Readings:

  •   Vajiram Notes and Material
  •   PM Bakshi
  •   DD Basu
  •   Laxmikanth
  •   Subhash Kashyap books
  •   2nd ARC reports, Punchhi Commision report, Sarkaria commission reports and all other important reports (summary at least)
  •   NCERT (law and justice)
  •   World Geography by Majid Hussain
  •   NCERT (XII): Indian Society and Social Change, Contemporary World Politics
  •   IGNOU chapters: Society and social problems in India
  •   NCERT XII
  •   Ministry of External Affairs (
  •   Pushpesh Pant’s book on International Relations



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