This personal blog is a part of an ongoing series – Target IAS 2015 & Beyond. Satish has been an integral part of the core team which laid down the foundation of Civilsdaily – an initiative to simplify News for IAS Prep.
His earlier posts can be found at –
There will around 15 questions from polity part in prelims every year. In the present scenario where CSAT is only taken into consideration for cut off, aspirants need to attempt at least 95% of polity questions correctly as these questions will be mostly from areas familiar to aspirants but with a little trick!
Basic Books –
- Polity by Lakshmikanth
- Indian constitution by P.M Bakshi
- DD. Basu (Many people say this is very good book but I never read this. I believe that Lakshmikanth is simple to understand)
General Polity Gyan (before we launch dive headlong) –
- First study Lakshmikanth line by line and understand every chapter given there. No need to prepare any short notes for polity because everything in that books is important. Questions can come in from any chapter (They asked about attorney general in 2013 which is not expected).
- You may choose to underline with a Blue gel pen in the book where you feel it is important. It so happened to me that every other time I would read this book only to find a new thing that I had missed before! So keep underlining every time when you find a new thing and also make sure that you revise it.
- Most of the aspirants feel comfortable with this subject – They get a feeling that once they have read it *n* number of times – they are perfect and can answer any question from polity! Believe you me that you can still be stumped by the manner in which UPSC frames the questions. Its Civil Services Examination after all! Take up questions of any institute or website and try answering them. Every question in polity will have some trick in it.
Sample Ques – Prime minister has the power to dissolve the parliament. What do you think?
Many may think this statement is correct. But its wrong as lok sabha + rajya sabha + president = parliament. So PM can dissolve only lok sabha!
Geared up for the next level? Let me tell you how to divide & conquer this subject. First of all, divide Indian Polity into 3 parts –
- Preamble, Fundamental rights , DPSP, Fundamental duties, Amendments and Emergency provisions
- Parliament and state legislature, President, Supreme court and high courts, Federalism, Center state relations
- iii. Constitutional bodies, Statutory bodies , Rights issues , Panchayats & Political parties, elections , anti defection law, all schedules, oaths and remaining topics
When you start one part and study that completely. You may choose to divide the syllabus in your own way but please do fragment the syllabus and study. It makes you easy to remember.
- Rights Issues: This is one area where you get ~2 questions each year. So have a look at some of rights issues topics – Forest rights, PESA act, Human rights , Consumer rights, MNERGA, Food security, Manual scavenging act, Street vendors act, RTE act, RTI act, NALSA act, recently right to clearance by telangana government and a few more.
- One question will be on Panchayats and local bodies. It may be regarding PESA act or panchayats in north east. Read both chapters (panchayats and urban local bodies) of Lakshmikanth.
- As most part of constitution remained same from last 60+ years kindly go through past 25 years questions which came from polity in prelims. This is like reverse engineering! You will cover most of the topics from there itself.
- Along with all this, check issues which are in news and try to cover static part related to that. For example – Lt. Governor of Delhi is in news. So kindly go through provisions of Delhi state about who has more power over administrative decisions.
- Similarly appointment and removal of governor is in news.
At Civilsdaily, we try to do a good job at covering and tracking the Polity in News in a way that you understand the whole historical context along with present day news. Go through all of the stories at the website –
Link – Civilsdaily – Polity Stories
I will be here, most of the time answering your queries. Make sure you do read the posts completely before asking questions. The next blog would be on tackling History.
Best of luck!