Important Topics for IAS exam

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Important Topics: Art and Culture - Hindu Philosophy (BUDDHISM)

Art and Culture


Indian Philosophy

It is dealing with Upnishads, Later Vedic Period, developing and evolving over 2 millennias. There are two types of Schools first is Orthodox (astika) or non-orthodox (nastika), if Veda is an infallible source of knowledge or not.

Six orthodox schools: Nyaya, Veisesika, Samkhya, Yoga, Purva mimansa and Vedanta (also called as Uttar mimansa). The Heterodox are Jain, Buddhist and materialist (Cārvāka).

Then various schools have perished, but some have survived are: Jainism, Buddhism, Shavia and Advaita (part of Vedanta only), while Samkhya and Ajivika did not survived. "Philosopher" is dārśanika, familiar with the systems of philosophyor darśanas. 

So, why these religious movements started to begin with Jainism and Buddhism. There are so many religions and why they were needed. This is the question UPSC asked.

Religious Movements: Superiority of the Brahamins and Vedic rituals became very complicated. Most of literature was written in Sanskrit and it was language of elites and out of understanding of common people. Caste system became extremely rigid, no changes of profession was allowed. Animal killing was prevailing during rituals, they were source of livelihood.

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Important Topics: World History (Unification of Italy)

World History

(Unification of Italy)

What do you men by Italian Unification

It was a Political and Social movement, agglomerated different states of the Italian peninsula into the single state of the Kingdom of Italy in the 19th century. Began in 1815 with the Congress of Vienna and the end of Napoleonic rule. It ended in 1871 when Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy.

Reasons: Common Religions of Italy, Language: Italian (Christianity). Geographical basic is also a common reason because it was relatively isolated from entire Europe because of Alps and exploitation by Austria and France.

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Important Topics: Indian Polity: Constitution of India (SCHEDULES)

Indian Polity: Constitution of India


What is Schedule?

They are Lists which categorise and tabulate bureaucratic activity and policy of the Government. They are kept separate because it is more than 100 mages document and hence, not included in original text of constitution but they are very much part of the constitution. Originally they were  8 in number, now they are 12. IX (1st Constitution Amendment Act 1951), X (Anti-Defection Law 52nd CAA 1985), XI (73rd CAA Panchayati Raj 1992), XII (74th CAA Municipality 1992).

First Schedule

Part 1: Name of the state and their territorial jurisdiction (29 states). It conclude details regarding which law, act etc. determine each states boundaries (Article 1 to 4).

Part 2: Names of Union Territory and their extent. Delhi (since independence), Andaman and Nicobar Islands (since independence), Daman and Diu (1987), Lakshadweep, Puducherry (1960s) (French Establishments in India and combines Pondicherry, Kankal, Mahe and Yanam), Chandigarh (1966) , Dadar and Nagar Haveli.

Second Schedule

[Articles 59(3), 65(3), 75(6), 97, 125, 148(3), 158(3), 164(5), 186 and 221]

Provisions relating to emoluments, privileges, allowances and so on of:

  • President of India
  • Governors
  • Speaker, Deputy Speakers of Lok Sabha and Legislative Assembly in states.
  • Chairman and Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha, Legislative Councils in states.
  • Judges of Supreme Court, High Court and CAG.
  • Official residence of judges without pay.
  • Vice-President or any other person is acting as President and any person is acting as Governor (based on salary).
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Important Topics: Ancient History of India - (Indus Valley Civilization)

Ancient History of India

(Indus Valley Civilization)

Pre History Era

Paleolithic Age (35000-9000 BC): Hunters, gatherers, weather variations were high, no metal, no pottery, no fire, totally dependent on nature. Site example of this era: Bhimbetka (located in Bhopal) and more than 500 cave paintings are there of Paleolithic era.

Mesolithic Age (9000-4000 BC): There were also the Hunters, gatherers but started something called as domestication of animal, fire invention, Microlith age (small, pointed, sharp stone tools), bow and arrow, they started fishing also. Site examples of this era: 1. Bagor (located in Bhilwara, Rajasthan), 2. Damgarh (located in Hoshangabad, Madhya Pradesh).

Neolithic Age (4000-2500 BC): Agriculture, pottery, less dependence on nature, developed villages (community) and started living in mud houses.

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Important Topics: World History (French Revolution)

World History: French Revolution

Points to be discussed under French revolution

  • Preface
  • Reasons
  • Important Events
  • Evolution
  • Rise of Napoleon

American Revolution laid foundation while French Revolution constructed building of modern world (with Liberty, Equality, Fraternity). French Revolution gave inspiration to many movements like India's Struggle for Freedom 1857-1947 to rise against tyranny and misrule.


Economic Causes: Financial Crisis, Louis XV, XVI wasted state money in War (1756-1763) of False Ego and prestige against Britain like support to USA in War of Independence and politics and financial support to the enemies of East India Company. Example: Hyder Ali, Tipu Sultan, Scindia etc.

Social Crisis (developed 3 classes):

  1. First estate: Aristocracy,
  2. Second estate: Clergy and Priest,
  3. Third Estate: Common man.

First two states outrightly rejected to share the financial troubles, so burden fell on IIIrd Estate i.e. commons, which were already suffering from misrule of incompetent ruler.

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Important Topics: Ancient History of India - (Sources of Indian History)

Ancient History of India

(Sources of Indian History)

  • Literary
    • Religious (Vedic, Buddhism, Jainism, Sangam)
    • No-religious (Social, Political, Economic etc.)
  • Archaeological (Inscription/ Epigraphy, Numismatics/Coins, Monuments)
  • Foreigner Details (Greek, Chinese, Arab travellers)


  • Vedas Vidi- to know, Shruti- to hear, verbal transmission,
    • Rig vedas (1500-1000 BC): Prayers, Upveda: Ayurveda, to mandals/chapters/sections
    • Later Vedic age (1000-600 BC):
      • Samveda: Saman menas melody, collection of melodies and tunes, MUSDA SAGA, Music and Dance Samaveda, Upveda: Gandharveda, hymns dedicated to Soma, Indra, Agni
      • Yajurveda: Rituals for performing scrifices TIYAJ, Upveda: Dhanurveda i.e. archery
      • Atharvaveda: Magical charms and spells toward of evil.Upveda: Shilpveda - architecture MATH


Part of Vedas:

  • Shiksha: Phonetics
  • Kalpa: Rituals
  • Vayakarna: Grammar
  • Jyotisha: Astrology
  • Nirukta: Etymology
  • Chhanda: Prosody

Aranyak: Forest books, by and for hermits, students, spending time in relative isolation in jungle etc., opposed sacrifices and rituals, stress on moral virtues.

Upnishads: Upnish - to sit down near guru, selected students, to learn, all main isad of schools of Hindu philosophy, 108, Satyameva Jayate - Mundakopnishad, dialogue between Yama and Nachiketa- Kadopnishad.

Puranas: Ancient explainations, Gupta period, systematic record of Indian historical traditions, 18 puranas, oldest Mastsyapurana, Satvahan period

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Important Topics: Indian Polity and Constitution - (Source of Our Constitution)

Indian Polity and Constitution

A Brief Introduction and Historical Background
Source of Our Constitution)

Most of the provision of the Indian constitution have been borrowed from the constitution of several other countries as well as from the government of India Act 1935. Though sometimes this borrowing become a matter of criticism but no doubt the framers of our constitution deserve our gratitude for collecting the best features of other constitutions and modifying then in order to avoid the problems faced by them and making them suitable to the Indian Politico-Administrative system.

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Important Topics: Indian Polity - Constitutional Bodies (UPSC)

Constitutional Bodies (Union Public Service Commission)

Article 315 provides there will be one UPSC and State public service commission for every state, however two or more states may agree to have joint PSC and in that case president shall be law provides for appointment of joint PSC.


  • Chairman and members of union public service commission are appointed by President.
  • Chairman and members of joint public service commission are appointed by President.
  • Chairman and members of state public service commission are appointed by governor.

As far as possible one half of the members of every public service commission should be those members which have held office for at least 10 years under the government of India or under the government of a state.

Strength of the commission

  • Number of member will declare by president in case of union public service commission.
  • Number of member will declare by governor in case of state public service commission.
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Important Topics: Indian Polity and Constitution - (The Preamble)

Indian Polity and Constitution

(The Preamble)

The Preamble refers to the introduction or preface to the constitution. It contains the essence of the entire constitution. The Constituent Assembly first met on Dec. 9th, 1946 and the preamble to the Indian constitution based on the ‘Objective Resolution’ drafted and moved by Pandit Nehru on Dec. 13th, 1947.

Text of the Preamble

We, The People of India, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens:-

  • JUSTICE - Social, Economic and Political;
  • LIBERTY - of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;
  • EQUALITY - of status and of opportunity; and to promote among them all
  • FRATERNITY - assuring the dignity of the nation;
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Important Topics: Indian Polity and Constitution - (Features of The Constitution)

Indian Polity and Constitution

(Features of The Constitution)

A. Lengthiest Written Constitution of the World

The constitution of India is the lengthiest of all the written constitutions of the world. Initially, it contained a Preamble, 395 Articles, 22 parts & 8 schedules. As of now, it has a Preamble, about 450 Articles, 24 parts and 12 schedules. Some of the factors leading to the elephantine nature of our constitution can be summarised as follows:

i) Since Government of India Act 1935 was adopted as a model for the Indian Constitution and it was a very voluminous document in itself. Thus it naturally made the constitution a lengthy document.

ii) The Indian constitution has elaborated provisional for Judiciary, Public Service Commissions, Election Commission, Controller and Auditor General of India etc. Which also makes it voluminous as compared to other constitutions.

iii) The Indian constitution has provisions regarding the administration of states. This is unlike the U.S. constitution where the state from their constitution separately. Since the federal constitutions is supposed to describe in details the rights and jurisdictions of the centre and the states. Thus making it more bulky in nature.

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Important Topics: General Studies - Economy (National Housing Bank - NHB)

Civil Services Preliminary Examination


The DFIs were set up and developed to meet specifically the requirements of industry for long-term finance and equity capital and foreign currency resources. The AIFI's constitute the most important source of funds after the commercial banks. With the progress in the deregulation of the financial sector, the Government has tried to tighten the prudential norms of the AIFI's by a number of measures.

The important measures are:
1. The NP A's limit has been reduced from 365 days to 180 days.
2. Now the AIFI's have to keep Commercial Papers (CPs) in dematerialized form
3. Industrial Finance Corporation of India (IFCI) has been restructured. Government of India subscribed Rs. 400 crore through 20 year convertible bonds to improve the capital adequacy ratio of IFCI. In addition, major shareholders of IFCI, viz., Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI), SBI and UC agreed to extend assistance of Rs. 200 crore each share up the capital adequacy ratio.
4. The participation of AIFI's in the call money market has to be phased out.

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Important Topics: General Studies - Economy (Monetary System)

Civil Services Preliminary Examination

It refers to the whole mechanism pertaining to money and, it is conducted through the ‘Monetary Policy’ formulated and controlled by the Central Bank of the country, i.e. RBI in India.

Reserve Bank of India

Established in 1935 with a capital of 5 crore on the recommendation of Hilton Young Committee and nationalised in 1949. It got the membership of the Bank of Internationalised Settlement (BIS) in 1996. It is managed by a team if 20 members headed by the government. Its headquarter at Mumbai and four local boards situated in the 4 metropolitan cities.

Its main functions can be envisaged as follows:

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Important Topics: General Studies - Economy (Inflation)

Civil Services Preliminary Examination

It is one of the most important macroeconomic events that has created a lot of embarrassment not only among the public but also for the union government and RBI. It refers to the persistent rise in the general price level, i.e., in the price of goods and services.

It reduces the purchasing power of money and ultimately hurt the economy in many way:
1. Reduces savings or create a situation like forced saving.
2. A greater portion of income goes to fulfill basic requirements.
3. Interest rates increase.
4. Dampens investment
5. Domestic currency get depreciated and imports become costlier which again pushes up input cost and creating various circle like situation.

Causes of Inflation

Though causes of inflation aremulti-dimensional but broadly it could be expressed in tow forms:
(1) Demand-pull-inflation
(2) Cost-push-Inflation
It means that inflation is caused either due to increase in demand, because when demand will be high princes, will certainly go up and increase in the cost of production, or due to both.

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Important Topics: General Studies - Economy (Foreign Investment)

Civil Services Preliminary Examination
(Foreign Investment)

It refers to the investment made in foreign currency by foreign investors with a view to spread their business and to earn profit. Broadly foreign investment is of two type:
(1). Foreign Direct Investment i.e. FDI
(2). Portfolio Investment

FDI refers to the net inflow of investment to enquire a lasting management interest in an enterprise operating in an economy other than that if investor. It usually involves participation in management, joint ventures, transfer of technology and expertise. It it the best form of foreign investment given its longevity, stability and far reaching objectives. In long term it brings growth, generate employment and fuels economic activities.

FDI has also three categories:
(1) Green Feild FDI : When it is made in new projects.
(2) Brown Field FDI : When it is made in vender develop or under utilised projects.

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Important Topics: General Studies - Economy (Fiscal System)

Civil Services Preliminary Examination
(Fiscal System)

It refers to the system of income and expenditure of the government. To conduct this system fiscal policies are formatted and implemented by the government.

The prime objectives of the fiscal policy under the economy are:
1. To achieve full employment in the economy.
2. To maintain price stability.
3. To enhance income inequality.
4. To enhance economic growth.
5. To induce savings and investment in the economy.

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Important Topics: General Studies - Economy (Capital Market)

Civil Services Preliminary Examination
(Capital Market)

It is the market of long-term i.e., more than one year funding. In other words companies go to Capital Market for raising long-term funds. Today in India it has been a very common phenomenon. Now it is interesting to know that how does it happens?

There are two main sources of raising capital:
1. Development Financial Institutions (DFIs)
2. Securities Market

A number of DFIs have been established on sectorial basis to meet the need of fund like IDBI, IFCI, IDFC & SIDBI etc.

On the othe hand Securities Market is the market of govt. & corporate securities like Bonds & Debentures, and Shares. Govt’s securities market is also known as “Gilt-Edged-Market” because of its low-risk.

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Important Topics: General Studies - Economy (Basic Economy)

Civil Services Preliminary Examination
(Basic Economy)

[N.B.: The study of Basic Economy will help the aspirants to develop better understanding of up going subject matter and further study as well as they shall be able to get many questions based on it. ]

In brief, Economy is the study of economic behaviour and activities of human being aimed at satisfying their needs and wants. Broadly it is divided into two main branches:-

1. Micro Economics Study: It deals with the economic behaviour of the individuals like Consumption, Demand, Supply and Businesses.
2. Macro Economic Study: It refers to the study of economic behaviour of masses as a whole like National Income, Employment, Poverty, Inflation etc.

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