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Strategy for Economics

Suggested below are the strategies to tackle Economics for IAS Exams.

How to Prepare Economics Optional?

To begin with one should focus on understanding what we are reading. In Economics understanding the concept fully is very very important. Remembering is secondary as the economy is ever changing so one has to keep reviewing facts in the light of current events. Learning and understanding the concepts while you finish the syllabus is important. Once the syllabus has been gone through and finished once, please go through again with newer understanding and analysis.

Also now start looking at the questions as you go through topics and relate them to new policies and events. Many questions in the economics question paper are not direct, it is for you to find the most relevant theory or model to apply to a given problem. This is where discussions come in as you can identify the most suitable model to apply for a particular question.

In economics, diagrams are of utmost importance. UPSC economics is completely non mathematical and totally diagramatical. So while reading any model / theorem, we should simultaneously practise its diagram. Assumptions are very important while writing answers. We should clearly state all the assumptions in our answers and so we should systematically remember all the assumptions in any theorem / model. In paper two, stats are very important. We should supplement our answers with statistics as much as possible.

Practice writing answers a lot and set absolutely high standards for yourself. Make sure to try to present the answers better each time you write it. Re-write, re-write and re-write as it will give you not only more clarity and memory but also lead to better answers.

How to Write Answers for Economics Paper?

  • Make maximum use of graphs. Neatness and clarity are a must.
  • Precision matters, so use technical terms with absolute clarity and use them as much as you can. ALso do not add etc at the end of examples.
  • Get straight to the point
  • Avoid mathematical equations if you can use a graph.
  • Use deductive logic. Make sure you get the premises right and place arguments in such a way that the conclusion flows.
  • Choose questions in such a manner that your answers do not appear repetative. Avoid similar topics if you can and if you can' then the answers should have different content.
  • In paper 2 you have the luxury to present your own opinions. A precise, clinical dissection of the issue in hand and inferences drawn from the dissection aided by facts is what you need. Never take a radical stand on any issue unless you have strong data and facts behind you.
  • Use data wherever possible
  • Use examples liberally. Let them be current and exclusive if possible. Quote examples from your state or even your life to make your answer different.
  • Use a style that befits the question - You will have to decide then and there whether the question best lends itself to a paragraph format, point format or tabular format.

Important Topics to Study

Following are the important topics one should try to be through with so as to score the maximum in less time. However it is important to remember to read up on other topics as well as soon as you finish these topics.
Basic Economic Indicators: (Statistical Data)
- National Income
- Production
- Price Index
- Foreign Trade
- Population
Features of Indian Economy
- Division of Economic activities
- Unemployment - Types
- Poverty - HDR - Measures to eliminate poverty
- Population growth
- Population policy 2000
- Census - 2001
- Consumption Pattern - Energy Consumption - Sources of energy - various programmes

National Income
- Methods of National Income calculation
- Concepts of National Income
- Importance
- Crops and seasons
- Agricultural Credit agencies. NABARD, RRB. Etc.,
- Kisan Credit Schemes
- Land Reforms
- Agricultural Insurance, NAIS, Seed Crop Insurance
- Green, Yellow, White, Blue revolutions
- Irrigation projects - Drip irrigation
- Development measures
- Industrial Policies - 1948,1956,1991 - Initiatives taken
- Small Scale Industries
- Various key industries
- Various Committees and their recommendations
- Industrial sickness
- Dis investment - PSE Policy
- Industrial Finance
Money and Banking
- Aspects of money market
- Credit Control - Various Rates
- Commercial Banks, Co-operatives, NBFC.
- Committees and recommendations
- SEBI - Stock market developments
- Insurance Industry
- New Banking Sector reforms
- Inflation, Deflation
- Money supply measures
Foreign Trade
- Composition and direction
- Exim policy and other Acts
- Foreign Trade improvement measures taken

International Organisation
Development and employment Programmes
- Planning Commission
- Five Year Plans and imported features
Public Finance
- Finance Commission
- Various formulas for Plan assistance to states
- Taxation - Reforms
- Public spending and Debt.
- Deficit financing

Distribution of Questions

  • 1. Indian Economy - majority of questions are asked from this area; there are usually about 40-45 questions per year from this section.
  • 2. Statistics- there are about 7- 10 questions every year.
  • 3. Growth and Development - about 10 questions.
  • 4. Micro and Macro Economics - about 35 - 40 questions every year.
  • 5. International Economics - about 15-20 questions every year.
  • 6. Money, Banking & Public Finance - about 10 -15 questions every year.