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IAS Mains General Studies Paper 3

Last Updated - December 05, 2016

General Studies Paper 3 of IAS Mains is going to be conducted tomorrow i.e. on December 6, 2016. General Studies papers play a major role. There are 4 general studies paper in UPSC Mains examination and each general studies paper of 250 marks with a duration of 3 hours.

GS Paper 3 consists of themes of Technology, Agriculture, Environment, Economic development, Biodiversity and Security & Disaster management. Here we are providing UPSC Mains Exam General Studies Paper 3 Preparation Tips along with the topics and full syllabus analysis.

Candidate must go through each topic in the civil services general studies paper 3. All the questions in general studies paper 3 is compulsory. Answer the questions in not more than 200 words each. One thing must remember, that content of the answer is more important than its length. Being tricky by nature, this paper gives you advantage over other aspirants if you score well.

The paper requires both factual and analytical knowledge of the candidate

Check IAS Exam Pattern

Preparation Tips & Strategies for IAS Mains GS Paper 3

In order to achieve the best score and opportunities, candidates must be aware of complete GS syllabus. Every candidate should keep in mind the following preparation tips:

  • Revise the most important topics thoroughly.
  • Eat well, sleep well and keep a good health.
  • Be confident & mind free.
  • Be focused and determined.

Do your best and crack the IAS Exam Mains GS Exam.

Broad Classification of IAS Mains: General Studies Paper 3

In this post, we list out the sources for various topics in General Studies Paper 3, along with the best preparatory study material.

TopicBroad ClassificationSource/Books
Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.EconomicsAny standard book on Indian Economy, Uma Kapila, Ramesh Singh etc.
Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.EconomicsSriram notes, yojana
Government BudgetingEconomicsEconomic Survey of India & Indian Polity by Laxmikanth
Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers.AgricultureShankar IAS academy book on the subject & NCERT books
Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.AgricultureShankar IAS academy book on the subject, Sriram notes & IGNOU notes
Food processing and related industries in India- scope and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.AgricultureShankar IAS academy book on the subject, Mrunal
Land reforms in India.AgricultureShankar IAS academy, Sriram notes
Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.EconomicsUma Kapila & NCERT
Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways, etc.EconomicsSriram notes, GK today
Investment models.EconomicsGk today
Science and Technology – developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.S&TSelf-prepared notes on topics mentioned on Gk today’s science and technology section on the website, YouTube videos
Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.S&TSriram notes, YouTube videos on related topics
Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.EnvironmentShankar IAS academy, Mrunal
Disaster and disaster management.DMSriram notes, ARC
Linkages between development and spread of extremism.SecuritySelf-prepared notes, Shankar IAS academy
Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.SecuritySelf-prepared notes, Shankar IAS academy, IDSA book
Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber securitySecurityNewspaper articles, IDSA book (read below for link) free eBook available for download
Money-laundering and its prevention.SecuritySriram notes, Shankar IAS academy
Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism.SecuritySriram notes, Shankar IAS academy
Various Security forces and agencies and their mandateSecuritySriram notes, Shankar IAS academy, Internet website of security agencies

Previous year Questions asked in IAS Mains GS Paper 3

Answer all the questions in not more than 200 words each. Content of the answer is more important than its length. Here, we listing some previous year questions for your better understanding and the ability to analyze.

  1. The nature of economic growth in India in described as jobless growth. Do you agree with this view? Give arguments in favor of your answer.
  2. In view of the declining average size of land holdings in India which has made agriculture non-viable for a majority of farmers, should contract farming and land leasing be promoted in agriculture? Critically evaluate the pros and cons.
  3. In what way, could replacement of price subsidy with Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) change the scenario of subsidies in India? Discuss.
  4. Craze for gold in Indians have led to a surge in import of gold in recent years and put pressure on balance of payments and external value of rupee. In view of this, examine the merits of Gold Monetization Scheme.
  5. “Success of ‘Make in India’ programme depends on the success of ‘Skill India’ programme and radical labor reforms.” Discuss with logical arguments.
  6. What do you understand by ‘Standard Positioning Systems’ and ‘Protection Positioning Systems’ in the GPS era? Discuss the advantages India perceives from its ambitious IRNSS programme employing just seven satellites.
  7. Discuss the advantage and security implications of cloud hosting of server’s vis-a-vis in-house machine-based hosting for government businesses.
  8. The frequency of earthquakes appears to have increased in the Indian subcontinent. However, India’s preparedness for mitigating their impact has significant gaps. Discuss various aspects.
  9. Religious indoctrination via digital media has resulted in Indian youth joining the ISIS. What is ISIS and its mission? How can ISIS be dangerous for the internal security of our country?
  10. Considering the threats cyberspace poses for the country, India needs a “Digital Armed Force” to prevent crimes. Critically evaluate the National Cyber Security Policy, 2013 outlining the challenges perceived in its effective implementation.

Books for IAS Mains GS Paper 3

Before going for big books, it is compulsory to read following NCERT textbooks

  • NCERT Class X – Understanding Economic Development
  • NCERT Class XI – Indian Economic Development
  • NCERT Class XII – Macroeconomics (chapters 2,5 and 6 are very important)
  • ET Newspaper



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