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IAS Mains Economics: Preparation Tips & Important Questions

Last Updated - December 03, 2016

Civil Services Examination is the most prestigious examination conducted by UPSC for recruitment to various All India Services including I.A.S, I.P.S, I.R.S and various Group A Services and Group B Services. The IAS mains examination is scheduled on 3rd December 2016.

IAS Mains Economics Optional Subject exam is scheduled on December 9, 2016. In this article, we focus on discussing some important questions and books for IAS Mains Economics optional subject. Economics is one of the highly scoring optional subjects in UPSC Civil Services Examination. One should prepare thoroughly for the IAS Exam.

Before you start reading further, please remember the following important mantra given by the Almighty UPSC:

“The questions are likely to test the candidate’s basic understanding of all relevant issues, and ability to analyze, and take a view on conflicting socio‐ economic goals, objectives and demands. The candidates must give relevant, meaningful and succinct answers.”

How to Prepare Economics Optional?

In Economics, understanding the concept fully is very important. As the economy is ever changing so one has to keep reviewing facts in the light of current events. UPSC economics is completely non-mathematical and totally diagrammatical. To score the maximum in less time, following are the important topics one should try to be through with-

Basic Economic Indicators: (Statistical Data)Features of Indian EconomyPopulationNational IncomeAgriculture
- National Income - Production - Price Index - Foreign Trade - Population- 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- Methods of National Income calculation - Concepts of National Income- Importance - Crops & 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
IndustryMoney and BankingForeign TradeInternational Organization Development and employment Programmes PlanningPublic Finance
- 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- 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- Composition and direction - Exim policy and other Acts - Foreign Trade improvement measures taken - WTO - BOP- Planning Commission - 5 year Plans and imported features- Finance Commission - Various formulas for Plan assistance to states - Taxation – Reforms - Public spending and Debt - Deficit financing

Read More:IAS Exam Pattern

Most Expected Questions for IAS Mains Economics

One of the important requirements of IAS Mains Exam is that answer should be crisp and to-the-point. Over here, we are listing some important questions for IAS Mains Economics subject-

  1. “The Marginal Cost of funds based lending rate methodology for computing interest rates will make Indian Banks more Competitive and enhance their long run value and contribution to the economy”. Discuss
  2. The GST will be a game changing reform for the Indian economy by creating a common Indian market and reducing the cascading effect of tax. Discuss.
  3. Indian states responded effectively to floods and tsunamis but finds water and power metering more challenging. Discuss
  4. Failure of Public Private Partnership to deliver large infrastructure projects is mainly due to inappropriate structuring of the agreements. Examine the problems in the existing models of PPP.
  5. The repeated devaluation of Chinese currency and the Asian tigers has dampened the global growth expectations. What is the impact to Indian Economy?
  6. ‘Smart cities require smart public finance and sound property taxation regime is vital to India’s urban future”. Discuss
  7. Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act 2015 and Coal Mines special provisions act 2015 aimed to bring back the mining sector and coal sector from the legal issues in court, environment, regulatory and land acquisition. Discuss
  8. The Indian Banking sector exhibited several weak spots. Examine the recent problems of Indian Banking and the regulatory steps taken to reform the Banking sector.
  9. The farmer’s e-market platform National Agricultural Market with the mission of one Nation one market will provide for one stop solution to the inefficiencies created by APMCs in the market for farm produce? Discuss
  10. Explain how the Paris agreement will succeed Kyoto protocol and goes one step forward in bringing together all nations to combat climate change.

Distribution of Questions

From a quick glance, the following table that lists the topic-wise number of questions asked earlier. This is a good guide for you to know which economy topics to focus more as compared to others.

  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

Economics Books for IAS Exam

Good book is a success of every exam. If you want to crack IAS Exam, buy books according to syllabus and written by a good writer. NCERT Textbooks are very good for building basics for Preparation. We have compiled for you a list of IAS books for Economics, which will help you in IAS preparation.

Books on Economics as Optional subject for IAS Exam are as Follows:

List of books on EconomicsName of Author’s
An Introduction to EconomicsA.W. Stonier and D.C. Hauge
Monetary Theory and Public PolicyKenneth Kurihara
Public FinanceH.L. Bhatia
Indian EconomyMishra and Puri
International EconomicsBo Soderston
BankingS.B. Gupta
International TradeBo Soderston
Indian EconomyRamesh Singh
Growth and DevelopmentM L Jhingan
Modern BankingR.S. Sayers

UPSC Economics Question Papers

Listed below are the UPSC Economics mains question papers ordered year wise for your understanding of the pattern of the IAS Economics question paper. The Economics question paper listed below are actual papers that were given for the civil service mains examination held by UPSC.

IAS Mains Economics Question Paper – 1 2015

IAS Mains Economics Question Paper – 2 2015





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