YouTube and UPSC preparation

YouTube had became an indispensable source for UPSC preparation specially to those who cannot afford coaching or from rural areas. Thanks to broadband penetration and Youtubers like Mrunal,coaching came to our study rooms from old rajendar nagar.

In this post I would like to share some channels and playlists which will help bridge the gap between those who can afford coaching and those who cannot, in a humble way Youtube is bringing knowledge to those who seek .

“Ability is nothing without opportunity.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

I strongly believe in less sources and more revision and I place my trust on Government sources primarily. So what are the government sources for UPSC preparation. All India Radio,Yojana ,Kurukshetra Economic survey and Loksabha and Rajya Sabha TV channels.

Luckily Loksabha Tv stated posting its videos on Youtube , I suggest English shows mainly, so what to watch in Loksabha tv ?

  • Insights* : Daily discussion on some important issues
  • Public Forum* : its an alternate day program,  TUE-THU-SAT 7 PM English , other days in Hindi, very useful for mains preparation.

RajyaSabha TV is in next level compared to LSTV, they have wide range of shows , here are some suggested ones .

Mrunal : in UPSC circles he need no introduction , his channel cover geography, economy and few other subjects.

Vision IAS

They also started posting some good stuff like toppers talks and how to prepare for UPSC which will give some nice idea to beginners.

CivilsPrep Team

15-20 minutes video explaining the articles of Hindu and Indian express daily by CPT

General suggested videos :

  • Justice with Michael Sandel for ethics
  • crash course world history they cover wide range of subjects.
  • The School of Life they cover short videos on wide range of topics from Philosophy,political theory etc.
  • Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell Videos, explaining things. Like evolution, time, space, global energy or our existence in this strange universe.
  • TED-ED animated educational short videos

*Highly Recommended , rest are optional completely up to you. Even in these shows not every episode is useful, viewers discretion suggested depending on your time and patience.

Mrunal economic survey 2015-16

Mrunal has posted economic survey 2015-16 videos on YouTube, they are in Hindi, but are easy to understand what he is saying, also he has covered wide range of areas.

Overview of Economic Survey for UPSC-2016

Twin Balance sheet problem, NPA, Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code 2015

“4R” Solution to resolve Twin Balancesheet Problem

BASEL Norms & Bank Recapitalization

Indradhanush Plan to revamp PSB; Bank Board Bureau, Bank Consolidation

Follow Mrunal for more awesome stuff.

Mrunal : How to begin UPSC Preparation

Mrunal bhai have started a video series on how to prepare for UPSC prelims and mains preparation and in the series ,he is covering it in a detailed manner from S&T to history.

 UPSC Prelim cum Mains Preparation: How to begin

UPSC Prelim cum Mains Preparation: Approaching Sci-Tech, IT, Space, Defense

UPSC Prelim cum Mains Prep.-Environment, Geography, Economy & Polity

UPSC Prelim cum Mains Preparation- History, Culture, IR/Diplomacy


Mrunal : How to Read the Hindu paper for UPSC

Mrunal bhai , he never stops helping  aspirants,this time he made few videos for beginners on how to read newspapers. Out side Dolpur house, I think he makes the most impact on aspirants.

The reasons :

  • – Why read thehindu newspaper for UPSC civil services IAS/IPS exam?
  • – Understanding the PMIF framework: Prelims, mains, interview or fodder?
  • – How to analyse the news on frontpage from prelims, mains and interview perspective?
  • – How to fasttrack page 2 to 7 which are littered with coaching ads and Delhi crime?
  • – How to fast track page 8 to 9 where hardly few centimeters of space is given to “The NATION”!
  • – Why read the columns, letters to editors and the editorials, and how to make notes out of them?
  • – Sample editorial – “All in the spirit of equality”- how to digest it for UPSC prelims, mains and interview perspective.
  • – How to eliminate useless news from the perspective pages i.e. page 11 and 12.

How to read theHindu (Part1)- Frontpage to Editorial

How to read theHindu (Part2)- Economy, Business, Sports, PIN, Life

All credit lies with Mrunal Bhai. You can also download the PPT slides here.

How to Write Essay for UPSC Mains Exam? Toppers Advice

The Importance of essay has increased manifold  and every serious candidate is trying to maximize their score in essay.This year every one is focusing on Optional,essay and Ethics paper as last year mains marks stand testimony that they are the most scoring areas.But as usual the best approach is to try to score in a balanced way in all papers.

In this post I would like to share the best resources on how to prepare for essay.The best advise I received on how to write an essay is try not to be a hero. One of my friend who is in service said this to me,he said  few people try to choose a Different topic from the rest and try to prove their uniqueness and some times it backfires. (two such hero’s I know became martyrs both scored less than 50 in essay).

He said best way is to write a common topic and give your best and you will probably score more than average, there wont be any surprises in your mains score in this approach.But exceptions are always there if you are too good you might score very high marks  if you choose a different topic but its a risk anyhow.

for example that year essay were

  • In the context of Gandhiji’s views on the matter, explore, on an evolutionary scale, the terms ‘Swadhinata’ ‘Swaraj’ and ‘Dharmarajya’ Critically comment on their contemporary relevance to Indian democracy.Very rare
  • Is the criticism ‘Public-Private-Partnership’ that (PPP) model the for development is more of a bane than a boon in the Indian context, justified? Most people selected this
  • Science and Mysticism: Are they compatible? Unique and less number 
  • Managing work and home-is the Indian working woman getting a fair deal? Most people selected this too.

So best way is to write PPP or Woman but try to write it better than others.

How to write a Mind Blowing UPSC mains essay

by UPSC toppers Dr.Roman Saini and Hemant Rohilla they got 145 and 160 respectively out of 250.

Part 2 will be uploaded soon.

Gaurav Agarwal : How to improve Essay Writing for UPSC Mains?

Gaurav Agarwal has written some wonderful articles on his personal experience of how he improved his score.

  • Lesson #1: An essay should be for a general person and not a subject expert
  • Lesson #2: Points should be covered in sufficient depth
  • Lesson #3: Wide range of points should be covered
  • Lesson #4: ‘Continuity’ in Essay: Essay Structure

Here are the list of articles he wrote on essay.

  1. How to improve Essay Writing for UPSC Mains?
  2. UPSC Essay: Are our traditional handicrafts doomed to a slow death?
  3. UPSC Essay: Credit Based Higher Education System – Status, Opportunities and Challenges.
  4. UPSC Essay: Is the criticism that PPP model of development is more of a bane than a boon in the Indian context justified?
  5. UPSC Mock Essay: Internet: the new battleground for governments and people on free expression, privacy and transparency?
  6. UPSC Mock Essay: Governance is not about institutions but about people being empowered to engage with them.
  7. UPSC Mock Essay: Regulatory Institutions in India: White Knights or Trojan Horses?
  8. UPSC Essay: Science and Technology is a panacea for the growth and security of the nation

Others :

List of Previous years Essay questions


  1. Be the change you want to see in others (Gandhi)
  2. Is the Colonial mentality hindering India’s Success?
  3. GDP (Gross Domestic Product) along with GDH (Gross Domestic Happiness) would be the right indices for judging the wellbeing of a country
  4. Science and technology is the panacea for the growth and security of the nation.


  1. In the context of Gandhiji’s views on the matter, explore, on an evolutionary scale, the terms ‘Swadhinata’ ‘Swaraj’ and ‘Dharmarajya’ Critically comment on their contemporary relevance to Indian democracy.
  2. Is the criticism ‘Public-Private-Partnership’ that (PPP) model the for development is more of a bane than a boon in the Indian context, justified?
  3. Science and Mysticism: Are they compatible?
  4. Managing work and home-is the Indian working woman getting a fair deal?


  1. Creation of smaller states and the consequent administrative, economic and developmental implications.
  2. Does Indian cinema shape our popular culture or merely reflect it?
  3. Credit-based higher education system-status, opportunities and challenges.
  4. In the Indian context, both human intelligence and technical intelligence are crucial in combating terrorism


  1. Geography may remain the same ; history need not.
  2.  Should a moratorium be imposed on all fresh mining in tribal areas of the country?
  3.  Preparedness of our society for India’s global leadership role.
  4.  From traditional Indian philanthropy to the Gates-Buffet model-a natural progression or a paradigm shift?


  1.  Are our traditional handicrafts doomed to a slow death?
  2. Are we a ‘Soft’ state?
  3. The focus of health care is increasingly getting skewed towards the haves of our society.
  4. Good Fences make good neighbors
  5. ‘Globlisation’ vs. ‘Nationalism’


  1. Role of media in good governance
  2. National Identity and Patriotism
  3. Special Economic Zones: Boon or Bane
  4. Discipline means success, anarchy means ruin
  5. Urbanization and its hazards
  6. Is an egalitarian society possible by educating the masses?

Older Essay


1. My Vision of India in 2001 A.D.
2. The emerging Global Order, Political and Economic.
3. “He who Reigns within himself and Rules his Passions, Desires and Fears, is more than a King”.
4. Compassion is the Basis of All Morality.
5. Men have failed; let Women take over.
6. Economic Growth without Distributive justice is bound to breed Violence.
7. Ecological considerations need not hamper development.
8. Computer: The Harbinger of a Silent Revolution.


1. Youth is a blunder. Manhood a struggle. Old age a regret.
2. Indian Society at the crossroads.
3. The Challenge before a Civil Servant Today.
4. Modernisation and Westernisation are not identical concepts.
5. A useless life is an early death.
6. Politics, Business and Bureaucracy—a fatal triangle.
7. Multinational Corporations—saviours or saboteurs.


1. Politics without ethics is a disaster.
2. The new emerging woman-power: the ground realities.
3. When money speaks, the truth is silent.
4. Whither Indian democracy?
5. Restructuring of Indian education system.
6. Disinterested intellectual curiosity is the life-blood of real civilization.
7. Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds.


1. Literacy is growing very fast but there is no corresponding growth in education.
2. Restructuring of the UNO to reflect present realities.
3. New cults and godmen: a threat to traditional religions.
4. The VIP cult is a bane of Indian democracy.
5. Need for transparency in public administration.
6. Truth is lived, not taught.


1. What we have not learnt during fifty years of Independence.
2. Judicial activism.
3. Greater political power alone will not improve women’s plight.
4. True religion cannot be misused.
5. The modern doctor and his patients.
6. Urbanization is a blessing in disguise.


1. The composite culture of India.
2. Woman is God’s best creation.
3. The misinterpretation and misuse of freedom in India.
4. India’s contribution to world wisdom.
5. The language problem in India: Its past, present and prospects.
6. The world of the twenty-first century.


1. Women empowerment: Challenges and prospects.
2. Youth culture today.
3. Mass media and cultural invasion.
4. Resource management in the Indian context.
5. Value-based science and education.
6. Reservation, politics and empowerment.


1. Why should we be proud of being Indians?
2. The cyberworld: Its charms and challenges.
3. The country’s need for a better disaster management system.
4. Indian culture today: A myth or a reality?
5. The implications of globalisation for India.
6. Modernism and our traditional socio-ethical values.


1. What have we gained from our democratic set-up?
2. My vision of an ideal world order.
3. The march of science and the erosion of human values.
4. Irrelevance of the classroom.
5. The pursuit of excellence.
6. Empowerment alone cannot help our women.


1. Modern technological education and human values.
2. Search for truth can only be a spiritual problem.
3. If youth knew, if age could.
4. The paths of glory lead but to the grave.
5. Privatisation of higher education in India.
6. Responsibility of media in a democracy.


1. The Masks of New Imperialism.
2. How far has democracy in India delivered the goods?
3. How should a civil servant conduct himself?
4. As civilization advances culture declines.
5. There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.
6. Spirituality and Scientific temper.


1. India’s Role in Promoting ASEAN Co-operation.
2. Judicial Activism and Indian Democracy.
3. Whither Women’s Emancipation?
4. Globalisation and Its Impact on Indian Culture.
5. The Lure of Space.
6. Water Resources Should Be Under the Control of the Central Government.


1. Justice must reach the poor
2. The hand that rocks the cradle
3. If women ruled the world
4. What is real education?
5. Terrorism and world peace
6. Food security for sustainable national development


1. Women’s Reservation Bill Would Usher in Empowerment for Women in India.
2. Protection of Ecology and Environment is Essential for Sustained Economic Development.
3. Importance of Indo-U.S. Nuclear Agreement.
4. “Education For All” Campaign in India: Myth or Reality.
5. Globalization Would Finish Small-Scale Industries in India.
6. Increasing Computerization Would lead to the Creation of a Dehumanized Society.


1. Independent thinking should be encouraged right from childhood.
2. Evaluation of Panchayati Raj System in India from the point of view of eradication of poverty to empower to people.
3. Attitude makes habit, habit makes character and character makes a man.
4. Is autonomy the best answer to combat balkanization?
5. How has satellite television brought about cultural change in the Indian mindset?
6. BPO boom in India.

Mrunal Economic Survey 2014 Lectures

Mrunal has done it again and this time he has uploaded economic survey videos and he promised to update the articles too.The lectures are in Hindi but they are very much understandable,Please read the economic survey and for analysis watch his videos.

The following are the Mrunal Economic Survey 2014 Lectures . Will keep updated.

 Part 1: Overview of Economic survey

Part 2: Budget Taxation part

Part 3: Budget Subsidies, Deficits

Highlights of Economic Survey 2013-14 and PDF’s.

The  Economic Survey 2013-14  has been tabled and following are the highlights of the document and if time permits a detailed analysis will be updated soon,chapter wise.

You can download the survey free from here Economic Survey 2013-14 .

Chapter 1: State of the Economy and Prospects

  •  Economy to grow in the range of 5.4 – 5.9 per cent in 2014-15 overcoming sub-5 percent growth.
  •  Growth slowdown was broad based, affecting in particular the industry sector.
  •  Aided by favourable monsoons, agricultural and allied sector registered a growth of 4.7 per cent in 2013-14.
  •  Industry and Service sectors also witnessed slowdown.

Chapter 2: Issues and Priorities

  • Reforms needed for long term-growth prospects on 3 fronts- low and stable inflation regime, tax and expenditure reform and regulatory framework.
  • Survey suggests removal of restriction on farmers to buy, sell and store their produce to customers across the country and the world.
  • Rationalisation of subsidies on inputs such as fertilizer and food is essential.
  • Government needs to eventually move towards income support for farmers and poor households.

Chapter 3: Public Finance

  • The fiscal policy for 2013-14 was calibrated with two-fold objectives; first, to aid growth revival; and second, to reach the FD level targeted for 2013-14.
  • The Budget for 2013-14 followed the policy of revenue augmentation and expenditure rationalization to contain government spending within sustainable limits.
  • The fiscal outcome of the central government in 2013-14 was achieved despite the macroeconomic challenges of growth slowdown, elevated levels of global crude oil prices, and slow growth of investment.

Chapter 4: Prices and Monetary Management

  • High inflation, particularly food inflation, was the result of structural as well as seasonal factors.
  • IMF projects most global commodity prices are expected to remain flat during 2014-15.
  • The RBI with a view to restoring stability to the foreign exchange market, hiked short term interest rate in July and compressed domestic money market liquidity.


  • RBI has indentified five sectors — infrastructure, iron and steel, textiles, aviation and mining as the stressed sectors.
  •  Public sector banks (PSBs) have high exposures to the ‘industry’ sector in general and to such ‘stressed’ sectors in particular.
  •  The New Pension System (NPS), now National Pension System, introduced for the new recruits who join government service on or after January 2004, represents a major reform of Indian pension arrangements.
  •  The next wave of infrastructure financing will require a capable bond market.

Chapter 6: Balance of Payments

  • The India’s balance-of-payments position improved dramatically in 2013-14 with current account deficit at US $ 32.4 billion as against US$ 88.2 billion in 2012-13.
  • India’s foreign exchange reserves increased from US$ 292.0 billion at end March 2013 to US$ 304.2 billion at end march 2014.
  • India’s external debt has remained within manageable limits due to the external debt management policy with prudential restrictions on debt varieties of capital inflows.

Chapter 7: International Trade

  •  World trade volume which decelerated to 2.8 per cent in 2012 has shown signs of recovery in 2013, albeit slow with a 3.0 per cent growth.
  •  The sharp fall in imports and moderate export growth in 2013-14 resulted in a sharp fall in India`s trade deficit by 27.8 per cent.
  •  In April-May 2014, trade deficit declined by 42.4 per cent.

Chapter 8: Agriculture and Food Management

  • Record food grains and oilseeds production of 264.4 million tonnes (mt) and 32.4 mt is estimated in 2013-14.
  • Horticulture production estimated at 265 mt in 2012-13 has exceeded the production of foodgrains and oilseeds for the first time.
  • Due to higher procurement, stocks of foodgrains in the Central Pool have increased to 69.84 million tonnes as on June 1, 2014.
  • The net availability of foodgrains increased to 229.1 million tonnes and that of edible oils to 12.7 kg per year in 2013.

Chapter 9: Industrial Performance

  •  The latest gross domestic product (GDP) estimates show that industry grew by just 1.0 per cent in 2012-13 and slowed further in 2013-14, posting a modest increase of 0.4 per cent.

Chapter 10: Services Sector

  •  India ranked 12th in terms of services GDP in 2012 among the world’s top 15 countries in terms of GDP (at current prices).
  •  India has the second fastest growing services sector with its CAGR at 9.0 per cent, just below China’s 10.9 per cent, during 2001 to 2012.
  •  In 2013-14, FDI inflows to the services sector (top five sectors including construction) declined sharply by 37.6 per cent to US$ 6.4 billion compared to an overall growth in FDI inflows at 6.1 per cent resulting in the share of the top five services in total FDI falling to nearly one-sixth.

Chapter 11: Energy, Infrastructure and Communications

  •  Major sector-wise performance of core industries and infrastructure services during 2013-14 shows a mixed trend. While the growth in production of power and fertilizers was comparatively higher than in 2012-13, coal, steel, cement, and refinery production posted comparatively lower growth. Crude oil and natural gas production declined during 2013-14.
  • The performance of the coal sector in the first two years of the Twelfth Plan has been subdued with domestic production at 556 MT in 2012-13 and 566 MT in 2013-14.
  • A total length of 21,787 km of national highways has been completed till March 2014 under various phases of the NHDP. In spite of several constraints due to the economic downturn, the NHAI constructed 2844 km length in 2012-13, its highest ever annual achievement. During 2013-14 a total of 1901 km of road construction was completed.
  • From the infrastructure development perspective, while important issues like delays in regulatory approvals, problems in land acquisition & rehabilitation, environmental clearances, etc. need immediate attention, time overruns in the implementation of projects continue to be one of the main reasons for underachievement in many of the infrastructure sectors.

Chapter 12: Sustainable Development & Climate Change

  •  Human- induced Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are growing and are chiefly responsible for climate change.
  • The world is not on track for limiting increase in global average temperature to below 2◦C, above pre-industrial levels. GHG emissions grew on average 2.2 per cent per year between 2000 and 2010, compared to 1.3 per cent per year between 1970 and 2000.
  • There is immense pressure on governments to act through two new agreements on climate change and sustainable development, both of which will be global frameworks for action to be finalized next year.
  • The cumulative costs of India’s low carbon strategies have been estimated at around USD 834 billion at 2011 prices, between 2010 and 2030.

Chapter 13: Human Development

India’s Human Development Rank and performance

  • According to HDR 2013, India has slipped down in HDI with its overall global ranking at 136 (out of the 186 countries) as against 134 (out of 187 countries) as per HDR 2012. It is still in the medium human development category.
  • The poverty ratio (based on the MPCE of ` 816 for rural areas and `1000 for urban areas in 2011-12 at all India level), has declined from 37.2 per cent in 2004-05 to 21.9 per cent in 2011-12.
  • In absolute terms, the number of poor declined from 407.1 million in 2004-05 to 269.3 million in 2011-12 with an average annual decline of 2.2 percentage points during 2004-05 to 2011-12.
  • During 2004-05 to 2011-12, employment growth [CAGR] was only 0.5 per cent, compared to 2.8 per cent during 1999-2000 to 2004-05 as per usual status.