How to read India Year Book?

  • by Manoj K. Jha

India Year Book is published by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. It provides a detailed knowledge about India and various sectors of the economy. But it is too bulky, detailed and complicated. which makes it difficult for an aspirant to read and grasp all the points.

India Year Book is published by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. It provides a detailed knowledge about India and various sectors of the economy. But it is too bulky, detailed and complicated…which makes it difficult for an aspirant to read and grasp all the points.

Firstly we will discuss the questions that are linked to India Year Book in Prelims paper 2014, then will discuss the strategy “how to effectively utilize the India Year Book” to clear IAS Prelims.

1.    Consider the following rivers:

1. Barak
2. Lohit
3. Subansiri

Which of the above flows / flow through Arunachal Pradesh?

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

(Chapter Land the People: The Brahmaputra rises in Tibet, where it is known as Tsangpo and runs a long distance till it crosses over into India in Arunachal Pradesh under the name of Dihang. Near Passighat, the Debang and Lohit join the river Brahmaputra and the combined river runs all along the Assam in a narrow valley. It crosses into Bangladesh downstream of Dhubri. The principal tributaries of Brahmaputra in India are the Subansiri, Jia Bhareli, Dhansiri, Puthimari, Pagladiya and the Manas….)

2.    Chaitra 1 of the national calendar based on the Saka Era corresponds to which one of the following dates of the Gregorian calendar in a normal year of 365 days?

(a) 22 March (or 21st March)
(b) 15th May (or 16th May)
(c) 31st March (or  30th March)
(d) 21st April (or 20th April

(Chapter National Symbols: Dates of the national calendar have a permanent correspondence with dates of the Gregorian calendar, 1 Chaitra falling on 22 March normally and on 21 March in leap year.)

3.    The national motto of India, ‘Satyameva Jayate’ inscribed below the Emblem of India is taken from

(a) Katha Upanishad
(b) Chandogya Upanishad
(c) Aitareya Upanishad
(d) Mundaka Upanishad
(Chapter National Symbols: The words Satyameva Jayate from Mundaka Upanishad, meaning ‘Truth Alone Triumphs’, are inscribed below the abacus in Devanagari script.)

4.     In the Constitution of India, promotion of international peace and security is included in the

(a) Preamble to the Constitution
(b) Directive Principles of State Policy
(c) Fundamental Duties
(d) Ninth Schedule

(Chapter The Polity: Some of the other important DPSP relate to provision of opportunities and facilities for children to develop in a healthy manner…., promotion of international peace and security, just and honourable relations between nations, respect for international law, treaty obligations and settlement of international disputes by arbitration.)

5.    Which of the following is / are the function/functions of the Cabinet Secretariat?

1.  Preparation of agenda for Cabinet Meetings
2.  Secretarial assistance to Cabinet Committees
3.  Allocation of financial resources to the Ministries

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 2 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

(Chapter The Polity: The Cabinet Secretariat is responsible for the administration of the Government of India (Transaction of Business) Rules, 1961 and the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules 1961, facilitating smooth transaction of business in Ministries/ Departments of the Government by ensuring adherence to these rules. The Secretariat assists in decision-making in Government by ensuring Inter-Ministerial coordination, ironing out differences amongst Ministries/Departments and evolving consensus through the instrumentality of the standing and ad hoc Committees of Secretaries.)

The above questions and explanations from India Year Book shows that for clearing Prelims reading few chapters are must.

Hereby, we are listing the important chapters and what to read in that…

Chapter 1: Land and the People: This chapter covers the physiography of India alongwith Demographic terminologies and Census 2011 data. Read this chapter thoroughly as it will help in grasping facts related to Indian physiography. Questions on demography and Census are common in UPSC so read the terminologies thoroughly.

Chapter 2: National symbols: This chapter covers the National symbols of India as National flag, National anthem, national fruit, flower, calendar, etc. It is a very important chapter as questions are directly asked on national symbols. Last year also there were two questions on National symbols.

Chapter 3: The Polity: This chapter covers the executive part of the government alongwith rights and basic features of the Constitution. This chapter is helpful for revision of Polity for Prelims. The topics and covered in short and to the point.

Chapter 4: Agriculture: This chapter covers the programmes and policies related to agriculture in India, different agricultural sectors and recent initiatives. Read only the introduction part and then move to new programmes and policies launched by GOI. Rest will be covered in Economics so no need to read the whole chapter.

Chapter 5: Art and Culture: This chapter covers the Intangible and Tangible Cultural heritage of India, along with Tourism. Read about Cultural Institutions mentioned in India Year Book but stick to those institutions which are covered in newspaper in past six months. Read the Medical tourism topic also.

Chapter 6: Basic Economic Data: This chapter covers the statistical institutions in India. Make notes about organizations and reports published by them. This question can come in the form of match the following.

Chapter 7: Commerce: It can be ignored as it is helpful for Mains.

Chapter 8: Communication: This chapter covers the three communication forms i.e. Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology. Read the telecommunication part to know about the technological terms related to telecom industry, no need to read about the tariff policies and other detailed policies related to telecom sector. Also read the cyber security topic in detail.

Chapter 9:
Defence: This chapter covers the security scenario of India, defence undertakings, training for defence services, etc. This chapter is very important as UPSC asks direct questions related to it. Focus more on new missiles/testing of missiles.

Chapter 10: Education: This chapter covers the policies related to elementary, secondary and higher education. In this chapter focus on salient features of the schemes related to education. Don’t read detailed explanations of each scheme. Also read the topics related to copyright.

Chapter 11:
Energy: This chapter covers the conventional and non conventional energy sector in India. Read the energy sources present in India mainly related to geographic position alongwith initiatives in renewable energy sector. Rest of the chapter is important for Mains.

Chapter 12:
Environment: This chapter is very important as UPSC has started asking more detailed questions in environment. Make a list of institutions related to environment and their status whether statutory, quasi judicial, etc in nature. Read the following topics: biodiversity, hazardous waste, wetland, E-waste in detail.

Chapter 13:
Finance: In this Chapter the economic terms associated with Banking, Budget, Insurance, taxes. This will be helpful in tackling the economy questions in Prelims. Along with that the new steps initiated by Government in different sectors will be helpful in Mains also.

Chapter 14: Corporate Affairs: In this chapter read about Companies Act, definition of Limited Liability Partnership Act, SFIO, CCI, CAT, etc as the questions can be asked on the functions the different bodies.

Chapter 15: Food and Civil Supplies: It is a very important chapter as in covers food security issues and welfare schemes related to it. The questions on schemes are quiet common in UPSC. Whereas, due to the recent controversy of food safety, the Quality assurance topic is very important.

Chapter 16: Health and Family welfare: This chapter is also very important as it covers schemes related to Health. Further the government is emphasizing more on AYUSH so read that topic thoroughly.

Chapter 17: Housing: The programmes and policies related to Housing and the rating criteria of houses must be read.

Chapter 18: India and the World: It can be ignored as it is helpful for Mains. Current issues related to it should be covered from newspapers.

Chapter 19: Industry: Read the recent steps initiated by the GOI for simplifying the business environment and FDI policy. Further read about CPSEs and terminologies related to it.

Chapter 20: Law and Justice: The basics of judiciary have already been read in Polity part so read the new initiaitives and alternative form of justice mechanism as questions on Lok Adalat, Gram Nyalayas are very common. Along with this read the enforcement agencies mandate for maintaining law and order. Further in the election section voting rights to the citizens of India living abroad is must.

Chapter 21: Labour and Employment: This chapter is very important as government has initiated labour reforms. Read the mandates of each Acts related to labour laws social security schemes provided to them. Skill development initiatives proposed by GOI in budget should be thoroughly read.

Chapter 22: Mass communication: It can be ignored just read the chronology of the different institutions as questions can be asked on that.

Chapter 23: Planning: Read the important features of the XII Five Year Plan. Further read the Niti Aayog, composition, functions, etc from newspapers.

Chapter 24: Rural and Urban Development: This Chapter covers the Major programmes for rural and urban development as MGNREGA, NRLM, Land Reforms, Local government programmes, and planned urbanization elements.  Read the vision and mission of programmes and policies in detail.

Chapter 25:
Science and Technological Development: Read the Science, Technology and Innovation Policy of the government; Nuclear; Space programme of India. Concentrate more on the latest technologies related to it.

Chapter 26: Transport: Read this chapter in sync with geography.

Chapter 27: Water resources: This chapter covers the information about National Water Policy, Groundwater resource, flood management and institutions related to it. Read the Nanami Gange Programme, inter-state river issues (tribunal for issue between different states).

Chapter 28:
Welfare: This chapter covers the welfare schemes for the SC/ST/OBC/Minorities/Women/Children. Read the schemes related to each in brief with special focus on Minorities, Women and Children.

Chapter 29: Youth Affairs and Sports: Read the National Youth Policy along with new initiatives of the government for promotion of sports.

Chapter 30: State and Union Territories: The whole chapter can be ignored except North East states and Telengana.

Chapter 31: Diary of national events: It can be ignored.

Chapter 32: A Leap Forward – Initiatives of the Government: This chapter covers the new programmes and policies launched by the new government. This chapter is very important as it covers the current schemes as Swachch bharat Mission, Jan Dhan Yojana, Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana, etc.

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