Preparing for GS Paper III – Economy

Many people have been asking me about how to prepare for Economics. So, here it goes.

For the GS Paper III, you don’t need to be an economist to answer the questions that are being asked. You need to be a generalist.

The ONLY book I’ve read for Economy part in GS Paper III is the Macroeconomics – NCERT. It helped me in getting the basics right. After that I DID NOT refer to any other book at all. I feel that Economy is all about understanding the meanings of various terms correctly. Once you understand what a term really means, the logic that goes around that term isn’t very difficult to understand. So for this purpose I’ve maintained a table of 2 columns, in my notes, consisting of various terms in one column and their definitions + relevant contemporary examples in the other column.

To get the list of different terms I did 2 things, but before I mention that I based my preparation on one basic assumption. That is, UPSC will not ask for an Economics concept which has not been in news/Union Budget/Economic Survey. I believed that it is rational for me to think that there is no reason why UPSC would ask a question on a topic which doesn’t fit into this criteria. Being an ardent follower of newspapers, I believed that I wouldn’t miss any important topic or issue that comes up in the newspapers. So with this as my base, I did the following 2 things:

  1. Whenever I see any new Economics related term in newspapers that I don’t know, I would first go and study the definition and try to understand the concept in the context of the newspaper article. This made it easy for me to remember the concept. For example, I read about “Sovereign Debt Crisis” in the context of Greek crisis. It serves me 2 purposes – understanding the concept well and also remembering that concept well because I have the context of some contemporary issue around that concept.
  2. Went through Economic Survey and Union Budget, not to get a hold of the numbers scattered in there, but to identify different terms (like ‘tax expenditure’) and then know their meanings (by looking it up in the internet). This year’s economic survey is quite good – especially the First Volume. Several concepts were well explained there and I strongly recommend the aspirants to go through it, from the mains point of view.

Apart from this, I’ve also read the Fourteenth Finance Commission Report and I’ve written an analysis on it earlier, which can be found here. In summary, the sources that I had followed:

  • Macroeconomics – NCERT
  • Newspapers
  • Economic Survey and Budget for identification of different terms



50 thoughts on “Preparing for GS Paper III – Economy

  1. Hello sir,nice article
    Sir I am reading 12th class macro ncert,I still did not got any grip in it, sir now problem should I directly jump in news -paper or should I complete the ncert and start reading new-paper and make notes from it? 2)sir should I buy economic survey right now for my attempt for 2016?


    • Read the NCERT again and again until you get comfortable. And continue reading newspapers. For 2016 attempt you need not cover this year’s economic survey. Cover 2016 and 2017 editions, that would suffice. All the best.


  2. Hello anna.
    Meeru preparation apudu start chesaru? Meeru direct mains prepare ayara or prelims? Mains ayatha core syllabus a month lopala complete chesaru?


  3. Hi sir,
    What is your opinion regarding book like Ramesh singh?Can we avoid it completely?will following the hindu newspaper economy articles be sufficient?did you use mrunal economy during your preparation?
    Thanks a lot for being a beacon for upsc aspirants…


    • As I have already mentioned in the post, I didn’t refer any books at all. The sources that I have mentioned in the post are the only ones that I relied upon. I didn’t particularly read mrunal’s articles as I am not a fan of his writing style. But if you do like it you can surely refer to it and I think it’s a wonderful site. All the best!


  4. Hello brother sorry for posting this query in gs-3 section,can you please guide for polity should I directly jump into lakshmikanth ?or should I read all ncert of 11th and 12 class?(Constitution at work,India politics after independences,etc) I read only 1 book called India logical theory(I felt useless), I read NCerts of 8,9,10!


  5. Hello sir,I am reading macro economics ncert,this is my 1st reading I feel like reading some pakrit language.what should I do ? Economics is demotivating!


  6. Hello sir you read 2 new paper right,in that Indian express do you read national news or only editorial?what are the other sources you followed for current affairs?


  7. Hello brother first congrats for your success. I just went through your article in mrunal, from their I was directed to this blog I started going through each and every article it is so good, you wrote in simple context but its effective you have demolished all of my doubts. Please continue your work sir. All the best sir 🙂 thank you


  8. Sir I am preparing for cse 2016 started from this August can please provide me rough schedule till next year prelims,in how months should cover basic books,from which month should I start writing?
    2)sir do you use quora? Which websites did you visit while preparing?


    • Hey the schedule is something that you’ll have to come up with on your own. Plan it in a manner that suits your strengths and weaknesses. The sources for various topics have already been mentioned in various posts,please check them out. All the best!


  9. Hello brother I am 20 I completed,I know the pattern what to read.But only problem is I distract(fantasy),how to avoid this distractions?


  10. Hello brother in previous comments you told that u have prepared 3 months exclusive for prelims!so brother how is different from 1 year preparation before prelims?


  11. Hello brother today I see a issue piping up in the news paper about terrorists,do you think is it important about upsc and in which topic in syllabus it covers


    • Dude, I think you can decide for yourself whether an issue comes in syllabus or not. For that please go through the syllabus and previous year questions papers to get an idea. Terrorism comes in security of GS Paper III.


  12. Hello brother,I am reading new paper found article about railways,in that they gave about the kakodar committees report!Now problem is how should i read the whole report it is 140 pages?what should i read in it?


    • Hahaha, not necessary. Try to know about main recommendations especially the ones that come in the newspapers. If it comes very often in the newspapers then you can go and read the whole report.


  13. Brother I am reading the hindu and I want to add other newspaper to supplement my preparation which is better Indian express or business standard?? Thanks in advance 🙂


  14. Indian Railways, despite commendable track record, is considered as unsafe, undependable and uncomfortable to travel in. Why do you think the government has failed to make railways safe and efficient? Examine the constraints and comment.?

    Indian railways are largest form of network system in the world it the system which provide employment for around 4.5 million people,with this vast network in the world it lacks many facilities which make the Indian railways as Undependable and uncomfortable
    Derailment is the major cause of the train accidents it accounts 50 percent of the accidents in IR(KAKODAR COMMITTEE REPORT)
    The committee has gave it reports and recommendations on the basis of incident of Janaeswari express(derailment) recommendations are

    1)It recommended to improve the coordination between Ir and police authority

    2)the committee recommended to develop anti climbing system

    3)it recommended to improve modern-signalling system with track circuits by which any discontinuity will stop the train

    the central governments should also improve the state government involvements in by making them ready for any accident occurs with proper medical facilities,and reaction to the incident as fast it


    Hello sir this first reading,can you please correct me


  15. Sir. Thanks a lot first of all.
    But your description of exam and preparation is quite simple. If it is so, why are many aspirants unable to clear it through out their life?


  16. Thank you a lot sir.
    Can you please tell me if your course in IIT has helped you in any way in cracking civil services. If so, how?


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