Just as we did for GS-I, similarly before going onto the strategy session, we will learn about the break-up of the topics of different subjects so that details or information could be used to high benefit.


If you have not gone through the analysis of GS-II, visit here (LINK)


The core subjects of GS-2 consists of-


  • Polity
  • Governance
  • Social Justice
  • International Relations


Polity, Governance and Social Justice


Booklist/Resources suggested by toppers


Static Portion

  • Laxmikanth


  • 2nd ARC Report ( It’s been more than ten years since the reports were published, but the content is still priceless. Read complete reports, memorize only recommendations)
  • A Complete Solution to Indian Polity
  • Prahaar Indian Polity
  • A Complete solution to Governance (LINK)
  • Prahaar (Governance) (LINK)


Current Affairs


  • The Hindu
  • The Big Picture on RSTV
  • Current Affairs Material of some coaching institutes you are comfortable with
  • PRS India for latest legislation




  • Begin your answers with constitutional articles like Art. 38-51 for DPSPs, Art. 280 for the Finance Commission.


  • For technical terms like ‘Parliamentary Sovereignty’, ‘Social Audit’, start by introducing the terms to let the examiner know what you understand by these terms.


  • Prepare thoroughly on Government policies and bills. PRS India can help you with the latest legislations in offing and The Hindu can help you out in gaining perspectives for criticisms of policies. Though you don’t have to sound that passionate, instead aspiring to be a civil servant try to be balanced in your opinions.


  • For debatable topics, always try to write both sides of the issue even if not explicitly asked in the question. For example, for suggesting some drastic reforms, explain the reason behind the need and towards the next section of your answer also describe why or how sudden measures can be harmful and end on a balanced note.

  • You can always substantiate your answers with committee reports to add credibility to your answers. Also repositories of some reports of reputed organizations (National or International) can help you in other papers as well.


  • Mug up the latest statistics concerning health, women, education, employment, poverty to make your answer a little different from others as well as for the viewpoint of you being aware about the happenings around you.


  • Supreme Court judgements are very important, be it historical or current ones and to quote them in your answer, try to make a list of concerning issues and judgements because it leads to adding tremendous value to your answers. For example, Shreya Singhal vs Union Of India for question on free speech; Prakash Singh Judgement for Police reforms.


  • For miscellaneous topics like SHGs, e-Governance, refer to a good coaching material to have 200 word worth content. Source the latest examples and issues from newspapers and quote them in your answers.


  • For concluding your answers, try to end with some recommendations of a committee/commission and make this is a confirmed point for some things like, NCRWC for Indian Constitution questions, Law Commission for death penalty, Punchhi Commission for Centre-State relations, Dinesh Goswami Committee for election reforms.

Another idea is ending with SDGs, Preamble, DPSP, etc.


  • In Governance, mention case studies and examples for e-governance, SHGs, etc. You can take help from the ARC report.


  • For Social justice, try to understand the problems plaguing different sections of our society like women and hunger. Learn some facts and try to show the issue in flowchart. A vicious cycle, for instance, between poverty and hunger. Then, mention causes and suggestions from reports, as mentioned above.


  • Try to add quotes sometimes, like in the question on women in judiciary, a quote by Justice Indu Malhotra -“Justice will be served if gender diversity is found on the bench” can be written in conclusion.


  • Instead of bookish language or theoretical answers, try to give analytical answers in GS-2.


International Relations


Booklist/Resources suggested by toppers




  • Any good book covering the historical aspect of India’s Bilateral Relations would be adequate enough for this portion.
  • A Complete Solution to International Relations (LINK)
  • Prahaar ( International Relations ) (LINK)


Current Affairs


  • The Hindu
  • India’s World on RSTV
  • Some good coaching compilation materials




  • Questions on IR are almost always about the current happenings in the world. But don’t try to run after newspapers or magazines straight from here, understand the importance of clearing the historical background of India’s relationship with other countries. This can be claimed as the most vital step when it comes to IR because any current bilateral issue traces its concept back to history. The earlier you sort this historical context, the less complicated this topic becomes.


  • For example, Indo-China issue should not be studied only from the perspective of Doklam crisis and troop positioning but the larger context of border dispute with China, different agreements signed like Simla Accord and all.

Similarly Indo-Sri Lanka relations should be understood from the perspective of India championing peace between Tamils and the Sinhalese, 1987 accord, its fallout, Sri Lankan civil war and India’s action during this.

This way the bigger picture helps fit smaller contexts and puzzles.


  • This is the subject where maps could be utilized to illustrate the answers to explain one’s point better. For instance, Act East Policy can be demonstrated through arrows pointing from India and showing our specific relationship with Vietnam, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Australia and ASEAN, MGC, BIMSTEC, etc.

In India-Iran Relations, rough map could be used to show how the Chabahar port helps us to bypass Pakistan and reach Afghanistan.


  • Each bilateral relationship or a global grouping is multi-faceted so your answers must include multidimensional perspective to make them comprehensive by including-
  1. Strategic dimension
  2. Defence co-operation

iii. Technology

  1. Education
  2. Culture
  3. Diaspora

vii. Trade and investment

viii. Co-operation in global fora


  • For miscellaneous topics like diaspora and international institutions, refer to a good coaching material


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