How to Prepare for IAS Mains 2018 GS Paper 2

How to Prepare for UPSC IAS Mains 2018 GS Paper 2

How to Prepare for IAS Mains 2018 GS Paper 2: The Union Public Service Commission will conduct Civil Services Mains Examination in the month of October. IAS Mains GS Paper II is made up of 20 compulsory questions of 12.5 marks each. The exam aims to access a student on the basis of his understanding of Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations.

IAS Prelims 2018 – Regular Package

This Ultimate Package is totally based on the latest pattern of UPSC Prelims syllabus. Every question has detailed answer description. Trying this Free Package will surely help you in getting a high score.

Unlock Now

हिंदी में पढ़ने के लिए क्लिक करें !

In this article, we would like you to offer some valuable preparation tips along with a decisive study plan on how to prepare for UPSC Civil Services IAS Mains General Studies GS Paper 2.


IAS Mains 2018 GS Paper 2 Study Plan 

IAS Mains 2018 GS Paper 2 is designed 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.


Hence, thoughtful answers which reflect the clarity in your understanding of the matter in terms of expression of opinion are likely to score well.

  • You can Begin with NCERT Textbooks like ‘Indian Constitution at Work’ which is a Class XI NCERT book. NCERT Class XII – Political Science II and NCERT Class X –  Democratic Politics fall next in line.
  • ‘Indian Polity’ by Laxmikanth is the bible for any student appearing for IAS Mains GS Paper II.


International Relations by Ravi Chokkalingam

Economic Survey and Press Information Bureau (PIB), ARC reports need to be dealt with selectively.

For better IAS Exam Preparation, refer to our topic-wise GS Paper 2 Study Plan and Tips to Crack UPSC Civil Services Examination 2018.


IAS Mains 2018 GS Paper 2: Topic I

Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

Sub-TopicHistorical Underpinnings, Evolution of the Constitution, Salient Features of the Indian Constitution,

Study Material & Preparation Tips

  • Revise the Basic Structure of the Constitution.
  • D.D. Basu’s “Introduction To The Constitution Of India” with strict emphasis on the first 5 chapters.
  • Indian Polity by LAXMIKANTH.

IAS Mains 2018 GS Paper 2: Topic II

Functions and Responsibilities of the Union and the States, Issues and Challenges pertaining to the Federal Structure, Devolution of Powers and Finances up to local levels and challenges therein.

Sub-TopicIssues with the powers and functions, Issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure

Study Material & Preparation Tips

    • Report of the 2nd Administrative Reforms Commission, named – Organisational Structure Of Government of India (13th Report).ARC reports available on their official websites.Finance Commission’s recent reports.

    • D.D. Basu (Chapters 5, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18 and 19)

Administrative Reforms Committee’s (ARC II)’ 6th report on ‘Local Governance’.

  • Laxmikant’s Indian Polity (Chapters 12, 13, 14, 30 and 31).

IAS Mains 2018 GS Paper 2: Topic III

Separation of Powers between various organs disputes redressal mechanisms and institutions.

Sub-TopicVarious Organs of the State, Separation of power, Dispute Redressal Mechanisms and Institutions, Public Redressal mechanisms

Study Material & Preparation Tips

  • Learn about the constitutional provisions, redressal measures with the constitution, checks, and balances provided in the constitution etc.
  • 7th report of 2nd ARC named “Capacity Building for Conflict Resolution” talks elaborately on various issues such as Left Wing Extremism, Regional Disparities, Land and Water related issues, SC and ST issues, Religious conflicts and North East conflicts – which involve numerous institutions in the conflict management and resolution.
  • Read about Lok Adalats, Alternate Dispute Redressal mechanism, Executive-Judiciary relationship, judicial activism.
  • “Introduction To The Constitution Of India” – D.D. Basu (Chapters 21, 22 and 23)
  • ‘’Indian Polity”– Lakshmikanth 4th edition. (Chapters 23, 28, 35, 37, 41, 44, 45, 46 , 48 and 54).

IAS Mains 2018 GS Paper 2: Topic IV

Comparison of the Indian Constitutional Scheme with that of other countries.

Study Material & Preparation Tips

  • S. Chand – Select Constitutions of the World. Read Selectively.
  • D.D. Basu’s Classic on the Indian Constitution.
  • Read about Evolution of Indian Constitution, Difference between US and EU constitutions, constitutional reforms being framed/brought out in Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, and Pakistan.
  • Prepare notes on the New Constitutions framed/being framed in Pakistan, Bhutan, Nepal, and Myanmar.

IAS Mains 2018 GS Paper 2: Topic V

Parliament and State Legislatures – Structure, Functioning, Conduct of Business, Powers & Privileges and Issues arising out of these.

Sub-TopicFunction of Parliament, The role of Opposition, accountability measures in parliament

Study Material & Preparation Tips

  • Subhash Kashyp’s Our Parliament.
  • Constitution of India by MP Jain.
  • “Introduction to the Constitution of India” – D.D. Basu (Chapters 22 and 23)
  • ’Indian Polity” –Lakshmikanth4th edition. (Chapters 22 and 27).

IAS Mains 2018 GS Paper 2: Topic VI

Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, the conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

Sub-TopicFunction of the Executive and the judiciary, Pressure Groups, Departments of the Government

Study Material & Preparation Tips

  • Learn about Union Executive, Parliament of India, Supreme Court of India, Executive in the States, State Legislature, High Courts and Subordinate Courts, Local Government: Urban and Rural.
  • Pressure Groups from Lakshmi Kant.
  • Newspapers are an important source to refer to the dynamic aspects of this topic.

IAS Mains 2018 GS Paper 2: Topic VII

Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.

Sub-TopicAllocation of seats in Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies, Conduct of elections to Parliament and State Legislature

Study Material & Preparation Tips

IAS Mains 2018 GS Paper 2: Topic VIII & IX

Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions, and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies & Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

Sub-TopicConstitutional Bodies, Non- Constitutional Bodies, Statutory Bodies, Statutory Bodies, Regulatory, Quasi-judicial bodies

Study Material & Preparation Tips

  • Read Laxmikant (Part VII,VIII and IX).
  • Pratap Bhanu Mehta, named – “Public Institutions in India – Performance and Design“.
  • The Hindu, Business Standard and Economic Times

IAS Mains 2018 GS Paper 2: Topic X

Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Sub-TopicVarious governmental development interventions, schemes launched by government

Study Material & Preparation Tips

  • Public Institutions in India – Performance and Design” by Pratap Mehta.
  • Refer Economic Survey for government policies and PIB site regularly.
  • India Year Book- Selected chapters for topic wise study only
  • Business Standard and Economic Times

IAS Mains 2018 GS Paper 2: Topic XI

Development processes and the development industry- the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.

Sub-TopicRole of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations

Study Material & Preparation Tips

  • NITI Ayog Website.
  • The Hindu, Business Standard and Economic Times
  • NGO and Development issues

IAS Mains 2018 GS Paper 2: Topic XII

Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

Sub-Topic- Various Welfare Schemes

Study Material & Preparation Tips

  • Study Schemes being implemented by the Ministry of Women and Child Welfare, Ministry of Social Justice, Ministry of Rural Development and Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
  • List of Government Schemes.
  • List of All State and Central Scheme (Government of India Website).

IAS Mains 2018 GS Paper 2: Topic XIII

Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector or Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

Study Material & Preparation Tips

  • Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
  • Universalisation of Health and Education
  • Status of higher education and scientific research in India.

IAS Mains 2018 GS Paper 2: Topic XIV

Issues relating to poverty and hunger.

Study Material & Preparation Tips

  • Topic, 2,3 and 4- No book recommended other than India Year Book
  • Economic Survey and 12th Plan

IAS Mains 2018 GS Paper 2: Topic XV

Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

Study Material & Preparation Tips

IAS Mains 2018 GS Paper 2: Topic XVI

Role of civil services in a democracy.

Study Material & Preparation Tips

  • 2nd ARC report (10th report) – Refurbishing of Personnel Administration has a whole chapter (ch-4) on this topic.
  • Governance in India– Laxmikanth
  • Newspapers

IAS Mains 2018 GS Paper 2: Topic XVII

India and its Neighbourhood – Relations.

Study Material & Preparation Tips

India and its neighbors – MEA Website

  • India – Afghanistan
  • India – Pakistan
  • India – Nepal
  • India – Bhutan
  • India – Bangladesh
  • India – Sri Lanka
  • India – Maldives
  • India – China
  • India – Myanmar

Rajiv Sikri – Challenge and Strategy – Rethinking India’s Foreign Policy.

IAS Mains 2018 GS Paper 2: Topic XVIII

Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

Study Material & Preparation Tips

  • Read about effects of globalization, WTO policies, domestic policies of developed countries and their effect on other countries (a lot of examples from USA, UK can be given – visa row, the war on terrorism, immigration policies, economic policies etc).
  • Indian diaspora – their contribution to India, India’s contribution to them, Their contribution to the world etc. Their problems in the residing countries, their rights in India – constitutional/statutory provisions if any, their participation in track two diplomacy, their role in Indian Economy etc.

IAS Mains 2018 GS Paper 2: Topic XIX

Bilateral, Regional and Global Groupings and Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s Interests.

Study Material & Preparation Tips

  • Pax Indica by Shashi Tharoor- Voluntary
  • India’s Foreign Policy: Coping with the Changing World by Muchkund Dubey

IAS Mains 2018 GS Paper 2Topic XX

Important International Institutions, Agencies and Fora – their Structure, mMandate.

Study Material & Preparation Tips

  • UNO and its various bodies, agencies with their structure, role, relevance and reforms.
  • International Organisations (no UN bodies) such as APEC, ADB, ASEAN, OECD, NATO should be studied.

We request you to prepare for GS Paper 2 in an extremely structured manner and regularly revise to ensure better retention.

IAS Mains 2018 GS Paper 2: Important Links

  • Follow websites of organizations working in this sector such as Association for Democratic Reforms and PRS Legislative Research.
  • A section on Governance can be covered through Administrative Reforms Commission report on the similar topic.
  • Focus on the understanding purpose of government schemes, their intended benefit, targeting group and why have they structured the way they are.
  • Go through PIB release on such topics, particularly when the parliament is in session. This helps in identifying government’s intention behind a particular programme/ scheme/ law and it can be followed up with an analysis in the newspapers.
  • The website of Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) is important in understanding the context of India’s relations with other countries.
  • The Economist Magazine is a boon for well-researched articles on IR.
  • Historical perspective of India’s relations with South Asia helps to understand the current scenarios better…
  • Selective reading of IGNOU’s BA/MA booklets of Public Administration and Political Science can be helpful from exam perspective.

OnlineTyari PLUS to specially assist you to overcome competitive exam hurdles and save your hard earned rupees. OnlineTyari PLUS is a one-stop-shop for all aspirants preparing for government exams.

Benefits of Tyari plus

  • Unlimited Access to Mock Tests
  • Detailed performance report
  • One free counseling session
  • Free monthly current affairs digest
  • Ad-free experience & more

Tyari Plus

Stay connected for more information regarding UPSC Civil Services Exam Recruitment 2018. To excel in Civil Services Examination, Download the Best IAS Exam Preparation App for free.


Write your comments

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.