UPSC is one of the most anticipated examinations of India. Even though it is highly competitive, tough, and the success rate is low, millions of students every year embark on their UPSC journey.
Only a few are lucky enough to be successful in this and those who succeed become the inspiration for others.
Are you a UPSC aspirant? If yes, then here is million-dollar advice for you. Try to read about successful candidates as much as you can to learn from their mistakes and success mantra.
In this article, you will find an interesting journey of Manish Bansal IAS and important tips and strategies by him for other candidates.
IAS Manish Bansal Biography
Manish Bansal is an IAS officer of the UPSC CSE 2013 batch. His current posting is in Meerut as municipal commissioner, Meerut. He was able to secure the 53rd UPSC rank in the prestigious CSE 2013.
Manish belongs to the small city of Sangrur, Punjab. His father’s name is Ram Avtar Bansal and his mother is Sudha Bansal. His father is a bank chief manager and his mother is a housewife. They were happy to hear about his success.
Manish was a student of natural interest in studies from childhood and he did well in high school as well as intermediate. He holds a master’s degree in technology in electrical engineering from prestigious IIT Delhi.
He chose physics and public administration in his first attempt. In his second attempt, UPSC changed the pattern therefore he went with physics.
Here is the marksheet of Manish Bansal.
Tips and Strategies from IAS Manish Bansal
GS is an important part of the mains examination. It carries double-fold marks from that of optional subjects. It consists of four papers each carrying 250 marks.
The syllabus is vast but well defined. You can prepare for this paper from different books and sources. Moreover, try to attempt all that caution you know well. Don’t try to guess in the examination as the invigilators are very experienced and won’t give you any marks for it.
Devote at least three hours for answer writing practice. Try to answer one to two questions with a fixed time limit and word limit.
The biggest confusion between candidates is whether to join the coaching institute or not. Manish has a different experience at the coaching institute. He lived in Delhi while preparing for UPSC and therefore went through multiple coaching institutes.
According to him, some were very helpful for his preparation while some were just a waste of money and time. Here is what he analysed about coaching centres.
Benefits of Coaching Institute
With the help of coaching centres, you can understand the vast syllabus of UPSC, especially for science background students. Manish had a great benefit from joining a coaching institute to understand the syllabus.
Moreover, coaching plays an important role in understanding the basics of core subjects like public administration, political science, history, geography, and economics. Students who do not belong to an arts background should attend coaching as it will help them to develop their basic knowledge.
#3. Periodic Test
The Coaching Institute conducts periodic tests to evaluate candidates strengths and weaknesses. This will help you to determine your strengths and weaknesses and make your preparation strategy according to them.
#4. Debate and Discussion
In coaching institutes, you will find many serious candidates with whom you can discuss and debate on current affairs topics and other important topics. This will increase your knowledge and horizon to see the topic. It is beneficial for your interview as well as in the Essay paper.
Pitfalls of Coaching Institutes
Coaching institutes have many distractions. You may find yourself avoiding many classes to enjoy yourself with your friends and go to the movies. This is a huge distraction for your preparation. This will waste your time and you know time is precious.
Commuting problems will increase more distraction and will decrease your time for self-study.
#2. A small portion
Coaching institutes cover only small portions such as basics but for serious preparation, you should rely on self-study.
A serious study program of UPSC begins with self-study. No matter which coaching centre you join or whether you go to any coaching centre or not, the perfectly planned study program can help you to clear UPSC.
The interview is the last and most crucial step of UPSC. Don’t take it as a given as this is the deciding factor of your success.
Rather than going to several institutes for more interview preparation and mock tests opt for only one Institute. This will save your time for other preparations.
You can have a discussion and debate with your friends of similar backgrounds to increase your knowledge, conversational skills, English skills, etc
Confidence is the key to success in the interview. Confidence is the base of confidence as knowledge, and therefore the panel decides your score and your knowledge on your confidence level. Rather than staying under confidence or overconfidence try to maintain your confidence at a neutral level.
Make sure you do not lie in your DAF to impress interviewers. They have experienced professionals and can catch lies instantly.
There was an incident according to Manish where a candidate lied about teaching poor students in this daily curriculum. But the panel caught his lies and got a low score in his interview.
DAF is an important part of your interview preparation as a major part of questions will come from this. This is the collection of your entire life and therefore prepares questions from your DAF.
Prepare basic questions from your academy, education background, family background, work experience, hobbies, etc.
Read newspapers daily, don’t leave this habit after your mains examination, as this will help in your interview.
Revise Graduation and Optional Subjects
Revise graduation and optional subjects as interviewers will ask questions from them. Try to revise all important topics of your graduation subjects. Also, try to read about recent developments and news about those subjects as these questions are mainly focused on interviewer panels.
Try to read about the latest issues such as women rights, democracy, media, social media corruption, human rights, technology, FDI, Naxalism, death penalty, neighbourhood relations, terrorism, environment, disaster management, riots, economy, etc.
Try to read several newspapers such as Hindu, Times of India, Economics time to increase your current affairs knowledge. You can also read Yojna magazine, Kurushetra magazine, etc for increasing your current affairs knowledge.
Books as Suggested by IAS Manish Bansal for Aspirants to Ace UPSC
|#1. Indian Art and Culture||NCERTs|
|#2. Indian History||NCERTs
Spectrum for Modern History
Book by Wizard Publications
ALS Class Notes
India After Gandhi by Ramchandra Guha
Bipan Chandra India since independence
|#3. World history
Jain and Mathur book for world history
The Hindu’s editorials
For this topic, current affairs are important.
|#4. Indian and World Geography||New NCERT of class 11 and 12
ALS class notes and their wizard publication book
Old NCERTs of class 6, 7 and 8 that deals with different continents
|#1. Polity||Lakshmikanth Indian Polity
Indian Constitution by DD Basu
Current Affairs from daily newspaper
Vision IAS online notes
Government Schemes, Policies, etc
ARC report on Social Capital
Vision IAS notes
New Horizons of Public Administration by Mohit Bhattacharya
Shashi Tharoor’s Pax Indica
ALS printed notes
Bipan Chandra and some relevant Yojana issue
Vision IAS online notes
|Science and Technology||ALS printed notes on Science and Technology|
|Environment||ALS printed and class notes
Environment and Ecology by Vaijram and Ravi
Current affairs from The Hindu
Vision IAS notes
Topics related to Security
Vajiram and Ravi’s Yellow booklet on these topics
ARC report on Conflict Resolution
ARC report on Ethics in Governance
ARC report on Citizen Centric Administration
My Experiments with Truth by Mahatma Gandhi
Case studies of famous personalities like Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi, Swami Vivekananda, etc
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