When making Indian Polity notes what are the best approaches you need to take? Which are the best sources optimized for clearing UPSC?
Where do you make notes from?
As you start to prepare for the UPSC examinations, one of the first realizations to hit you after having come to terms with the breadth of the syllabus is that you need to make notes. In fact, not only make notes, but concise, effective, and efficient notes that will make this huge syllabus actually manageable. With good notes in your armor you will not only have a map of the syllabus of each subject, but you will actually have a memory tool that will help you recollect relevant information at the time of the exams.
The most common source for making notes is of course NCERT books. However, have you ever wondered why you would use material that’s not specifically designed for the exam you are planning to take? NCERT books are only information pools designed for an entirely different syllabus and examination.
The notes that most coaching classes give you are also similar information pools that aren’t specifically targeted towards the UPSC, but rather just shortened versions of the NCERT books. They are neither optimized for nor are they designed to make you succeed in UPSC.
Most importantly, these notes from other sources do not help you develop a critical skill that you need to clear the UPSC: your analytical skills.
What is the purpose of good notes
Good notes serve at least 3 purposes. The first purpose is that by actively visualising and writing down the information and their relational links, you create a more permanent memory in your brain compared to just reading.
The second purpose is creating memory aid tools in your notes. The way you organise them creates and highlights dependencies and correlations between various sets of information. For example, when creating notes on Indian Polity, you should focus not only on the interdependencies of the topics but also their relevance to current affairs.
The third purpose is the most obvious. That of creating a concise resource that will take a fraction of the time to go through before the exam in comparison with going through the entire book or original source.
Why someone else’s notes won’t work
When you make your own study notes, you are actively engaging with your material and creating a document that will make sense to you. You are in a sense recreating the material so that it can fit your mind map. This, very individualistic process, creates lasting memories and brain associations that make your recall much better during the exam.
Thus, borrowing or buying other people’s notes will really not work for you. First, because they won’t be your mind map, and second, because they won’t build your retention for the information.
One very important aspect of the UPSC exam is that it ultimately demands a holistic, balanced and inclusive outlook in order to clear it. This change of outlook is will happen if you really internalize the syllabus of the UPSC. However, this is exactly what you will miss out on if you try to use other people’s notes. Indian polity notes, for example should finally make you appreciate India constitutionally.
What would the best Indian Polity notes look like?
The best Indian polity notes will look like the notes shown in this video:
Notice how the video is focusing only on what is extremely relevant for UPSC. It is making a concise and filtered information tool for you to use whenever you need to revise the particular topic. However, even though it is concise it doesn’t leave out important associations and analysis when discussing the topic. It even references current events in order to make the static topic more relevant and relatable.
The video is also directed at understanding Indian Polity as a result of understanding the constitution and how rules are meant to be understood in the letter and in the spirit. This is the kind of analytical and grounded thinking that will ultimately bring about the desired change in outlook previously mentioned.
Indian polity taught like never before
You can watch a few more videos below from UPSC Pathshala in order to get an idea of how Indian polity should be taught for UPSC.
Additionally, checkout out UPSC video lectures to see more sample videos from UPSC Pathshala.