Important topics for UPSC Prelims 2017

  1. LEMOA
  2. PMGKY
  3. CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research
  4. Heart of Asia conference
  5. CRISPR and cas9
  6. Kigali amendment to Montreal protocol
  7. TFA and National Committee on Trade Facilitation 
  8. HGP-W
  9. VVPAT
  11. Rashtriya Vayoshri
  13. Point Nemo
  14. Ross Sea
  15. GIFT City and INX
  16. Coalition for Epidemic Preparations
  17. Brundt Land Commission
  18. Bird Life International
  19. Barnase Barstar
  20. GM Mustard
  21. Team Indus
  22. GSLV Mark III and Cryogenic engine
  23. Agro irradiation
  24. Food fortification
  25. Graphene
  26. LIGO and INDIGO
  27. Optical fibre
  28. Quantum communication
  29. BNHS
  30. IEA
  31. Einstein’s ring
  32. New WPI and IIP series
  33. CPI and GDP
  34. Basel 3
  35. World Bank group
  36. Functions of RBI
  37. GST Council and GST Network
  38. Convention on Biodiversity
  39. Ecotone
  40. Tributaries of Kaveri
  41. WPA 1972
  42. BS Norms
  43. ICJ
  44. Ordinance
  45. President’s Rule
  46. Article 370
  47. Schedule VII
  48. Lokpal
  49. Article 142
  50. CAPF
  51. Green Highway
  52. CERT-IN
  53. FATF
  54. Heat wave
  55. White label ATMs
  56. PMKSY
  57. NHRC
  58. NGT
  59. Lok Adalat
  60. ICAO
  61. Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code
  62. National Food Security Act and Maternity Benefit Scheme
  63. Nitrogen cycle
  64. Coral reefs
  65. Global Warming Potential
  66. Mangroves
  67. Druzhba, Prabal Dostyak, Al Nagah and Sagarmatha joint exercises
  68. Invasive tree species (Semai Karuvelam)
  69. INS Arihant, INS Vikrant and INS Kalvari
  70. Kanchenjunga, Namdapha, Kamlang, Mahatma Gandhi, Nokrek, Orang, Panna and Nameri National Parks
  71. Important dams on river Indus and its tributaries

Important MCQs –

All the best! 🙂

Leveraging Performance Appraisal bias for better marks in UPSC CSE Mains

Every evaluator / performance appraiser who is not trained well or is tired or bored of evaluating / appraising is a victim of the following four bias –

1) Primacy bias – The first impression affects the way the evaluator perceives the rest of your answer

2) Recency bias – The event occurring (conclusions) before the evaluator gives the marks determines the marks the candidate will get

3) Spill over bias – If the first answer is outstanding, the evaluator tends to perceive the candidate to be an excellent candidate, and hence the positiveness has a spill over effect on the rest of your answers

4) Centralising tendency bias- The evaluator who is bored of correcting or who hasn’t read your answer well or doesn’t understand your answer well will tend to give you a central score i.e. close to the average

How to use them to your advantage –

In Essay – Leverage the primacy and recency bias by writing excellent introduction and conclusion. Further, try writing Section A first so that the positives of it spills over to your second essay.
In GS and Optional – Leverage the Centralising tendency bias by attempting all the question with whatever little knowledge you have. Use the primacy bias to start your answer to the point and drift away from the question in case you have run out of points or you don’t know what else to write.

All the best!

Contemporary world history till 1914 – Key words


Locke, Rousseau, Immanuel Kant, Thomas, Benjamin, Montesquieu, Voltaire


Glorious Revol, Mercantilism, Absolutism, Renaissance, Protestants, 7 Years War


Mercantilism, Stamp Act 1765, No tax w/o rep, Locke, Reason, Thomas, Tea, Conf of Philadelphia, No tax on property


3 estates, Louis XVI, Royal Tennis Court, Bastille prison, Rousseau (Man is born free), Locke, Rationalism, Rights of Man and Citizen, Jacobins (Jacobian constitution gave right to vote for all and right to insurrection), Robespierre, Guillotine, Bourgeois, Napoleon, Humanism (Abolition of slavery)


Cavour, Mazzini




FR and AR, Napoleon, Language, Colonialism, Rights of Man and Citizen (Concept of nation)

Industrial Revol

Guild -> Putting out -> Factory; Textile, Iron, Steam, Transport (McAdamised Roads), Comm, Agro Revol, Cash crops, Enclosure movt

Impact – Child labor, Inequality, Sanitation, Crime, Globalization, Nuclear family, Trade protectionism, Env, ideology

The growing resentment among the workers and their consequent movements made the government conscious that Laissez Faire is not the sine qua non and the State has a responsibility to protect the vulnerable sections, if Capitalism itself is to be protected from workers revolution.


Gold, Glory (European hegemony) and God , Triangular slave trade, Destruction of civilization (Aztec), navy, Want of FTAs w/ other countries (sort of), Nationalism, IR, Mercantile capitalism, Race for colonies / Neo imperialism, drain theory, capture of port of calls, political control of the colonies, White man’s burden, diminishing geographical space


Restricted to coast earlier, Slavery (Destroyed families, inferiority complex), Mass killings (10 mln Congolese killed), Divide and Rule (Effect continues even now – Hutu Vs Tutsi), Neglect of edu and health, No economic devlp


Machu dynasty, Policy of seclusion (ltd external trade), Opium wars, Open door policy, Taiping rebellion, 1858 loss of territory North of Amur to Russia, Japan invasion (1894), Boxer rising 1899, Japan won against USSR, Western educated Chinese youth returned, Manchu overthrown, Warlord era, May 4th movt, Chinese Communist Party, Kuomintang / KMT, Purification movt n Encirclement campaign to destroy CCP, 2nd Sino Japan war, Mao Zedong, Rectification process, Cold war, Taiwan


Shotguns (military people) had real power not King, Feudalism, Japan USSR war 1905 (Manchuria had natural reserves needed for Japanese IR), Japan won – US policy of appeasement began, also psychological boost

Japanese IR – US entry in 1853, Western imperialism, Iwakura mission, Self-liberation and Meiji Restoration(Daminios and Samurai surrendered their powers), Constitution based on Prussian model, Compulsory primary edu, promotion of vernacular and Enlgish, therefore skilled work force emphasis on eco devlp, Bank of Japan

WWI -> high export. After WW -> Job loss -> Economic crisis & Competition from China -> Army invaded China in 1937 w/o PM’s knowledge


Opium wars and open door policy in China, Policy of Appeasement to Japan, Monroe doctrine (hegemony over Americas), Panama canal (Manufactured a rebellion in Columbia), Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson promoted investment in S.America

Important topics for Environment (UPSC CSE Prelims 2016)

  1. Ramsar sites (Especially Loktak lake, Bhitarkanika, Bharatpur and Point Calimere)
  2. National Action Plan on Climate Change
  3. Soil conservation
  4. Marine mammals, Sea horse and Sea cucumber
  5. Eco tone and Mangroves
  6. Difference between In situ, Ex situ, National Park, Wild life sanctuary, etc
  7. Bio fuel, etc (From NIOS Environment material; chapter 30 – Renewable sources of energy II)
  8. Environmental Chemistry (From Chapter 14 of Class XI Chemistry NCERT)
  9. Important (read endemic) animals of Himalayas and W.Ghats
  10. Bio Geo Chemical cycles (especially nitrogen cycle –> Bio fertiliser)
  11. Relationship between organisms (From class XII Biology Part II NCERT)
  12. E-waste and its diseases and conventions on it (Basel and Rotterdam)
  13. GEF and GCF
  14. National Biodiversity Authority, Nagoya protocol and Cartagena protocol
  15. BNHS / WWF / IUCN / Wetlands Intl / Birdlife Intl / Intl Whaling Commission
  16. COP 15, 16, 21

Tip: If you do not know the answer to a question and if one of the options is Arunachal Pradesh, then the answer is Arunachal Pradesh

Important topics for UPSC Prelims 2016

Modern India

  1. August offer / Cripps / Cabinet / Mountbatten Plan
  2. Madras Mahajana Sabha
  3. Self Respect movt, Temple entry movt, Khudgai Khitmatgars
  4. Komagata Maru
  5. Parallel govts during Quit India Movt
  6. Swadeshi Movt



  1. Titanium sponge / Silica aerogel / Caspol
  2. Astrosat / Thirty meter telescope / Cerenkov telescope / ARIES / NISAR
  3. Food fortification
  4. Indradhanush diseases, medicines and vaccines (especially TB and Polio) and super bugs
  5. Catalytic convertors, electrostatic precipitators, scrubbers
  6. PROVe and IndARC
  7. Scramjet, Ramjet and Cryogenic



  1. Middle east and Central Asia
  2. Cyclone (From IMD FAQs)
  3. Non major east and west flowing rivers
  4. Soil and soil conservation
  5. Western disturbances, Indian Ocean Dipole
  6. Earthquake waves
  7. Ocean currents and their causes



Below chapter numbers are based on Laxmikanth’s Indian Polity 4th edition

  1. Chap 1
  2. Chap 3
  3. Chap 8/9 (2x)
  4. Chap 10
  5. Chap 14 (2x)
  6. Chap 16
  7. Chap 17/19
  8. Chap 22 (2x)
  9. Chap 26
  10. Chap 29
  11. Chap 34/35
  12. NHRC / NGT / ECI / CAG



  1. Inflation, SLR, CRR (2x)
  2. Balance of Payment
  3. Nairobi Package, Special safeguard mechanism, Peace clause
  4. Marginal cost of lending, Repo rate, etc
  5. Differentiated Banks
  6. Functions of RBI
  7. FATF / BIS / BEPS
  8. Nominal / Real GDP, GDP Deflator
  9. NPCI
  10. CPI (Rural, Urban and Combined) [and Price Stabilization Fund] , WPI and IIP
  11. Basics of IMF, World Bank and NDB



  1. ICC, ICJ and PCA
  2. APMC and e-National Agricultural Market
  3. BIMSTEC, East Asia Summit, APEC, RCEP, BRICS, SAARC, ASEAN, Ashgabat agreement, INSTC, Ind Africa Forum, Indian Ocean Rim Association
  4. Martial Arts
  5. Folk dances
  6. Reports – Global Env Report, Global Fin Stability Report, Gender Gap Report, Gender Atlas, Gender parity index, Global corruption index, Global Economic Prospects and World Economic Outlook
  7. Hague Code of Conduct / Wassenaar Arrangement / MTCR / Australia group / NSG
  8. Who heads FIPB and CCEA; and who recommends and implements anti-dumping duty
  9. National Disaster Mangment Plan, Sendai framework, Hyogo framework and Yokohama strategy
  10. International Year of Pulses

2x means that 2 questions can be expected from that topic