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The Civil Services (Mains) Examination(CSE) has undergone a sea change in its content and character and has been completely revamped by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) in 2013. This change has been for the greater good and has ushered the exam into a new era, where General Studies plays a vital role in ‘making or breaking’ a candidate. One ought to learn the syllabus thoroughly in order to filter all the information, one receives while learning, in accordance with the syllabus. So, we(Collegedekho) feel that one should definitely know why these papers General Studies(GS) are included in this exam.
GS Paper 1(250 marks) includes Indian and World History, Art and Culture, Indian and World Geography and Sociology. This paper ensures that a candidate is judged on the basis of indepth knowledge and understanding rather than just cramming up collected information at the last moment. A civil servant should know and understand the history and geography of a particular place, including the behaviour of the society so that he is well aware of his physical environment because you just can't work for your countrymen when you don't know your people and history.
GS Paper 2(250 marks) is all about governance at it’s core. This paper tests the wisdom of the candidate in areas related to Indian politics, various government policies and international relations. It also deals with various sacrosanct institutions and other development agendas which help a budding civil servant to start climbing up the ladder of his career as much of his life is going to be affected by government and its governance.
GS Paper 3(250 marks) is based on Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Environment, Security Issues and Disaster Management. A budding bureaucrat is expected to know the issues in depth as well as in breadth ,as far as possible, about their environment. Issues like economy and development can never be expected to be static and mere rote learning will never equip them with enough weapons in their arsenal to attack the CS(M). One should know the developments happening around and their applications and effects in everyday life, the achievements of Indians in science & technology, security issues of India( Internal and External). These are very important for a candidate to know about the real picture of their country.
GS Paper 4(250 marks) is on Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude. The exam which earlier used to judge the level of knowledge and intelligence of candidates will now also look into their wisdom and morality. It also checks if the candidate has the aptitude and values for successfully performing his duties as a civil servant. Thus, this step would theoretically make every new recruit ethical and moral with high integrity values.
GS Paper 5 and 6 is a candidate's optional, which one picks out of a list of subjects given by UPSC. Basically, they check one's understanding and interest in his subject. The approach may vary from subject to subject. Both the papers carry 250 marks.