Blogs - Vajiram & Ravi

Why Choose Philosophy as an Optional Subject for USPC

Preparation for the Civil Services Exam is, essentially, a race against time. Thus, the key to success is efficient time-management. As far as General Studies Papers are concerned, an aspirant has no choice but to prepare the syllabus extensively and comprehensively on a regular basis. However, one has the autonomy to opt for an Optional Subject of one’s own choice.

The Optional Subject can, significantly, make or mar one’s chances of becoming an IAS. Hence, one must choose the Optional Subject discerningly, with due care and consideration, in the pursuit of coveted aspiration. In this regard, Philosop.....

Strategy to Prepare Ethics paper

Ethics Paper (GS-IV) was introduced in 2013, full six years ago, but still is shrouded in mystery. Partly because there is no single good book explaining basics in an authoritative manner, partly because the syllabus itself can be interpreted very widely and also partly because most of us have no background in ethics as there is no directly related undergraduate course.

To clear up the confusion students have related to ...

Anthropology Books for UPSC

Here is a list of important books for Anthropology Optional Subject

  1. Physical anthropology by P. Nath
  2. Anthropology by Ember and Ember
  3. An Introduction to Social Anthropolog ...

Commerce and Accountancy Books for UPSC

Here is a list of important books for Commerce and Accountancy Optional Subject





Civil Services Day - 21st April

Every year, 21st April is celebrated as ‘Civil Services Day’ by the Government of India to commemorate the day when first Home Minister of Independent India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel addressed the probationers of Administrative Services Officers in 1947 at Metcalfe House, Delhi. He referred to civil servants as the "steel frame of India".

Sardar Patel completed the task of ...

BEWARE - Vajiram & Ravi does not have any connection with Vajirao, Bajirao etc IAS Coachings

It has been brough to our attention that students are being misled in to taking admission in other similar sounding/ copycat coaching inst...

Maths Optional for UPSC Preparation Strategy

Choosing the right optional subject for UPSC CSE Mains is a very crucial decision that every UPSC aspirant has to make. A general thumb rule is that you should take the subject in which you have some academic background and a genuine interest. Along with this, some other factors like – past performance of the subject in UPSC, time frame required to prepare the subject, contribution of the subject towards General Studies syllabus and coaching available in the subject should also be considered in deciding the Optional Subject.

Same criteria apply to opting Mathematics as an Optional Subject for UPSC CSE Mains.

First of all, an aspirant need to have..

Geography Books for UPSC

There are actually 8 books that cover almost 80-85% of the syllabus.

It is updation, enrichment and deeper conceptual clarity that requires more books and coverage of current affairs based questions. Sincerely managing GS goes a long way in helping geography too.

Basic books


  2. Made Simple Series by Rupa Publication-Vol-I & II

  3. A certificate course ...

How to Prepare for a Subject without any Background for UPSC

This is a query that concerns most of the UPSC IAS Exam aspirants. General Studies, that is compulsory for both Prelims and Mains in the UPSC Exam has a wide range of subjects to cover and most of the time aspirants find it difficult to tackle subjects that they have not been in touch with after school. Same applies to aspirants who have opted an Optional Subject that they have not studied during their graduation days. For example, a science graduate finds it tough to cover the huge syllabus of humanities subjects.

What one needs to keep in mind here is that the UPSC doesn’t expect the aspirants of Civil Services Exam to be experts/specialists in each of the subjects of its syllabus, rather have a generalist knowledge about all the topics. So first of all, take the fear out ...

How to Prepare Backward/Forward Linkages from The Hindu for Current Affairs

UPSC CSE preparation demands not just being aware about the News related to any topic published on a particular date, but also everything related to it that was in News in the past some time or will be in News till the exam date. This is known as maintaining track of ‘Backward/Forward Linkages’ related to all the current affairs topics. Also, there are instances when for some subjects you need to keep updating your study material in sync with the happenings taking place at present.

The best way to do this is to make short notes from the newspaper by maintaining a separate register or a folder/file of paper sheets for newspaper notes. Divide the file into separate parts based on .....

UPSC Prelims Strategy- Dos and Don'ts

Preparation Strategy for UPSC CSE Prelims


  • Revise, Revise and Revise: Whatever subject and topic you are studying, make sure to revise and remember so you do not make lose marks in those topics. Without proper revision, you will probably carry more confusion into the exam hall and end up with a higher negative score that will undo all the good work that you have otherwise done.
  • Make assessment on Facts vs Concepts: The UPSC prelims over the last few years in core subjects has become quite conceptual. So look at the last 4-5 year’s question papers and make an assessment of the type of questions that are asked on each subject. For example, in Polity ...

General Studies Books

Recommended Books for GS

The Foundation and the First Line of reading while preparing for the Preliminary Test and Main Examination is the 18 Volumes of ‘Yellow Books’ on General Studies and the Monthly Current Affairs Digest published by Vajiram & Ravi. Apart from these Volumes, the aspirants should study the following books:


Basic Books:

  1. NIOS course books for classes XI and XII on - Ancient India, Medieval India, Modern India, National Movement & Contemporary World an ....

UPSC Maths Optional Books

Recommended Books for Maths Optional in UPSC

The recommended books for Maths Optional Paper 1 and Paper 2 respectively for each module are as follows :

Paper 1

    • SCHAUM SERIES - Seymour Lipschutz
    • LINEAR ALGEBRA - Hoffman an ...

UPSC Philosophy Books

Recommended Books for Philosophy Optional in UPSC

The recommended books for Philosophy Optional Subject are :

Paper I

  1. W. T. Stace: A Critical History of Greek Philosophy (Plato and Aristotle).
  2. Copleston: A History of Philosophy (Relevant Chapters from volume I, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX & XI).
  3. Anthony Kenny: A New History of Western Philosophy. OUP Oxford.
  4. Datta & Chatterjee: An Intro ...