FAQ ' s and how to Read India Year Book 2016

  • India Reference Annual (which is often referred as India Year Book- IYB)is a comprehensive and authentic book encompassing all aspects of the development activities of the Government from rural to urban, industry to agriculture, finances to infrastructure, art and culture, science and technology, human resources development and mass communication.
  • It also includes diary of important events, brief note on the states and Union Territories, constitutional amendments etc..
  • Publications Division under Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Govt. Of India brings out IYB annually.
  • Yes, Hindi version is also available.
  • IYB is normally released around Feb/March of every year. You can visit http://publicationsdivision.nic.in for information on IYB-2016.
  •  You can purchase it online for Rs 263/-.( You can visit the link to order http://publicationsdivision.nic.in/ebooks.aspx)
  • In UPSC preliminary examination many a time’s questions are asked about various schemes, developments and institutions of governance.
  • IYB is a one stop source to have a comprehensive idea about the same.
  • For UPSC Main examination, candidates must have idea on the recently launched Government schemes and policies, which he/she can use as case examples while writing descriptive answers. For example, about MGNREGA, National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS), etc.
  • India Year Book (IYB) is a one-stop source to get all such information.
  • Covering IYB along with regular preparation efforts and enriching the learning experience with Economic Survey of India, and magazines like Yojana, will give the much-needed extra edge!
  • For a fresher, investing time in IYB is initially not recommended. But if, he/she has covered NCERT’s and the regular study material for the core subjects like, Polity, Geography, Economy and History, they can start with specific chapters of IYB to get a more comprehensive view.
  • For a fresher, rather than running from pillar-to-post, for various schemes, policies by the Government, IYB can give a direction to his/her preparation.
  • IYB is a much needed preparation source to better appreciate and analyze the pros and cons of Government initiatives (analytical-type questions in the mains examination is increasing every year).
  • Selective reading of IYB can give an edge to fresher’s to compete with repeaters. (Caution: this they should do only when they have completed the core subjects).
    • One should avoid reading unnecessary information from IYB. They should focus mainly on key points of the main topics.
    • The thumb rule to know what constitute the main topics is

Ask question yourself 1. Where this topic can be asked in the exam? 2. What all I need to know if it’s asked in the exam? (Only with experience one can answer above questions satisfactorily. To gain experience of the type of questions asked, keep revisiting the previous 7/8 years of both prelims and main question papers)

  • For example let us take “Chapter 23- Planning” from IYB- 2016:

the important topics to be covered from this are

  1. Objectives and composition of NITI Aayog
  2. Impact of Fourteenth Finance Commission recommendations
  3. Two Key points of each of the XI Five Year Plans
  4. Key note of schemes- PMKSY/SBM/Smart cities/RGPSA/SAGY/RURBAN Mission
  • No, in fact, there is no need to read all the information from all the chapters.
  • But, some important chapters can be covered first.
  • IYB 2016 has 32 chapters.
  • One should cover chapters : 4/5/10/11/12/23/24/25/28
  • Next one should focus on chapters: 1/2/7/8/9/13/14/15/19/21/26/27/29

(TIP: One can start reading multiple chapters as well)

  • It is not at all advisable to students that they make notes from the IYB (it is a mere waste of your valuable time and energy).
  • One can use highlighters of two different colours- say for example, green/fluorescent and mark the important schemes, and topics. For example, all schemes can be in green colour, while the rest can be in other colour. This way, one can easily revise with minimum time.
  • For revision, go to specific points from the highlighted issues.
  • We cannot put a figure as to the number of marks that one can expect. Going through the IYB will broaden your understanding on key issues.
  • However, at times, we infer that many questions in the preliminary examination can be answered if one has read the IYB.
  • An additional advantage is for essay writing. IYB can help candidates with an authentic data source which they can readily quote in the exam.
  • To improve your essay writing skills, it is highly recommended to regularly read the articles from the newspapers, and magazines like Yojana, Kurukshetra, etc.
  • From IYB, one can highlight the important aspects related to health sector, social sector, energy sector, environmental issues, which they can use for analysis in the essay.
  • The best way to improve essay writing skills, is “To make a start!”, and write on multiple issues spanning a broad spectrum of topics. For example, one should have written on education, health, energy, social sector, tourism, security challenges, PPP, etc.
  • One can enrich their own answers with time and revise the same before the exam.
  • The very purpose of referring IYB is to know about the schemes. However, the key is that you don’t need to remember data accurately but a rough idea about relevant data is needed. For example, how much of our GDP we are spending on education sector- primary education, or for example, how much we are spending on health.
  • The best way to remember this is attempting to incorporate data in your answer writing practice. (The more the number of answers you write, the more would be the chances that you remember).
  • Ideally if you have the previous year’s IYB, and if you have read the same, you need not buy the new one. But, one can refer to the online soft copy for updating information on specific chapters.
  • Most of the data is generally repeated but, merging/renaming of the schemes or the ministries/departments, etc, would be captured in the latest edition.
  • Instead of reading any other version of the IYB, other than the original publication which is released by the Government, one may not have the extra edge.
  • Reading the IYB and highlighting the important issues by yourself would always ensure your greater involvement and appreciation of the topics, and this will stay in your long-term memory.
  • Don’t fix your deadlines based on the amount of time you plan to invest in.
  • Reading IYB can always be done as a supplement to your regular reading.
  • But, if one has to have a rough timeframe to complete the IYB, they should do so at least one month before the prelims.
    • This depends on person to person, but ideally, one should give at least,

One full-length revision of the content they have highlighted. Note: A quick revision of the topics just before attempting any practice tests is advisable. The strategy should be- not to spend time on the IYB before the main examination

  • No, if you are not reading IYB, you are not at loss. We have many successful aspirants who have cleared this examination without referring to IYB. But, one needs to give extra emphasis on making notes on schemes/programmes from newspapers, and other multiple sources
  • IYB is a one-stop source which is recommended to streamline your preparation if one has additional time at his/her disposal.
  • Thanks to Adobe Version 11 and above, one can highlight the important points in the soft copy itself. 
  • For what to read first, kindly refer the above sections.
  • Aspirants reading newspapers regularly, will have an extra edge and there is no need to cover the summary of annual events from the IYB.

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