Importance of Economic Survey for Civil Services Examination

The Economic Survey is an annual document released by the Ministry of Finance, Government of India.  It reviews the developments in the Indian economy over the previous 12 months, summarizes the performance on major development programmes, and highlights the policy initiatives of the government and the prospects of the economy. This document is submitted to both houses of Parliament during the Budget Session.

The Economic Survey is an essential document for competitive examination, especially for the Civil Services Prelims and Main examination.

Importance of Economic Survey

  • Economic survey discusses all the major government initiative with the explanation.
  • All the dynamic and theoretical questions can be traced to this.
  • According to the new trend economy and the environment is going hand in hand. So questions can come from that perspective also.
  • Imbibe actual phrases used in Economic Survey to frame answers for Main Examination.
  • 30-40% of Mains questions are indirectly or directly related to Economic survey. Most of the questions in the Civil Services Main examination General Studies Paper-III are either from 11th NCERT or Economic Survey.
  • According to the trend from 2011, around 7-8 out of 20 questions are directly related to the Economic Survey.
  • Economic survey analyses and gives reasons for the most things happening around. Deep knowledge of the current policies and programs of the government also help an aspirant to write meaningful Essays in UPSC Civil Services Main Examination.
  • Good phrases and use of appropriate language can be used in the exam to fetch high score. For example – “Good economics is good politics”, “Twin balance sheet problem”, “translating potential into actuality” “ Chakravuyh challenge” etc
  • Adding the important and relevant facts and figures significantly enhances your marks in General Studies Paper-III.

Know more about UPSC Syllabus and IAS Exam

Pattern of Economic Survey

The Economic Survey consists of two volumes.

  • Economic survey, Volume I deal with conceptual and analytical issues.
  • Economic Survey, Volume II deal with the state of economy and sectors of the economy in some detail with more focus on immediate issues and statistics.

Economic survey covers all the major initiatives by government, and also issues etc. in detailed. Economic Survey illustrates any major initiatives in chapter wise in the below mentioned way.

For e.g. if there is any issue, then it is analysed as below by the ES

  • Is there any issue- What is the issue-Define the problem
  • Why this issue is important? Why are the authorities concerned on this issue?
  • How the issue will interrelate with different spheres?
  • What is the root cause of the issue- how it happened?
  • How to solve the issue? How the solution will work?
  • Analyze solution- Policies adopted Schemes- Policy actions etc.

Read after basic study

Candidate should have a sound basic knowledge of economics. One should be moderately thorough with core theories of economics to understand the Economic Survey. Reading NCERT is sufficient to grasp the basic concept in economics.  The economic terms like Growth, GDP, GVA, Inflation, Recession, Depression, Balance of Payment, Fiscal Consolidation, Overheated Economy, Deficit Financing, Fiscal drag, Fiscal Neutrality, Net FDI inflow, Trade balance, IIP, Financial Inclusion, etc. are considered as the of the important key basic terms.

After understanding the basic economic concepts only, one can move to detailed reading like the economic survey.  Before taking up the economic survey candidate should be thorough with the basic economic term. The aspirants should read the economic survey volume one from cover to cover. This will help you in the Civil Services Main examination. Always relate the issue with current affairs and conventional areas.

Read preface thoroughly

Reading the first chapter- the preface helps you to extract the entire essence of the document. It acts as a brief summary of the entire document.  Candidate should be selective in reading. Choose the important chapters and extract the relevant stuff according to the syllabus perspective.

Read more | Important chapters of Economic survey 2016-17

Boxes and Arguments

There are lots of boxes in Economic survey. These are important both in Prelims and Main exam perspectives. The boxes are the area which questions directly come. Some boxes in supporting data nature can be avoided. Highlight the box which provides direct information.

Another most crucial element of economic surveys is arguments. Economic survey asserts some points and gives the argument like why it is important, how can be solved etc. Be thorough with these arguments and recommendations. These components can be used in an effective to write a perfect answer in Civil Service Main Examination and help to generate viewpoints.

Break into small topics

Categorize the economic survey to ease your preparation. One can categorize the economic survey into:-

  • Welfare Schemes and their analysis, Schemes for Vulnerable Sections, Government Initiatives
  • Agriculture, Subsidy Issues, and Sustainable Technological Initiatives
  • Macroeconomic Tangibles and Demographics
  • Urbanization and Social Empowerment
  • Important facts and figures like Unemployment Data, GDP, Inflation, Food Inflation, Fiscal deficit, Current account deficit, Balance of Payments, Foreign reserves, trade balance etc.

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Short notes

The better note makes revision better. Make short notes with simple analysis on individual chapter required extra attention and highlight the important data, Schemes, policies, initiatives by the government.  Jot down the trends, ascending and descending (growth and development indicators) with arguments like why it is ascending etc.

Previous year’s Economic survey

If candidates have time, it is highly recommended to go through Previous Year’s Economic Survey. This will help know the objectives and goals set up by the Government and help to write a good answer for Civil Services Main examination in a holistic manner.

Previous Year Civil Services IAS Prelims Questions from Economic Survey

  1. In India, in the overall Index of Industrial Production, the Indices of Eight Core Industries have a combined weight of 37-90%. Which of the following are among those Eight Core Industries? (2012)
  1. Cement
  2. Fertilizers
  3. Natural gas
  4. Refinery products
  5. Textiles

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

  1. 1 and 5 only
  2. 2, 3 and 4 only
  3. 1, 2, 3 and 4 only
  4. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Answer: C

  1. The term ‘Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership’ often appears in the news in the context of the affairs of a group of countries known as (2016-17)
  1. G20
  2. ASEAN
  3. SCO
  4. SAARC

Answer: B

  1. There has been a persistent deficit budget year after year. Which action/actions of the following can be taken by the government to reduce the deficit? (2016-17)
  1. Reducing Revenue Expenditure
  2. Introducing new welfare scheme
  3. Rationalizing subsidies
  4. Reducing import duties

Select the correct answer using the code below

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1,2,3 and 4

Answer: C

  1. Recently, India’s first ‘National Investment and Manufacturing Zone’ was proposed to be set up in (2016-17)
  1. Andhra Pradesh
  2. Gujarat
  3. Maharashtra
  4. Uttar Pradesh

Answer: A

Previous year Main Questions

  1. Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) is necessary for bringing unbanked to the institutional finance fold. Do you agree with this for financial inclusion of the poor section of the Indian society? Give arguments to justify your opinion
  2. How globalization has led to the reduction of employment in the formal sector of the Indian economy? Is increased informalization detrimental to the development of the country?