Decoding Science and Technology for UPSC Exam

Science and technology is an integral part of the UPSC syllabus. It is also that part of the syllabus that tends to confuse aspirants. Aspirants, especially those from humanities background generally have an uneasy relationship with science and technology for IAS exam. However, science and technology cannot be ignored as it covers a huge chunk of the questions asked for both the UPSC prelims and the UPSC mains. This article tries to get science and technology decoded for the UPSC exam.

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Science and Technology for UPSC Exam

  • On average, 15% of the questions are asked from science and technology in the UPSC Prelims.
  • In the mains, since 2013, 20-30% of the questions are from this section. Science and tech also include ecology and conservation.

Importance of Science and Technology for Civil Servants

  • The knowledge of basic sciences is important for a civil servant. This is because his/her work involves several fields like agriculture, public health, information services, media, geology, etc. Unless the basic science behind anything is understood, it is not easy to implement or carry out any policy formulations or changes.
  • The progress of a nation depends on the advances in science and technology achieved.
  • Today, there is no governance without science and technology. It plays an important role in rooting out corruption from the country. Information technology and the internet enable the minimum human interface for the delivery of services. This ensures minimal corruption. “Minimum Government, Maximum Governance.”
  • Finally, the knowledge of scientific principles fosters rational thinking and logical decision making among people and these qualities are expected of civil servants.

How to Prepare for Science and Technology for UPSC

  • Understand and learn the basic concepts. Don’t try to mug up facts.
  • Correlate syllabus to current affairs. Read the daily newspapers and PIB. Once you spot a new development in science and tech in India or affecting India, go through that article well. After that, understand the basic science involved in that development. Then, go through NCERTs or any basic science book to understand what the concept is all about. Current affairs are of the utmost importance when it comes to preparing for the science and technology segments.
  • Here, the range is more important than depth. Learn the major keywords on that topic. You don’t have to go into the details.
  • Clarity is very important. This section is both static and dynamic.
  • Go through the schemes and programmes involved in that field.
  • For UPSC Prelims: Go through NCERTs and current affairs for the basic sciences. You can download the NCERT textbooks for UPSC exam at the linked article.
  • For UPSC Mains: Focus only on current affairs.

Science and Technology Books for UPSC

The most basic books in science subjects are NCERTs. Apart from these, you should keep an eye on the newspapers for any news related to science and technology, especially with respect to India. You can also go through a few other books which are specially tailored for the UPSC exam.

  1. Science and Technology in India – Kalpana Rajaram
  2. General Science For Civil Services Preliminary Examinations – S.A.Majid
  3. 1000 Plus Questions on General Science – TMH

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