UPSC Prelims: Economy Trend Analysis

Economy is an important subject for the UPSC civil services prelims exam. In fact, economics, along with history, geography and polity forms one of the four pillars of the IAS prelims exam. This year too, there were 14 questions from this subject. This article gives you a trend analysis of economy questions in the UPSC prelims exam.

Economy is an interesting topic and as future administrators, UPSC aspirants need to possess a reasonably good understanding of the basic tenets of economics. What makes a country run, how its finances are managed, the basic terms and definitions frequently in news, basic banking operations, budget, etc. are topics that has to be read about. This subject is intricately linked to current affairs. This year too, most questions from economics were not factual, but linked to current affairs.

But the good news is most topics are repeated by the UPSC. Every year, you can expect questions from topics like national income, inflation-deflation, fiscal and monetary policies, fiscal deficit, taxes, etc. Also, you don’t need to dive in-depth into this subject. An understanding of the basics is enough. A plus point is that you are not expected to remember figures like the GDP, NDP, etc. Trends are more important than absolute numbers. International organisations are also asked but these are generally easy questions.

The following graph will give you the number of questions asked in economy from 2011 to 2017.

As you can see, the number of questions hovers around the 15 mark in the prelims GS paper I. This undermines the importance of this subject in the prelims exam.

Important topics for Economy

  • National income accounting, inflation, balance of payment, fiscal policy, monetary policy, RBI, PSL.
  • Finance commission – recommendations, themes.
  • International organisations – World Bank, IMF, WTO, UNCTAD, WEF and their reports. Bodies like G-15, G-7, G-33, etc.
  • Basic economic terms, demographic dividend, inclusive growth.
  • Government schemes and budgets.

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