Saturday, May 16, 2009


Hello Everyone,

My name is Shubhra Saxena ( UPSC AIR-1).
This blog has been created to help my fellow Civil Service aspirants..
I welcome queries and doubts from you. Please feel free to make maximum use of this forum.



  1. Thanks for starting this blog, it will be really helpful for the aspirants.

  2. The way u have busted these cheap Pub Ad coaching institutes is good. Please also expose the other guys- vajiram for GS because it has an LTTE like hold on the aspirants.

  3. hi shubra this is raja here.first of all congrats on ur accomplishment excellent job.i have got 2 doubts regarding the mains exam

    1)regarding the 2 markers is it necessary we should write in a paragraph or can we even write in points.does the style of writing hugely matter here?

    2)in general studies does giving precise facts or figures help?for example for relations between india and other countries or any other question from economics like doha round do we need to write precisely or just write in general an overall view.really confused here

    it would be extremely helpful if u give ur opinion

  4. Hello Madam,First of all congratulation for topping Civil Services Exam. Mam, my name is Amit.I am from dhandbad, jharkhand.Mam, I have a serious doubt and i think you will help me out. Mam, i have written prelims exam this time and hopeful of clearing it. Mam, I am in Bangalore now. Mam, for GS Mains, I am considering joining Vaji Ram coching. I need your invaluable advice as to whether i should join it or not as days for submission of fees are approching very fast.I dont have any other reason to go to delhi except joining vaji ram coching as i have heard a lot about it.My target is to score good marks in GS Mains and hence I am Capitalizing on Vaji Ram. Is my decision wise? should I join it? How is the quality of faculty? Thats all mam. Waiting for your reply mam desperately.My email id is and please reply soon.Thanking You mam. -Amit Bhaskar Shrivastava.

  5. Hello Shubhra mam, Many many congratulations on your grand and inspiring success.. Must have been a great phase of life (ias topper is quite a celebrity and very well justified considering the efforts you had have to put into).. Best of luck for a career in civil services.. LBSNAA Mussoorie, ur state cadre & a bright career awaiting you.. Best wishes & congrats again !!

  6. For GS, self study suffices.Because in any coaching institute all you will get is notes.

    But if you really have to join any coaching institute, then you can join vajiram. But some part of GS is good there but the rest is not. So please don't think that your GS prep will be comprehensive if you join any coaching inst.


  7. Regarding 2 markers. plz write max info in less space. Paragraph or complete sentence not reqd.

    For GS facts are important. just vague analysis will now help.

  8. With all my humility, Shubra maam, let me differ with you, maam. My name is Laxman Singh Yadav. I paid very dearly for joining Vajiram for General Studies. Except geography and a few (only a few) lectures by the Director Mr.Prabhakaran, i was disappointed . Please excuse me maam for disagreeing with you. These are my genuine feelings. This is a common feeling in the class, maam

    The feelings you had for the public admn coaching insitutes, i have for this place for General Studies, more or less.

    Please do not misunderstand me. You are a topper and i have very high respect for you.

    There are better institutes for GS, i learnt it after wasting precious time and money, maam.

    Great regards,

    Laxman Singh Yadav

  9. Thanks a lot mam for responding to my queries. Mam, I think i should concentrate on self study as far as GS is concerned and should not rely on Vaji Ram. I think i will not join it. Mam, just wanna ask one more question:How to preapare for Public Ad Paper II especially the current part?Mam, as you have got brilliant score in Paper II of Pub Admn, can you suggest me some materials apart from the books especially for tackling current portions like administrative reforms,women, police reform, criminalization, etc and please share which books and other materials you referred for Pub Admn Paper II. Thanking you mam. Waiting for reply-Amit Bhaskar Shrivastava.

  10. @rhythm

    "For GS, self study suffices.Because in any coaching institute all you will get is notes.

    But if you really have to join any coaching institute, then you can join vajiram. But some part of GS is good there but the rest is not. So please don't think that your GS prep will be comprehensive if you join any coaching inst."

    You actually don't need to disagree with me as I am not endorsing Vajiram GS. I am saying the very same thing that only some portion of GS in vajiram is good. and I always maintain that for GS self study will suffice.

    One more thing, Mr. Ashok Singh from meridian classes is also a good teacher. I think these days he mostly teaches Hindi Medium students.

    Anyway this forum will provide you with my experiences and opinions. If you don't like them, it's alright. After all, this forum is meant to help you.


    @amit bhaskar

    kindly wait for a few days.
    give me sm time, i will share all this.

  11. Appreciate it,maam. Regards,
    Laxman Yadav

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. Madam,

    My best wishes to you.


  14. how imp it is to have u on blog......
    is beyond words...!
    blessings to u subhra di.

  15. hi shubhra.ji..congrates....plz suggest me 4 economics nd science tech in gs...wat u did?if u can plz..u remember my sixth sense or.....

  16. Hi shubhra mam, Many Congrats for the grand success !! This is vishal from St. Columbas college, HZRBG, iitb 08 btech.. You have given jharkhand a reason to smile & feel proud.

    Mam, my score in prelim is 215-220 in physics + 41 in GS.. After scaling in physics, should I be sure to be called for mains & keep preparing ?? (with maths & physics by brilliant tutorials & for gs, standard books, civil services cronicle as magazine).. Please guide.. Thank you for inspiring & helping us through this forum mam.

  17. Dear Shubhra,

    Great Acheivement at hand! Kudos.

    This post also is for your able guidance.

    I'm a doctor in Indian Army,Captain at present,an AFMC Pune passout(2006),and my short service is gonna end in Oct 2013.
    For the resettlement after my army service,IAS is one of the few options for me other than going to US n practice there or go for indian PG.
    All of them are totaly different from each other,
    and i personaly feel that I should give civil services a priority.

    I am very much confused about the choice of subjects.I've not done any exhaustive research as of now, but my subjects of interest will be like 1.Medical Sciences.
    2. Zoology
    3. psychology/ sociology /...n all so called easy scoring subjects... which are all totaly new for me. Yes, TIME is my asset as of now.

    You are the best person to ask help for, coz all my fellow officers, n none of whom ever faced CS exams confuse me more with their protean advices.

    Shubhra,also please suggest a coachin centre, that trains.. for like 2 mths max course, which i can attend in a year. Finances are okie with me, army pays me enuf.

    Yours sincerely
    Capt.Satnam Singh

  18. Hello Shubhra, Congratulations on your great achievement and wish all the very best for your civil services career ahead.

  19. 1000 profile views Shubraji. Congratulations

  20. @mita

    I think the medium doesn't matter much.
    But I realy can't guide you abt books for pa in gujarati, i am afraid.

    All the best.

  21. Dr Satnam,

    Well optional choice is again a very personal affair. I don't think anyne else should guide you on that. Please make a choice based on your aptitude interest, educ b/g and so on.

    Regarding psychology I can tell you that there is availability of a very good teacher and good study material in the form of Mr Mukul Pathak who has been a friend, philosopher and guide to me. For other subjects I can't say much.

    For GS self study is the best option.


  22. I have given sources for GS in a separate post

  23. It's ok Ma'm .I understand. Thanks for your reply.This blog is really helpful for many .
    All the Best for the training at Mussoorie..

  24. hi madam i m rakhee dhaka. i hav wrtten last year mains but performed very bably in psychology.although i joined mukul sir classes in my earlier attempt but not clear with basic concepts.should i join classes or work on my own for psychology?

  25. well, i wont advise you to take classes again. that would be funny ;-).

    please study on your own, practice answer writing, make notes.


  26. hai madam i am prabhu. i have written pre last 2 years. i wil hope to jum in mains. my optional are pub.Admn and Geography. but i am full focus on pub.Admn only. i have know abt geopraphy too least (upto 10th std). my query is for 2nd optional psychology r geography,which 1 is best.but i am interested in psychology. i am not changing my decision after ur result r not xerox u. its my long day query.please enlighten me.

  27. Hi Ram,

    please evaluate yourself for both psychology and geog . Which syllabus is more interesting for you. Look at the question papers and see if you are comfy with the kind of questions that are asked. only after this you wud be able to decide.

    Hope this helps.


  28. Hi mam, I am Alok. I have done my B.Tech. from IT-BHU .I have written prelims exam and taking public ad as 2nd optional. Which coaching would be better ? Can you suggest a few. Would ALS be good as your are supposed to give a 10 days lecture program in that Institute.

  29. Hi Alok,

    I can't advise you to join ALS as I do not have any experience of their Pub Ad classes. that is something you will have to ascertain yourself.

    As for my classes, they are a separate module of 10 days that you can attend even without joining ALS regular programme.


  30. Congrats Shubhra Mam....

    I think I have an unusual and strange question.My question is :Is it necessary to join a coaching center for taking Civil Servcices.

    I am Ankith Kumar a gradute student in my last semester of my Masters in United States.Recently I came around your sucess story and luckily I found this blog.I am plannig to return to india and prepare for Civils.So,please answer my question.I am in a big dilemma whether to return INDIA or stay back in US.

    Once again I am congratualating on your huge moments.

    Thank You Mam....

    Lastly,I am a big sceptic and even i doubt the Authenticity of this blog.I dont mean to humiliate you.But i doubt that some one might have created this blog on your name.Please forgive me for the last few lines if I am wrong.

    Hoping a Reply from You.

  31. @chintu

    I have already answered this question. please search the blog for other queries as well.

  32. hello mam i am MAHUL INDANI doin my final yr mechanical engineering @ visvesvarya national institute of technology, nagpur. i want to prepare for UPSC .. i have decided with sociology and public administration as my optional subjects... as i am left with 1 year of my engineering. i want ur kind guidence abt... good coaching institutes for these 2 optionals and gs @ DELHI AND THE WORKING STRATEGIES for these 2 subject to be followed in this 1 year that will help me to take up this subjects at the time of coaching..... waiting for ur reply mam.. thank u so much!!!!!!!!!!

  33. Thank You very much for your reply Mam..

  34. @mahul

    please go thru the blog. you will get answers to ur questions.

  35. hey Shubra.....though its late, but Congrats to ur victory.

    I was a bit late in reading ur blog but it was damn impressive and helped me a lot regarding the subjects for Optional and ur opinion for classes.

    I was leaving 4 delhi for my preps and was about to join the "5 hrs Classes" for Pub Ad.

    I have just completed my 5 yrs Law this Year and i intend to keep it as my second optional.

    On GS i have a good knowledge of History and Science and a bit of GK.

    I had bought all books 4 Pub Ad but after reading ur blogs i thought Pyschology would be good option 4 me i have already read ncert 11th std after that and i think its a good subject.

    1) Wanted to know if its OK to pick up a subject at this stage (i'm aiming 4 2010 and i have wasted my two attempts earlier)?

    2) The books u have mentioned 4 psychology needs to be supplemented or are more than enough?

    3) Is joining Mukul Pathak beneficial?

    4) Ny advice on GS preps (though i have read the history nd science part many times, i haven't prepared it according to CSE standards)?

    Plz let me email is

    nd again Thanks for sharing ur experience and knowledge with us.

  36. 1) it's totally fine.

    2)they are more than enough


    4)GS post will follow

  37. hey thanks 4 the reply!!! I'll keep following the post......thanks again....

  38. Hi..
    First of all heartist congratulations to you. i am amit from jaipur(raj.) i completed engg in comput.sci. in 2008. i got placed in 3 IT companies.but due to recession my joining was cancelled. i diverted my mind to govt.sector. i want to start preparation for CS. i have done schooling by hindi medium. Pls suggest me which optional i should select. whether there is any problem if i choose hindi medium.

  39. I can't keep answering the same questions again and again.

    If you are really serious abt this preparation and getting some guidance here, go ahead and browse posts and comments. So many other people have already asked the same questions and I have answered them.

  40. mam can u tell something abt notes making?
    in ur opinion notes should be made of a book or a topic.for ex will we make notes of bipin chandra or national movement.and how to go abt making them?
    bcos i have many times started making notes but left them in the middle and never read them.
    and mam do u have any idea abt scaling process?can u tell something abt philosophy as an optional in english medium?bcos i think u must have enquired abt many subjects whili choosing 1 for urself

  41. Scaling no idea. Noone has any idea about it.

    I will write a post on notemaking shortly.

  42. hello mam,i m arun studying in 3rd yr mbbs in maulana azad medical college,i want to b an ias but dont know what to do.i would probably appear in 2013.
    help me

  43. halo mam
    applying in civils had been my childhood dream but then somehow i got buzy in the pathway of academics.Presently pursuing my m.phil from JNU and have done my graduation from delhi university.Now i feel is the time to try for that ultimate call.Its late but i want to strategically prepare.Surfing the net,i came across ur blog.Hope it work wonders for me..It really is sounding helpful...I am at stage one..can you please guide me what should be my preparation funda.I am planning to sit next year.

  44. Thank you for sharing this very nice post, please keep continue the sharing of this types of information. Here we are waiting for more

  45. Hello mam,
    Thanks for the amazing blogs. Can u please help me with one query?
    I am dreaded by Geography. Do't know from where to start? please help.
    Vaibhav tripathi

  46. mam gs ke note mil sakte hai hmko

  47. Hi Shubhra,

    Is it necessary to start the preparation from Ncert of class VI or is it sufficient to start from class XI? Please advise me in this regard.Thanks in advance...Abhijit...

  48. Hi Shubhra,

    Is it necessary to start the preparation from Ncert of class VI or is it sufficient to start from class XI? Please advise me in this regard.Thanks in advance...Abhijit...

  49. Hi,

    Is it necessary to start my prep from class VI Ncert or from class XI is sufficient???Please advise me in this regard.Thanks in advance......

  50. Ma'am i want to know about Chanakya IAS academy. In Delhi a single instt. is not good for guidance in various subjects. So can you list me out some good institutes as you are experienced. If i go around all instt they will definitely praise themselves thus misguiding a student. Most importantly time and money both will be wasted. So ma'am i request you to suggest me some good institutes.

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