How to Prepare Economic & Social-Development for Civil Services Prelims


In the PT examination the weightage of Economy and Socio-economic development is increasing.

If you analyze previous year question papers you will find that about half of the questions on Economy and Social Development came from the basics like Inflation. Deficit financing and the other half came from the latest development.

Economics is such an inter-disciplinary faculty that to master this art you will have to know “something” of “everything”. And this “something” cannot be taken trivially as it denotes the most important and latest development in the area of finance, world economy and how all that goes on to affect India. Economics is vast and there are similar other subjects that you have to be master-of.

Now, comes the logical question on how you can utilize your time in a most optimum manner so that the Return on Investment could be optimized (RoI, using economical lingo) i.e. here investment denotes the scarce commodity that you have and that being time?

India’s growth motto is “inclusive growth” and if you analyse these two words you can get the answer to your question regarding the contours of syllabus. “Inclusive growth” means that you can expect questions from the entire important positive intervention programme that has been undertaken by this government. Surely it does not only include government terms that have become clichés like MNREGA, SSA, MMS but you should also be familiar to the some extent to the terms like Social audit, Outcome Budgeting, Zero Budgeting, Midterm survey, Baseline survey, etc.

In a nutshell now the domain of this faculty has become all the more interesting. Now rather than expecting ‘evergreen’ questions based on the definition of inflation (which will always be ‘evergreen’) you can expect questions like inflation affecting the real rate of return on “aam aadmi” asset. Certainly all that is related to sustainable development and carbon trading will gain ground as far as this year’s question is concerned seeing the amount of coverage it is getting in the national and international media. Thus question will become more practically inclined which requires you to be up-to date with the latest happening in the area of national development.

Conclusively, we can say that a general approach of the subject is required and more important is the conceptual clarity as the questions particularly of economics are seldom straightforward. It is also important to know that some of the topics like inflation, WPI , Doha, GATT , questions related to budget (as budget is passed just two months prior to exam) and banking questions are evergreen topics for the question setters. And it will remain ‘evergreen’ without doubt.

Below are some questions pertaining to Economy and social development asked in UPSC exam in recent years:

  1. The balance of payments of a country is a systematic record of

(a) all import and export transactions of a country during a given period of time, normally a year

(b) goods exported from a country during a year

(c) economic transaction between the government of one country to another

(d) capital movements from one country to another

  1. The Reserve Bank of India regulates the commercial banks in matters of
  2. Liquidity of assets
  3. Branch expansion
  4. Merger of banks
  5. Winding-up of banks

Select the correct answer using the codes given below.

(a) 1 and 4 only                                 (b) 2, 3 and 4 only                            (c) 1, 2 and 3 only                             (d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

  1. Priority Sector lending by banks in India constitutes the lending to

(a) Agriculture                                   (b) micro and small enterprises

(c) Weaker sections                        (d) All of the above

  1. Which one of the following is likely to be the most inflationary in its effect?

(a) Repayment of public debt

(b) Borrowing from the public to finance a budget deficit

(c) Borrowing from banks to finance a budget deficit

(d) Creating new money to finance a budget deficit

  1. Which of the following grants/grant direct credit assistance to rural households?
  2. Regional Rural Banks
  3. National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development
  4. Land Development Banks

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only                                 (b) 2 only                             (c) 1 and 3 only                  (d) 1, 2 and 3


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