Problems in Preparing for CSE from Home -Without Coaching

Preparing for civil services exam from home is not that easy. Many a times we doubt our abilities. We are not sure whether we are going in the right direction or not. The coaching institutes has created such an air that it has come to be believed that cracking CSE is next to impossible without taking their service. 

when we are preparing from home without taking service of any coaching institute we are like a ship without a captain. it is because we lack information about what to study, how to study, how much to study, how to write good answers etc. but in the age of internet, it is not a big handicap. we can overcome this problem with the help of internet. almost all information regarding cse is readily available here. 

concentrating on studies is not easy if there are kids at home. we are also expected to give a considerable amount of time for socializing. such things can not be completely avoided. chose your study time during night to minimize the impact of kids and socialization. 

another problem is self-doubt. coaching institutes are not indispensable for success in ias exam. many candidates have qualified without coaching. upsc is striving to reduce the role of coachingwalas by making the nature of questions dynamic and unpredictable. a new ias aspirant has same footing as that of a veteran ias coach. both are in dark. the ias coaches have only no of years of experience and nothing more to offer. 

the coaching institutes are a business. their business survives due to the feeling of insecurity of the candidates. they are are like nirmal baba. they do not have any magic for success. they are in this business after failing and exhausting all their attempts. they themselves were cheated sometimes in their own times by some other bogus institutes. 

do not feel tempted by their glossy ads in newspapers, magazine etc. the journey of an ias aspirant is very long and tedious. keep yourself motivated. follow a systematic approach to study. learn from your previous mistakes. use internet for clearing your doubts. learn from the strategies adopted by the toppers.

put aside all your doubts. concentrate on your preparations. believe that you are moving in the right direction. take care to study only the relevant study materials. practice and practice a lot. there is no secret mantra for success. the number of hours spent on study table matters. hard work is sure to be rewarded with sweetness of success.

Saptang Theory of Kautilya

According to the Saptang Theory of Kautilya, there are seven parts or elements constituting a state. This is written in his famous book - ''Arthashastra''. The seven elements of a state are- 'Swami', 'Amatya', 'Janpad', 'Durg', 'Kosh', 'Dand' and 'Mitra'.All the seven elements are necessary for smooth functioning of the state. All of them should have proper coordination among themselves. 

Swami is the first and the most important element. Swami means the monarch. He should be a native of the soil and born in a noble family. He should be brave and well learned. He makes all the important appointments and supervises the government. He has to be virtuous and should treat his subjects like his own children. Kautilya has given extensive powers to the monarch but those powers are meant for the welfare of them subjects. In the welfare and happiness of his subjects, lies his own happiness.

Amatya referes to the council of ministers as well as the supporting officials and subordinate staffs. They are meant for assisting the monarch in day to day affairs of the state. Amatya gives suggestions to king, collects taxes, develops new villages and cities, ensures defense of the state and all other tasks as assigned by the king.

Janpad refers to territory and people of the state. The territory of the state should be fertile and should have abundance of forest, rivers, mountains, minerals, wild life etc. It should have have good climate. People should be loyal to their king, hard working, disciplined, religious, ready to fight for their motherland, should pay taxes regularly and happily. 

Durg refers to forts. The state should have sufficient number of forts across its territory at strategic locations for ensuring defense against foreign invasions. Forts should be built near hills/mountains, deserts, dense forests and big water bodies. They garrison soldiers, store food grains for emergency and also serve as a hideout for the king when his life in danger.

Kosh means treasury of the state. Finance is life blood of any state without which it is almost impossible to run it. Money is needed for paying salaries, building new infrastructure, etc. The treasury should be full of money and valuable metals and gems. It can be increased through taxation and plundering enemy states in war.

Dand refers to military. The  state should have a regular, large, disciplined and well trained military. It is crucial for the security of the state. The soldiers should be recruited from those families which are traditionally associated with military. The soldiers should paid well and their families should be taken care of in most suitable way. Proper training and equipment should be made available. Well fed and well trained soldiers can win any battle. The king should take care of the soldiers and the soldiers will be ready to sacrifice even their life for him.

Mitra refers to friends of the king. The monarch should maintain friendly relationship with traditional friends of his forefathers. He should also make new friendships. He should send gifts and other pleasantries for his friends. They should be helped in times of emergency. They should be loyal. Friends add to the power of the state. They are also important from foreign trade view point.

In modern times, we see five elements of state- sovereignty, government, territory, population and international recognition. Kautilya gave his theory of state more than 2300 years ago and it is still relevant today. The king represented sovereignty, the amatya represented government, the janpad represented territory and population and the mitra represented international recognition of the state.

Elements like kosh (treasury), durg (forts) and dand (military) are not held as essential elements of state in modern times. But it is also true that their importance is implied. No modern state can function and exist for long without these extra elements. 

Kautilya's saptang theory or theory of state is very comprehensive and relevant even today. In giving such a complete definition of state he was certainly much ahead of his times.

How to Make Notes for IAS Exam

Notes play important role in success in civil services exam. Several candidates have passed these exams even without making notes. But the number of such candidates is not very huge. Making notes is a safe route to success. Notes are helpful in quick revision before exams. It is not easy to go through all the books just a few days before the exams.

But making notes is not easy. To make good quality notes you need to put a lot of genuine effort in reading and clearing concepts from standard books and other materials. If one starts making notes without  clearing the concepts from the books he will end up just copying the whole book.

Good notes are short yet comprehensive. They contain a lot of relevant content in form of points and diagrams. Notes contain the real matter in condensed form. 


Books or other materials contain a lot repeated contents. If you solely rely on your books, you will find it quite difficult to cover the syllabus in time and revise a few days before the exam. Another disadvantage of solely relying on books is that you will often get deviated into less important chapters.


Take help from the syllabus. Get the necessary books and other study materials. Mark relevant chapters and topics. Read and reread them. After clearing your concepts you can start making notes. It will be useful if you make a detailed plan before commencing note-making. Spot the interrelated topics. 


Make notes on good quality paper, use sketch pens and different colour pens to mark different points. They should look appealing to your eyes. Write in neat handwriting.


Note-making is very time consuming. You will need to work on it it planned manner otherwise you will never be able to complete it. Many people start making notes but give up after a few days. It is a difficult task but it rewards in long run. 


Ready made notes are available in market. But they can not match self-made notes. Your own notes are unique. You make them after a lot sincere study. If you are putting in effort  into something you are sure to get success.


There are several methods of note-making. But you should make notes as per your own natural style. The aim should be to condense only the relevant content. Keep your notes simple and short.  You can note down points on a rough copy then make its fair copy after making edits. 


Keep your notes away from your sight for a few days. Then review them. You will feel necessity to make improvements in them. Remember to leave some extra space on each page where you can add new points or make corrections. 

In last 1 or 2 months before the mains exams you should study exclusively from the these notes. Revision of the syllabus is most decisive factor in success or failure in civil services exam. And you can increase the number of revisions only you have condensed material of the vast syllabus