[Toppers] Akshat Jain Strategy, Booklist, Marksheet, Study Tips | Anthropology Optional | AIR 2 | Good Read for Beginners

NameAkshat Jain
Rank in CSE-2018UPSC 2018 AIR 2
Roll No.1104407
Age23 Years
Marital StatusUnmarried
Total attempts in CSE (including this one)2
Optional SubjectAnthropology
Schooling MediumEnglish
College MediumEnglish
Medium chosen for Mains answersEnglish
Medium chosen for InterviewEnglish
Home town/city 
Name of college, city, passing out yearDegree in Design from IIT-Guwahati
Work-experience if anySamsung R&D Institute Bangalore


Akshat Jain has secured the All India Rank-2 in the 2018 Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examination. An alumnus of IIT Guwahati, bagged the second position in the prestigious exam in his second attempt. His first attempt was in the year 2017 hardly a month post his graduation. Though he could not clear in the first attempt, it was a great learning experience for him.

WATCH: Booklist + Resources of Akshat Jain

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Style of preparation and notes making

  1. Syllabus and PYQP are the first element of resource list.
  2. Less is More – Keep your resources relevant and limited.
  3. First NCRTs and then Advanced  books and finally value addition material
  4. Once resource list is decided stick to it no matter what

Study Tips for Future Aspirants

  1. Do not start your preparation without having a clear strategy
  2. Strategy Formulated should be feasible
  3. Once formulated, do not deviate from it until and unless not getting results
  4. Always self inspect and introspect 
  5. Create a Road Map

[Strategy] Akshat Jain Strategy for UPSC CSE

based on these four parameters

  1. Be Mains-ready before prelims, i.e. finish maximum syllabus of mains before prelims.
  2. Make short notes of each and every topics of GS
  3. Complete the optional at least once before the prelims.
  4. Ensure sufficient answer writing practice before prelims

Prelims Preparation

  1. From march only priority is prelims 
  2. Periodically revise the notes from a prelims prospective.
  3. Attempt maximum number of Mock Test – Sectional and Full.
  4. Work out a paper – loving strategy at least 2 weeks from prelims

Mains: Essay

  • He has started writing essay in November
  • Once a week or once 2 weeks.
  • Write 5-6 Essays before prelims.

Now we will take a look on his booklist.


General Studies (Mains) paper 1 Booklist

Art and Culture
Modern Indian history
world history
  • Vision IAS notes
  • New NCERTs Classes 6-12 specific topics
post-independence India
  • Nitin Sangwan Notes
  • New NCERTs Classes 6-12 specific topics

Indian Society

  • Indian society
  • role of women, poverty etc.
  • globalisation on Indian society
  • communalism, regionalism, secularism
  • Vision IAS Current Affairs Material
  • Vision IAS Mains Test Series 


  • world geophysical
  • impact on flora-fauna
  • earthquake-tsunami etc
  • factors for industrial location
  • resource distribution
  • New NCERTs classes
  • 6th-10th, 11th and 12th
  • Ms.Rajtanil (Geo videos available on Mrunal)
  • Gc Leong
  • Oxford Atlas

General Studies Paper II Indian Constitution, Polity, Governance, Social Justice and International Relations

TopicBooks / Resources

Indian Polity and Constitution

  • Indian Constitution, devolution, dispute redressal etc.
  • comparing Constitution with world
  • LegislatureExecutive – Judiciary
  • Elections – RPA 
  • Constitutional bodies – statutory bodies
  • New NCERT Class VI to XII – not in detail
  • Indian Polity by Laxmikant
  • Current Affairs : Vision, Editorials, PIB, PRS

Social Justice

  • NGO, SHG etcWelfare schemes, bodies
  • Social sector, health, edu, HRD
  • Development Industry
  • Editorials, Vision IAS, PIB
  • NITI 3 Year Agenda
  • Budget and Economic Survey 


  • governance, transparency, accountability
  • e-governancerole of civil service

International Relations

  • India & neighbours
  • Bilateral/global grouping
  • Effect of foreign country policies on Indian interest
  • Diaspora
  • International bodies – structure mandate
  • Vision IAS material
  • Editorials
  • MEA website PDF

General Studies Paper III Economic Development, Agriculture, Environment, Technology and Internal Security 


Indian Economy

  • Indian economy,
  • resource mobilisation
  • Inclusive growth
  • Government Budgeting
  • Liberalisation
  • Infrastructure
  • Investment Models
  • Macroeconomics NCERT
  • Indian Economic Development
  • Sanjeev Verma
  • Current Affairs : Vision, Editorials, PIB
  • Budget and Economic Survey 
  • Net: Arthpedia, Vikaspedia etc


  • Major crops, irrigation
  • Agro produce – storage, marketinge-technology for famers
  • Farm subsidies, MSP, PDS, buffer, food security
  • Technology mission
  • Animal Rearing
  • Animal Rearing Economics
  • Food Processing
  • Land Reforms
Internet references + Vision Material


  • science-tech day to day life
  • Indian achievements in sci-tech
  • awareness in IT, space, biotech, nano, IPR
  • Current Affairs : Vision
  • Editorials
  • Biology 12th NCERT (last 4 chapters), 
  • Specific topics from Shankar,
  • Current Affairs : Vision, Editorials, PIBPMF IAS
Disaster Management
  • 2nd ARC – Crisis Management
  • NDMA guidelines 
  • Current Affairs : Vision

Internal Security

  • non state actors, internal security
  • internal security – role of media, social networking site
  • Cyber Security and Money Laundering
  • Border Management
  • Organised crime, terrorismsecurity agencies- structure mandate

General Studies 4 Syllabus and Resources Ethics, Integrity, aptitude

TopicBooks/ Resources

Ethics and Human Interface

  • Attitude, moral influence etc.
  • Civil service: integrity, impartiality, tolerance to weak etc
  • Emotional Intelligence and its use in governance
  • Moral thinkers of India and world
  • Ethics in PubAd
  • Probity in Governance Corporate Governacne
  • Citizen charter, ethics code, work culture etc.
  • Challenges of CorruptionCase studies

Prelims (CSAT) Paper-1: General studies

  • Basic books will remain the same.
  • For current issues you can refer Vision IAS PT 365.
  • For Govt schemes read any compilation of Schemes.
  • Important –> Previous Years Papers
  • He did not prepared CSAT.

View this post on Instagram

A graduate from IIT Guwahati with a degree in design, 23-year-old Akshat’s early influence to prepare for the UPSC were his civil servant parents. Akshat’s father, Mr D C Jain, is now the Joint Director in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), New Delhi and mother, Mrs Simmi Jain, an Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer is the ADG of National Academy of Customs, Indirect Taxes and Narcotics (NACIN) in Jaipur. His first attempt at the Civil Service Examination was a month after he graduated in 2017. While Akshat could not clear the attempt, he says it was a great learning experience for him. . . #upsc #ias #ips #ssc #currentaffairs #gk #india #generalknowledge #ssccgl #news #study #ifs #motivation #knowledge #cgl #cds #banking #rrb #irs #civilservices #railway #ibps #education #mppsc #pcs #upscmotivation #bankpo #bank #gpsc #iasmotivation

A post shared by www.indiashastra.com (@iupscaspirant) on

Tips for Future Aspirants on how to prepare mains optional subject?

  • Complete the optional at least once before the prelims i.e. be mains ready before prelims
  • Go through the syllabus, make notes on it. So at least once we should be thorough with our optional before prelims. 
  • Optional subject was his main priority he was very cleared he want to first complete his optional and that to before October 2017. 
  • Anthropology was his optional. 

Tips on Mains Answer Writing

  • Ensure sufficient answer writing practice before prelims
  • Akshat said ” I was very clearI have to practice writing answers, writing test no matter what and get  sufficient answer writing practice before prelims itself. 
  • Daily answer writing based on the editorials read in the news paper.
    1. For those taking coaching classes – Revise what is being taught. But give rest of the time to optional.
    2. For those self studying and worried about GS- Start reading NCERTs. But devote maximum of your time on optional

Akshat Jain Mark sheet — > CSE-2018 Mark-sheet

ESSAY Paper 1)123
OPTIONAL – (Anthropology) (PAPER-6)171
OPTIONAL- (Anthropology) (PAPER-7)164

Credit – Family

  • His own parents who are civil servants motivated him. Akshat’s father, Mr D C Jain, is the Joint Director in CBI, New Delhi. His mother, Mrs Simmi Jain, an IRS officer is the ADG of NACIN in Jaipur.

Also Read: Strategy, Booklist, Study Tips and Journey of Junaid Ahmad


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