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UPSC PRELIMS STRATEGY

Science and Technology

Science and Technology is an important part of Prelims syllabus. It covers not only the static portion but dynamic as well. In recent years, UPSC is emphasizing on dynamic cum analytical aspect of Science and Technology (S & T).


How to Prepare?

While analyzing the questions, it is clear that almost all questions are analytical and demands clarity of concepts rather than only facts. It is getting even tougher for an aspirant to prepare the analytical aspect because none of the static sources teach about it.

S&T includes basic science like Physical, Chemical, Biological, Bio-Chemistry and Technology. Very basic way to prepare this section is to get acquainted with current developments with respect to all the domains, part of S&T. Here we classify the domains and let you understand the very diversified and analytical nature of questions asked.


Physical Science and Current Events

There is no need of doing research in Physics to solve the questions. Questions from this section are basic and deal more with current happenings or some phenomenon in news. There is no need to study physics as a core subject. We are dividing the aspects to be learnt and also the way to approach it.


  • Current Events: Current aspects of Physics can be broadly understood under headings such as Graphene, Higg’s Boson, Big Bang Theory, Dark Energy and Dark Matter which are directional that you will find while reading newspapers.
  • Concepts: Forces in Nature and Naturally Occurring Phenomenon such as Gravitational Force, Electromagnetic Force and Energy, Rotation and Revolution of Earth, Recent phenomenon in news.

Note: NCERT texts cover these basics. Hence the questions asked in the last 3 years could have been answered though some thought it was tricky.


  • Natural Processes: Look around you and try to find out science involved in various natural processes and focus on news related to natural processes.
  • Chemical Science:General phenomenon of chemistry or chemical change like anomalous expansion of water, density of water is also covered in NCERT.
  • Biological Science:Bio-Chemistry and Current Events Focus should be on
    • Transplanting of seeds and advantages/disadvantages.
    • Natural Processes of animals and plants- Cell biology
    • Photosynthesis in Plants
    • Carbohydrates and Proteins- Any important aspect in news
    • Trans fats, Omega Fatty Acids etc.- Focus on Properties

Biology : Focus should be on Blood group, DNA sequence, DNA related concepts like chromosome, DNA Fingerprinting, Causes for HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B, Swine flu (H1N1), Diseases in news like TB, Cholera, Foot and Mouth and Ebola etc., recent outbreaks of such diseases like Ebola and MERS in Guinea, Liberia & MERs in South Korea, Stem Cells – issues and its application, Viruses and bacteria: Basics and definition, enzymes and catalysts, Minerals and Vitamins etc.


Technology: Bio-technology, IT and Communication, Space Technology and Current Events.

Focus:

  • Technologies in news by Indian agencies like DRDO & CSIR- Example Bio toilets are very much in news developedby DRDO and to be deployed in various parts of the country.
  • Application of these technologies- Example Bio toilets- Focus on its working and applications- Environment friendly, will assist in handling open defecation etc. Work on Bacterial decomposition, maintenance is easy & water and biogas release etc. Same way for ISRO- example GAGAN, Supercomputers etc.
  • Differences between the related technologies. Difference between Near Field Communication, Wi-Fi, Wi-Max and Blue-tooth – their range of frequencies
  • Latest trends in technology like CFL and LED, Blu-Ray Discs and DVD, HD, Plasma TV, Wi-Fi, Wi-Max, GSM, CDMA etc.
  • Genetic Engineering- DNA Fingerprinting and DNA profiling etc.
  • Genetically Modified (GM) crops – Bt-Brinjal, Bt-Cotton, Golden Rice, etc –issues, advantages and disadvantages.
  • Regulatory Boards and Commissions set-up with regard to GM crops
  • Mobile, Telephony, Optic Fiber Communications and related concepts- Difference between 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G.
  • Programmes like National telecom Policy-2012, specific features etc.
  • Technologies in news- NFC, Long Term Evolution, Internet.org
  • Issues- Net Neutrality, Internet of things, Semantic web etc.
  • Physical and Virtual Network and related concepts like VPN, WAN, LAN, router and hub, NFC, Wi-Fi, Wi-Max, Bluetooth etc.

Space and Communication Systems

Focus:

  • Satellites and Orbits- Indian Remote Sensing & its applications- In Agriculture, mineral explorations, ground water measurement, sea ice, coastal monitoring and flood monitoring etc. Others like recent IRNSS systems to be used in Telecommunications. You should focus on how they differ in their approach.
  • Recent missions like MOM, ROVER and ROSSETTA Missions.
  • Types of satellites and their functions
  • Applications and range of frequencies of bands like Ku, Ka etc.

Sources to Prepare and points to remember

  • Aspire IAS Newspaper Analysis Programme : One-Stop Solution for Diverse Science syllabus
  • NCERT– Class 6th to 10th and Biology- class 12th
  • Read NCERT’S carefully and relate the concepts while reading newspapers
  • The Hindu Newspaper

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