RAS Preparation Strategy by RAS Topper - Damodar Singh Khatana

Damodar Singh Khatana, an alumnus of IIT Kanpur, secured the third rank in the Rajasthan Administrative Services RAS exams conducted by RPSC. He achieved this feat in his second attempt itself.

Here in this article, Damodar Singh shares his own RAS preparation strategy and reference material that he studied from during his RPSC exam preparation.

RAS Preparation Strategy and Reference Materials by RAS Topper Damodar Singh

Study as per syllabus and not what all is given in books. Books generally are not written specifically for UPSC/RPSC exams. We should avoid getting trapped in the books. Always keeps syllabus easily accessible and meticulously focus on the content given in the syllabus, so much so that while reading any newspaper article, it should come to your mind as to which part of the syllabus, the given article relates to and what can be asked in the exam about this.

Arrange notes as per syllabus topics. Try to make one-page summary on each syllabus topic and write down all important dimensions, facts, issues, keywords etc on that page. If your notes are well arranged, then you will be able to reproduce the same in the examination with quite an ease.

There is a phenomenon of over-reading from too many sources often encountered in UPSC/ RPSC preparation. This keeps giving some satisfaction through the feeling of working hard/ studying for so many hours. Avoid this. Reading the same topic from too many sources does not help. Rely on one/two authentic good sources.

Revision needs to be given due importance. “Read less, reflect more, revise more”. After studying any topic, reflect as what you will write on that topic if asked in the exam. Devote more time to reflect on what you have already studied.

Role of Language Paper i.e Paper-IV-- Essential for securing good rank. This paper requires less investment of time and has a very high return. Hindi Grammar forms 25% (50 marks) of this paper. Repeated revision of Grammar can help in memorizing all essential items. Similarly, English grammar must be revised even by English medium students. Remember, every marks count for getting a rank. For all other things like letter, report, circular etc, adhering to format is the most important thing.

How to find out what is important?- Go through the previous year papers. This gives a fair idea as to what is being asked. Please note that examination is being conducted for so many years. There are certain favourite areas, from where questions are being repeatedly asked. Focus more on these topics during your study. For eq. during the preparation of RAS mains, I brought up previous year papers of all erstwhile optional subjects like history, geography, Pub. Ad., economy etc. Scanning these questions help to identify which part of the syllabus is more important. Further many a times, questions are repeated as it is. For eq. Cultural achievements of Kumbha or salient features of fort architecture of Rajasthan.

How to keep track of Rajasthan current affairs? – Only Hindi newspapers are available. They too do not provide any analytical content relevant for the exam. Thus daily Rajasthan newspaper reading is not essential for mains examination. All significant issues can be covered through monthly magazine i.e Moomal/ Panorama. Sujash (being a govt magazine) is a must read. App with the name of the present CM may also be downloaded and can be looked at least weekly. Further, any news related to Rajasthan can be kept track of in “The Hindu”. But for interview reading Rajasthan daily news becomes important.

Have slightly more factual orientation (more than UPSC). Insert relevant constitutional articles, geographic/economic facts. In 5 marker questions, space is a real constraint, thus facts should be provided organically in the answers. Economy of words to be practised.

Answer writing- Examiner gives marks based on what you have written and not what you know. Therefore developing writing skills is important. Please note that marks are given based on various dimension included in the answer and not on the length of the answer. Overstressing one particular dimension and filling answer space will not fetch marks. Here comes the role of answer writing through test series.

Test series: timing? - First, you should complete the syllabus. But the problem is that you may never have a feeling of completion of the syllabus. Therefore one should start writing when approx 80% syllabus is covered. But writing answers even when you have not covered a significant part of syllabus also may not be of any use.

Test series: utility? - Test series certainly help improve performance in the examination. Through answer writing practice, we learn to organize our thoughts, avoid repeating/ exaggerating single dimension of the answer and learn to include multiple dimensions and give balanced answers. Further, it helps in time management. In RAS Mains, time is not normally a constraint in the first three papers but in 2016, many people reported time constraint in paper IV.

Hours of study? These are generally individual specific. Weekly/ daily goals should be set as what all you should finish within a specific time. Hours of study may need to be increased to achieve these goals. Normally 8-10 hours of daily study is the need. Claim, by some, of studying daily 16-17 hours does not appear to be correct. Don’t get depressed by such claims. Please have sufficient time for revisions.

Sources/ reference materials - given ahead topic wise. Apart from these if something is not available, try online. Some websites are there – for eq. https://rasfreenotes.in/.

RAS Mains Paper 1 - Study Materials

Paper – I

General Knowledge and General Studies
Part A - History, Art, Culture, Literature, Tradition and Heritage of
 Major landmarks in the History of Rajasthan from Pre-historic time to
 close of 18th Century, Important dynasties, their administrative and
 revenue system.
 Salient events of 19th & 20th centuries: Peasant & Tribal Movements.
 Political Awakening, Freedom Movement and Integration.
 Heritage of Rajasthan: Performing & fine Art, Handicraft and
 Architecture; Fairs, Festivals, Folk Music and Folk Dance
 Important works of Rajasthani Literature and Dialects of Rajasthan.
 Saints , Lok Devtas and eminent personalities of Rajasthan
Quality of material/ books available in English is not that good or
comparable to that in Hindi. Recommended to go for Material in
Hindi & translate-
Raj Panorma Vol 2 – Rajasthan: History, art, culture- Go for

it, if you have slightly more time. In case of shortage of time,

Lakshya can be referred, but it is more of factual nature.

Pulse education series (Dr B C Jat & M R Sou)- Question

answer format. Gives a fair idea about questions being

asked in the exam.
Above two will suffice. If you have more time, can refer
Hukam Chand Jain, Naryan Lal Mali
Gopinath Sharma- Rajasthan ka Itihas
Krishan Gopal Sharma – History & culture of Rajasthan-
available in English.
Part B - Indian History & Culture
 Indian heritage: Fine Art, Performing Art, Architecture & Literature
 from Indus Civilization to British Era.
Religious Movements and religious philosophy in Ancient and
 Medieval India.
History of Modern India from the beginning of 19th Century to 1965 AD:
 Significant events, personalities and issues.
 Indian National Movement- Its various stages & streams, important
 contributors and contribution from different parts of the country.
 Socio-religious Reform Movements in 19th and 20th Century.
 Post Independence consolidation and reorganisation – Accession of
 princely states & Linguistic reorganisation of the states.
Nitin Singhania- Indian Art & Culture- read topics as per syllabus

Nitin Singhania- Indian Art & Culture- Chapter 12, 14 & Appendix 2

Spectrum- A Brief History of Modern India


Certain chapters from Bipin Chandra- India’s struggle for

Independence- - 38, 39, 17, 24,29, 16, 27, 31, 32, 33

Vision Ias printed notes will suffice.

For a more detailed study of some aspects refer- Bipin Chandra- India since Independence
Part C - History of Modern World (up to 1950AD)
Renaissance and Reformation.

Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution.

Imperialism and colonialism in Asia and Africa. Impact of World Wars.
Ballian class notes cover these sufficiently and briefly. For more detailed study- Vision IAS world history notes

Keep factual orientation. For eq. Short notes on Renaissance & enlightenment famous personalities.
Part A- Indian Economy
 Major Sectors of Economy: Agriculture, Industry & Service-
 Current Status, Issues and Initiatives.
 Banking: Concept of Money supply & High Powered Money.
 Role and Functions of Central Bank & Commercial Banks,
 issues of NPA, Financial Inclusion. Monetary Policy- Concept,
 objectives & Instruments.
 Public Finance: Tax reforms in India- Direct & Indirect,
 subsidies- Cash Transfer and other related issues. Recent
 Fiscal Policy of India.
Recent Trends in Indian Economy: Role of Foreign Capital,
MNCs, PDS, FDI, Exim Policy, 12th Finance Commission,
Poverty alleviation schemes
For basic topics- Shri ram Economy printed notes
Current issues/ schemes etc- Vision IAS mains 365 material
further, update it with Vision Ias monthly magazines.

Special focus on factual aspects. For eq. Definition of NPA, High powered money
Part B- World Economy
Global Economic issues and trends: Role of World Bank, IMF & WTO.
1.Concept of Developing, Emerging and Developed countries.
2. India in global Scenario
Part C- Economy of Rajasthan
Agriculture, Horticulture, Forestry, Dairy and Animal husbandry with special reference to Rajasthan.
Industrial Sector- Growth and recent trends.
 Growth, Development & Planning with special reference to
 Recent development and issues in service sector of Rajasthan.
Major Development Projects of Rajasthan- their objectives and

Public Private Partnership Model for Economic Transformation in
Demographic Scenario of the State and its impact on Rajasthan
Sources: Rajasthan Economic Review- Most authentic document for latest schemes/ data.
Added advantage is that schemes etc are given in the concerned ministry/ dept chapter.
RPSC tend to ask factual questions on schemes. It also has some analytical content.
Raj Panorma Vol-1: Rajasthan- Geography, economy & polity guide (Hindi medium)
Alternatively, if you have less time, refer Lakshay
Some aspects can be covered from Nathuramka-
Economy of Rajasthan (Available in English)
Part A- Sociology Refer any coaching printed material
Part B- Management
Management – Scope, concept, functions of Management – Planning,
Organizing, Staffing, Direction, Coordination and Control, Decision-
Making: concept, process and techniques.

Concept and Main theories of Leadership and Motivation,  Communication, Basics of recruitment, selection, induction, training

Modern concept of Marketing, Marketing Mix – Product, Price, Place

and Promotion

Objective, the concept of maximization of wealth, Sources of Finance –

Short and Long-term, Capital Structure, Cost of Capital
NCERT- Business Studies- 12th- Class- Part 1

Laxmikanth- Public administration selected topics

NCERT- Business Studies- 12th- Class- Part 2, Chap. 11 NCERT- Business Studies- 12th Class-Part 2, Chap. 9
Part C- Accounting & Auditing
Techniques of analysis of Financial statements

Basics of Working Capital Management, Responsibility and Social

 Accounting  Meaning & Objectives of Auditing, Internal Control, Social,
 Performance and Efficiency Audit.
 Basics of different types of Budgeting, Budgetary control
NCERT 12th -Accountancy-II - Chapter 3, 4, 5

RAS Mains Paper 2 - Study Materials 
Paper –II
General Knowledge and General Studies
Unit I- Administrative Ethics Lexicon – Ethics will suffice
Concept of Rit, Rin etc- Internet
For detailed study on specific aspects- G Subbarao, Chowdhury
Unit II- General Science & Technology Spectrum- Science & Tech (selected topics)
Dr. Alok Kumar Swami book- available in Hindi but good one.
Lucent – General Knowledge (Science portion) & not “General Science”
For Ecology Part- Shankar IAS book for selected ecology topics
Unit III- Earth Science (Geography & Geology)
Part A- World
 Broad Physical Features: Mountains, Plateaus, Plains, Lakes and
 Earthquakes and Volcanoes: Types, distribution and their impact
  Earth and its Geological time scale.
  Current Geopolitical Problems
For theory-
1.  Goh Cheng Leong- Chapter 2 & 6
2.  NCERT XI (Fundam. of Physical Geog.)- Chap 4
For world mapping- K Siddhartha (geography through maps) & Atlas

Chap.2, NCERT XI (Fundam. of Physical Geog.)

Remain alert with current affairs
Part B- India
 Broad Physical Features: Mountains, Plateaus, Plains, Lakes and
  Major Physiographic divisions of India.
 Climate- Origin of Monsoon, Seasonal Climatic conditions,
  Distribution of rainfall and climatic regions
 Natural Resources: (a) Water, Forest, Soil
  (b) Rocks & Mineral: Types and their uses

Population: Growth, Distribution and Density, Sex-ratio,
Literacy, urban and Rural Population.

Mapping- Prem Patel (India through maps)
Chapter 2, NCERT XI (India Physical Environment)
Chapter 4, NCERT XI (India Physical Environment)

NCERT XI (India Phys. Env.)- Chap 3, 5, 6
NCERT XII (People & Econ.)- Chap 6 + Current updation
Chapt 5, NCERT XI (Fundam. of Physical Geog.)

Chap. 1, NCERT XII people & economy & update it with Census 2011 figure

(any source -Eq. Raj Panorma)
Part C- Rajasthan
Broad Physical Features: Mountains, Plateaus, Plains, Rivers and Lakes.

Major Physiographic Regions. Natural Vegetation and Climate.

Livestock, Wildlife and its Conversation. Agriculture- Major Crops.

Mineral Resources: (i) Metallic Minerals- Types, distribution and Industrial uses and their conservation.

(ii)Non-Metallic Minerals- Types, distribution and Industrial uses and their conservation.
Energy Resources: Conventional and Non-conventional Population and Tribes.
Raj Panorma Vol-1: Rajasthan: Geography, Economy & Polity Alternatively Harimohan Saxena can be referred.

Mapping from Sikhwal Manchitravali/ Daksha Atlas.
RAS Mains Paper 3 Study Materials 

General Knowledge and General Studies
Unit I- Indian Political System, World Politics and Current Affairs
Indian Constitution: Framing, Features, Amendments, Basic Structure.

Ideological Contents: Preamble, Fundamental Rights, Directive Principles of

State Policy, Fundamental Duties.

Institutional framework- I: Parliamentary System, President, Prime Minister

and Council of Ministers, Parliament.

Institutional Framework- II: Federalism, Centre-State relations, Supreme Court, High Courts, Judicial Review, Judicial Activism.

Institutional Framework- III: Election Commission of India, Comptroller and Auditor General, Union Public Service Commission, NITI Aayog, Central Vigilance Commission, Central Information Commission, National Human Rights Commission

Political Dynamics: Role of Cast, Religion, Class, Ethnicity, Language and Gender in Indian Politics, Political Parties and Electoral Behaviour, Civil Society and Political Movement, Issues related to National Integrity and Security. Potential areas of Socio-Political conflicts

State Politics of Rajasthan: Party System, Political Demography, Different phases of Political competition in Rajasthan, Panchayati Raj and Urban self Government Institutions

Emerging World Order in the post Cold War era, USA’s hegemony and its
 resistance, UN and Regional Organizations, International Terrorism and
 Environmental issues.
Foreign Policy of India: Evolution, Determinants, India’s relations with USA, China, Russia and European Union, India’s role in UN, NAM, BRICS, G- 20, G- 77 and SAARC.

Geo-political and Strategic development in South Asia, South East Asia and West Asia and their impact on India

Current Affairs: Current events, persons and places of Rajasthan, National and international importance, recent activities related to games and sports
Basic Material- Laxmikanth Indian Polity Update with current affairs – Vision IAS

NCERT XII Political Sc. (Democracy in India)- Chap 4,5,6,7,14, 15; Laxmikanth Indian Polity- Part X: political dynamics.

Raj Panorma Vol-1: Rajasthan- Geography, economy & polity guide

NCERT XII Political Sc. (Contemp. World Politics)- + Current update from vision ias monthly magazines.

NCERT XII Political Sc. (Democracy in India)- Unit V + Any coaching notes for various international organisations-Shriram/ Vajiram/ Vision.

Current update from vision ias monthly magazines.

National Current affairs- Vision IAS monthly magazine RJ current affairs- Moomal/ Panorma+ Sujash (Raj Govt)
Unit II- Concepts, Issues and Dynamics of Public Administration and

 Administration and management: Meaning, nature and significance. Its role  in developed & developing societies. Evolution of Public Administration as
 a discipline, new public administration, Theories of public administration.
Concepts of power, authority, legitimacy, responsibility and delegation. Principles of organization: Hierarchy, Span of control and unity of

Functions of management, Corporate governance and social responsibility New dimensions of public management, management of change.

Aptitude and foundational values of civil services: integrity, impartiality, and non partisanship, dedication to public service

relationship between generalists and specialists.

Legislative & Judicial control over administration: various methods and
techniques of legislative & judicial control.

Administrative setup, administrative culture in Rajasthan: Governor, Chief
Minister, Council of Ministers, State Secretariat and Chief Secretary.

District administration: organization, role of District Collector and

Superintendent of Police, Sub-divisional and Tehsil administration.

Development Administration: Meaning, Scope and Characteristics.
State Human Rights Commission, State Election Commission, Lokayukt,
Rajasthan Public Service Commission, Public Service Guarantee Act, 2011

Laxmikanth- Public administration (selected topics)

Lexicon- Ethics

Laxmikanth- Public administration- Chap 10.

Laxmikanth- Public administration

Raj Panorma- Vol1 (in Hindi), Arora & Goyal- Indian Pub.

Admin- Part IV,

Raj Panorma- Vol1 (In Hindi), Arora & Goyal- Indian Pub.
Admin- Chapter 19

Laxmikanth- Public administration

Raj Panorma- Vol1 (In Hindi)
Unit III- Sports and Yoga, Behavior and Law
Part A- Sports and Yoga
Sports Policies of India.
Rajasthan State Sports Council.

National Awards of Sports.

(Arjuna Award, Dronacharya Award, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna

Award, Maharana Pratap Award etc.)

Yoga - Positive way of Life.
Eminent Players of India. First Aid in Sports.
Participation of Indian Atheletes in Olympics and Para-Olympic Games

Internet, Printed material of coaching institutes+ Current
updates from Moomal/ Panorma magazines.

NCERT Book- Yoga ( a healthy way of living)

Part B - Behavior
  Intelligence: Cognitive intelligence, Social intelligence, Emotional

Cultural intelligence and Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligence.

Personality: Psychoanalytical theories, Trait and Type theories,
 Determinants of personality and Assessment of personality.
Learning and Motivation: styles of learning, Models of memory, causes of
 forgetting.  Classification  and  types  of  motives,  Theories  of  work
 motivation, Assessment of motivation
Meeting Life Challenges: Stress: Nature, type, Sources, Symptoms, Effects,
 Stress Management, Promotion of Positive health and well being

NCERT Psychology XII- Chap 1.

NCERT Psychology XII- Chap 2.

NCERT Psychology XI- Chap 6 to 9.

NCERT Psychology XII- Chap 3.

Part C-Law
Concepts of Law: Ownership and possession, Personality, Liability, Rights
 and Duties.
Contemporary Legal issues: Right to information, Information technology
 law  including  cyber  laws  (concepts,  purpose,  prospects),  Intellectual
 Property Rights (concepts, types, purpose, prospects)
 Crimes  against  Women  and  Children:  Domestic  Violence,  Sexual
 Harassment the work place, the protection of children from sexual offenses
 Act 2012, Laws related to child labour.
 Important Land Laws in Rajasthan: Rajasthan Land Revenue Act, 1956;
 Rajasthan Tenancy Act, 1955

Vision IAS Current affairs + shriram economy printed notes
for IPR

Vision IAS social issues

Study salient feature from legal point of view of all acts
given here- RTI, IT Act, Domestic violence act, Sexual
harassment act, POSCO etc.- Online material- PRS website

is a good source.

Download Bare acts.

Question given in Pulse education series (B C Jat, M R Sou)-
(Medium- Hindi) to give idea as to what can be asked.

RAS Mains Paper 4 Study Materials 
Paper – IV

General Hindi and General English

Hindi Grammar

Precis/ letter/ notification/ tender notice/ circular etc

Elaboration / essay etc


English Grammar

English Report/ Letter/ Precis/ Essay etc
Dr. Raghav Prakash – Samanya Hindi

See various Formats from Dr. Raghav Prakash Book . Adhering to prescribed format is important.

Nibanth Manthan by Pariksha Manthan

B K Rastogi or any other book. Revising basic rules of grammar is important.

Adhere to formats.

For Essay- Vajiram booklet for Essay

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