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  • Strategy To Prepare Law Optional – For IAS Mains Examination.
    Posted on January 10th, 2021 in Law, Main Exam, Strategy
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    Strategy To Prepare Law Optional – For IAS Mains Examination.

    Law is one of the optional subjects that the UPSC offers its candidates in the IAS mains exam. It is sometimes seen as an unpopular optional but this is far from true. Many candidates take up this optional and it also has a very high success rate. It is perhaps because of this that even non-law graduates now opt for the law optional in the mains exam.Continue Reading Strategy To Prepare Law Optional – For IAS Mains Examination.

    Why do aspirants choose Law as an optional?

    • The work profile of a civil servant is to act as an efficient administrator and also to maintain law and order and here comes the role of having a better understanding of the law. So, the knowledge of Law immensely helps in one s understanding of the exact nature of the job.
    • Also adding to it, some people might feel that law, much like medical science is a highly specialised subject and it should be taken only if one is a law graduate. What goes in Law s favour is that at its base, it is nothing but common sense.
    • No legal concept is so tough and mysterious that it cannot be understood from the standard textbooks. It is also one of the three optional papers (other being Engineering and Medical science) where the difficulty level is not of Honours degree level but of bachelors’ degree level.
    • The subjects that most students in Law School desist does not form a part of the UPSC syllabus. It is probably because of this that even non-law graduates now opt for the law optional in the mains exam.
    • New General Studies syllabus has taken out bits and pieces from many optional subjects, but Law syllabus has a considerable part which overlaps with General Studies syllabus (Pre and Mains both).
    • There is easy availability of material and also the syllabus is easy to understand for self-studies.
    • It takes 2-3 months to finish the syllabus. It takes less time in comparison to a few other optional.

    Timeline for Preparation

    The entire Law syllabus must be completed in 2 months for law background students while it will take 1 month more for non-law background aspirants, where devoting 1/1.5 months for preparation for the paper I and the rest 1/1.5 months for paper II is more than enough. One should plan to finish the revision of Law in 30-35 days (It depends on the time of revision). Planning is crucial for the preparation of Law optional.

    Before referring any book, go through previous 20 year’s questions paper (buy unsolved Law compilation of any publication) to become acquainted with the demand of the subject. Try to read the questions again and again and try to internalize them. This would not take too much time and would be very beneficial as it shall enable you to know what are the types of questions that are asked and also relative importance of different topicsso that you can prioritize them and allocate time accordinglyThis will also help while you study or revise specifically focussing on these aspects.

    After having done this, next would be building your content base. There should be one book that is your primary source and the others that should merely be used to add to the content and language. It is also fine if you re referring to only one book and have read it thoroughly where the focus on the conceptual understandingof topics is must rather than mugging up the provisions and case laws and when studying law, always remember to think about the rationale and significance of a topic.

    In Paper I, the parts are Constitutional, International Law and Administrative Law. Paper 1 of the Law optional has conceptual parts and less technical. It tests one s ability to examine constitution and international affairs. One may get up to three questions on this and one is required to attempt two each from both the portions along with one more from either of the two.

    Starting with Constitutional Law, The Key rule – There is absolutely no alternative to reading the Bare text of the Constitution. Together with the bare text, one needs an outstanding commentary, for that VN Shukla is the best. Read the syllabus well and confining the preparation to that part only is very essential. Comprehensively trying to study and mugging up the entire Constitution is going to be an exercise in vain. Case Laws are absolutely necessary. One only needs to know the landmark judgments though. For law graduates, it is much easier than non-law graduates. Questions on Fundamental Rights, Fundamental Duties and Directive Principles of Policies are a must and these topics must be given special importance.

    Important recent case laws and current developments must be taken into account and the related topics must be comprehensively dealt like the recent Karnataka government formation issue or the role of the Governor in such scenario. It is to be noted that only Supreme Court judgments are to be read barring a few High Court judgments which put out a whole new hypothesis like Naz Foundation case.


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