How to prepare Science and Technology for UPSC

Science and Technology is an important subject in UPSC civil services prelims and mains examination. It covers both the static and dynamic cum analytical portions. The Science part deals with subjects like Biology, Chemistry, and Physics, whereas the Technology part deals with the application of various sciences. In this article, we discuss how to prepare for the Science and Technology subject.

Go through the UPSC Syllabus

Before going to prepare any subject, it is necessary to go through the syllabus of that subject. As per the UPSC syllabus, Science & Technology is included in the Prelims General Studies Paper-I and Mains General Studies Paper-III.

For the Prelims paper, you need to have an overview of everything, from General Science to the latest technological development. General Science forms the static portion of the subject, including theoretical aspects and fundamentals of Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. A general overview of the theoretical aspects and a basic understanding of the fundamental concepts is the requirement.

For the Mains paper, the topics mentioned in the syllabus are as follows:

  • Science & Technology- Development and their applications & effects in everyday life.
  • India’s Achievements in Science & Technology; indigenization of technology, and development of new technology.
  • Awareness in the IT field, computers, robotics, space travel, biotechnology, nanotechnology, and issues relating to Intellectual Property Rights.

Priority areas for Science and Technology

For better preparation of the subject, it is important to prioritize it into sub-topics. In the case of Science, it has been seen that more questions come from Biology than Chemistry and Physics. So, the aspirants can pay more attention to Biology as compared to Physics and Chemistry. Biology further includes Microbiology, Zoology, and Botany. Topics like genetics, microorganisms, diseases, food, and nutrition come under Biology.

The technology portion is more connected to current affairs. It can be divided into sub-topics such as Biotechnology, Nanotechnology, Blockchain, Information technology, and Space technology. Topics like Artificial Intelligence, Internet of things, Big Data, 5G, Wearables, wi-fi, and 3D printing come under this part.

How to start preparation

Science & Technology is considered as an abstract subject that follows no fixed pattern or syllabus to prepare. If you analyze the previous year’s question papers, you must notice that almost all the questions are analytical and require clarity of concepts rather than only facts to solve them. That’s why it is essential to have a crystal clear understanding of the basic concepts of topics mentioned in the syllabus.

  • Current affairs: It has been observed that most of the questions asked in the examination on this subject are related to current affairs. It includes recent development in the science field, advancement in technologies, space exploration missions, etc. You can cover current news from newspapers like The Hindu, and The Indian Express.
  • Be aware of the latest technological development. Keep the focus on the works of organizations such as ISRO, ICAR, CSIR, etc. Pay more attention to all those technical development which can impact India in a big way. For example, efficient ways to generate and store energy, a new cure for cancer, etc.
  • Know all the government policies and announcements in the field of science & technology. You can visit the official website of the Department of Science and Technology to get valuable information about the new development and policies.
  • Take notes on the achievements of Indians in the science and technology field. For example, recent Noble Prize winners and their research work. You can read Science Reporter Magazine published by the National Institute of Science and Communication and Information Resources.
  • Know the global development of international importance. Keep a tap on works of NASA, CERN, etc.

How to deal with Science and Technology

Since Science & Technology is dynamic in nature, it requires a broad dimension of the study and continuous interlinking of the topics. To deal with it, you must have a clear understanding of the basic concepts of science & technology, which further helps you in interlinking topics with current affairs. To have clarity on the basic concepts, go through the NCERT Books on science and technology.

  • Focused approach and innovative methods.
  • Good study material and making notes.
  • Regular reading of currency affairs and updates on the topics.
  • Pursue regular objectives and solve mock tests.
  • Practice answer-writing.

Previous years’ question papers

While preparing for Science and Technology, you need to stick to the syllabus. Go through the previous year’s question papers, which helps you understand what types of questions are asked in the examination.

Types of Questions asked in the Examination

Q1. Which of the following statements is not correct?

 (a) Hepatitis B virus is transmitted much like HIV.
 (b) Hepatitis B, unlike Hepatitis C, does not have a vaccine.
 (c) Globally, the number of people infected with Hepatitis B and C viruses are several times more than those infected with HIV.
 (d) Some of these infected with Hepatitis B and C viruses do not show the symptoms for many years.
Q2. With refrence to solar water pumps, consider the following statements:

1. Solar power can be used for running surface pumps and not for submersible pumps.
2. Solar pumps can be used for running centrifugal pumps and not the ones with piston.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
 (a) 1 only
 (b) 2 only
 (c) Both 1 and 2 only
 (d) Neither 1 nor 2
Q3. With refrence to "Blockchain Technology",consider the following statements?

1. It is a public ledger that everyone can inspect, but which no single user controls.
2. The structure and design of the blockchain is such that all the data in it are about cryptocurrency only.
3. Applications that depends on the basic features of blockchain can be developed without anybody's permission.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
 (a) 1 only
 (b) 1 and 2 only
 (c) 2 only
 (d) 1 and 3 only
Q4. In the context of wearable technology, which of the following tasks is/are accomplished by wearable devices?

1. Location indentification of a person
2. Sleeping monitoring of a person
3. Assisting the hearing impaired person

Select the correct answer using the code given below.
 (a) 1 only
 (b) 2 and 3 only
 (c) 3 only
 (d) 1, 2, and 3
Q5. Consider the following statements:

1. According to the Indian Patents Act, a biological process to create a seed can be patented in India
2. In India, there is no Intellectual Property Appellate Board.
3. Plant Variants are not eligible to the patented in India.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
 (a) 1 and 3 only
 (b) 2 and 3 only
 (c) 3 only
 (d) 1, 2, and 3
Q6. With refrence to India's satellite launch vehicles, consider the following statements:

1. PSLVs launch the satellites useful for Earth resources monitoring whereas GSLVs are designed mainly to launch communication satellites.
2. Satellites launched by PSLV appear to remain permanently fixed in the same position in the sky, as viewed from a particular location on Earth.
3. GSLV MK III is a four-staged launch vehicle with the first and third stages using the solid rocket motors; and the second and fourth stages using liquid rocket engines.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
 (a) 1 only
 (b) 2 and 3
 (c) 1 and 2
 (d) 3 only
Q7. In which of the following areas can GPS technology be used?

1. Mobile phone operations
2. Banking operations
3. Controlling the power grids

Select the correct answer using the code given below:
 (a) 1 only
 (b) 2 and 3 only
 (c) 1, 2, and 3
 (d) 1 and 3 only
Answer to the above questions:

Ans1. (b)
Ans2. (d)
Ans3. (d)
Ans4. (d)
Ans5. (d)
Ans6. (a)
Ans7. (c)

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