The logic behind Manifest 11
Preparation for civil services examinations is laid with misguided paths. The offer made today for the students by various guidance programs is one coated with hyperbole, exaggerated dreams and magic pills. In this mad rush for overnight success, aspirants actually end up giving minimum of 3 years to achieve success.
In this entire brouhaha of selling dreams the “UPSC Bazaar” is focusing on dumping of materials (specifically current affairs), giving their own way of preparation to meet the market needs and taking away the aspirants from the “UPSC way.” This is not to deny the importance of material available, but somewhere the aspirants are not being made capable to choose the right material available on different sites and provided by different institutes.
We, the MANIFEST team thought that there is no point in creating one more current affairs site and make you go bonkers! We want to make you WISE! WISE to choose the right thing from the plethora of material available. The initiative MANIFEST 11 is not just a KNOWLEDGE BUILDER but also gives you tools to build the knowledge on your own.
WHAT IS MANIFEST 11 INITIATIVE?
MANIFEST 11 is UPSC syllabus redefined into 11 sections. These 11 sections will have further sub -sections and each sub-section will have topics in them. Following are the 11 sections:
- History and culture
- Indian Society
- Polity and governance
- International relations
- Science and Technology
- Disaster Management & Environment
- Internal security
Each section is a single-roof destination for that particular subject. In that section one can find everything from strategy to study, to answer writing techniques specific to the particular subject. It is not a knowledge dumping initiative. It focuses on how sources should be read. The sources may range from static standard books like Laxmikanth to an article in The Hindu.
WHAT IS THE PROBLEM WITH THE PRESENT SOURCES?
- Most standard books do not completely meet the demands of the UPSC syllabus.
- Current Affairs materials are highly problematic in terms of their organization. Material is compiled on daily basis on the basis of dates and not on the basis of themes and subjects.This is fundamentally in dis-junction with the UPSC’s way of asking question. UPSC won’t ask what happened on October 25th but questions will be on themes and issues.
- The separation of current affairs from static is highly artificial and misleading. Current affairs is not an independent discipline and has not been explicitly mentioned anywhere in mains syllabus (in prelims syllabus it is!!). What does this mean? That integration of static with current and vice-versa is a must, else the entire preparation is futile.
- Current affairs initiatives have become platforms to dump material scaring aspirants.What is not taught is the method to use them.
WHAT DOES MANIFEST 11 SEEK TO DO?
- It will be one stop destination for the eleven subjects of UPSC, giving you techniques ranging from preparation to answer writing
- It is not an information dumping platform. It does give you information, but at the same time teaches how to use the information, how to use the same techniques in reading other sources, finally how to use the knowledge to write an answer.
- It does away with the artificial division of current and static by taking a current topic, linking it with static issues and holistically analyzing it.
- It links one topic to different subjects enabling a comprehensive preparation of a particular topic.
- Questions on those topics will be provided which could be static or current or a mix of both, taking them to the apex of challenges by making them inter-disciplinary!
HOW WILL THIS BE DONE?
Topics for analysis will be chosen mostly from The HINDU and other sources will be chosen for subjects like Economy, History, Geography, which are not covered well in the newspaper.
Specific days in a week have been fixed for posting of the analysis. The topics will be chosen from the newspapers of the last week. It is NOT a daily news analysis as we believe that a strict deadline of everyday newspaper analysis does not work for UPSC preparation. Why? We will reason it out in the article!
So, 3 days have been chosen in a week for posting of the articles.
HISTORY, CULTURE & HERITAGE
POLITY & GOVERNANCE
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, ISSUES & INSTITUTIONS
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
ENVIRONMENT & DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Topics chosen on these subjects will be from last week’s newspaper.
WHAT ARE THE PROBLEMS WITH ‘DAILY’ NEWS ANALYSIS INITIATIVES?
WHY SHOULD NOT THEY BE DONE DAILY?
One word answer is, it is ILLOGICAL.
- UPSC aspirants already have hoards of books to study for the static portions. Everyday deadline will burden them. And even if they miss one day, it will demotivate them and harm the preparation of next days.
- It is highly improbable to follow daily current targets during the days when exams are nearing, especially after January.
- Daily analysis is not an efficient method as an issue may repeat in a week and you have to reread the already read parts of the issue. Hence, weekly analysis saves your time. We know how precious it is!
- Our weekly analysis is based on themes and topics and not on ‘dates’. So if ‘Aadhar’ for example has appeared as news item multiple times in a week, it would be clubbed on the basis of ‘Aadhar’ as a theme. And any new point on the same issue of ‘Aadhar’ which may crop up in the then following weeks and months would be added to the same write up and not created as a new issue or topic. In this way, the issues would be comprehensively covered over a year and consolidated in a particular link. It will be useful for quick revision of yours, especially during exams.
- One quick revision of the issue at the end of the year would make you capable enough to answer multiple questions.
One point to be noted here is that the issues will be mostly from news items and not editorials and open page articles. We believe that editorials and open page articles require a different format to prepare which will be again under MANIFEST 11 initiative only but in a different fashion.
Now, coming to the second question!
HOW WILL IT ALTER YOUR STRATEGIES AND PREPARATION IN A RIGHT FASHION?
- Manifest 11 consolidates issues over a year for you at one place.
- Quick revision would be possible within a short time.
- Better retention of issues as they are well integrated on the basis of themes and issues.
- High quality questions on those issues to mould your information according to the demand of the question, because how much you know does not matter, how efficiently you reproduce the relevant matter within the specified time which actually matters!