[Strategy] HPAS/HAS : Prelims Paper 1 - General Studies and HPAS Mains

HPAS : Prelims Paper 1 - General Studies Syllabus :
Since HPPSC has changed the pattern of HPAS from year 2017, the Importance of General Studies have increased to a great extent, New HPAS Mains Pattern Consists of three General Studies (GS)

We know that NCERT/NIOS/ISCE/IGNOU books are very important but we also need Some reference books. So this whole post is about which books are highly useful and recommended for HPAS Prelims and Mains Preparations.

Also Read :

HPAS : General Studies Syllabus
1.      History, Geography, Political, Art & Culture & Social Economic Development of Himachal Pradesh.   
2.      History of India & Indian National Movement.
3.      India & World Geography.
4.      Indian Polity and Governance - Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights issues etc.
5.      Economic & Social development - Sustainable Development & Poverty , Inclusion , Demographic , Social Sector Development etc.
6.      General Issue on Environmental Ecology , Biodiversity & Climate change. 
7.      Current Events of National and international Importance.

Pattern of HPAS Prelims :

Paper 1 : General Studies 

Time : 2 Hours | Max Marks : 200 | Questions: 100

 Topics = Discussing important Topics

 Ancient History + Medieval History + Culture + Modern History
  • In Ancient History : Prehistoric India, Historic India, Indus Valley Civilization, Vedic India, Mahajanapadas, Mauryan Period, Gupta Period etc
  • In Medieval History : The Classical Age, Pala Empire, Rashtrakuta Empire, Islam in India, Delhi Sultanate, Vijayanagara Empire, Guru Nanak, Mughals, Arrival of Europeans etc
  • Culture : Visual Arts (Paintings, Architecture, Sculpture), Performing Arts (Music, Dance, Drama etc), Religions (Buddhism, Jainism, Hinduism,        Islam, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism), Society etc.
  • In Modern History : 1st War of Independence, Formation of Indian National Congress, Moderates and Extremists, Muslim League, Gandhian Phase, Non-Co-operation Movement, Civil Disobedience Movement, Quit India Movement, Cripps Mission, Cabinet Mission, Mount Batten Plan, Partition of India Indian Constitution etc.
  • Modern History dominates in this section with 8-10 Questions, although Number of questions vary each year.

 Indian Polity + International Relations
  • Constitution, History, Features , Preamble of the Constitution, Union &Territory, Citizenship, Fundamental Rights, Directive Principles, Fundamental Duties , President, Vice-president, Prime Minister, Parliament, Supreme Court, Governor, Chief Minister, State Legislature, High Court, Subordinate Courts, Federal System, Centre-State Relations, Inter-State Relations, Scheduled and Tribal Areas, Panchayati Raj, Urban Local Governments, Emergency Provisions, Special Status of J& K, Election Commission, UPSC, Finance Commission, CAG of India, AG&SG of India,        Subjects of Union, State and Concurrent Lists, Precedence Oaths, Definitions under the Constitution, Constitutional Amendments etc
  • International Relations questions are asked from Current events.
  • Polity dominates this section with 10-12 questions in which 2-3 current events 

  • Geography can be divided into three – Physical Geography, Economic Geography and Social Geography. The major sub-topics under Physical Indian Geography are Physio-graphic divisions, Drainage, Climate, Vegetation, Natural Resources etc. Topics related to environment like Wild-life, Soil, Flora etc should be given stress too. Economic and Social Geography related aspects of Indian Geography should the studied in parallel to Physical Geography.

 Economic & Social Development 
  •  Indian Economy topics like issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment, Government Budgeting, cropping patterns, Public Distribution System, Technology missions, Food processing, Land reforms, Liberalization, Infrastructure and Investment models.
  • Social welfare Schemes etc

 Science + Tech 
  • Physics : 4-5 Questions are asked on various theories
  • Chemistry : 4-5 Questions are asked mainly on metal, non metals, and Organic Chemistry or products
  • Biology : 4-5 Questions are asked related to DNA, body parts, Diseases etc, 
  • Computer : 1-2 Questions
  • Current Discoveries or Noble Prize related 
  • Space and Defense related Current 
  • This Section is one of the Important, although number of questions may vary each year
Environment + Biodiversity
  • Ecology related aspects : Ecosystem, Keystone species, Niche, Food chain, Food web etc.
  • Biodiversity related aspects : Heavy areas like flora and fauna, endangered species, wild life parks, sanctuaries, bio-diversity hot-spots, biosphere reserves, IUCN, summits etc.
  • Climate change/Environment degradation related aspects : Global warming, ozone hole depletion, acid rain etc. Also note down important points, when you hear news related to conventions or protocols like Ramsar Convention, Montreal Protocol, Kyoto Protocol etc.
  • Current questions are also asked in this section

     Himachal General Knowledge
    • History of Himachal Pradesh
    • Geography of Himachal 
    • Administrative & Political History of Himachal Pardesh
    • Art, Culture, Customs & Manners of Himachal
    • Environment & Biodiversity of Himachal
    • Social and Economic Development of Himachal Pradesh
    • Current Affairs of Himachal Pradesh
    • This is one of the most scoring and important section

     Current Events [National + International]
    • In this section Current events of National and International are asked.
    • Some Polity, Economic, Social, Geographic, and Environmental current events are asked and  their related theories too. So this is very important to read newspaper daily and keep relating current affairs with static part.

     Misc ( Awards, Organizations, etc)

     Total Questions
    [Total number of questions vary each Year in all the sections]

    Paper 2 : General Aptitude Test

    Time : 2 Hours | Max Marks : 200 | Questions: 100
    Logical Reasoning (Weak-Strong Argument, Analogy, Odd man, Coding, Calander, Direction test, Blood test, Sitting Arrangement, Syllogism, Data Sufficiency etc )

       Mathematical Ability ( Data Interpretation, Numbers, Series, Data Sufficiency, Divisibility, Percentage, Time-Work, Mode, Median etc )

       Behavioral Psychology + Interpersonal Skills + Decision Making & Problem Solving

       English (Comprehension, blanks)


       Total Questions

    Also Read :  

    Books Recommended for HPAS: 
    General Studies : Paper - 1 Prelims and HPAS Mains 

    Himachal Pradesh General Studies/ Himachal GK
     : I have alreday written a post about How to prepare for Himachal GK and which book to consult for HImachal GK. 

    General Studies Prelims & Mains :

    I have already discussed the Pattern and important Topics of General Studies and now going to Write about the important Study Material section wise for both English and Hindi Medium Students. I have Gone through various resources and the have come to this conclusion that this combination of Books is very Good for HPAS Prelims as well as New HPAS Mains Pattern too. 

    Studyplan and Books for HPAS Prelims General Studies Paper - 1 : 

    For English Medium People :

    GS Prelims Syllabus and Topics
    Books/Study material
    Ancient History
    ·         A History of Ancient and Early Medieval / Here  (Choose 1 of these)
    ·         India's Ancient Past New / Here (its also Called Old NCERT) (Must have book)
    ·         The Wonder That Was India  (Ancient History)/ Here 
    ·         NCERT New
    Medieval History
    ·         History Of Medieval India / Here (its also Called Old NCERT)
    ·        NCERT New
    Modern History
    ·         History of Modern India - Bipin Chandra /Here (it is also Called Old NCERT) OR 
    ·         History of Modern India - Spectrum / Here (Very Brief one) (Must have book)

    ·         Indian Art & Culture - Nitin Singhania / Here  OR (Must have book)
    ·         NCERT 11th & 12th
    ·         NIOS/IGNOU Study material on Indian Culture and Heritage

    Indian Freedom Struggle
    ·         India's Struggle for Independence - Bipin Chandra / Here (Must have book)
    ·         Certificate Physical and Human Geography – Goh Cheng LeongHere ( Physical Geography) Important Book
    ·         India: A Comprehensive Geography - D.R.Khullar Here / Geography of India – Majid Husain / Here /  (Indian Geography) (Choose one) (Must have book)
    ·         World Geogarphy - Majid Hussain / Here  (World Geography)
    ·         The Orient BlackSwan School Atlas / Here / Oxford School Atlas by Oxford University Press / Here (Choose one Atlas) (Must have book)
    ·         NCERT class 6th to 10th  social science/ or ICSE Board Books 7th to 10th
    ·         NCERT Geography class 11th, 12th ( Very Important and Needed)
    ·         NOS Study material on Geography [ if Available]

    Indian Polity
    ·         Indian Polity – M. Laxmikanth / Here (Must have book)
    Economic & Social Development
    ·         Indian Economy - Ramesh Singh / Here (Must have book)
    ·         The Indian Economy - Sanjiv Verma / Here
    ·         Economic Survey  (Economy) Very Important
    ·         Yojna & Kurukshetra
    ·         NIOS/IGNOU Study material for Economy [If available]
    ·         NCERT 10th 11th, 12th Economics
    Environment & Biodiversity
    ·         Environment - Shankar IAS / Here (Choose any 1 of these) (Must have book)
    ·         Ecology And Environment - P.D Sharma / Here (Environment) Excellent Book
    ·         Tata MacGrawHill General Studies Manual : English Hindi (Must have book)
    ·         IGNOU/NIOS Books Related Environment (if Available)
    ·         Internet

    General Science
    ·         Science and Technology for UPSC by Tata Macgraw Hill / Here 
    ·         Tata MacGrawHill General Studies Manual : English Hindi (Must have book)
    ·         Science & Technology - Ashok Singh /   Here 
    ·         For Latest technology related News read Magazines/Newspaper, Internet 

    Current Affairs
    ·         India Yearbook 2016 / Here (English) / Bharat 2016 / Here (Current Affairs)
    ·         Newspapers : The HinduThe Indian ExpressFrontline 

    ·         Tata MacGrawHill General Studies Manual : English Hindi

    Hindi Medium People :

    GS Prelims Syllabus and Topics  
    Books/Study material
    Pracheen Bharat (Ancient History)
    ·         Pracheen Bharat Ka Itihas evam Sanskriti - P. L. Gulam / Here  Excellent Book 
    ·         NIOS/IGNOU Study material on Indian Culture and Heritage.

    MadhyaKalin Bharat (Medieval History)
    ·          Madhyakaleen Bharat - Rajniti, Samaj Aur Sanskriti by Satish Chandra / Here (its also called Old NCERT) 
    ·         NCERT New

    Aadhunik Bharat (Modern history)
    ·          Aadhunik Bharat ka itihas - Bipin Chandra / Here (Also called Old NCERT) (Must have book)
    ·        NCERT New

    Bhartiya Rashtriya Andolan (Indian   Freedom struggle)
    ·          Bharat ka rastiya andolan- Bipin Chander / Here (Must have book)

    Bhartiya Sanskriti (Indian Culture)
    ·         Bhartiya Kala evan Sanskriti
    ·         NCERT New /Old
    ·         IGNOU and NIOS Notes
    ·         Internet

    Bhugol (Geography)
    ·         Bhugol by D.R. Khullar / Here  Excellent Book 
    ·         Bhautik Bhugol by Majid Husain / Here
    ·         Bharat ka Bhugol by Majid Hussain / Here 
    ·         Tata MacGraw Hill Samanya Adhayan (Hindi) / Here
    ·         The Orient BlackSwan School Atlas / Here / Oxford School Atlas by Oxford University Press / Here (Choose one Atlas) (Must have book)
    ·         NCERT Geography class 11th, 12th ( Very Important and Needed)
    ·         NOS Study material on Geography [ if Available]

    Rajvyavastha (Polity)
    ·         Bharat Ki Rajvyavastha by M. Laxmikanth / Here (Must have book)
    ·         Bharat Ka Samvidhan by D D Basu / Here

    Arthavayavsta (Economy)
    ·         Bhartiya Arthavayavsta by Ramesh Singh / Here (Must have book)
    ·         NCERT Class 10th, 11th, 12th
    ·         NIOS/IGNOU Study material for Economy [If available]

    Paryavaran Evam Paristhitiki
    (Environment & Biodiversity )
    ·         Paryavaran Evam Paristhitiki: Civil Sewa Pariksha Hetu Majid Hussain / Here 

    Vigyan Evan Takneek
    (Science & Tech) 
    ·       Tata MacGraw Hill Samanya Adhayan (Hindi) / Here  this will Cover Physics, Chemistry, Biological Sciences and Computer part.
    ·         For Latest technology related News read Magazines/Newspaper [The Hindu Sunday Edition] 

    Current Affairs
    ·         India Yearbook 2016 / Here (English) / Bharat 2016 / Here (Current Affairs)
    ·         Newspapers : The HinduThe Indian ExpressFrontline , Jansatta.

    Anay Vishay (Misc. Topics)
    ·         Tata MacGraw Hill Samanya Adhayan (Hindi) / Here (Must have book)

    Studyplan and Books for New HPAS Mains Pattern :

    Note : Most of the books will be helpful for both Prelims and Mains So I have compiled the booklist very carefully and only useful and authentic sources are mentioned. 

    HPAS General Studies Paper – I

    GS Paper – I

    Books/Study material

    Indian Culture
    ·          Indian Art & Culture - Nitin Singhania / Here  OR
    ·         NCERT 11th & 12th 

    Modern History
    ·         History of Modern India - Bipin Chandra / Here (it is also Called Old NCERT) OR
    ·          History of Modern India - Spectrum / Here (Very Brief one)

    Indian Freedom Struggle

    World History

    ·         World History - Arjun Dev (Old NCERT) / Here OR
    ·         World History – Norman Lowe / Here OR
    ·         World History – Norman Lowe / Here (Brief Edition)
    Ancient, Medieval, Modern and Political History of Himachal Pradesh

    Disaster Management
    ·         IGNOU Notes, Internet, Current Affairs, Newspaper, Internet

    Geography of India

    ·         The Orient BlackSwan School Atlas / Here / Oxford School Atlas by Oxford University Press / Here (Choose one Atlas)
    Geography of Himachal Pradesh, Human Aspects, Growth and Industrialization etc
    Indian Society, Women Empowerment, Child Rights, RTE, Rights of differently-abled persons etc
    ·         NCERT 11th & 12th Sociology,
    ·         Internet, Current
    ·         IGNOU

     Ethics, Integrity and Gandhian Thoughts

    ·         Lexicon For Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude / Here (Choose any 2 of these)
    ·         IGNOU Notes
    Society and Culture of Himachal Pradesh, Tribes of Himachal, Customs and manners of Himachal etc

    HPAS General Studies Paper – II

    GS Paper – II

    Books/Study material
    Indian Constitution, Parliament  and  state  legislatures, Union  and  states etc
    ·         Indian Polity – M. Laxmikanth / Here OR
    Features of the Representation of People's Act
    ·         Indian Polity – M. Laxmikanth / Here OR
    Polity of Himachal Pradesh : Reorganization and politics of statehood, pressure groups, Structure, organization  and  functioning  of  Statutory,  Regulatory  and  various bodies etc
    Institutional framework, Policies and Interventions,
    ·          Indian Polity – M. Laxmikanth / Here OR
    ·         Internet
    Governance, Good governance, Citizen Charters, effective public service delivery, transparency, accountability ect
    ·        Indian Polity – M. Laxmikanth / Here OR
    ·         Current Affairs, Newspaper,
    ·         Internet
    Local self government in urban and rural areas
    ·         Current Affairs, Newspaper,
    ·         Internet
    (NGOs), Self Help Groups (SHGs) and Civil Society in Governance
    ·         Internet
    Bodies  constituted,  Policies,
    Programmes  &  Schemes  for  welfare  of  SC, ST, Women, Minorities, Backward classes, Differently abled persons, and children
    ·         Current Affairs, Newspaper,
    ·          Internet
    Issues:  livelihood,  poverty,  hunger,
    disease  and  social inclusiveness.
    ·         Current Affairs, Newspaper,
    ·          Internet
    Governance in Himachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh Public Service Guarantee Act 2011, Right  to  Information  Act  2005, Administrative reforms, Implementation of 73rd & 74th Constitutional amendments in HP,  Programmes  and  policies
    ·         Current Affairs, Newspaper,
    ·         Internet
    International Relations and Diplomacy
    ·         Current Affairs, Newspaper, Internet
    Cyber crime and drug menace in Himachal,  Socioeconomic Policies by HP Govt for SC, ST,  Protection and promotion of agrarian society, Tribal welfare administration
    ·         Current, Newspapers, Internet

    HPAS General Studies Paper – III

    GS Paper – III

    Books/Study material
    Indian Economy
    ·         NCERT 11th & 12th Economics
    ·         Indian Economy - Ramesh Singh / Here  Or
    Economic Planning in India, Five Year Plans, Fiscal Policy, Sustainable development and Inclusive growth, Measurement  of  economic  development
    ·         NCERT 11th & 12th Economics
    ·         Indian Economy - Ramesh Singh / Here
    Latest/Current  Development Schemes/Initiatives/Institutional  Changes
    ·         Current Affairs, Newspaper, Internet
    International  Financial  &
    Economic  Organizations
    ·         NCERT 11th & 12th Economics
    ·         Indian Economy - Ramesh Singh / Here
    ·         Current Affairs, Newspaper, Internet
    Economy of Himachal Pradesh: Demographic profile & Human resource, Sectoral distribution of GSDP,
    Diversification  in  Agriculture  and
    allied  activities in HP,  Land  tenure  and
    size  of  land holdings.
    Industrialization in the state, Skilled/Unskilled labour, Cottage
    and Small Scale Industries, Tax base, Pros and Cons of Special Category status in HP
    Revenue generation with special reference to hydro potential, tourism, flora and fauna in HP
    Appraisal  of  education,  Health,
    Physical  and  Financial  Infrastructure Development in HP
    Science & Technology : natural resources, development and communications, missions and programmes of Department of Space and ISRO, Historical evolution of Indian Space programme, Remote Sensing and Communication satellites etc
    ·         Current Affairs, Newspaper, Internet
    ·         Science & Technology - Ashok Singh /   Here
    Developments in energy sectors : Hydro power, non conventional sources of energy and nuclear energy including policies, programmes and research base in the country, Concepts of non conventional, renewable, clean and environment friendly energy sources. Role of energy in   sustainable development.
    ·         Current Affairs, Newspaper, Internet
    Science & Technology in HP : emerging technologies and initiatives, policy, research, vision, scope and applications for developing horticulture, medicinal and aromatic plants resources of the state, IT policy of HP and its role in governance,  HIMSWAN, state plans of e-governance, concept of Lok Mitra Kendra and AGISAC etc
    ·         Current, Newspaper – Giriraj,
    ·         Official Websites etc
    State Biodiversity strategy and Action Plan. Endangered and threatened species of Himachal Pradesh. Factors responsible for Bio diversity decline in Himachal Pradesh, Relevance and role of Intellectual Property Rights, Geographical Indications and Traditional wisdom and knowledge in sustainable development of the state
    Environment & Biodiversity : Issues ,concerns, policies, programmes, conventions, treaties and missions aimed at environment protection, and dealing with the problem of climate change,
    ·          Environment - Shankar IAS Here (chose any one)
    ·         Current Affairs, Newspaper, Internet
    Environment Reports, Environment protection and pollution control Act and rules, Environment Impact Assessment, National  Action plans on Climate Change, Himalayan ecology ,biosphere reserve, Science and economics of climate change, Social and ethical issues in use of Biotechnology
    ·         Current Affairs, Newspaper, Internet
    Agriculture : Latest developments in science and technology for harnessing agriculture, horticulture, medicinal and herbal resources in the country, National mission for sustainable agriculture, mission for integrated development of horticulture, Concept of organic farming, seed certification, rain water harvesting , techniques of irrigation and soil conservations and soil health cards etc
    ·         Current Affairs, Newspaper, Internet
    ·         NCERT 11th & 12th
    Tourism policy, potential and initiative in Himachal Pradesh, Types  of  tourism:  religious,  adventure, heritage,  Important  tourist  destinations, Social, Economic and Cultural implications of Tourism
    Concept  of  Eco -Tourism  and  green  tourism  and  their  role  in  sustainable development, Environmental  concerns  of tourism  industry,  both  positive  and  negative  effects including climate change with reference to Himachal Pradesh

    Some Useful Stuff :

    General Studies Manuals : (Choose one of them)
    1. English Hindi Tata MacGraw Hill General Studies Manual  (Must have book)
    2. General Studies Manual Paper - I  Publisher: Arihant
    3. The Pearson General Studies Paper I Publisher: Pearson
    4. General Studies (Paper 1) 35th Edition Publisher: Unique
    5. Spectrum's Handbook for General Studies 24th Edition

    General studies manual is very important because it covers almost whole syllabus for the Prelims and will be useful in mains in Most of the parts with New Changed pattern, in fact GS is going to be the Game Changer from now on in the HPAS Mains. This book also having Last years of Question papers as well as the breakdown of questions. Apart from this it will cover History, Geography, Polity, Economic & Social Development, Environment & Biodiversity, Science and GK. So this is Must have book for all CSE or State PSC, Not only this book is useful for only CSE students but it is very important for Every Competition Exam where General Knowledge/General Studies is asked in the Exam and its One time investment. So Without any Doubt Go for this Book.
    Although I will recommend Tata Macgrawhill manual then I rate Arihant's GS Manual 2nd best but There are GS manuals from other Publishers too if you want to have a look then click on the links below in the end of this post.

    Online Facilities :

    So this concludes the Whole post of Books recommended, if you have any queries or confusions do comment below.

    Also read :

    How to Prepare 
    Paper 2: Aptitue Test/CSAT

    How to Prepare for Optional : Optional Papers Studyplan & Books


    1. when can i get the new edition of book"The Wonderland Himachal Pradesh by Jag Mohan Balokhara"?

    2. i think old edition will also work for u dear

    3. Bro I'm a working in banking sector and I'm starting hpas preparation now at 23 yrs of age with no prior guidance so i found your support very helpful....keep up the good work...thanks

    4. keep it up bro hard work never go vain......

    5. thanx for share useful information

    6. sir recently i passed my gradu. exam and now i want to fight this test i have no any person who can guide me so please sir how can i per pear myself for this test

    7. sir recently i passed my gradu. exam and now i want to fight this test i have no any person who can guide me so please sir how can i per pear myself for this test

    8. Can anyone provide me previous year Himachal Pradesh Public Service Commission question paper.. in PDF format or by sending link on this number 8679973801

    9. Can anyone tell me
      In general studies paper mains of HAS, 70 questions which comes, are they MCQ type?(that is any option is given for the that 70 question)
      And if no, sir then tell me in how many words we can write the answer.
      Thanking you
      please reply I will be waiting for you eagerly

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