How to read the Budget and Economic Survey For UPSC Civil Services Exam?

An economic survey is a flagship annual document prepared under the guidance of the Chief Economic Adviser, presented by the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance in the parliament just before the budget is announced. Essentially, the economic survey report is the view of the ministry on the state of the economy of the country. It reviews the development of the economy over the past year, provides a summary of the developmental programs and schemes, highlights the initiatives taken by the government, and lays forward the prospects of the economy in the short to medium-term.

Known as the “Annual Financial Report” in Article 112 of the constitution of India, the Budget is an estimate of the income and expenditure of the Indian government on a periodic basis. It is presented by the Finance Minister in the parliament.

Since both these documents are voluminous, aspirants find it difficult to cover for UPSC CSE. However, it should be noted that both of them are extremely crucial for prelims, mains, and even the interview process to some extent; hence, should be prepared extremely well. 

How to read the Budget & Economic Survey for UPSC?

First and foremost, it is important to note that a thorough knowledge of budget and the economic survey will not only be beneficial for Prelims, it will also help you in supplementing your answers with crucial points in UPSC Civil Services (Main) examination. Hence, give it due importance and prepare these two government documents really well. Here is how you should read it:

  • Identify the important chapters from the index: Each document has an index at the start that will help you in identifying the important chapters and key areas. Mark them in the order of priority and start reading only those chapters that are relevant to the syllabus of the UPSC CSE. 

  • Read additional information: Alongside the main content, additional information is provided in the boxes in the economic survey. Do not skip those boxes as direct questions from that information have been asked in the prelims. 

  • Skip cramming irrelevant information: Both these documents are filled with numerical data. You do not need to learn all of them, be very strategic in picking up the relevant information. 90% of the numerical data given in these documents is irrelevant for UPSC aspirants, hence cautiously skip it. 

  • Make short notes: You cannot obviously revise these heavy documents multiple times, hence it is best to make short notes for the relevant chapters that can be revised multiple times to retain the information. 

  • Articles on PIB: Read articles on the budget and the economic survey that are released by the official website of PIB. It is insightful and will give you a perspective on the important elements of both the documents. 

  • Practice mock questions: After you’re done with a thorough reading and revision, go for solving mock tests based on economic survey and budget. Here, you need to adopt the test-based learning approach. Assess your knowledge by marking the answers and learn what you haven’t read yet. This will strengthen your conceptual understanding and will also help you in retaining what you’ve studied. 

Highlights of Economic Survey 2020 for UPSC CSE 2020

Tabled during the budget session on January 31, 2020, the economic survey 2019-2020 was prepared under the guidance of Krishnamurthy Subramanian, Chief economic adviser to the Government of India. The broad theme of the survey is “Ethical Wealth Creation” outlining the strategies for making India a $5 trillion dollar economy by 2024-25.

Some of the key highlights of the economic survey 2020 are: 

  • The survey expects the growth of the Indian economy at 6-6.5% in the coming year starting 1st April 2020. 

  • The industrial growth of the country is at 2.5% and agricultural growth is at 2.8%. 

  • Employment in the country increased over the years and 2.6 crore new jobs have been created between 2011-12 and 2017-18.

  • There is a separate section known as Thalinomics and it shows a rise in affordability of vegetable thali by 29% and non-veg thali by 18% in 2006-07 to 2019-20. 

  • The urban areas of 35 states and union territories have become open defecation free and the percentage of waste processing has increased by over 40%. 

  • The survey throws light on easier ways to start a business and pay taxes.

  • It acknowledged the efforts of Unnat Jeevan by Affordable LEDs and Appliances for ALL.

  • India is the second-largest green bond market across the globe, after China. 

  • The number of houses built in a year under Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana Gramin has quadrupled. 

  • Ayushman Bharat set up 28,005 health centers in the country. 

This was a brief overview of the Economic Survey 2020 which is covered in great detail in our specific micro-course on Budget & Economic Survey 2020.

Career Launcher brings to you a comprehensive course on Budget & Economic Survey that covers all the relevant topics for UPSC CSE 2020. So, if you have missed out on reading these topics before, it is the best time to get enrolled in this course and cover it extensively. You can also check out the entire range of courses for UPSC CSE preparation here Get in touch with our course counselors for more information on our course deliverables.

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