Rank 10 Mains Notes Online Onenote – Tanmay Vashistha Sharma

To DemystifyCSE for aspirant community, I am sharing my mains notes here, hoping that it prove useful.

Link to Onenote Notes- The Ultimate Safari

SVPNPA Entrance- Academy where IPS training is done

My Brief Introduction

I am Tanmay Vashistha Sharma [ or TVS]. I joined Indian Police Service [IPS] through CSE 2017 (Rank 215) and Indian Administrative Service [IAS] through CSE 2018 (Rank 10). My hometown are both Damoh [Bundelkhand] and Shivpuri in Madhya Pradesh. I did my graduation from IIT Bombay in Electrical Engineering in 2015.

Although initially interested in research, after my research internship in France in 2013, my motivation shifted to civil service a bit when I saw, for the first time, the difference between developed and developing countries.

After my graduation, I joined Goldman Sachs [Bangalore] and worked there with London Equities Derivatives Pricing Desk. It was a great learning experience with a research oriented nature of work [also known as financial engineering]. After working there for about two years, I took a call to start preparing for civil services exam for which I had inclination for last several years.

In next five months after I quit [Feb 2017], I started from scratch and prepared solely for the CS Prelims 2017 and fortunately after the exam I knew that I would be qualifying for mains. Then followed the preparation for optional [Mathematics] and subjective papers in GS in next few months. Finally I ended up with Rank 215 in CSE 2017 and joined IPS.

Central IPS Mess, Dec 2018

Why these notes?

Since I had begun my preparation very late (Feb, 2017) for the 2017 attempt, I had a very ad-hoc strategy. I could only prepare my optional (maths), mains GS and essay between 4 months time that is provided between prelims (June) and mains (October). Thus I could not make any notes during 2017 attempt. After Mains 2017 completed, I decided to consolidate what all I had studied as onenote notes to use them in 2018 attempt. I was able to secure Rank 10 in CSE 2018.

What are these notes?

After giving mains in 2017, I consolidated my notes and these are a result of that. I acknowledge that various sources have contributed to these notes, I can’t recall them all, some of them include ARC reports, govt websites, PRS, PIB, VisionIAS materials, Mrunal website, various newspapers, Insights material, etc.

I am sharing the notes of GS1,2,3 and 4. I believe that the notes of GS2 and GS3 will be most useful for the future aspirants [CSE 2019 and beyond].

To gain maximum out of these notes, ideally one should first go through them briefly and understand how these are arranged. Then as you prepare new current affairs, you may add on to existing notes if that topic is already covered or create a new topic in relevant page of the subject. For eg, say some new issue related to SC judges is not covered then it should go into GS2–> Judiciary –> relevant section and so on.

The idea behind these notes is to have a systematically arranged material on each topic of the syllabus which can be used to revise easily after prelims is over, and that one should not wait for Mains related material to be released by coachings (like Mains 365) to begin preparation of GS. Generally the amount of new content in the monthly current affairs booklets is not very high as most of the topics are covered in some previous booklet/ newspapers. Therefore, whenever one reads any new material, the new and important points should be added to these notes and thus consolidated version should be used for revision.

In mains, the answer writing in limited time is very challenging initially. I had observed that due to scattered nature of my study material, in 2017 Mains I was not able to produce the best answer that I could based on my knowledge as connecting the dots was difficult with diffused material. Therefore I realized consolidation and concise nature of study material is very important to showcase your understanding of any topic while answer writing.

I had also observed that although I had remembered data/reports on various issues like TFR, ARC Report, NITI Reports, Eco Survey, TI Corruption Perception Ranking, S&T publication ranking, etc. but I was not able to use it properly in introduction/conclusion. Due to limited time that one has while answering a question and given that for many their writing speed are not exceptional, one cannot spend time pondering what all data/report can be fitted in the answer rather it should come automatically as we read the question itself. These notes also tries to have relevant data at appropriate place to make that connection.


Please use above notes only as a guideline, and keep preparing your own notes with new current affairs material as the nature of mains exam is such that stale notes won’t suffice in securing good marks.

Follow me

  1. Quora (I have answered several UPSC CSE related queries here)- https://www.quora.com/profile/Tanmay-Vashistha-Sharma
  2. Twitter- https://twitter.com/tanmay_tvs

What is there in these notes?


4 thoughts on “Rank 10 Mains Notes Online Onenote – Tanmay Vashistha Sharma”

  1. Hello Sir,
    You have done your graduation in electrical engineering and still you opted for maths optional. There is a great overlap between the syllabus that we cover in grad and upsc syllabus. Why you choose maths instead of electrical? Can you please help me with this answer as I am thinking to opt for Electrical optional.

  2. Where is the notes link? It is not present sir in the entire article. There is no mention of the notes option for download. Can you please provide the same? It would benefit hugely!

  3. Sorry Sir, I had found the notes. It’s on the top of the page. Since I was reading the blog, I somehow missed it. Thanks and sorry for my mistake!

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