UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) may be an inefficient and irrational body but one thing that is commendable is that it is NON CORRUPT as far as I know. There are no question paper leakages. You cannot BRIBE a UPSC member and become an IAS officer.
But people have made use of the loopholes in the system and have become officers. UPSC officially does not acknowledge these loopholes but makes changes in the system (after many years). For example, Mains examination answer sheets used to be posted to evaluators at one point of time. Some have misused this loophole. UPSC now gets the answersheets evaluated in its premises under its supervision.
Another loophole is taking some literature subjects as optional papers in Mains examination. There is always a soft corner as the evaluators belong to that particular state and usually they award marks very liberally. Sometimes, you can get 100 marks more compared to other optional subjects and 100 marks is heaven as far as UPSC Mains Examination is concerned. These 100 marks will decide where you stand in the final merit list.
What I am trying to say here is that you must keep ‘rationality’ aside when choosing optional subjects. Just because you are an electrical engineer, do not take Electrical Engineering as your optional subject. Just because Mathematics is interesting to you, do not take Mathematics as optional subject. There are exceptions but very few. Choose only SCORING subjects and safe papers.
Many literature subjects and humanities subjects are scoring. By ‘Safe’, I mean they ask questions which are directly mentioned in the syllabus. More about it in the future posts.