Mourya Bharadwaj UPSC Topper Marksheet, Notes, Strategy

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Mourya Bharadwaj, Rank 28 CSE 2021
Mourya Bharadwaj, Rank 28 CSE 2021


I’m Mourya Bharadwaj. I’m fortunate to secure AIR 28 in recent CSE 2021.
I created this channel to share the resources to future aspirants.

I’m sharing my revision schedule for GS and optional between pre and mains.
Hope it helps the aspirants.

Table of Contents

Mourya Bharadwaj UPSC Booklist

A brief history of modern India (Spectrum)Get Book
Indian Art and Culture by Nitin SinghaniaGet Book
Certificate Physical & Human Geography by GC LeongGet Book
AtlasGet Book
Indian Polity by LaxmikanthGet Book
Indian EconomyGet Book
Shankar IAS EnvironmentGet Book
Internal Security and Disaster Management by AshokGet Book
Maurya Bharadwaj UPSC CSE BOOKLIST

Mourya Bharadwaj Mains Strategy for CSE-2021


This is my 5th attempt and in my 4th attempt I missed the cutoff by 2 marks (got into reserve list). Writing has been my problem throughout this process, which reflected in my poor GS as well as optional scores.

For GS:

Test series subscribed by Mourya Bharadwaj UPSC Topper:

  1. ForumIAS AWFG (daily 1 hr answer writing with no evaluation)
  2. Civilsdaily Full length tests (4)
  3. Other institutions mock papers available on internet

GS1,2,3 strategy by Mourya Bharadwaj UPSC Topper

  • I planned to write 3 rounds of FLTs

Round 1

  • I used to assign 10-15 days for each paper, used to study static section. <Sources will be mentioned separately)
  • In these 10-15 days, would write AWFG tests of that particular paper once in 2 days.
  • Each paper has 7 questions (4×10 marks & 3×15 marks). I would make sure that I complete the paper in 1 hr strictly .
  • After end of 10-15 days, I used to write a FLT on tha entire paper.
  • Avoided reading too much on topics with less weightage such as World history, post-independence. Only read them superficially, so that I wont miss out on easy questions from them
  • For current affairs, i used to study Indian express & follow civilsdaily current affairs . I used to note down / copy the key points, stats, examples etc in OneNote app under sections like polity, governance, economy etc. My notes used to get build up over the period of time. Attaching a screenshot below of my onenote to give reference

Round 2

  • Assign 5-7 days for revision of each paper
  • Study Mains 365 of each paper thoroughly .
  • Consolidate current affairs read from news papers during round 1 + mains 365. Make small short notes for stats, examples etc Attaching sample screenshot below
  • Revise static portion read in earlier round
  • Give FLT

Round 3

  • Mostly 7-10 days before exam.
  • Used to give 2-3 days for each paper. Revise all the notes thoroughly.
  • Write 1 FLT for that particular paper, incorporating feedback from earlier copies, including stats, value additions etc

GS 4 strategy by Mourya Bharadwaj UPSC Topper

  • Used to write 1 test every 10 days after revising syllabus
  • Collect examples topic wise and tried to apply them in exam hall.
  • Wrote around 5 FLTS in between pre and mains.

Mourya Bharadwaj Optional Anthropology Strategy for UPSC

Test series subscribed by Mourya Bharadwaj UPSC Topper

  • L2A full length tests (Don’t put any hopes of getting evaluated copy back at least for 1-2 months)
  • Dr. Vivekananda from Hyderabad immensely helped in fine tuning my answers and improving my presentation skills
  • Optional is a nightmare for me.
  • My scores across attempts (263,281,210,240,297) shows my inconsistency, despite seriously studying in all 5 attempts. I lost getting good service in 2020, due to poor anthro score.
  • I hate that subject, but had to deal with it.
  • So, I focused on writing practice and emulating previous years toppers answer writing style , by thoroughly going through their answer copies. They include Koya sreeharsha sir, Yogesh Patil, Laxmi Ma’am’s copies available on internet.
  • Targeted 3 rounds of FLTs between pre and mains. 2 rounds between pre and GS paper. 1 round between GS paper and optional paper.
  • Round 1
    • Consolidation of notes topic wise.
    • Preparation should be in Q&A format. List PYQs and other possible questions under each topic of syllabus and make sure i have good notes for them
    • Daily answer writing on alternate days. 5 PYQs from each topic I used to write in time bound conditions
    • Value addition from toppers notes (Mr. Mandar Patki’s notes was immensely helpful)
    • Any required internet research like case studies for tribal anthropology, thinkers views for social anthropology, current trends for archeology, applications for physical anthropology.
    • Took almost 20 days for each paper
  • Round 2
    • Revision of round 1 notes and gave a FLT
  • Round 3 (between GS exam and anthro exam during mains)
    • Allocated 2-3 days for each paper revision and write 1 FLT to adjust time management.
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Key points to clear UPSC EXAM by Mourya Bharadwaj UPSC Topper

  • Focus should be extensively on understanding, consolidation in earlier round
  • Focus should be on mugging things and applying them in exam hall during final revisions
  • Try to meet schedules. Make realistic and practical schedules and stick to it
  • Progressively reduce the time taken for revision of each paper.
  • Take test series feed back seriously and correct your mistakes in subsequent rounds of tests.
  • Try to complete tests on time. Don’t cheat yourself in mock tests by writing beyond stipulated time period, you will get roundly screwed in final mains exam.
  • Dont get stuck with single paper. If its taking longer than scheduled time, give the FLT with whatever you have prepared and move on to next paper. You can cover up in later stages of revision
  • Aiming for perfection is a disaster in this preparation. Try to meet your targets in whatever way you can.
  • Target should be to reach your peak performance by the time of mains. Last 40 days will be critical.

Below is the sources I have followed for mains preparation for general studies

Mourya Bharadwaj Book List for UPSC

The below resources are what I have followed during my mains preparation.

Aspirants can follow any source which they are comfortable.

Please note that I also have taken 1 year GS coaching from Vajiram & Ravi in 2017 during my first attempt. It helped shaping my basics on General studies.

Newspaper: I followed The Hindu in my earlier attempts, but switched to Indian Express post 2020. You can follow any one news paper + one institution daily current affairs.




Art & Culture

RS Sharma <old NCERT>

Nithin Sangwan notes on Indian culture


Modern India




Vision post-independence pdf


World History

Vision pdf


Indian Society

Vision VAM 2020

Mains365, News paper


Mrunal YouTube Videos and PPTs

Mrunal website for location factors

Mains 365, Newspaper



Vision VAM 2020

Mains 365, Newspaper


Vision VAM 2020

2nd ARC < summaries can help>

Mains 365, Newspaper


International Relations by Parneet Singh sir (selectively)

Mains 365, Newspaper


Mrunal pdfs

Vision VAM 2020

Budget and economic survey summaries

Mains 365, News paper


Vision VAM 2020

Mains 365, newspaper


Covered from Pre< shankarIAS book>

Vision VAM 2020

Mains 365, newspaper

Science & Tech


Mains 365, newspaper

Disaster Management

2nd ARC summaries

Vision disaster management material



Vision VAM 2020

Mains 365, newspaper


Vajiram classnotes < base material>

LukmaanIAS classnotes< value addition, diagrams & examples>

OrientIAS classnotes <value addition, diagrams & examples>

2nd ARC – Ethics in Governance < pls do read the report selectively>

Make crisp notes for every topic in syllabus and keep adding examples

Case studies :

Practiced from various test series mock tests

Examples from newspapers.

LaEx pdf of examples

Mourya Bharadwaj UPSC Topper Booklist

There are lot of institutions claiming me as their student. The below document is list of various test series and coaching I took in this long journey. Hope it helps.

There are many people who cleared this exam without coaching. So availing coaching is purely an individual decision.

All the best.

Coaching Institutes Joined by Mourya Bharadwaj UPSC Topper

Post the results, there are several institutions claiming me as their student. I have also attended toppers talks and interviews with multiple institutions. This post is an attempt to create awareness, so that aspirants shouldn’t be mislead.

  1. Most of the talks with various institutions I gave are for the benefit of student community. These institutions gave me a platform to interact with large number of students and I want the lessons I learnt in this long journey to reach maximum people. There is no personal motive or neither am I endorsing those institutions.
  2. Majority of institutions (especially in Hyderabad), I took their help only during interview. Sometimes that interaction would have lasted only 30min to 1 hour.
  3. I have mentioned below all the coaching institutions I availed and how they helped me in this journey. I’m not mentioning the interview part because there are too many mocks I have given.
  4. It’s a long journey for me, so I tried and tested different institutions in different years. Many people have cracked this attempt without coaching also. So availing coaching is solely an individual decision.
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Basic coaching joined by Mourya Bharadwaj UPSC Topper

Vajiram & Ravi (2016 oct – 2017 June)— 1 year general studies — immensely helpful in forming my basics.

Prelims Preparation tips by Mourya Bharadwaj UPSC Topper

  • Practiced test series of various institutions like vision, insights etc

Mains (GS) Preparation tips by Mourya Bharadwaj UPSC Topper

  • GS Score (2017) — not helpful
  • Insights mains test series(w/o evaluation)(2018) — good to practice writing
  • ChromeIAS(2019,2020) — helpful in developing an approach towards answer writing and essay.
  • CivilsDaily (2020,2021) — helpful in improving my GS scores significantly in last 2 attempts.
  • ForumIAS -AWFG (2021) — helpful for practice and speed improvement, but no evaluation.
  • Dr. Vivekananda from Hyderabad corrected few GS copies and gave valuable inputs.

Anthropology Optional Preparation tips by Mourya Bharadwaj UPSC Topper


Vajiram & Ravi (2017) — There used to be a ma’am and sir.

  • Sir’s lectures on Theories, Archeology and Indian anthropology are very good.. He is a genuine anthropologist. But I think he stopped teaching there.
  • Ma’am section is an absolute time waste. I had to redo entire anthropology between pre and mains. I regret wasting my time and money on her lectures.

Test series

  • Sosin Ma’am (2017, 2018) — Decent. Helped me learn basics of answer writing for paper 1.
  • L2A (2019, 2021) — good test series for practice. But complaints on evaluation speed.
  • Dr. Vivekananda (2021) of Hyderabad gave me good suggestions to improve answer writing

I’m sharing my journey with anthropology , sources along with broad strategy .
I’ll try to upload topic wise sources, notes etc in coming days.
Hope it helps

Mourya Bharadwaj Anthropology Journey for UPSC

My name is Mourya Bharadwaj. I secured AIR 28 this year with anthropology. This is my 5th attempt and 5th mains and I gave all my mains with anthropology optional. I’ll share my score cards which gives an overview of my journey.

Mourya Bharadwaj UPSC Topper 1st Attempt

Mourya Bharadwaj UPSC Topper Marksheet
Mourya Bharadwaj UPSC Topper Marksheet
  • Couldn’t clear mains. Less than 60 marks from mains cutoff
  • Prepared optional between pre and mains
  • No proper answer writing practice

Mourya Bharadwaj UPSC Topper 2nd Attempt

Mourya Bharadwaj UPSC Topper Marksheet
Mourya Bharadwaj UPSC Topper Marksheet
  • Barely cleared mains. +5 from cutoff. Missed final list by 50 marks
  • Average scores in GS and optional and a poor interview killed my chances

Mourya Bharadwaj UPSC Topper 3rd Attempt

Mourya Bharadwaj UPSC Topper Marksheet
Mourya Bharadwaj UPSC Topper Marksheet
  • Missed mains cutoff by 15 marks
  • Average GS scores
  • Anthro is a disaster. Never could understand the reason for low scores till date. Mark list came 1 year after mains.
  • Result made me rethink my UPSC decision. Quit preparing full time and took up a job in jan 2020, which turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life.

Mourya Bharadwaj UPSC Topper 4th Attempt

Mourya Bharadwaj UPSC Topper Marksheet
Mourya Bharadwaj UPSC Topper Marksheet
  • Missed final list by 2 marks. Got into reserve list subsequently and allocated IP&TAFS, which I didn’t join.
  • Anthro P2 is major culprit. Despite an easy paper and good exam day performance , result turned out to be unexpected.

Mourya Bharadwaj UPSC Topper 5th Attempt

Mourya Bharadwaj UPSC Topper Marksheet
Mourya Bharadwaj UPSC Topper Marksheet
  • Finally entered list with Flying Colors…😂😀
  • Anthropology , which tortured me for last 3 years, finally helped me secure a good rank that gets me my desired service.

Lessons learnt from Mourya Bharadwaj UPSC Topper Journey

  • Exam is bit uncertain. Failures are part of journey.
  • Learn from your mistakes and not repeat them.
  • Writing skills are important. Unless one is good at answer writing and time management during exam, he is bound to be stuck in this process.
  • Optional is key in securing a good rank.
  • A strong back up/Plan B gives peace of mind if attempt count is higher.(>=3 attempts)

Anthropology Strategy by Mourya Bharadwaj

  • Anthropology don’t have single source
  • I never read cover to cover and all sources are read based on syllabus. Read selectively
  • I prepared topic wise as per syllabus
  • PYQs should be thoroughly prepared. Your preparation for a particular topic is complete only when you answer PYQ with all value additions on paper.
  • Make use of toppers notes uploaded online. I took help of notes of Sachin Gupta, Mandar Patki, Bhuvnesh Patil.
  • Refer to toppers answer scripts to see their style of writing. I found Laxmi ma’am, Yogesh Patil, Koya Sree Harsha sir answer scripts very helpful.
  • Since , i took 5 attempts I had the time and luxury to read so many sources. New aspirants need not panic. Please refer to Anudeep Durishetty sir/Koya Sreeharsha Sir’s blogs for list of sources. They are more exhaustive and easy to follow.
  • It’s possible to clear the exam by reading from limited sources. One should focus on smartly presenting whatever he knows. Please refer to Mr Yogesh Patil, Koya Sree Harsha sir’s copies to understand how good presentation skills can fetch good marks.
  • Practice writing Full Length Tests in time bound conditions before going to exam. They help in choosing questions, time management and increase confidence.
  • Make sure your final notes is very crisp so that you can revise in gap between GS and optional paper.
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PS: If any one is giving mains 2022,please be smart and don’t start reading all the sources I mentioned. Consolidate your learnings and focus more on answer writing and value addition.

Physical Anthropology Preparation tips by Mourya Bharadwaj UPSC Topper

  • PNath
  • IGNOU text books
  • epg pathshala pdfs
  • Ember & ember
  • Vivek bhasme

Answer writing pointers

  • Diagrams are very important
  • Try linking with socio-cultural part [Bio-cultural approach]
  • Very scoring section. Try to attempt good number of questions in exam
  • Collect contemporary studies and examples eg: human genome project

Socio-cultural anthropology Preparation tips by Mourya Bharadwaj UPSC Topper

  • Muniratnam notes < very comprehensive>
  • Madan & Majumdar text book for examples
  • Ember & Ember for examples and case studies
  • Vivek bhasme
  • Theories : vajiram & Ravi class notes by sir + Makhan Jha

Answer writing pointers

  • Use Thinkers & examples extensively
  • Quote thinker, book and year along with definition to make answer look anthropological.
  • Try linking with paper 2 topics.

Indian Anthropology Preparation tips by Mourya Bharadwaj UPSC Topper

  • Nadeem Hasnain
  • vajiram & Ravi class notes by sir
  • Muniratnam notes
  • Vivek bhasme
  • Referred online extensively for case studies on village studies chapter.
  • Mr. Mandar patki’s notes is very good to collect examples , case studies etc

Answer writing pointers

  • Trend is to use scholars frequently along with definitions.
  • Contemporary relevance is a must in conclusion.
  • Collect studies for topics on caste, village , GT//LT, sanskritisation etc

Tribal Anthropology Preparation tips by Mourya Bharadwaj UPSC Topper

  • Nadeem hasnain
  • Muniratnam notes
  • Mai Bhi Bharat series <watched during leisure time>
  • XAXA report
  • MoTA annual report
  • Vivek Bhasme
  • Online sources, toppers notes for case studies

Answer writing pointers tips by Mourya Bharadwaj UPSC Topper

  • Case studies are must
  • Quote the scholars and their studies to bring authenticity
  • In conclusion, try to mention how anthropology as a discipline helps in solving the problems

Archeology Preparation tips by Mourya Bharadwaj UPSC Topper

  • vajiram & Ravi class notes by sir
  • Muniratnam < very good resource>
  • Akshay Jain’s Demystifying Anthropology is good book for diagrams.

Answer writing pointers

  • Use diagrams extensively
  • Use India map /world map for distribution
  • Mention sites along with researchers.
  • In archeology, try to use scholar views. Eg: DK bhattacharya’s views on Palaeolithic art. For IVC, try to add some scholar (Gordon childe, wheeler) view on trade or art or town planning, causes of origin/extinction etc
  • Explain all aspects in a particular culture eg: Tools, technology, economy, social organisation, Any art etc
  • Be aware of debates like problems of Indian Palaeolithic, existence of upper Palaeolithic in India, origin of IVC etc
  • In conclusion, always explain this cultural phase gave rise to the next cultural phase

PS: The above is broad overview .I’ll add topic wise sources , strategy ,notes etc in coming days in the below telegram channel

Prelims Wishes to Students by Mourya Bharadwaj

Congratulations to those who cleared prelims exam today.

The real game starts now. Mains is the deciding factor, hence give your 110% between pre and mains.

Best wishes to all .🙂

IMPORTANT ALERT by Mourya Bharadwaj

With the proliferation of social media , there are numerous online frauds that are happening. A new trend emerged , creating FAKE TELEGRAM CHANNELS of toppers and extracting money.

I would like to reiterate that , I have NO PLANS of running any paid courses with respect to UPSC.

If you come across some fake profile/account running such scams on my name, kindly mail the details to below
email ID :

I’ll make sure necessary action is taken against them.

Mourya Bharadwaj

Mourya Bharadwaj UPSC Topper Anthropology Optional Notes

Hi all,
I’m sharing my anthropology notes one note link. Hopefully it helps
Few topics were well consolidated..few topics nothing will be there, for few topics just value addition will be there.

Please use this only to complement your efforts but not as main source. It’s not a consolidated notes like Mandar patki /vivek bhasme or Akshat Jain.

PS: my sincere advice to mains 2022 aspirants is not to look at it. It’s too cluttered to spend time on.

I’ll upload my hand written notes shortly.

Uploaded most of my p1 notes..

Rest I’ll upload in few days that include archeology, chapter 11 , Indian anthro etc..

Pls use this and one note notes together..while referring. Use my notes only as reference

Hope it helps.

Old Memories of Mourya Bharadwaj UPSC Topper

Scanning these notes reminded me of my preparation phase.
I have chosen this optional with lot of hopes. I am happy to take this optional. I worked sincerely and put in a lot of effort for this subject. But I was not rewarded well for 4 years. Especially paper 2, I have seen hell. All these years, I couldn’t clear this exam only because of anthro paper 2. I never crossed 120 , despite giving my best.

However, i never gave up on this subject. In the end , I got one of best scores (297) this year. My paper 2(148) score would be among the top in the country. I attribute my rank solely to anthropology score.

Learn from your mistakes, keep improving and with right guidance and effort, this subject will reward you.

Hope these notes will be of some help to you all.


Wishes to students appearing Mains Exam by Mourya Bharadwaj

To all my dear friends appearing for mains tomorrow..

All the best. Rock the exam.

Few last minute pointers..

1. Arrange all the necessary items like pens , hall ticket, ID proofs, chocolates, fruits, protein bars etc today.

2. Don’t read much now. Just skim through pages if you are having FOMO.

3. Sleep well. You require atleast 6-8 hrs sleep for brain to function sensibly.

4. Keep your calm if any unexpected questions come. Try relating to your syllabus and write anything relevant you know.

5. Manage your time well in exam. Keep moving forward. DONT GET STUCK.

6. During GS papers, If possible, try scribbling down for 15 min before entering exam hall, so that hand will get out of that inertia.

7. Even if you think you didn’t write any paper well, don’t lose heart. Lot of times your expectation and marks you get are not correlated.



10. Take care of your food and sleep. Don’t neglect them

Last message by Mourya Bharadwaj UPSC Topper

You all will do great.
Be happy, be positive, enjoy writing the papers.

Good things will happen to all of you.

Best wishes and lots of ❤️,
Mourya Bharadwaj
AIR 28, CSE 2021