Aditya Tiwari Sir - First, tell me a little bit about yourself.
Jaspinder - Sir, my name is Jaspinder Singh and this year I gave second attempt i.e. CSE 2021 and my option is Law and I secured Rank 33 this year. I am a law graduate from Punjab University, Chandigarh.
(Strategy for Constitutional Law)
Aditya Tiwari Sir - So, let’s start directly with the Law optionals okay. For Constitutional Law, which books did you refer to or what was your approach towards Constitutional Law?
Jaspinder - Sir, with respect to Constitutional Law, actually I had kind of love for Constitutional Law during my Law school so the books that were referred to us were by our teachers so it is not the book that is normally recommended by other colleges. So there is Professor Narendra Kumar, I referred to his book and I read that book for Constitutional Law, so I made very short notes later on, but I am more of a book reader so I read the book only twice or thrice. And later on for the revision purpose, when I had to give the test series, I started preparing short notes, so that is how I prepared.
Aditya Tiwari Sir - So any particular area in Constitutional Law which you think is more important and requires more focus?
Jaspinder - Sir, in the beginning when I was in Law school, it was more regarding Fundamental Rights and DPSPs but when I went through the UPSC syllabus, it was more inclined towards the polity part i.e. the President and its powers and the federal structure and I followed the previous year questions also.
(Strategy for Administrative Law)
Aditya Tiwari Sir - Second thing, about Admin Law, it’s syllabus is quite less but the books are very huge, so how did you tackle the administrative law?
Jaspinder - Sir, for Administrative Law, I referred to the book which I did in my Law school. Upadhyay was there, so I read a few topics from there, and later on I referred to Dukki when I started preparing for UPSC, since it's crisp.
(Strategy for International Law)
Aditya Tiwari Sir - So, how did you prepare for Part B of Paper I. That is for international law, there is a very huge syllabus, so what resources did you refer to?
Jaspinder - Sir, in my college I read HO Agarwal but later on I found that SK Kapoor was helpful.
Aditya Tiwari Sir - There are very important topics which you don’t find in SK Kapoor, so for that what did you do? How did you cover those topics?
Jaspinder - Sir, for that part, when I studied the nutshell of SK Kapoor, they kept on adding a few things like putting up an asterisk and adding, so I used to stall through the books and find the content available. And later on, I referred to Dukki and other internet sources to cover such topics.
(Law of Crimes)
Aditya Tiwari Sir - Next, let’s come to Paper II. About Law of Crimes, so how did you handle that?
Jaspinder - Sir, I was not very selective about the syllabus of IPC, I read the entire syllabus whatever is mentioned in the book. Later on, I made notes from the book to revise.
(Law of Torts)
Aditya Tiwari Sir - So, what about Law of Torts, how did you handle that?
Jaspinder - Sir, there is a summary given in the book written by RK Bangia, I just relied upon that, I think it’s more than sufficient.
(Contemporary Legal Development)
Aditya Tiwari Sir - I know in the CLD part, people are very much confused with regard to CLD, so please give very elaborate advice on how to tackle CLD?
Jaspinder - Sir, CLD, I again made notes of my own. In my law college, we used to study from various books so there is not much material available, so I referred to my class notes. While preparing for my exams in college, I used to prepare very short notes because I knew I also had to prepare for my optional paper also. I also referred to your notes, for like environmental law, they were very crisp and very helpful. And even Competition Law, I referred to your notes.
Aditya Tiwari Sir - Now some very generic questions which people generally ask. What do you have to say about GS and Law overlap, and does having the law optional helped you tackling the GS paper as well?
Jaspinder - Sir, it has helped me. I got 123 marks from GS II, and it is because of Law optional that it has helped me a lot to add brownie points in each and every answer of GS paper. I used to mention judgments in my GS answers. I used to quote judges, Indian and foreign judges as well, that helped me to score good marks.
Aditya Tiwari Sir - So, what about the GS II part?
Jaspinder - Sir, even in the essays, Law is very useful and Law is also very useful in the Law and Society portion as well. So they are very helpful like the Senior Citizen Act is there, RTI Act, they are really helpful, and they overlap with GS II as well, so it gives weightage to your answers.
Aditya Tiwari Sir - And I will take the last question for you. So what advice would you give Law optional like should candidates opt for Law optional or choose some other ones?
Jaspinder - If a person has invested 5 years or 3 years time with respect to law, I think there is no harm in taking Law optional subject. If you are interested in law, you must take it. If you think the syllabus is vast, yes it is a little vast, but it is well-defined. If you are able to answer a good number of previous year questions, then you will be prepared to choose for Law optional subjects. The only thing that is difficult is to revise the Law optional subjects since it is very vast but that can again be done if it is in your interest and if you have already invested 5 or 3 years during your law school.
Aditya Tiwari Sir - One more question from my side. There are many students from the Law optional batch who did brilliant but they could not qualify, any words of wisdom for that, like how can they keep up their motivation regarding that?
Jaspinder - Sir, I wasn’t able to clear my first prelims, first of all a very important thing for every aspirant is to know themselves, what are their capabilities, strengths and weaknesses, so that is very important, and we just need to strengthen our weak points and maintain the strong points. If we are very clear about our goals, what we want to achieve, then we have to start at it again and we have to make all the efforts count. Whatever hardwork you have put in, you will get fruitful results for it sometime in this life only.