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HowtoprepareSociologyOptional
forIASExam
ByrootatWed,01/07/201516:42

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to UsefulArticles CivilServicesAptitudeTest(CSAT) Civil


ServicesExamination CivilServicesMain CivilServices
Preliminary Sociology

Sociologyhaseverbeenpopularoptionalsubject
inCivilServices(Prelimsandmains)Examination
andduringpreviousyearsitspopularityhaseven
increased substantially with the tremendous
performanceshownbyscoresofcandidates.
Nonetheless some deserving candidates fail To perform
bettertomaketheirnamesappearinthelist.Thisdoesnot
happen due to their lack of knowledge or understanding of
the subject but primarily it is so because they lack proper
guidancetotacklethesubjectinarightdirection.
Here my endeavour shall be to make the subject
intelligible, easier and tricky so that even an average
candidate may have the honour to reach the prestigious
scoreof350.

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Sociology:Asaferoptionalsubject
No special knowledge or academic background is required
for the preparation of Sociology as an optional subject.
Numerous evidences show that candidates without any
special skill in Sociology have obtained high scores. The
basic requirement of high scoring is actually the
understanding of different elements of Sociology in right
direction and making their use in a wellarranged and well
organisedway.Inotherwords,itcanbesaidthatSociology
is made up of different elements and all the elements are
interrelatedwitheachotherinoneorotherway.Howdowe
take up or understand these interrelations, all depends on
ourpersonalability.Wedevelopthisabilitywiththehelpof
standard books and notes but sharpen it only under
appropriateguidance,becausebooksandnotesareequally
available to everyone, however, extraction of needful
material from them varies from person to person. Here an

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appropriate guidance makes it easier even to an average
student. A real guidance, through some novel approaches,
makes any subject so much acceptable that a curiosity of
reading and understanding the subject is easily born in us
andthatfurtherpavesthewayforsecuringhighmarks.

PLAY
RUMMY
WINCASH

Sociology 1st paper is commonly known as Thinkers


paper. There are six thinkers namely Karl Marx, Max
Weber, Emile Durkheim, Talcott Parsons, R.K. Merton
and Mead mentioned herein. So, the candidates are
required to focus heavily on thinkers and that almost
completesthe1stpaper.Inthiscontext,Iwroteabookon
thinkersinHindientitledwith(

)earliertheEnglishversionofwhichisontheverge
of its completion. It will solve most of thinker's related
problems.

HowtoCrackIAS
AvoidCommonMistakes
TheHindiReadingTips
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GeneralStudiesPlanner
ScoreGoodMarksinIAS

Thinkers part is scaled as nearly 10 percent of the total


syllabus of first paper but from the examination point of
view, its corresponding weightage is almost 70 percent. In
thisway90percentofthesyllabuscoversonly30percent
of questions. Therefore, your focus on the syllabus should
beinthesameratioie,70:30andnot10:90.

"REALTIME
ENTERTAINMENT"

Itcanbesummarizedinthefollowingformula:
T:O::70:30
Here,TstandsforThinkerspart
Ostandsforotherparts
andfstandsforfocus.

Mr.ShameerBasha,
FacilityManager,
Bangalore

Monthlyarchive
June2016(3)
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exploremore..

Stilltheveryquestionhowtowritebetteranswerremains
unanswered. I will not leave this burden on your head. So,
apartfromgivingyousufficientandappropriatenotes,Iwill
discusseachandeveryquestionontherelatedtopicinthe
classroom (the question so far asked and expected to be
asked)andprovideyoutheirbetteranswers.
To make you expert in answerwriting I will discuss some
new approaches which you are required to insert in your
answers. That, while giving you an extra edge in
comparisontoothers,willcreatedarightimpressionbefore
theexaminerwhich,inturn,willfetchyougoodmarks.
The aforesaid approaches I will discuss in the coming
sections.

GiftedadvantagesofSociology:
1.InGeneralstudies(1stpaper):Questionsvaryingfrom
20 marks to 50 marks are asked from social problems, do
not require any special effort to deal with. The preparation
ofsociologywillcompletethisportion.
Thetopicscoveredinthissectionare:Demography and
Human Resources and related issues. Behavioural and
social issues and social welfare problems, such as child
labour, gender equality, adult literacy, rehabilitation of the
handicapped and other deprived segments on the society,
drug abuse, public health, corruption in public life,
communalharmonyetc.
2. In Essay paper: There are two to four topics directly
based on social problems, which would be arranged in a
very systematic and logical manner. Sociology students
always remain in comfort zone in making a better
presentationandobtaininggoodmarks.
3. In Interview: Most of the currentbased and situation
based questions have direct link with social problems. A
Sociology student has already been groomed for such
questions. He has builtin platform to tackle social
problems. His updated knowledge makes him a perfect
interviewee and interviewers seek no boundation in
awardinghimmarks.

RoleofCasestudiesinSociology
Sociology2ndpaperisbasicallyapracticalpaper.Itsfacts
are required to be proved with the help of solid reasons.

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The reasons are found in the form of case studies, which
make our answers authentically powerful, if used
appropriately. Altogether our analysis matching with these
casestudiesputtheansweratitsperfection.
Case studies and analysis are greatly interrelated. Both
are complementary to each other. Ones existence is
incompleteandworthlesswithothersabsence.
SomeMythsaboutcasestudies:
1. Addition of many more case studies pleases the
examinerandhegivesplentyofmarks.
Truth: This kind of thinking is completely baseless and
wrong. Case studies are no doubt very essential but be
careful,eachcasestudyhastheabilitytorenderabigtruth
andthatrequiressufficientanalysis.Therearetwofactsin
thiscontext.
(a) When we write the answer in limited words and time
constraint,wecannottakethesupportoftoomanystudies
also because most parts of our answer are covered by
analysis.Therefore,somestudiesandtheir analysis make
theanswercomplete.
(b) If within wordlimitation we focus mostly on case
studies, we do not get time and words to analyse them,
thenouranswerwillappearasincompleteandunorganized.
2. The nature of case studies is not as important as their
number.
Truth: The nature of studies is very important. Along with
some old studies you must try to give some new studies.
Thateffortishighlyappreciated.Thereasonbehindisthat
most of the studies have been conducted in 60s and 70s.
The 21st century society has met with a drastic change
visvis the decade of 60s and 70s. The level of change
has gone to such an extent that if both the societies are
brought face to face, it would be quite difficult to tell that
theyhaveadifferenceofonly3040years.
Soitisadvisableheretomanoeuvresomenewstudiesfor
which appropriate journals and magazines are
recommended. Moreover, one thing needs to be disclosed
here that examiners feel bored finding same case studies
in everyones answersheets, they want some new version
andyoureffortinthisdirectionmaycreatemiracle.
We will see in the following examples what mistakes are
generallydonebycandidatesintheuseofcasestudies.
Example(1):Explainthetraditionalpowerstructureinrural
India. Discuss the factors that have contributed to its
changingpatterninrecentyears.
GeneralAnswer:The abolition of privileges and economic
rights of the intermediaries like the Zamindars and feudal
has though not succeeded in introducing an egalitarian
classstructure in villages, yet it has made a great social
psychological impact on extenant groups and motivates
them now for competition with traditional power groups for
access to positions of power and social status. Village
leadership has now increasingly become more conciliatory
and pragmatic in orientation. With the traditional bases of
power for the older village elite having been removed, the
leadership, which is now emerging, has to reconcile with
factionsandoppositeinterestgroupstostayinpower.
Inordertobeeffective,leadersnowhavetobepragmatic
exercise contract through informal relations and integrate
bureaucraticinnovations.
Comment: A very impressive introduction but still there is
nomentionofdecentralistionprocessandempowermentof
women.Thisadditionwillmakeithighlyimpressive.
Now candidates give plenty of studies to prove
it.
Orensteinreportsthatinformalleadersaremoreeffectivein
the village he studied (a village in Bombay) than formal
leaders.

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Alan Beals found the village leadership in Namhalli
(Mysore) factionridden and villagers prone to rely on a
leaderwhohadthecapacityofsuccessfulaction.Factional
basisleadershipalsoseemstobethecaseinthevillageof
Morsalli in Banglore district studied by William Mc
Cormack.
R. Bachenheimer finds in the Andhra village Padu, that
leadershipisinthehandofeconomicallydominantfamilies
within each caste and wealth plus high caste status
determineleadership.
Edward and L.G. harper find the continuity of traditional
formofleadershipinvillageTotagaddeinKarnataka.
According to Oscar Lewis traditional dominant Jats hold
leadership in Rampur village in North India. He observes
fourcharacteristicsofJatleadership:
(a)thetendencytominimizethestatusdifferencebetween
theleaderandtheledwithinthecaste,
(b) resistance to delegate the authority to leaders
permanently without consultation with the appropriate
faction,
(c)Completeabsenceofyouthleadership,
(d)Lackofdirectnoteofwomeninleadership.
Thispatternmaynotbetypicalofallnorthernvillages.
AccordingtoasurveyconductedbyPlanningCommission,
the structure of rural leadership seems still dominated by
rich and upper caste groups but there is a tendency
towards recruitment of younger members to the leadership
roleinvillagesandamajorityofleadersareliterate.
Change in economic field also led to a change in
leadership. It was proved by F.G. Bailey in his study of
Bisipara village. Bailey found that Boad and Ganjam
distillers left their traditional work and village and went to
the town for better employment. They improved their
economic strength and after returning back to their village,
showedinterestinleadership.
Andre Beteille, in Sripuram village, found that there has
beenachangeinthepowerstructureofvillagewithoutthe
traditional landowning groups having lost their land to any
substantial extent. He observes that today political power,
whetherinthevillageoroutsideit,isnotascloselytiedto
ownership of land as it was in past. New bases of power
have emerged which are, to some extent, independent of
both caste and class. Perhaps most important among
theseisthestrengthofnumericalpower.
The findings of Beteille shows an instance of regional
variation.Inthiscontext,anevaluationoftwelvevillagesof
India from different regions by B.S. Cohn is very
conclusive. In six villages land control also compensates
forlackofnumericaldominance.
Conclusion:Generallyspeaking,therehasbeenabreakin
the centripetal world view of castes and classes in most
villages in India. A great level of change has come as a
result of politicization of villages through the contemporary
politicalreforms.Ithasalsobeenmotivatedbycommunity
development schemes which now cover almost all the
villagesinIndia.
Comment: Case studies have been very beautifully
presented and simultaneously there is no proper analysis.
The complete answer is full of studies but is not looking
focused, because the facts have not been analysed
appropriately.Sometimesitseemsasifsomecontradictory
statements have been given. So, do tell and discuss the
right causes responsible for the faction (if you are so
talking about) in villages and also how they are supporting
tochangethepowerstructure.
Improvement:
1.Givegreateremphasison73rdAmendmentAct.
2. Discuss the reservations given to SC/ST, women and
backwardclass.
3. How did it bring changes in powerstructure, corroborate

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withafewstudies(oneortwo)
4. Discuss different programmes for the upliftment of poor
sections and women empowerment/emphasis on female
participationinpolitics/impactofwomensReservationBill.
5. After giving all studies in a paragraph, discuss mainly
about empowerment, democratic decentralization, mass
participation in administration, awareness among people,
etc.
6.Morethanadecadehavegoneaftertheimplementation
ofPanchayatiRaj,wehaveenormousstudiesonit,placea
fewofthemrightly.
7.GivetheviewsofNobelLaureateAmartyaSen.
8. Give the opinion of World Bank in the very age of
Globalisationinthiscontext.
GenerallycandidatesdonotmentionaboutPanchayatiRaj
because they think there is no substantial impact of it on
masses.
Your View point: Do tell that the level of changes is not
upto the mark, why? Corroborate it by studies, but keep
telling that the change is taking placethough dimensions
are varying, like, there is castebased faction, Dalit
consciousness has increased Reason? The influence of
Dalit leaders at rural level (Politicisation of power in the
nameofDalitClass)etc.
Aftersuchanalysis,giveapowerfulconclusion.
Example (2): Joint family is dissociating into nuclear
family.Analysethestatement.
General Answer: Definition of joint family Its
characteristics/Definition
of
nuclear
familyits
characteristics/Nuclear Families in two different sovietise
(In western countries and in Indias poor Dalit class)
externally both look alike but internally they are quite
different. Nuclear family has been defined on the basis of
western countrys structure and so that is the real nuclear
family.Inwesterncountries,nuclearfamilyisapartoftheir
system while that of in India is due to economic crunch
situation.
Now, in India, it is no more limited upto lower caste poor
people but has been institutionalized universally. Many
sociologists have analysed it and0 have admitted not only
its disintegration but also attempted to give the factors
responsible for this disintegration. In this regard, they told
one more important thing that in western countries that
separation was both physical and mental while in India it
was only physical. People in India are always mentally
joint. This is the finding of I.P Desai which was later on
approvedbyK.M.Kapadia.
Comment:Introductionoftheanswerisexcellentbutthere
is one thing lacking here. The analysis of physical and
mental separation should be sociopsychological ie, there
should be stress on socialization process. Discuss briefly
the socializationpattern of both the countries and its
impactonthechildbeingsocializedastowhyatoneplace
he becomes emotionless while at the other place he is
emotionallyattachedtohisfamilymembers.
Now candidates describe so many case studies like the
analysis and conclusion of I.P Desai/ the analysis and
conclusionofK.M.Kapadia/theopinionpollconductedby
Indian Institute of Public opinion conclusion/ study of
Delhis Agrawal families by M.S. Gore Conclusion/ the
study,analysisandconclusionofP.M.Kolenda,apartfrom
it, three main causes for integration divorce and
remarriage, payment of bride wealth and dowry and uxori
lateralityvs.virilateralitystudyandanalysisofBangloreby
AileenRoss,etc.
Then candidates write the conclusion that the outcome of
allthesestudiesisthatthejointfamilyisdisintegratinginto
nuclear family. Though the direction of change is unlike
western countries but still the smaller form of family is
universalphenomena.

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Improvement:
1. The aim of most of the sociologists is to find the
percentage of jointness and nuclearity in the concerned
society.Theirstudiesandconclusionsaremostlyalike.So
trytogivetheminoneortwoparagraphs.
2. Among all these studies, the study of Ross is very
important. Because she has focused on those issues
whichareusefulforeventodaysfamiliesandinwhichthe
issueofchildrensfreedomismostimportant.
3. Discuss the impact of different Acts or laws related to
family or marriage ie, the impact in thinking process,
behaviour,freedomofchildrenandalsoitsnegativeimpact.
4. Impact of Globalisation, Privatisation and liberalization
onsociety,alsotheimpactofPanchayatiRaj,etc.
5. The impact of communication system and media on
society and so on family system Awareness level of
people has tremendously raised, it paved the way to
understand and analyse the world and in this way a
completechangeintheirworldview.
6. Empowerment emancipated women their decision
making capacity increased they can no more carry the
traditionalPurdahsystemconsequencesofallthesein
theformofabiggenerationgapandthatleadstochangein
familysystem.
7.Lastlygiveanemphaticconclusion.

DiscussionontheTailWordsofthequestions
Every tailword has a specific meaning and its
understandingisquiteessentialforacandidatetomakehis
answer perfect. Here I am describing some important tail
words to resolve your problem related with the
understandingofthequestion.
Explain: To simplify the given statement. To write
about the statement (may be based on theory) in
such a way that its meaning becomes clear and
unequivocal.
Describe: It means general writing about the
subject, is, giving straight forward discussion on
different aspects of the given subject. In a simple
language it can be said that whatever your know
aboutthesubject,writeitsystematically.Nospecial
approachisneeded.
Discuss:LikeDescribe
Elaborate:Todescribeelaborately.
Analyse:Firstbreakthestatementindifferentparts,
then describe them separately and then give a
systhesis.
Examine: Highlight different aspects of the given
subject and then throw light on relevancy and
fruitfullnesofeachaspect.
Criticise : Here both positive and negative aspects
should be taken into account but still the emphasis
shouldbeonnegativeaspect.
Review:Likecriticise
Evaluate: Writing a conclusion after discussing
differentaspectsofthestatement.Here,conclusion
hasspecialimportance.
Elucidate:Describingwithappropriateexamples.
Critically Evaluate: Criticism in the approach of
evaluation.
Critically Review: Criticism in the approach of
review i.e., after giving criticism of the theory,
criticisethecritiques.
Critically examine: First describe Its positive +
negative then criticise Its positive + negative.
Nowmakeabalancebetweenthetwo.

ShortNotesTypeQuestions
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In both the papers, question number 1 and 5 are
compulsory and are in the form of short notes. For each
suchquestion,threeoutoffourshortnotesarerequired to
be written for which the word limit is 200. As a
convenience, you have 13 minutes of time for each short
notes from which you can allot 11 min. for framing the
answer.Thisistheareawhichgivesyoutheapportunityto
score75percentofmarkseasily,forwhichyouneedtobe
consciousatcertainpoints,like:
1. Write your answer straight forward without any
introduction.
2.Yourwordlimitshouldnotcross220mark.
3. Use an easy and free flow language to make your
descriptioneasilyunderstandable.
4. Try to ascertain the points on which more emphasis is
given. Your answer should revolve around that point. For
example if you have to write short notes on valuefree
sociology, So first tell its meaning and then quote some
sociologistswhohavetriedtoestablishsociologyasvalue
neutral. Now discuss some problems which restrict
sociology to be value free and the contradictions in the
thoughts of sociologists at this concept like Max Weber, a
main proponent of value free sociology, has adopted
subjective meaning and verstehen approach similarly
Emile Durkheim advocated to consider social facts as
things and simultaneously for collective conscience.
Finallygiveaconclusioninformofapracticalsolution.
5. If the topic so requires, you may finish the short notes
abruptly is, without giving any conclusion. For example,
short notes on Mode of production do not require any
conclusionandcriticism.
6. Your knowledge of strong vocabulary is always
appreciated. Writing more in limited words is an art and
doesnotcomesuddenly.Itrequiresacontinuouseffortand
arightfeedback.
7. In short notes, your accuracy and exactness and not
your wide knowledge is praised. Though knowledge of the
subject is indispensable but the arrangement of elements
atrightplaceisthemeasurementofexactness.
8. If required, you can mention one or two case studies
briefly.

ClassroomTechnique
Any topic which is to be studied, should not be studied
straightforword but rather should be broken in different
possibledimensionshavinganykindofconnectionwiththe
topicinanswerwriting,selectrelateddimensionsaccording
to the nature of the question. This technique will help you
complete your answer. An illustration of this technique is
givenasfollows:
KarkMarx:Theoryofclassstruggle
1.Introduction
2.Definitionofclass
3. Different classes in different ages : Role of mode of
production
(a)MeaningofMOPItstwoaspects:(i)Material(Forces
ofProduction)(ii)Social(RelationsofProduction)
(b) Concept of substructure (Economic structure) and
infrastructure/superstructure.
(c)ChangingformofMOPAspecialcharacteristic.
(d) Change in MOP Beginning of a new age (Primitive
communismAncientfeudalCapitalistic)
(e) In capitalism : 'Classinitself' changes into 'classfor
itself':fullconsciousness
(f)EmergenceofcommunismAnewMOPwherechange
stops.
4. Beginning and development of capitalismtwo
differentclasses.
(i)Bourgeoisie(ii)Proletariat
5. Forced labourers : Salepurchase of their labour
power

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6. Emergence of falseconsciousness in Proletariat
RoleofReligion
7.Surplusvalue&ProfitMaximisation
8. (a) Automation and Problem of unemployment among
workers.
(b)OverproductionandendofPettyBourgeoisie.
9.AlienationinProletariat
(a)MeaningofAlienation
(b) Meaning elaboration : (i) Economic aspect (ii) Social
aspect
(c)DominanceofSpecializaionAlienationatitszenith.
(d)ReligiousexplanationofAlienation
(e)RelevancyofAlienation
(f)Criticism
10. Polarisation of two classes Due to some
processes like Homogenisation, Pauperization,
Monopolisation.
11.Changeof'classinitself'into'classforitself'
(a)Meaningof'classinitself'
(b)'Classinitself':ObjectiveReality
(c) Position of labourers from slaves of Ancient age till
alienatedProletariatofcapitalisticage'classinitself'
(d)'Classforitself':Subjectiveperception
(e) Polarisation of two classes and role of Petty
Bourgeoisie responsible for change of classinitself into
classforitself A situation of full consciousness of
Proletariat
12.HistoricalRevolution
13.EstablishmentofCommunism
14. Criticism: (a) Functionalist: (i) Parsons (ii) Davis &
Moore (iii) M.M. Tumin (iv) Eva Rosenfeld (v) Michael
Young
(b)Conflicttheorists:(i)MaxWeber(ii)RalfDahrendorf
15RelevancyofMarx'stheory

RecommendedBooks(ForMains)
1.ThinkersAbrahamMorgan
2.Sociology:ThemesandPerspectives
Haralambos|BuyOnline
3.IGNOUmaterial
4.ModernizationofIndianTraditionY.Singh|Buy
Online
5.SocialchangeandstratificationY.Singh
6.SocialchangeinModernIndiaM.N.Sriniwas|
BuyOnline
7.SocialBackgroundofIndianNationalismA.R.
Desai|BuyOnline
8.HouseholdDimensionsoftheFamilyA.M.Shah
9.AHandbookofSociologyVeenaDas|Buy
Online
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