Mechanical Engineering Optional

Mechanical Engineering Optional



Mechanics :

 1.1 Mechanics of Rigid Bodies : Equations of equilibrium in space and its application; first and second moments of area; simple problems on friction; kinematics of particles for plane motion; elementary particle dynamics.

1.2 Mechanics of Deformable Bodies : Generalized Hooke’s law and its application; design problems on axial stress, shear stress and bearing stress; material properties for dynamic loading; bending shear and stresses in beams; determination of principle stresses and strains-analytical and graphical; compound and combined stresses; bi-axial stresses-thin walled pressure vessel; material behaviour and design factors for dynamic load; design of circular shafts for bending and torsional load only; deflection of beam for statically determinate problems; theories of failure.

2. Engineering Materials : Basic concepts on structure of solids, common ferrous and non-ferrous materials and their applications; heat-treatment of steels; non-metalsplastics, cermics, composite materials and nano-materials.

3. Theory of Machines : Kinematic and dynamic analysis of plane mechanisms. Cams, Gears and empicyclie gear trains, flywheels, governors, balancing of rigid rotors, balancing of single and multicy-linder engines, linear vibration analysis of mechanical systems (single degree of freedom), Critical speeds and whirling of shafts.

4. Manufacturing Science :

4.1 Manufacturing Process: Machine tool engineering - Merhant’s force analysis: Taylor’s tool life equation; conventional machining; NC and CNC machining process; jigs and fixtures. Non-conventional machining-EDM, ECM, ultrasonic, water jet machining etc.; application of lasers and plasmas; energy rate calculations. Forming and welding processes-standard processes. Metrology-concept of fits and tolerances; tools and guages; comparators; inspection of length; position; profile and surface finish.

4.2 Manufacturing Management : System design: factory location—simple OR models; plant layout-methods based; applications of engineering economic analysis and break-even analysis for product selection, process selection and capacity planning; predetermined time standards. System planning; forecasting methods based on regression and decomposition, design and blancing of multi model and stochastic assembly lines; inventory management-probablistic inventory models for order time and order quanitity determination; JIT systems; strategic sourcing; managing inter plant logistics. System operations and control: Scheduling algorithms for job shops; applications of statistical methods for product and process quality control applications of control charts for mean, range, percent defective, number of defectives and defects per unit; quality cost systems; management of resources, organizations and risks in projects. System improvement: Implementation of systems, such as total quality management, developing and managing flexible, lean and agile Organizations.


1. Thermodynamics, Gas Dynamics Turbine :

1.1 Basic concept of First-law and Second law of Thermodynamics; concept of entropy and reversibility; availability and unavailability and irreversibility.

1.2 Classification and properties of fluids; incompressible and compressible fluids flows; effect of Mach number and compressibility; continuity momentum and energy equations; normal and oblique shocks; one dimensional isentropic flow; flow or fluids in duct with frictions that transfer.

1.3 Flow through fans, blowers and compressors; axial and centrifugal flow configuration; design of fans and compressors; single problems compresses and turbine cascade; open and closed cycle gas turbines; work done in the gas turbine; reheat and regenerators.

2. Heat Transfer :

2.1 Conduction heat transfer—general conduction equation-Laplace, Poisson and Fourier equations; Fourier law of conduction; one dimensional steady state heat conduction applied to simple wall, solid and hollow cylinder and spheres.

2.2 Convection heat transfer—Newton’s law of convection; free and forces convection; heat transfer during laminar and turbulent flow of an incompressible fluid over a flat plate; concepts of Nusselt number, hydrodynamic and thermal boundary layer their thickness; Prandtl number; analogy between heat and momentum transfer—Reynolds, Colbum, Prandtl analogies; heat transfer during laminar and turbulent flow through horizontal tubes; free convection from horizontal and vertical plates.

2.3 Black body radiation—basic radiation laws such as Stefan-boltzman, Planck distribution, Wein’s displacement etc.

2.4 Basic heat exchanger analysis; classification of heat exchangers.

3. Engines :

3.1 Classification, themodynamic cycles of operation; determination of break power, indicated power, mechanical efficiency, heat balance sheet, interpretation of performance characteristics, petrol, gas and diesel engines.

3.2 Combustion in SI and CI engines, normal and abnormal combustion; effect of working parameters on knocking, reduction of knocking; Forms of combustion chamber for SI and CI engines; rating of fuels; additives; emission.

3.3 Different systems of IC engines-fuels; lubricating; cooling and transmission systems. Alternate fuels in IC engines.

4. Steam Engineering :

4.1 Steam generation—modified Ranking cycle analysis; Modern steam boilers; steam at critical and supercritical pressures; draught equipment; natural and artificial draught; boiler fuels solid, liquid and gaseous fuels. Steam turbines— Principle; types; compounding; impulse and reaction turbines; axial thrust.

4.2 Steam nozzles—flow of steam in convergent and divergent nozzle pressure at throat for maximum discharge with different initial steam conditions such as wet, saturated and superheated, effect of variation of back pressure; supersaturated flow of steam in nozzles, Wilson line.

4.3 Rankine cycle with internal and external irreversibility; reheat factor; reheating and regeneration, methods of governing; back pressure and pass out turbines.

4.4 Steam power plants—combined cycle power generation; heat recovery steam generators (HRSG) fired and unfired, co-generation plants.

5. Refrigeration and Air-conditioning :

5.1 Vapour compression refrigeration cycle—cycle on p-H & T-s diagrams; ecofriendly refrigerants—R 134a. 123; Systems like evaporators, condensers, compressor, expansion devices. Simple vapour absorption systems.

5.2 Psychrometry—properties; processes; charts; sensible heating and cooling; humidification and dehumidification effective temperature; air-conditioning load calculation; simple duct design.

How to prepare for mechanical engineering optional for IAS?

Mechanical engineering is one of the optional subjects offered by UPSC for civil service main examination. It is a discipline that applies the principle of physics, engineering, and material science for the manufacturing and design of mechanical systems.  It is one of the branches of engineering that revolves around the design, production, and operation of machinery. Also, it is the broadest and oldest discipline of engineering. If preparation is done in the right direction then it is easy to crack the exam with mechanical engineering as an optional subject. So focus on preparation well and cover everything that may help in cracking the exam. Here are a few tips and tricks that will make the journey of your preparation easier and help you to gain better results:

1. The first thing before starting the preparation is to know the mechanical engineering optional subject’s syllabus. Make yourself familiar with all the topics that are part of the syllabus in order to have clarity that what all are the kind of things that need to be studied. In this way, you will be able to focus on what all topics are the parts of the syllabus. Also, this is the best, to begin with, the preparation as before starting a candidate needs to know what to prepare.

2. After this comes the question of how to prepare. For this collect all the reference books and study material related to the optional subjects. Rely on more than one book because if the concepts from one book are not clear then you can refer to another book for better understanding. Also many a time few topics are not covered in a single book so it’s always better to have multiple books in hands in order to cover the entire syllabus. Also, you can compile all the pieces of the topic in one place so future reference.

3. The next step is to prepare a study plan. This is a must thing for UPSC aspirants. A study plan gives you a direction on how to prepare and what all topics to prepare at what time. A study plan will help you to cover the entire syllabus in a more systematic manner. You can bifurcate the whole of the syllabus into subheads and allot different dates to different topics. In this way, you can complete a particular topic on a given date. This will enhance your preparation and make it more planned and structured.

4. Another significant step is to make your preparation notes which you can refer to on a later stage.  These notes will act like a power booster in the later phase of preparation. It is quite obvious that before the exam you will not refer to thick books because they will be time-consuming. So these precise notes of each topic can be referred and used for preparation during the last moment.  Make these notes properly and in such a way as it covers everything moment from exam point of view. They will enhance the preparation and make it more effective.

5. After going through the entire syllabus, start solving past year question papers. Practice them thoroughly and analyze what types of questions are asked in recent years. Make yourself familiar with the trend of the questions. This will help you to prepare well and in this way, you will get familiar with a variety of questions that have come up. Also, many publishers provide books that have past year papers solved topic wise. So refer to these books. Through this, you will get an idea as to what all the possible questions which have been asked earlier and others that might come this year.

6. In addition to this, a candidate can enroll in mock test series. Mock tests provide a platform just like a real exam. Through this, a candidate can enhance his preparation by doing the practice of different questions. Also many coaching test series provide the candidates with the all India rank. Through this rank, a candidate gets to know where he/she stands in comparison to other candidates. Also, mistakes committed in one mock test can be rectified so that same are not committed in the upcoming ones. In addition to this don’t get depressed if you get a low score in mock tests. Just focus on improving the mistakes that you have committed and analyze the mock test well. Giving mock tests is the best way to learn and enhance preparation. These mock tests help you to get a good score in the final exam and enhance the preparation.

7. As soon as you are done with solving past year papers and mock test papers. Make a chart of topics that you have covered well and don’t need much of your attention. These are the topics at which you are really good and scoring well also. So keep these topics aside. Now are the topics in which you are not scoring well and the concepts of those topics are also not clear. Make a list of all these topics at which you are weak. Now invest the remaining time of your preparation in understanding these topics. In this way, you will be able to work upon your weakness.

8. The final step is that mechanical engineering is a practical subject. You need to apply the concepts while solving the question. So the basic step to do is to build a strong foundation of the concepts. Don’t run behind learning everything. Understand the concepts and develop clarity about the concepts. Also while solving questions, try to understand what all are the possible methods or concepts that can be applied. Instead of learning answers, try to focus on conceptual clarity. If you will mug up the topic you will definitely be stuck between one and the other questions. But if you will understand the topic then you will be able to solve any kind of question which will be asked in the final exam.