Easy Tips on How to Prepare for Current Affairs in UPSC play a vital role in the UPSC Civil Services Exam. Questions from this section appear in all stages of the exam, including Prelims, Mains, and the Interview. These questions can be direct or indirectly linked to the static or basic part of a specific topic.
While current affairs are important and make up a significant portion of the syllabus, there is no defined syllabus for current affairs in both the prelims and mains examinations. The UPSC syllabus for prelims mentions, “Current events of national and international importance.” Therefore, it is up to the candidate to approach their preparation for current affairs.
Before diving into a strategy for preparing for current affairs, it is important to analyze previous year question papers to get a basic understanding of the type and number of questions asked from current affairs in recent exams.
Importance of Current Affairs: The number of questions from current affairs in GS Paper I of prelims in the last 5 years are as follows:
2015: 30 questions (60 marks)
2016: 27 questions (54 marks)
2017: 31 questions (62 marks)
2018: 28 questions (58 marks)
2019: 27 questions (54 marks)
Analyzing the UPSC mains examination, it is evident that current affairs-based or linked topics are more likely to appear in the question paper. Preparing for current affairs not only helps candidates in attempting these answers but also enables them to write better answers and score more marks.
Easy Tips on How to Prepare for Current Affairs in UPSC has been asking questions by linking current affairs with traditional subjects like History, Polity, Geography, Economy, Science & Technology, and Environment. This emphasizes the importance of current affairs in all three stages of the UPSC civil services examination.
For the UPSC-CSE main examination, reading newspapers helps understand current issues and develop one’s opinion and language for answer writing. The General Studies papers, particularly paper 1 and 2, are based on current affairs. Thus, newspaper reading becomes incredibly important for the UPSC main examination.
The UPSC Interview assesses not only a candidate’s intellectual qualities but also their social traits and interest in current affairs. Candidates are expected to have an intelligent interest in their special subjects of academic study as well as in the events happening around them, both within and outside their own state or country. Therefore, a comprehensive preparation of current affairs is necessary for success in the UPSC exam.
However, in the absence of a detailed syllabus for current affairs, many candidates get confused about important sources to refer to, how to read newspapers, important topics to cover, and what to avoid reading. This article aims to answer all these queries in a simplified manner.
How to Start reading Current Affairs or Newspapers for UPSC:
To prepare for current affairs, a candidate should first make a list of important subjects such as Economics, Science and Technology, Environment, etc. Easy Tips on How to Prepare for Current Affairs in UPSC , Then, they should read and make notes from current affairs that make national or international news related to the shortlisted subjects.
Current affairs cover a wide range of topics, including current events of national and international importance, government policies and schemes, Indian Economy, latest technologies, and bilateral relations between countries. Being familiar with the UPSC exam pattern and its demands in all stages (prelims, mains, and interview) will greatly help a candidate.
Not everything mentioned in newspapers is important for the UPSC exam. Candidates should avoid news on topics such as political parties and their conferences, detailed information on the stock market, entertainment columns, sports news (unless it’s a hobby), and regional news (unless preparing for State Public Service examination). Additionally, it is recommended to make notes while reading current affairs to facilitate revision before the examination.
Important Topics to Focus on in Current Affairs:
– Polity: Anything related to the constitution of India, parliament of India, bills and acts, governance, fundamental rights, social issues, and center-state relations.
– Economics: News related to the Indian economy, international reports and indices, banking and finance, external sector, inflation, unemployment and poverty, sectors of the Indian economy, India and its trade agreements, international economic agencies, and multilateral platforms for trade.
– Environment: Biodiversity at global, national, and regional levels, threatened species of wildlife, major biodiversity hotspots, conservation of biodiversity, and climate change.
– Art and Culture: National heritage sites, monuments, national and regional festivals, dance forms, paintings, etc.
– Science and Technology: Latest scientific developments, Indian Space Program, contributions of Indians to science, biotechnology, communication technologies, etc.
– Government schemes, policies, and initiatives.
– Annual Budget and Economic Survey.
– International: Indian visits (bilateral and multilateral), international organizations, major political events, etc.
Sources to Cover for Daily Current Affairs:
Candidates are advised to follow a reliable newspaper daily and make notes from it. The Hindu or Indian Express are preferred choices. Instead of wasting time reading the same news from multiple sources, focus on reading multiple things from the same sources to cover most topics.
Sources for current affairs can be divided into two categories: primary and secondary.
Primary Sources of Current Affairs on a Daily/Weekly/Monthly basis:
– National newspapers like The Hindu or Indian Express.
– Government monthly magazines like Yojana and Kurukshetra.
– Comprehensive monthly current affairs magazines.
Secondary Sources of Daily Current Affairs:
– Rajya Sabha TV Debates
– India Year Book by publication division, Government of India (Yearly)
Step-by-Step Approach for Preparing Current Affairs for UPSC:
1. Be familiar with the exam pattern and demands of the civil services examination in all stages (prelims, mains, and interview).
2. Read and understand the syllabus of the civil service examination, especially for mains, as it is well defined compared to prelims.
3. Follow reliable news sources mentioned above and read only relevant news articles related to the syllabus.
4. Make notes subject-wise, using pointers, flowcharts, and mind maps.
5. Regularly revise your notes to maximize your chances of scoring well in the examination.
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