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How to Start Current Affairs Preparation for IAS/IPS/UPSC Civil Services Exam 2020?

Current Affairs play a significant role in UPSC Civil Services Exam preparation as the dynamic questions appear in all three stages of the examination- Pre, Mains, and Interview. The Questions may be directly or even indirectly linked to the static part of the syllabus. UPSC recent trend shows, dynamism in question pattern will grow in the upcoming time also.

Though current affairs are important, there is not exactly a detailed & defined syllabus of current affairs for both stages prelims and mains examination of UPSC civil service exam. The prelims syllabus just mentions, “Current events of national and international importance". Therefore, the different approach of an aspirant decide his/her preparation towards the current affairs.

In this regard, the candidate must analyse the trend of the previous year's question sets of prelims and mains. It gives a basic understanding, how many questions asked, how much weightage of marks of current affairs in different subjects, how current affair interlinked with a different topic of syllabus, hence candidate may align his preparation himself with the right approach to deal with this exam appropriately.

  1. IMPORTANCE OF CURRENT AFFAIRS:

    Prelims exam of recent 5 years contained almost 30 questions (60 marks) each year becomes crucial for the candidate and deciding factor for success in prelims exam.

    Apart from the prelims exam when we write the mains exam, it requires a multidimensional approach of dealing with different issues, so current affair becomes vital in this regard. Current affair helps to develop own capability of analytical and logical thinking on different topics like current social issues, election reforms, economic issues, national interest in international relation, etc. The current affair not only helps to deal with these questions properly but also helps to fetch good marks. Even we observe the recent static portion of polity, history, geography, culture, etc, questions are interlinked with current events. There is a lot of question of environment, science & tech, requires a real-time logical solution in our conclusion part of answer writing. so the current affair is a necessary tool to coherently dealing these questions and also gives gives a vital edge in essay writing also.The above resources are helpful for General Studies -2 and General Studies-3.

    The process of UPSC Interview is an assessment of not only a candidate's knowledge part but also the capability of dealing with the real situation through his innovative approach and his interest in current events. Candidates are expected to have taken an intelligent interest not only various subjects of general studies & optional subject study but also a good knowledge of current event outside or inside of the country, other scientific knowledge such as new discoveries, space missions, use of satellite in disaster management, gene editing and how it helps society, etc. current affair always beneficial to provide a better solution and scientific approach to representing yourself as a problem solver.

    In the absence of a detailed syllabus of Current Affairs, candidates have a lot of confusion about proper resources, topics, the approach of reading, what to read in the newspaper, etc. This article will give a proper way to answer all queries simplistically.

  2. STRATEGY TO READ CURRENT AFFAIRS OR NEWSPAPERS PROPERLY FOR UPSC?

    At first, the aspirant should make a list of subjects such as Economics, Science & Tech, environment, polity, international relation, security, society, etc. These subjects should be again divided among subtopics such as economics contains subtopics like food processing, infrastructure, investment model, inclusive growth, etc. same way international relation contains bilateral relation separately with important countries, WTO, SAARC, SCO, BRICS, etc.

    When we read newspapers related to different subtopics, then we should make notes at the same time, later you should revise again and again. The facts will helpful in prelims, while interlinking news with subtopics and analysis will be helpful to form your own opinion in the mains exam. This holistic approach also reflects in the interview stage.

    The newspaper contained a lot of things, which is not necessary from an exam point of view. The aspirant should avoid news on political parties and their conferences, share market details, entertainment column, sports news, other local regional news, etc, the candidate may read sports or entertainment if he considers it as a hobby section in the interview.

    Reading newspaper is not enough, the candidate should always update own notes regularly and always keep revision. It will be helpful in the entire process of preparation.

  3. What are the main topics a candidate should focus on in Current Affairs?

    1. Polity: current news related to the constitution of India, Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha, Bills and Acts, governance, fundamental rights, social issues, center-state relations, electoral reforms, SC-ST rights, cooperative issues, etc.
    2. Economics: News related to the Indian economy, International reports and indices, banking and finance, NPA issues, banking reforms inflation, Unemployment, poverty, inequality, sectors of Indian economy, India and its trade agreement, and multilateral platforms for trade, WTO, IMF, World Bank, etc.
    3. Environment: News related to Biodiversity at Global, National, and regional level, Wildlife- threatened species, IUCN endangered species, major Biodiversity hotspots, Conservation of Biodiversity, climate change, COP, ozone depletion, etc.
    4. Art & Culture: Anything on news National heritage sites and monuments, monument conservation, national festivals, regional festivals, dance forms, paintings, etc.
    5. Science and Technology: : Latest scientific developments, artificial intelligence (AI), Indian Space Program and others important space mission, Contribution of Indians to science, biotechnology, communication technologies, etc.
    6. Government Schemes of different sectors, Government policies, and Initiatives, amendments in existing laws.
    7. Annual Budget and Economic Survey of the current year.
    8. International: Indian visits- bilateral and multilateral forums such as WTO, UN, other international organizations, major political events, etc.
  4. SOURCES TO BE COVERED FOR DAILY IMPORTANT NEWS FOR UPSC CIVIL SERVICE EXAM

    It is preferable that a candidate should follow a particular newspaper daily and make notes out of it, preferably- The Hindu or Indian Express. The candidate should avoid reading the same news from multiple sources, it may take too much time and not so productive. So aspirant should focus cover multiple things from the same sources and try to cover maximum useful topics.

    The study sources for current affairs can be divided into two categories- primary & secondary:

  5. Primary Sources:

    1. National newspaper such as The Hindu or Indian Express.
    2. Government Monthly Magazines like Yojana and Kurukshetra
    3. Chahal Academy's Comprehensive Monthly Current Affairs Magazine
  6. Secondary Sources:

    1. https://pib.gov.in/indexd.aspx
    2. http://newsonair.com/
    3. https://www.indiabudget.gov.in/
    4. Rajya Sabha TV Debates
    5. India Year Book by publication division, Government of India (Yearly )
    6. https://www.prsindia.org/
    7. https://vikaspedia.in/InDG
  7. The Step-by-Step approach for preparing Current Affairs for UPSC Exam:

    1. At first candidate should be familiar with civil services examination pattern, i.e. demand of exam in all stages prelims (facts), mains (analysis, forming own opinion, interlinkages with topics, inculcate thought process, etc.) and interview (overall personality, verbal communication, problem-solving approach).
    2. Read syllabus of UPSC civil service examination both of Prelims & Mains carefully (especially Mains syllabus as it is well defined & pinpointed compared to Prelims syllabus) with related instructions.
    3. Follow reliable news sources mentioned above and read those sources coherent and systematic manner.
    4. While Reading Newspaper be selected news should be read, that is related to the news article with the syllabus, then study the article carefully and comprehensively.
    5. Always prepare your own notes to subject wise when we read current affairs, we should create own flowchart, mind maps in notes, hence revision will be easy.
    6. Always revise your notes periodically to maximize your potential to score more marks in each examination stage.
    7. Check out the Chahal's Comprehensive Monthly Current Affairs Magazine, daily Current Affairs Quiz, and Daily News Analysis from the following links:
  8. Chahal Academy's Comprehensive Coverage of Current Affairs:

    1. Current Affairs Magazine- https://chahalacademy.com/current-affairs-magazine
    2. Daily News Analysis: https://chahalacademy.com/the-hindu-editorial-analysis
    3. Daily Current Affairs Quiz: https://chahalacademy.com/daily-current-affairs-quiz

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