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Importance of Current Affairs for IAS Exam

In India, candidates from different spheres of life and all parts of the country apply for the IAS Exam, which is one of the most highly sought after examinations. Every year over lakhs of candidates apply for the UPSC exam which is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission.

It is believed to be one of the toughest competitive exams held in the country due to its exhaustive exam pattern and comprehensive syllabus. The preparation for the exam can be a bit overwhelming for candidates, thus, having the best knowledge of the paper and the topics included in the examination is of utmost importance.

Of the multiple subjects included in the civil service exam syllabus, current affairs are one that holds great significance. Discussed further below in this article are the tips and sources for current affairs preparation.

Tips to Prepare Current Affairs for UPSC CSE

  1. Read the Newspaper – One of the most reliable and effective resources for current affairs is reading the newspaper. All important events of national and international importance are notified in the newspaper from all across the globe. Thus, a minimum of two hours must be spent by an aspirant in carefully reading and analysing every news event in the paper
  2. Make Proper Notes – A lot of events have minute details which must all be known. Thus, candidates must make detailed notes based on each and every news for their own reference. Also, any future news in regard to the respective event must also be noted down in a systematic manner
  3. Only Refer to Official Sources – There are multiple online and offline sources available that tend to give reliable information, but candidates must only opt for official or reliable sources for preparation
  4. Study the Background of the News – A lot of news events have a solid background and history which are equally as important as the latest developments about the same. Thus, the focus must not be only on the latest events but also on their historical background
  5. Both Static and General Awareness count – It is not just the current affairs but also static general awareness that is important from the civil services exam perspective.
  6. Revise Consistently – Since there is no limit to the syllabus for current affairs, candidates must ensure that they revise the important pointers of the news event carefully and consistently. With the comprehensive syllabus, remembering everything is not possible, thus, candidates must focus on revision

Sources for Current Affairs Preparation

Candidates preparing for the IAS exam must thoroughly prepare themselves with the current affairs of six to twelve months prior to the date of examination. This can be said based on the analysis of the previous year question papers.

Given below are the most reliable sources that can be considered for current affairs preparation for the civil services exam:

  • Daily Newspaper, preferable The Hindu and The Indian Express
  • Release by Press Information Bureau
  • RSTV Debate
  • Yojana Magazine
  • Kurukshetra Magazine

These are a few among the various sources that can be referred to. Also, monthly magazines like Pratiyogita Darpan can be of great use.

Why is it important to prepare current affairs?

The UPSC civil services exam is conducted in three stages:

  • Prelims
  • Mains
  • Personality Test

Current Affairs is integral from the perspective of all three stages.

In Stage one, i.e., the prelims examination current affairs based questions are asked in the objective format. These may also be formed based on the latest developments in the field of environment, geography, history, science and technology, etc.

For the second stage of the examination, that is the mains examination, objective type questions based on the topics which have lately been in news are asked in the paper. The more appropriate and statistically correct information that a candidate mentions in their answer, it brings in more credibility to their answers. Thus, help in scoring more marks.

The Personality Test or Interview is also no exception in this field. Apart from the questions based on the DAF of the candidates, questions based on the latest news events from the optional subject opted can also be asked. The candidate’s view and perspective on the latest development in specific fields can also be questioned.

Going by the information discussed above, it is evident that current affairs are one of the unmissable aspects of the UPSC preparation. And sufficient time must be dedicated towards the preparation of the same.

Since the 2021 recruitment is ongoing, candidates targeting UPSC 2022 must not start off with their preparation.