In the Civil Services Examination, the lion’s share of the questions from General Studies are, in fact, from Current Affairs. Preparing the Current Affairs’ section has always been a nightmare for most of the students. Any beginner ends up spending at least 3 hours every day just reading and understanding the newspaper. If you start making notes, which is obviously important, the time you spend doing it is almost 4 hours every day, thus leaving you with very little time to read other sources.
The important question is that what you read, is that even helpful for you? Is it even going to appear in the examination? Will the notes be sufficient for you to enable you in solving the majority of the questions based on Current Affairs? You will find all the answers below.
Making Notes for Current Affairs
# Factual information rules! They write facts, a lot of them. Who got appointed what, how many runs were scored by whom, what were the new repo rates etc.
# Political news dominates the discourse. Politics, no doubt, is interesting. What Mr. Modi said about Mr. Gandhi or vice versa can be a fun read. This was reflected in the notes with the majority of students noting them down.
# Repetitiveness of topics. Newspapers tend to cover an issue for a significant amount of time. Students end up making notes of those topics daily. So in the notes, it is not very difficult to spot a topic occurring multiple times, with even the same inputs.
How to Prepare for UPSC Current Affairs?
The most significant part of IAS preparation is current affairs. The importance of this can be judged from the fact that about 40% of the questions answered in both the UPSC Prelims and Mains are directly related to current events. Alternatively, it is safe to infer that close to 85% of all queries posed are, in some way or another, related to current events. Being well-versed in current events will bring you closer to realising your IAS ambitions. A look at the question papers from the previous few years reveals an intriguing story. A question may appear to be a conventional History or Polity question at first glance, but a closer investigation reveals that it is actually a Current Affairs topic.
A question on the ‘Joint Session of the Parliament’ was posed in the 2015 Prelims. It appears to be a standard polity issue. However, the reason it was posed in UPSC exams suggests that the Joint Session of Parliament occupied newspaper coverage months before the examination. Because the government was unable to pass GST legislation, it proposed convening a Joint Session of Parliament. As a result, this question has arisen.
A question about the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was posed in the 2013 Prelims. The reason for this was that this panel was probing into the many parts of a slew of frauds that engulfed the country, the CWG Scam, the Coal Scam, and the 2G-Scam. Because these scams made the headlines, UPSC had to inquire about them in some way. As a result, it inquired about PAC, which was investigating similar schemes.
Since the coal fraud made news in 2013, a concern about the quality of coal found in India was also raised.
How to Tackle the Current Affairs Section?
Given the preceding instances, it is plausible to argue that Current Affairs dominates all other sections of the curriculum and, in fact, permeates the entire syllabus through mentioning other domains. We now appreciate and understand the significance of current events in this exam, but we also have to learn how to handle current affairs.
Current Affairs Preparation Tips
# The first step is to read a regular national newspaper. To keep up with key occurrences in India and overseas, one can turn to The Hindu or The Indian Express.
# The second crucial stage in this procedure is to keep track of critical developments. It’s a good idea to divide your notepad into different parts for different aspects. For instance, dedicate one section of your notebook to politics, another to the environment, another another to the economy, and so on.
# To acquire an informed grasp of all the issues that appear in the IAS curriculum, you must read Frontline, Economic & Political Weekly, Yojana, and Kurukshetra.
# But keep in mind that your goal should be to anticipate the questions that may be asked in the exams. To cover all perspectives of an issue, one must use the 5W’s and 1H method, and then the other for Economy, and so on.
Read the Newspaper Every Day
IAS aspirants can use either their own approach or our Comprehensive News Analysis (CNA) to keep up with current events, such as economic and political conditions, environmental disasters or programmes, new developments in scientific and technological, and so on.
Avoid Reading too Many Newspapers
Instead, read 2 or 3 major newspapers or consult our Comprehensive News Analysis (CNA), which is subdivided into 4 papers: General Studies Paper I, General Studies Paper II, General Studies Paper III, and General Studies Paper IV, and is further classified into different classifications and subjects that fall under these papers. Our CNA also includes important editorials and PIB publications for UPSC Current Affairs.
Keep Up with the Latest News
Updates from departments and organisations such as the Ministry of Finance, the Reserve Bank of India, and others are critical (covered in our PIB section).
Make Your Own Current-events Notes
Aspirants can use our CNA to make current affairs records in chronological sequence, or they can use our Monthly and Weekly News Assessment. For example, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) was often in the headlines for launching Polar Satellite Launch Vehicles and nanosatellites; keep an eye out for news like this. Learn nanosatellites, as well as the fundamentals of satellites, ISRO, and the catalogue of ISRO satellites launched to date.
Any Geographical or International Affairs Concerns
Make sure this area is prepared by setting aside a map. As a result, you will be able to better comprehend and analyse concerns with nearby nations, as well as gain a comprehensive picture of the political, geographic, and cultural inequalities that people in the region confront.
Make No Attempt to Mug Up
There are specific sections in the UPSC Syllabus that must be mugged up in the traditional subject-based UPSC Syllabus, however you cannot use the same mug up approach when studying for the UPSC Current Affairs portion. As a result, it is recommended that dates be remembered by identifying them with particular difficulties. It is also vital to remember the organisation or country associated with it.
Best Current Affairs Books
We’ve put together a selection of some of the most important books that you can buy online to assist you study and revise current events for 2021. Take a look at this list and begin studying for your exam so that you can get better marks.
General Knowledge 2021 by Manohar Pandey
Manohar Pandey’s book is among the top choices among individuals preparing for various competitive exams. This book is a condensed account of the events of the previous year, designed to aid you in properly studying each topic. This book is divided into several sections that address history, Indian politics, geography, economics, general science, and general knowledge. Aside from that, the book offers a distinct section on current events that can be studied in depth. This book can be used to prepare for competitive exams such as UPSC, SSC, banking, railroads, NDA, and others.
Manorama English Yearbook 2021
When it comes to general knowledge books and public affairs books, it’s difficult to leave the Manorama Yearbook off the list. This book is organised into categories such as current events, general knowledge, important government of India programmes, skill development, science and medical, information systems, space, ecology, gender, art and architecture, sports, and others. As a result, you’ll be able to simply cover the year’s most important events in a variety of sectors. You don’t need to think too hard before purchasing this book online because it is inexpensive and covers a wide range of topics.
Rapid General Knowledge 2021 by Disha Experts
This book by Disha Experts is another wonderful one to consider purchasing online in order to improve your general knowledge and current events in a variety of subjects. This book is only 144 pages long and is ideal for last-minute revision days. To help you grasp the exam format and prepare properly, the book contains questions from past years’ exams.
Preparing for competitive tests, no matter how intelligent you are in your studies, is never a simple undertaking. You’ll need some decent books to help you study multiple topics on your syllabus at once, as well as practise a range of exam problems. It can be difficult to prepare for the General Knowledge or Current Affairs portion. There are several publications accessible for your exam preparations if you wish to tackle current affairs for the year 2022. Along with that, you can also go through the varied courses on UPSC Pathshala.