With the change in UPSC Exam pattern and syllabus from 2013, current affairs play a major role in the preparation and the exam requires the awareness of current happenings both nationally and internationally. Read on to know more about how to study current affairs for UPSC prelims & mains.
UPSC Exam is conducted in three stages i.e., Prelims, Mains and Personality Test and current affairs play a significant part in all these three stages.
The UPSC Syllabus for Prelims is as given below:
UPSC Prelims GS Syllabus – (200 marks) – Duration: 2 hours
- Current events of national and international importance.
- History of India and Indian National Movement.
- Indian and World Geography – Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.
- Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
- Economic and Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector initiatives, etc.
- General issues on Environmental Ecology, Biodiversity and Climate Change – that do not require subject specialisation General Science.
How to prepare current affairs for UPSC?
The UPSC syllabus for prelims quite clearly mentions “Current events of national and international importance” and this part of the syllabus is called as current affairs. The commission has included current affairs in the exam but the syllabus of current affairs is not defined for both prelims and mains exam, hence all that an aspirant has to do is to read major newspapers every day and make notes out of it or can also refer our Comprehensive News Analysis, which covers all the major news that are UPSC Current Affairs importance.
Current Affairs Question Analysis of previous question papers
As said earlier, the current affairs part was included in the UPSC Exam from 2011 onwards. Let us look at the previous year question papers to analyse and check the weightage of current affairs question in the prelims exam.
2013 UPSC Prelims Question Paper: More questions were asked from NCERT and standard textbooks, Science and Technology, and Ecology, no question from current affairs was asked during this year.
2014 UPSC Prelims Question Paper: Roughly, about 8 questions from Current Affairs were asked for that year.
2015 UPSC Prelims Question Paper: The huge focus was given on Current Affairs like almost 22 questions were asked from current events, while 2 questions from Art and Culture, most questions were from international organisations, commissions, treaties, meetings etc.
2016 UPSC Prelims Question Paper: While in 2016, almost 50% of questions were asked from current affairs.
This analysis of past 4 years question papers shows that the weightage for current affairs question is increasing every year and in past two years, it has increased tremendously, hence, aspirants should give more importance to current affairs yet giving the same importance to other subjects as well.
While speaking about current affairs question in UPSC Mains Exam, particularly in General Studies Paper 1 to 4, most of the subject related questions asked are correlated with the current affairs.
For example: If we analyze the UPSC Civil Services Mains 2013 Question Paper,
The above questions was asked in UPSC 2013 Mains Exam, which is linked to World War and Current Affairs.
For e.g. US and Cuba have recently decided to restart their diplomatic relation, this is how we can correlate this news with the world history syllabus, by giving importance to “Cuban Missile Crisis”.
This year President Obama visited Cuba, which made waves in the newspaper, hence it is advised to give importance on this current affair as questions may be expected related to this.
This question was asked in the year 2013 in UPSC Mains Exam when the Telangana issue was at its peak.
It is advised to candidates while preparing for current affairs section to keep the previous year question papers along with them and understand what type of questions has been asked as it will give an idea to candidates on how to prepare for current affairs.
Reading the newspaper alone is not sufficient for UPSC Current Affairs preparation, below listed are some useful books which candidates can refer for current affairs:
- India Year Book
- Newspaper- The Hindu, Indian Express
- Manorama Yearbook
- Economic Survey
- Mathrubhumi Yearbook
- Current Affairs – Arihant
- Yojana Magazine
- Kurukshetra Magazine
- Pratiyogita Darpan Magazine
Now latest general knowledge (GK) and current affairs are also available on BYJU’s app, which candidates can utilize to prepare for the IAS Exam, while on the go without wasting their valuable time.
For information on current affairs magazines/best current affairs book for UPSC, click here.