For the civil service aspirants, Yojana magazine is one of the key resources. The reason is that changes in UPSC syllabus and pattern over the years have resulted in exam questions which can’t be answered simply based on static resources. Hence, tracking issues in news pertaining to the socio-economic questions of the day has become essential for a stellar performance in this highly competitive exam.
Making best use of Yojana magazine for UPSC 2019
The comprehensive UPSC syllabus leaves little time to indulge in every available reading material. Quality and not quantity should be the basic idea behind one’s strategy. In this regard, reading Yojana and skipping other magazines is rather efficient because:
- It has credible facts and data which can be quoted in the exam as the magazine is published by the Government of India ( I&B Ministry)
- Balanced and in-depth views by subject matter experts like Niti Aayog members
- Easy availability and low pricing
- Monthly published with a different India-centric socio-economic theme each time.
Aligning Yojana magazine with UPSC syllabus
The magazine is not written specifically for UPSC aspirants so it is important to understand that some parts will be irrelevant from the exam perspective. Secondly, reading Yojana dilutes the impact if one is not making and compiling their own notes on socio-economic issues.
Broadly speaking, a preparation plan with UPSC syllabus in mind should comprise the following.
- Refer to 12-15 issues. For e.g. UPSC 2019 Mains will be conducted in September this year, so read Yojana published from July-August 2018 onwards
- As every edition has a specific theme, one can get an in-depth idea. However, to make the best use of the magazine, it should be read after going through the basics such as NCERTs and while simultaneously making notes.
- Read the note from the Chief Editor’s desk given at the start of every edition as it contains the premise of the whole edition. Also, it can be used to get an idea for writing Essay paper as it lucidly links different issues, perspectives and government initiatives related to a particular theme.
- Read the headings, sub-headings, bulleted and highlighted points in Yojana articles multiple times
- Keep previous year question papers handy so as to get an idea of what kind of questions can be asked. Moreover, it is a good practice to jot down some sample questions using one’s own imagination and insights while making notes from the magazine.
- Identify topics, sub-topics and keywords then try to categorise them under specific Mains papers.
- For e.g., if the theme of a particular edition is related to employment in India. The different articles in that edition may deal wholly or partly with
- the demographic dividend
- organised and unorganised sectors in Indian economy and problems therein
- various government initiatives for promoting employment directly or indirectly (Skill certification, MSME growth, etc.)
- employment scenarios analysed in rural-urban dichotomy or continuum
- correlation of health and education with employment, etc.
- Just in the limited example above, developmental issues (population, urbanisation) are part of GS-I, government schemes are part of GS-II, Indian economy is part of GS-III and overall any socio-economic issue is important from the Essay perspective.
Reading Yojana is beneficial for Prelims and Personal Interview stages as well but the most return on investment (time and effort spent) can be felt in Mains. This is just one aspect of a holistic preparation strategy and one can streamline the information acquisition with the aid of Gist of Yojana 2018.
In the ‘Gist of Yojana’ segment, we give you the exam-oriented analysis of the articles presented in the magazine for the UPSC Civil Services exam.
Like any resource, it is up to an individual how much benefit one can get out of it. In the case of Yojana magazine, it can even be useful for the Indian Language paper as the magazine is published in several Indian languages and the topics are relevant to the overall UPSC preparation.