How to Prepare for International Relations of GS Paper II
This article will give a brief idea on how to cover the international relations portion of the General Studies Paper-II of UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam especially for IAS aspirants who are beginners and decided to take UPSC Civil Services Exam for the first time.
International Relations UPSC Syllabus
Let’s take a look at the International Relations Syllabus of GS Paper II as defined in the UPSC Syllabus.
International Relations Syllabus for UPSC Mains
Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
India and its neighbourhood- relations
Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora
This part of the syllabus includes India’s relationship with the world in several aspects such as:
India’s relation with neighbouring countries and in the region
Security and defence related issues
Nuclear policy, issues and encounters
The Indian Diaspora and its contribution to India and the world
Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate This part includes economic and trade issues like:
economic and diplomacy issues relating to oil, gas and energy flows;
the role and functions of I.M.F., World Bank, W.T.O., WIPO etc. which influence India’s economic interaction with other countries and international institutions Important events in world affairs and on international institutions.
Sources to refer for International Relations Syllabus of UPSC
IGNOU Political Science module (India and the World) – Click here
This module contains important details that are essential to cover the static/traditional portion of India’s Foreign Relations after independence.
Analysis of International Relations Questions of GS Paper II in UPSC Mains
With an analysis of UPSC previous years Question Papers of Mains exam, one can observe that the questions asked under the International Relations part is for more than 100 marks. The Essay Paper of UPSC Mains also has topics that are directly or indirectly related to globalization and international relations Questions on International Questions are also asked often in the Personality Test/Interview Round.
Areas to focus in International Relations of UPSC Syllabus
India and her neighbours (Pakistan, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, China and Nepal)
India and the regions (South America, Africa, Middle East, Central Asia, Europe and etc.)
India and the big 5 UNSC members (USA, China, France, Russia and UK
India and Economically powerful nations (Australia, Japan, S.Africa, Brazil, UAE etc)
India and Organizations (UN, ASEAN, G20, GCC, EU, IMF, World Bank etc.)
Post-independence NAM/ Panchsheel Era
During the Wars with Pakistan and China
Atomic Bomb test
Fall of USSR and LPG reforms in 1991
Second Atomic Test
The recent issues in news (CurrentAffairs )
Divide the syllabus into static and dynamic
Static Portion of the International Relations Syllabus
From the above important areas of focus the points from 6-10 will fall under static portion of the syllabus. If one analyses the UPSC Previous years question papers it is evident that in recent years the UPSC has not asked much questions from the static portion as many questions have been asked in the past 25 years and it is advised to refer these question papers just to get a glimpse about the type of questions has been asked.
From the provided IGNOU PDFs for Political Science make short notes on keywords though each region and each stage based on the geography.
Dynamic Portion of the International Relations Syllabus
Any recent issues that appeared in the news like:
The bilateral visits of Presidents and Prime Ministers
India’s participation in international organizations etc.
To get a fair idea about what kind of questions would be asked, it is advised to aspirants to go through the five previous years question papers and prepare accordingly.
How to cover the dynamic portion of the syllabus?
It is recommended to:
make a list of bilateral visits
pacts or treaty signed
make a list of all important international events of last year’s where India was involved To cover the Indian Diaspora First understand the basic concepts like OCI, PIO, NRI, Citizenship issues, then correlate the current issues with the traditional topics
Make international relations notes for UPSC exam
Don’t give much importance to the dates of visits
For e.g. recent issues in news:
India’s Expatriate Evacuation Operations: Bringing the Diaspora Home
PM Modi likely to address Indian diaspora in Houston
Schemes of Government for the protection and welfare of Indian workers abroad
Advise while preparing for International Relations
Aspirants Should make a habit of reading newspaper religiously and one should know that this syllabus cannot be covered in a week as it is will be an on-going process.
Always give importance to columns related to international relations in the Newspaper
Reading newspapers will make it easy to attempt an essay on globalization and international relations topics
Also, it is not necessary to keep inch by inch information on what is going on for e.g. the political chaos in Nepal, it is not important to remember all the prime ministers’ name and the dates they were sworn in, so make sure you understand what is important and give importance to those.