Strategy to Prepare Current Affairs for UPSC

By Arpit Kumar Jain|Updated : June 23rd, 2020

UPSC Current Affairs is undoubtedly the most important portion of UPSC IAS Exam. Clearing Civil Services without a proper command over the Current Affairs is very difficult. Aspirants thus have doubts about how to approach Current affairs for UPSC, How to make notes on Current affairs, How much time to devote for Current affairs etc. In this article, we will discuss the strategy to prepare Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam.

UPSC Current Affairs is undoubtedly the most important portion of UPSC IAS Exam. Clearing Civil Services without a proper command over the Current Affairs is very difficult. Aspirants thus have doubts about how to approach Current affairs for UPSC, How to make notes on Current affairs, How much time to devote for Current affairs etc. In this article, we will discuss the strategy to prepare Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam.

Strategy to Prepare Current Affairs for UPSC

With the change of UPSC IAS syllabus and UPSC IAS Exam Pattern from 2013, current affairs have come to play a very important role in the preparation of the UPSC IAS exam as it requires knowledge about the current developments both nationally and internationally.

The UPSC syllabus for preliminary examination specifically mentions ‘current events of national and international importance and this part of the syllabus is commonly referred to as the current affairs. Though UPSC has included the current affairs in the examination, the syllabus of current affairs is not well defined both for prelims and mains, therefore, aspirants have to do a good amount of newspaper reading so as to have a stronghold on the current related issues.

Importance of Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam:

  • Current affairs play a very important role in all the three stages of civil services examination in the preliminary examination, mains and the personality test.
    • Prelims:
      • Each year, at least 20-25% of the question paper consists of Current affairs. 
      • Even questions on core subjects like Polity, Economy, Environment, Science and Tech are based on the current affairs linked to the core subject.
    • Main:
      • Most of the questions asked here are more or less connected to the current affairs.
      • Being updated with current happenings allow aspirants to site examples, facts and figures etc to enhance the quality of answers.
    • Interview:
      • Questions asked in the interview are mostly not factual in nature rather very generic ones and revolve around the current happening only. Being well versed with the current events is very crucial for the Personality test.
  • Current Affairs helps in connecting the theory portion of the subjects with that of their practical applicability. This helps in more clarity in understanding of the topic.
  • UPSC Question Papers are becoming more analytical in nature and thus the role of current affairs has become more important as it helps in understanding the topic with more multiple and practical perspective.
  • Subjects like Polity, economics, environment where facts and figures keep on changing and UPSC has the habit of putting some facts in questions or even in options. So it becomes essential to have some idea about them.

In recent years, we have seen that the importance of current affairs has increased enormously in the preliminary as well as the mains examination.

IAS Prelims 2020 Course

Trend  Analysis of the number of questions asked in previous years:

S.No.YearNumber of Questions

Important sources to cover current affairs:

  • The Hindu
    •  it is the best source to prepare for social, economic and political issues
    •  the editorials and opinions give a candidate views on the government schemes and policies
  • The Indian express
    • the articles on international relations are covered comprehensively and some of them are written by IFS officers
    • the explained page of the newspaper is very important as it helps in the comprehensive coverage of an issue
  • Press information bureau (pin)
    • It has to be referred to cover the programs, policies and schemes of the government on a daily basis
    • Often at the prelims stage, the different provisions of a scheme or mission are asked, thus referring to the PIB becomes important
    • in the mains exam,  writing government initiatives in an answer helps to enrich the qualitative aspect of it
    • in the personality test often the interview board asks a candidate about different initiatives taken in a specific sector. for instance, a candidate can be asked about what all steps have the government taken for women empowerment, here the candidate has to list out the initiative taken by the government towards women’s well being
  • Yojana and Kurukshetra
    • These magazines  are important because they are published by the government of India and the articles comprise of diverse topics from society to economics
    • it also gives a  detailed analysis of the government schemes and initiatives
    • it is also an important source to get data on different issues
  • Rajya Sabha TV (the big picture)
    • It should be watched by candidates to form opinions on current topics because topics are discussed in detail by experts who many times have been government officials in the past or are currently serving with the government
    • they help you generate and get different perspectives and dimensions which is difficult to understand from the articles
    • in short, it gives you a lot of quality information in a less amount of time

Important topics to be covered or to be focused on in current affairs:

  • Economics: News related to the Indian economy, Reports and Indices, the External Sector, Indian and its and its trade agreements, International Agencies, Multilateral Platforms for trade, Banking and Finance, Inflation, Unemployment and Poverty.
  • Environment: Threatened species, Conservation of Biodiversity, and Climate Change, Different Agreements and Initiatives both are the national and international level
  • Polity: News related to the constitution of India, the parliament, different bills and acts, fundamental rights, centre-state relations
  • Science and Technology: Latest scientific development, space programs of the ISRO, details about the satellites launched, development in biotechnology and information and communication technology.
  • International Relations: India's bilateral relations with countries, Different multilateral agreements, International Organizations, Major political events
  • Art and Culture: News related to national heritage sites monuments, different National and regional festivals, dance forms, art and paintings, different event like the Van Mahotsav organised by the government etc.

Simply put current affairs has now become the fulcrum in the preparation of civil services examination. The range of topics that need to be covered is enormous hence current affairs need to be studied both effectively and efficiently

Points to keep in mind while preparing for Current Affairs:

  • Including newspaper reading in your daily routine; focusing on economic social political environmental issues and science and technology development
  • a candidate rather than referring to three to fours newspapers can stick to one or at the most two newspapers (The Hindu and Indian Express).
  • Preparation of current affairs overlaps with the core subjects that need to be studied for civil services exams such as geography, polity, economics, science and technology and environment. Thus, dividing current affairs into a watertight compartment is difficult and it need to be focused on in sync with the static portion.
  • Habit should be inculcated where if the name of a place occur which the candidate is not aware it should be looked up in the Atlas.
  • The schemes and initiatives of the government should be noted down as personal notes.
  • Just reading the newspaper content is not enough, one must try to look up the static part of the background associated with the news. for example:  if SAARC is in news, one must look up what countries is the SAARC constituted of, where is the SAARC headquarters situated etc. This will give a comprehensive understanding of any topic which is being studied
  • UPSC has not been asking direct questions about the current development but it takes up an issue of the current happening and asks questions related to it and its background. For example: In January 2019, the Caspian sea was in news because of talks and meeting being held to declare it a sea or lake. In the preliminary examination of 2019, the countries around the Caspian sea was asked.
  • By looking up the previous year questions asked in the prelims and mains examination a candidate can get an idea as to which areas of the newspaper one have to focus on to maximize one’s efficiency.
  • There is no shortage of both online and offline current affair content but it is advised to stick to a few sources and study them comprehensively rather than reading multiple resources and revising them only a few times.
  • For the Main Examination, current affair related topics are more likely to come as questions, therefore, preparing current affairs would not only help a candidate to attempt the questions but also help them in writing the answer better and fetch higher marks.
  • During the UPSC interview, a candidate’s assessment is not only made on his intellectual abilities but also his social traits and his level of awareness about the events which are happening all around the world, in his own district, state and country.

All the best!

For Daily Current Affairs Click Here


More from Us:

IAS Prelims 2020

UPPCS 2020: A Master Course

प्रखर UPSC EPFO 2020: A 4-Month Master Course Batch-6

AIM UPSC EPFO 2020: A 4-Month Master Course (English)(Batch-3)

PPSC Prelims 2020

Are you preparing for State PCS exam,

UPSC & State PCS Green Card (100+ Mock Tests)

Check other links also:

Previous Year Solved Papers

Monthly Current Affairs

UPSC Study Material

Daily Practice Quizzes, Attempt Here


write a comment
Rubal Sharma

Rubal SharmaJun 23, 2020

Really very nice
Krishna Ganthagoru
Thank you very much sir
Neha Singh

Neha SinghJun 23, 2020

Thank you sir!
Rajesh Kumar

Rajesh KumarJul 16, 2020

Sir mujhe IPS ki preparation krni h  to kon sa subject hoga nd kon sa vedio dekhu main
Mohammad Kaif
Sir mujhe IAS KI preparation karni h to m geography se kr skta hu or agr kr skta hu to mujhe uske notes mil skte h kya

Follow us for latest updates