The nature of IAS examination is to test the candidate s awareness about the happenings around him/her. It a is test of alertness and awareness and not just knowledge! Students need to be updated on all current issues - regional, national or international. He/She should have sufficient knowledge of current issues which is tested by UPSC at all stages (Prelims, Mains and Interview).
The importance of current affairs is immense.
Where to read current affairs?
The Hindu Newspaper is the best source of information related to current affairs.
Students can also refer to other national dailies like The Indian Express, LiveMint as per their choice.
For economy related issues The Economic Times or Business Standard can also be referred.
What news needs to be followed in newspapers?
It is not necessary to read all the news and editorials given in the newspaper. Students need to prepare other subjects like general studies also.
Try to follow important national news, economic news and international news based on the UPSC MAINS Syllabus topics. (Note: Students are advised to keep a copy of UPSC mains syllabus with them on their study table.)
For science and tech related news, follow The Hindu s Sunday newspaper column on Science and Technology.
For Art and culture, follow Friday review supplement in Hindu Newspaper.
How to read a newspaper?
Mark the news related to UPSC exams on first glance. In the second reading, read the complete news and mark the important points for making notes. (Note: Try to develop a habit of making daily current affairs note making for final revision before the examination).
Students are advised not to spend more than one hour reading the newspaper including note making. (Caution: In the initial days it may consume more time, that s not an issue.)
From mains perspective, students should also have some insights on current issues, for that they should follow the editorial section of Hindu (or Indian Express) on regular basis for news analysis.
Since most editorials are written by subject expertise, these editorials are more authentic and reliable for getting points for mains examination answer writing. (Note: Ignore the personal views provided in the news analysis and editorials)
Significance of current affairs in IAS exam
UPSC is fond of asking questions based on current issues. Believe us, UPSC has been following the same trend for years together.
Most of the topics mentioned in the UPSC mains exam syllabus are dynamic in nature. It means that topics need to be regularly updated based on the recent developments.
Say for example: International Relation topics, Background information of India s relation with other countries can be read from text book, but for recent development in bilateral and multilateral relations, one has to follow newspaper regularly for writing good answers.
In Prelims exam, UPSC asks questions directly from newspaper or at times based on current issues it asks basic fundamental questions in the prelims examination. In prelims examination, most of the current affairs questions demand some factual knowledge. So students are advised to make a small note all the current affairs related for prelims exam.
In UPSC IAS mains interview, the interview panel asks questions on various social issues, student profile based regional issues and also on national issues. So, student should always be updated on current issues. For interview preparation, Student should develop an individual opinion on current issues (as interview is a test of personality rather than knowledge).