UPSC Preliminary Examination syllabus says ‘Current events of national and international importance’. When I started reading The Hindu newspaper to prepare for this exam, it used to take almost 2 to 3 hours to complete the whole paper. It was a good exercise and made me good at my reading comprehension skills and also my writing skills.
But let us get our priorities right! We are not here to become the editor of some newspaper or magazine. We are here to clear UPSC Civil Services Examination. To that end, we must analyze the trends in the examination and try to narrow down the sources as well as the kind of material that we must comprehend from each of those sources.
UPSC from 2011 has never asked stand alone factual questions like ‘Who of the following has won the Padma Bhushan awards for the year 2016?’ or say some GK question like ‘Which is the railway station with the longest platform in the World?’. When UPSC asks a factual question today after 2011, there is some context to it or there is some concept or rationale which supports that fact.
Let us see some questions asked in General Studies which can be categorized as Current Affairs
- The establishment of ‘Payment Banks’ is being allowed in India to promote financial inclusion. Which of the following statements is/are correct in this context?
- With reference to ‘LiFi’, recently in news, which of the following statements is/ are correct?
The first question above can be categorized as Economy + Current Affairs
Second question can be categorized as Science and Technology + Current Affairs
What you need to prepare yourself for this examination is CURIOSITY. An IAS officer is a generalist and he must know something about everything. So, try to ask the basic questions, Why? Where? How? What?
Do not stress on memorizing. Try to understand, comprehend, analyze. Your brain after such analysis stores the facts required automatically.
More on how to prepare for current affairs in subsequent topics