As part of the IAS Prelims syllabus, “Topics of national and international importance” are mentioned explicitly. For ease of convenience aspirants and coaching institutes call this area “current affairs”. For the IAS Mains syllabus, nothing is mentioned explicitly which can be correlated with current affairs. But 60-70% of questions in UPSC Civil Services Mains have links with current events. This means questions related to subjects like Economy, Polity, or International Relations will have current relevance.
Weightage of Current Affairs for IAS Prelims
The importance of current affairs for the UPSC Civil Services Exam varies each year. There were years when 20+ questions were asked from current affairs. There were also years like 2013 where the number of current affairs questions was near to zero. So this is a highly unpredictable area in terms of the number of questions. The chance of getting answers right is minimal when compared to questions from traditional areas if you are totally unaware of the question. UPSC normally don’t ask current affairs like “Who is the Reserve Bank Governor?”. The standard and nature of UPSC questions are totally different from other PSC or Bank exams. Be prepared with Economics and Polity related Current Affairs, like recent bills, Centrally Sponsored Schemes, etc.
Weightage of Current Affairs for IAS Mains
As mentioned earlier, 60-70% of questions in General Studies questions will have a relation with current events of national and international importance. From GS1 to GS4, aspirants can expect a lot of questions from day to day current affairs.
Books and Study Materials for Current Affairs Preparation for IAS
For Prelims, daily reading of a good newspaper, say The Hindu, for 30-45 minutes would be enough as the basic step. For consolidating the news, going through the headlines in magazines like Civil Services Chronicle or Civil Service Times would help. A lot of current affairs books, publishing events on a quarterly, half-yearly, and yearly basis are available in the market. Getting copies of those books should also help from an exam perspective. Government publications like India Year Book, Economic Survey, Yojana, Kurukshetra, etc. are indispensable handbooks for every aspirant who wishes to master current affairs. Listing out some useful books for current affairs with links to buy online. Have a look.
- India Year Book. (Get the latest version.)
- Manorama Yearbook 2014. (Get the latest version.)
- Economic Survey (2012-13). (Get the latest version.)
- Mathrubhumi Yearbook 2014 Plus. (Get the latest version.)
- Current Affairs – By Arihant. (Get the latest version.)
- Yojana Magazine Free Download.
- Kurukshetra Magazine Free Download.
- Pratiyogita Darpan Magazine