Current Affairs in a very simple phrase can be described as “knowing the flow”, the flow of which one is a part. They are the events of political or social interests and important happenings in the world at the present time. They are not just an integral part of clearing any competitive exam but are also important for the all-round development of an individual.

UPSC civil service examination always keen to ask questions from this vast section irrespective of National and International importance. As a UPSC aspirant, one must have to be equipped himself for the current happenings, as the nature of the examination always tests a candidate’s awareness about what is happening around him/her.

Current affairs though very vast and may not seem to have an end, are a fundamental part of the U  and thus certainly can not be overlooked. There are many sources from where one can prepare for the current affairs but there are certain which just can’t be skipped.

Best source for current affairs:

 The Hindu & The Indian Express:  The first and foremost being The HINDU newspaper. Initially, this could be a task for the majority to read what is important and discard the junk but slowly gradually one picks up.  The Indian Express can also the needful here.

What all should be taken??


  • Best to prepare socio-economic and political issues.
  • Editorials and OPED section gives an elaborative account and view on various government programs and policies.
  • Thursday Edition specifically for science and Technology.
  • Economic development and policies.
  • Environmental issues, various policies and issues at national and international level.

The Indian Express:

  • The best source to cover International Relations (IR), in comparison to other newspapers.
  • Articles are written and recommended by many senior IAS, IFS officers thus providing deep insights into any scenario or issue.
  • This newspaper can cater to a lot of dimensions and viewpoints for IR in particular.

All India Radio: One is expected to make notes out of the Spotlight/ Discussion. This again holds quite a weight in expanding the current affairs base and perspective building.

RSTV/LSTV debates: Very significant in providing a viewpoint to any topic thus making an aspirant think and brainstorm. 

  • The debates are among experts who many times are government officials or respective subject masters. 
  • They disinter many facets of what appears to be a very simple topic thus furnish a person with quality information in very little time.

PIB reports: The one source to rely on for authentic and genuine information on government policy is PIB. It is a nodal government agency that disperses information to the print and electronic media on various government policies, programs, initiatives, and achievements. PIB does contain a lot of information but there is a lot that needs to be omitted out. PIB holds its relevance as many direct questions in both pre as well as the mains are asked from this source.

Yojana & Kurukshetra: These magazines are published by Govt. of India thus its authenticity is guaranteed. A detailed analysis of Government schemes and programs are carried forth in these two magazines.

Why is it important?

  • Many direct questions have been asked from these two periodicals in the Prelims as well as the Mains.
  • The language of the magazine is very important. By reading Yojana cover to cover will help you to develop your vocabulary, which will further give impetus to your writing skills.
  • Apart from this, this will give you the insights of updated government schemes and policies in a holistic sense.
  • Most of the time, it is observed that direct questions are asked from Yojana, IF you are serious about UPSC, then you can’t avoid.

The India Year Book:  The India Year Book to deserves a mention here too. This is an annual book published by the publication division (the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting). 

  • The programs, schemes, Policies launched by the Government are included in the text and are helpful for Civil Services Examination throughout the 3 stages.

Difficulties that aspirants face while preparing Current Affairs:

  • The problem with Current Affairs is that it is a lot available and singling out relevant topics could be a task but the above-mentioned sources could simply not be given a miss. 
  • The other dimension where current affairs pose a problem is how and what to read in it. An aspirant before reading any topic must note that why the topic is in the news. 

For that, one must have the background knowledge about that topic that is data, facts, reports, etc. but one must rely only on the authentic source for the same.

The other dimension which needs to be explored is what initiatives have been taken forth by the government if any, and if not then why not?? 

Next thing, one must explore is both pros and cons/ strengths and weaknesses, etc. of any issue along with any kind of opportunities and challenges associated with the same. 

The simplest strategy to get a good hold over the Current Affairs is to follow a 3R Rule i.e. Read-Revise-Repeat.

Good command over current Affairs also does help in solving questions related to GS paper IV i.e. Ethics and aptitude. 

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