Are 10 months of Current Affairs Enough for UPSC?


Current affairs are a very important part of any civil services examination. If the recent trend is to be followed then the maximum portion of Prelims exams is from current affairs. The reason being current affairs are always dynamic, so to test the awareness of the candidate’s current affairs portion is given an extra weightage. Current affairs are important for all the three stages of civil services exams, like Prelims, Mains, and the interview. In Mains exams even, current affairs can be asked in UPSC optional subjects indirectly. 

Altho current affairs are of great relevance in UPSC exams still there are no defined parameters for the number of questions or the period of current affairs to prepare for the exam. If you visit the syllabus issued by the commission, then you will find current events of national and international importance, that’s it. Hence to identify what type of current affairs are in Trend and how many questions are being asked the candidates should visit the previous year’s question papers for references. 

How Many Months Current Affairs are Important for UPSC

As discussed above there is no fixed time duration of current affairs. The aspirants most of the time get confused with the fact that the current affairs required for IAS exams range between 6 months to 1 year. If the candidates visit the past 10 years’ question paper they would come to know that the current affairs can be as new as fast one year and as old as fast 2 to 3 years as well. All that the candidate can do is observe the patterns of questions being asked and stay updated with the latest contemporary issues and keep in touch with all the updates. 

It won’t be correct to say that the 10 months of current affairs are enough for UPSC. But it would be great if the candidates prepare the current affairs for at least one complete year. Current affairs today are very important in almost all exams including the civil services papers, hence one should know the proper strategy to read current affairs and what topics should they cover for it. You can also check out BYJUS exam prep for tips and tricks to prepare for current affairs.

Strategy to Cover the Current Affairs

The first step towards strategizing the studies for the exam. For that, the candidate should know the detailed syllabus of the paper. There is no specific syllabus of subjects for Current Affairs, but any update that comes under the umbrella of the dynamic syllabus of UPSC is current affairs. It can be related to international affairs, science, technology or economics, or even international relations.  The best source for covering current affairs is the newspapers.  

Once you start to read the newspaper then make it a habit of preparing notes parallelly. Try to cover the facts and figures as much as possible in your notes as they are the key points for Prelims exams. Apart from that, if you develop the ability to interlink the current affairs with the subjects, then it will be helpful to develop your viewpoint to write the answers from the Mains perspective.

What to Read for Preparing Current Affairs?

There are many news items covered in a newspaper that you don’t have to waste time reading. The key areas that you should search for in the newspaper are polity, international affairs, economics, environment, art, culture, etc. 

Now let’s see in detail what should you cover the most in current affairs for UPSC-

  • Indian Polity:

the Bills, laws, articles, updates related to the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, center-state relations, fundamental rights, electoral reforms, and social issues, etc.

  • International Relations:

SAARC, BRICS, WTO, UNESCO, UNICEF, G7, G20, QUAD, APEC, WEF, their meetings, and forums and outcomes of the meetings. 

  • Economics:

Inflation, deflation, GDP, etc. New laws or amendments to existing laws.

  • Art and Culture:

Any type of latest news regarding the Indian monuments, heritage sites, national and regional festivals, regional music, and dances.

  • Environment:

Global/Regional Biodiversity,  IUCN list of species, climate change, conserving the biodiversity, COP, Ozone layer, etc. 

  • Science and Technology:

ISRO, NASA, ISS, AI, medical field, biotechnology, and communication technologies. 

  • Government schemes, amendments in laws, and policies and initiatives.