How should one cover the current affairs for the UPSC CSE if one starts preparation from November?

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You are in same condition as I was. I started my genuine preparation in January when my Prelims was slated for August. You start in November for a June Prelims. So we are on the same page there.

The most important thing that you should know is when UPSC says current affairs, it doesn’t mean only the last one year. It uses the phrase ‘ recently in news’. And this is very very confusing. For you, recent could be one month, but for UPSC it could be one decade!

So here’s what a safe timeline is:

  • Please read all events from January (2018) to May (2019) assuming your prelims is in 2019. In a sum, one and a half year is a safe bet. No digging of old graves please.
  • Also, if there is a historical event that is repeated in news in current time, then it’s a must read. For example, if Paris Pact has its second summit in 2018, you must know what actually happened in the first pact in November 2016!

Now that we are clear on the definition of current affairs, let us see how to tackle it-

  • Please read one newspaper daily. No more, no less. Don’t think that coaching magazines will substitute your dose of current affairs. And I will tell you an internal hack, when I was training in LBSNAA during my IAS Phase I, one of the senior faculty, who is also an IAS officer, commented candidly- UPSC toh newspaper se hi paper banata hai! I am not sure if he has any first hand experience of this, but I want to believe this is true.
  • Be curious. Yes, keep your eyes and ears open. Look up every thing on the internet that you don’t understand or any new word that’s meaning you don’t know. You should have that keeda in you to know new things. UPSC loves inquisitive folks. Even if you’re not so curious, develop this attitude. It will help you a lot in the interview stage. Merely reading newspaper ain’t sufficient. Jot down important terms you come across.

Current affairs will ensure you sail through Prelims rather smoothly. Also, do make notes. It comes handy in revision.

I and Bhavesh Mishra have written a detailed preparation strategy in my book 71 to 51. It’s a one stop guide for UPSC aspirants.  Book Link ??? 


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