Preparing for UPSC Prelims 2020? Know about the new avtar of current affairs!

Paper of UPSC Prelims 2020 has crashed almost all existing strategies for Current. Government Policies and Schemes, considered to be core of Current appears to be missing completely. (Representational image: IE)

By Manoj K Jha

UPSC Exams 2020: Current Affairs has become a buzz word in the world of UPSC. Market and digital space is flooded with current Affairs materials and courses. The field is full of a cobweb of strategies. Some of the most common questions being shots by aspirants are- How to Prepare for Current? From where to prepare for Current? Which is the best news paper? Which is better between newspapers and video? When to stop reading Current? Which monthly magazine is best?

Above questions have n numbers of forms and shapes with n numbers of answers. However, we are interested to unveil the new avtar of Current Affairs amid UPSC Prelims 2020. Paper of UPSC Prelims 2020 has crashed almost all existing strategies for Current. Government Policies and Schemes, considered to be core of Current appears to be missing completely. Reports and Commissions have found virtually no space in the paper. Direct appearances of some most popular events in the recent past was also a missing item.

In such a scenario, amid a whirlpool of strategies, we recommend the following approach which we call a new avatar of Current Affairs.

A. Even an iota of thinking to put current Affairs in lower priority will be a vehemently dangerous thought. Current Affairs need a new approach to comprehend but it doesn’t need dilution.

B. If we analyse the current Affairs of Prelims 2020 then even though Current Affairs apparently was not visible but it made dyke everywhere. Penetration was there in the form of influence over static questions. For example, suspension of MPLADS provided ground for question on MPLAD and political noise around parliament session provided strong ground for a question on Parliamentary session. Similarly, unequal presence of the ruling government in Rajya Sabha led to a question in Rajya Sabha. We also strongly discern that so many questions on agriculture this year were because of so many current happenings in the field of agriculture. Therefore the crux is that students should stop splitting Current Affairs from the static part. Current must not be studied in vacuum but it should be studied as embedded part and offshoot part of static portion.

C. Aspirants should read current on “issue based” rather than “time based”. For example, if society is beating so much around the affairs of Covid, then do not wait for its analysis every month. But you should read it as a whole analytical package. Aspirants should not be bothered much about monthly happenings in monthly magazines but should be smart enough to skim and analyse happenings for a little longer period on a broader level.

D. This time the Government Scheme was almost invisible. But it doesn’t mean that aspirants should take it lightly. Because contemplating over Government Schemes develop our analytical skill which helps us in making an intelligent and calculative guess. For example, even though questions were not there from Farm Schemes as expected but having good knowledge of schemes would have been very useful in making intelligent guess work in questions of agriculture.

E. We need to study Current Affairs as a complete package. For example, if news is there on the vaccine of COVID then nitty gritty of all vaccines and their development becomes important.

F. Integration of the current and static part needs smart homework. If not done smartly, one might end up pilling up volumes of materials. Students should keep in mind that the objective of integration has a specific purpose. The purpose is to read static portions with complete application of mind in such a way that aspirants are in position of applying a sluggish portion of syllabus in dynamism. For example, if one is reading current news with respect to the institution of Governor, immediately all the relevant Supreme Court Judgements and constitutional provisions should surface the mind. Similarly, if someone is reading Supreme Court Judgements or constitutional provisions, immediately current news around the institution of Governor should surface the mind.

(The author is Director, GS SCORE. Views expressed are personal.)

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