In recent years the importance of current affairs has proportionally increased with the analytical trend of questions as well as with the enhanced weightage of environment and science. There is no particular trend in which UPSC has asked questions from current events. Its unpredictable nature can be sensed from last year paper where many direct questions from current events were picked.

Current Events plays a key role in all the three stages of UPSC preparation, especially in the Mains and Interview.


It covers a wide range of topics which overlaps with the CORE subjects like Geography, Polity, Economics, History and Dynamic subjects like environment, science and technology. Henceforth, it is hard to classify questions under a specific heading/topic. This is the reason, why many of the aspirants are of the notion that, not many questions have been asked from current events in the recent years (from Prelims perspective). But this is wrong!!


To bring in more clarity on this aspect, we would illustrate with a few examples


For example:


Current Events – Geography


Despite having large reserves of coal, why does India import millions of tonnes of coal? (2011)

1. It is the policy of India to save its own coal reserves for future, and import it from other countries for the present use.
2. Most of the power plants in India are coal-based and they are not able to get sufficient supplies of coal from within the country.
3.  Steel companies need large quantity of coking coal which has to be imported.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Solution (b) 


Current Events – History/Culture


Consider the following pairs:   (2014)

Famous shrine Location
1.  Tabo monastery and temple complex Spiti Valley
2.  Lhotsava Lhakhang temple, Nako Zanskar Valley
3.  Alchi temple complex Ladakh

Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched?

(a)  1 only

(b)  2 and 3 only

(c)  1 and 3 only

(d)  1, 2 and 3

Solution (c )


Consider the following languages:

1. Gujarati
2. Kannada
3. Telugu

Which of the above has/have been declared as ‘Classical Language / Languages’ by the Government?

(a)   1 and 2 only

(b)   3 only

(c)    2 and 3 only

(d)   1, 2 and 3

Solution (c )



Current Events – Polity/Governance


Which of the following can be said to be essentially the parts of Inclusive Governance? (2012)

1. Permitting the Non-Banking Financial Companies to do banking
2. Establishing effective District Planning Committees in all the districts
3. Increasing the government spending on public health
4. Strengthening the Mid-day Meal Scheme

Select the correct answer using the codes given below

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 3 and 4 only

(c) 2, 3 and 4 only

(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

Solution (c)



What is/are the recent policy initiative(s) of Government of India to promote the growth of manufacturing sector? (2011)
1. Setting up of National Investment and Manufacturing Zones
2. Providing the benefit of ‘single window clearance’
3. Establishing the Technology Acquisition and Development FundSelect the correct answer using the codes given below :
(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Solution (d)



Current Events – Economics


The terms ‘Marginal Standing Facility Rate’ and ‘Net Demand and Time Liabilities’, sometimes appearing in news, are used in relation to  (2014)

(a) Banking operations

(b) Communication networking

(c) Military strategies

(d) Supply and demand of agricultural products

Solution (a)



Current Events – Science and Technology


A company marketing food products advertises that its items do not contain trans-fats. What does this campaign signify to the customers?(2011)

1. The food products are not made out of hydrogenated oils.

2. The food products are not made out of animal fats/oils.

3. The oils used are not likely to damage the cardiovascular health of the consumers.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Solution (d)



With reference to technologies for solar power production, consider the following statements:

1. ‘Photovoltaics’ is a technology that generates electricity by direct conversion of light into electricity, while ‘Solar Thermal’ is a technology that utilizes the Sun’s rays to generate heat which is further used in electricity generation process.

2. Photovoltaics generates Alternating Current (AC), while Solar Thermal generates Direct Current (DC).

3. India has manufacturing base for Solar Thermal technology, but not for Photovoltaics.

Which of the statements given above is / are correct?

 (a)   1 only

(b)   2 and 3 only

(c)    1, 2 and 3

(d)   None

Solution (a)


Current Events – Environment


The most important strategy for the conservation of biodiversity together with traditional human life is the establishment of (2014)

(a)   biosphere reserves

(b)   botanical gardens

(c)    national parks

(d)   wildlife sanctuaries

Solution (a)


Brominated flame retardants are used in many household products like mattresses and upholstery. Why is there some concern about their use?  (2014)

1.  They are highly resistant to degradation in the environment.

2.  They are able to accumulate in humans and animals.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Solution (c)


Current Events – International



Which of the following organizations brings out the publication known as ‘World Economic Outlook’? (2014)

(a)   The International Monetary Fund

(b)   The United Nations Development Programme

(c)    The World Economic Forum

(d)   The World Bank

Solution (a)


Policies of India which has international ramifications :


With reference to “Look East Policy” of India, consider the following statements: (2011)
1. India wants to establish itself as an important regional player in the East Asian affairs.
2. India wants to plug the vacuum created by the termination of Cold War.
3. India wants to restore the historical and cultural ties with its neighbours in Southeast and East Asia.Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 1 and 3 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Solution (c)



Current Events-based questions ranges from Government Initiatives/Policies, Policies of India which has international ramifications – Look East Policy, International Institutions – IMF, WB, UNSC etc., International Agreements – Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)Wassenaar Arrangement, START treaty etc., Good Governance measures taken by the Government, Rights Issues, Social sector initiatives, Sustainable development etc.

Note: Hence we suggest you that, Core subjects should be substantiated with the recent current events which will help you in all the stages (PRELIMS, MAINS, INTERVIEW) of your preparation.


How to Prepare

In the following section we have prioritized the important sources for current affairs and their significance.

These are the most preferred and authentic ones as suggested by the successful candidates. Later in this article we have tried to explain “How to read Newspaper”, from Prelims and Mains perspective.

Note:  At IASbaba.com, you will get daily current events analysis as well as monthly magazines in the form of issues. They will be covered from the listed resources on daily basis. Additionally you will have access to an innovative initiative to prepare Debates of LokSabha/RajyaSabha and YOJANA/KURUKSHETRA from Mains perspective.

The strategy or How to Prepare, say The Hindu (later in the article) is simply a directive. You may have your own way of preparing but here we have addressed it elaborately from a beginner’s point of view.

If you go through UPSC syllabus and then questions asked in previous years, you will easily find the importance of newspapers. All the static portions be it Geography, History, Economics, Polity, Science and Tech or Environment are a regular part of daily news. Moreover, UPSC has the knack of relating contemporary issues to static aspect and then frame the question asking the analytical aspect. This become difficult when you are unaware of contemporary development or even if aware, could not relate it.

Important Sources

The Hindu

Significance: What to look for?

  • One of the best sources to prepare for socio-economic and political issues
  • Editorials and Opinions: An elaborative account and view on government programmes and policies.
  • Science and Technology: Thursday Edition- Quite handy for everyday scientific developments.
  • Environmental issues– Issues and policies at national and international level
  • Economy– Economic developments and policies

The Indian Express

Significance: What to look for?

  • Articles on International Relations are one of the best as compared to other newspapers.
  • Written and recommended by IFS officers.
  • Lots of stuffs and dimensions for IR can be prepared from here.

Press Information Bureau

Significance: What to look for?

  • Programmes and Policy updates of Government on daily basis- If you miss in newspapers
  • Features: Selective articles on important personalities and their contribution. Also, you will find important historical accounts.
  • Written by government officials- added authencity

PRS Legislative Research

Significance: What to look for?

  • Discusses about the bills and policies of government
  • Here you will find all the tabled and non tabled bills of Parliament.
  • Also, very simple and brief summary of acts and bills.
  • A monthly Policy Review: A monthly comprehensive report of the major policy developments across various sectors in the country.
  • The aim is to help readers keep track of all significant policy events, including reports by parliamentary and government committees.

IDSA: Institute for Defense Studies and Analysis

Significance: What to look for?

  • It gives a detailed coverage of India’s national security, internal security and relations.
  • Very effective source to prepare or get opinion on International Relations, Defense relations and governments approach for national and international diplomacy.
  • It is one of the best source to prepare for Paper 3- Internal and External security

Yojana and Kurukshetra

Significance: What to look for?

  • Published by GOI and comprises of articles on diverse topics- from social to economic domain.
  • Basically a detailed analysis of government schemes and programmes.
  • Also covers social issues and policies affecting vulnerable sections.
  • A very important and authentic source to generate opinion on government programmes and policies.
  • You will get monthly compilations of Yojana/kurukshetra in Question-Answer format from IASbaba.com 🙂 This is to lessen you effort and give you precisely the relevant content from these magazine and aware you regarding the issues rather than dozens of articles that people find boring to read

LokSabha and RajyaSabha Debates

Significance: What to look for?

  • Discussions on various socio-economic and political discourses.
  • It gives you various opinions on such topics from experts who are many a times government officials or subject experts.
  • It is seen that unearthing dimensions becomes difficult while reading articles but when we see live discussions, get loads of quality information and dimensions in less time.
  • Highly recommended from Mains point of view.
  • You will also get analysis of the debates with on IASbaba.com. The analysis will guide you for varying dimensions and questions to be prepared.


                                                 How to effectively Read “The Hindu”


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