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Hyderabad: Current affairs preparation is not only useful for clearing prelims, but also to maximise your score in subjects like Indian Polity, Economy, Geography, Environment, etc
In this article, we will understand how to handle current affairs from preparation stage to presentation stage in your mains examination. We are going to discuss five rules to ace current affairs.

Rule 1 : Choose quality over quantity

Many aspirants collect the current magazines from the market and start reading them. Often aspirants end up collecting material from different magazines and not reading even one of them completely. The reason for doing so is the thought that more material meant more marks. In reality, there are two issues in doing the above.

They are unable to cover all the collected magazines due to lack of time and are unable to recollect different data related to one topic.

So, what is the right strategy for this? Answer is choosing quality over the quantity. This means running after too much material will create a counterproductive result.

How to do it right way?

Choose an English daily Newspaper (limit to one)

Make notes from editorial (I’ll explain why in later articles)

Monthly news compilation by any reputed institution

Big picture (RSTV), India’s world, PRS India, etc

Productive usage of Internet

Do not spend indefinite time on researching for best website or best institute material. You choose which you understand the most and also are inclined towards your exam point of view. Ideally, sit one day and finalise the source and thus limiting to one resource will give your more time in actual studying rather than making notes from different material, which actually kills your time in the illusion of making perfect notes.

Rule – 2 : Time Ceiling

Mostly seen two extreme categories are seen during mentoring.
a) One category that spends almost half day in just reading newspapers, leaving no time for other important subjects.

b) And second is the category that doesn’t look at the newspaper, but just depends upon any institute’s monthly magazine.

Staying on either of the extreme will yield you unwanted results. In my opinion, best possible way is to limit your time 1.30 to 2 hours to the maximum.

How to utilise these two hours of time for Newspapers?

Daily Newspaper reading –( 40-45 minutes)

Reading (online) daily news compilation of any institute of your choice – (40-45 minutes). Make note of important points.

Remaining 30 minutes finish monthly current affairs magazines topic wise ( revise if read already)

This strategy helped many aspirants because you will be able to stay in touch with your daily current happenings, important pointers from examination (prelims and Mains) and finishing monthly compilation easily on daily basis. Or you can finish the monthly magazine at the end of the month at a stretch as per your convenience.

Rule 3: Attention to the core concept not the NEWS.

Let me explain the above rule with the help of a news article which I read in newspaper, which appeared multiple times.

Our Prime Minister talks about India achieving 5 trillion economy by the year 2024.

Beginners will focus on PM’s speech or what is reported in news (general information). But to master current affairs, we need to do some research (online and offline) on following aspects apart from knowing general information.

Why 5 trillion economy and why not more or less? What are issues in various sectors impeding in achieving this goal? What are the government initiatives to overcome the above issues? Role of other stakeholders like corporates, business entities (MSMES), bureaucracy, etc

Thus, posing this question will give you a holistic understanding and content for your mains answers.

Here I am going to provide you a step by step framework, which will help you in your current affairs preparation.

Step 1: Why is it in the NEWS?

Step 2: Background information

Step 3: Current happening

Step 4: Both sides of the issue

Step 5: Suggestions

Usually, Step 1 will be provided by the news article itself. For step 2, read and research data, facts, reports and most importance inception or beginning of that issue. Step 3 is all about government’s actions about it. Step 4 is about pros and cons or opportunities and challenges. Step 5 is nothing but opinions of experts, way forward, etc.

In the next article in this series, we shall discuss about Rule 4 and Rule 5 which is about making concise notes and consolidating them respectively.

Anirudh

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Author: Howard Caldwell