UPSC Civil Services (Preliminary) exam is very unpredictable and the nature of questions asked every year keeps on changing every year.
However over this seemingly uncertain nature of exam or what we may call as irrationality there is logic to this irrationality.It is that underneath this dynamism of the exam there are certain elements that form the core of the question paper and the ability to attempt these questions successfully will determine your potential.
The Core Syllabus
No matter how the nature of exam pattern changes every year there is a core syllabus from where around 55-70 questions are asked every year with varying level of difficulty and pur ability to navigate these questions with very high level of efficiency goes a long way in determining our success in the exam. The core part of the syllabus includes:
o History which includes Art and Culture
o Geography esp. Physical Geography and Atlas
o Economy basics
o Polity and Governance
o Environment basic concepts
The Dynamic Part:
Rest is the dynamic part of the syllabus from where the nature of questions and weightage keeps on varying wildly every year.This unpredictability means that to master this section is difficult and return on investment in terms of time inverted in studying these sections and hitting correct answers is low. The dynamic parts includes current affairs of:
o Geography events
o Environment news and updates
o New developments in sci & Tech
o Economic developments : Budget and Economic survey
o International relations updates
Some of the common areas from where questions are generally kept on asked are:
Planning in India–Like NITI Aayog,Finance Commission, etc
Nano-technology and developments.
Polar regions – Issues, bodies and treaties related to Arctic and Antarctica,effects of climate change on these regions
Diseases in India – Outbreaks, pandemics, eradicated diseases, WHO or MoHFW guidelines
Alternative energy sources and materialslike bio-fuels, shale gas, photovoltaics, etc
Issues related to Patentslike Evergreening, Patents Act, WTO, TRIPS, etc
Emerging technologies (especially IT)– Artificial Intelligence, Big Data Analytics, Automation, Wearable technologies, Internet of Things, etc.
New Financial sector related developments – Like Banks and RBI related issues.
Astrophysics: Basics as well as current events and new discoveries made by NASA, ISRO missions as well as news related to topics like neutron stars, gravitational waves, blackholes, general theory of relativity,space-missions, etc
Agricultural policy in India – level of production, cropping patterns, irrigation, Pricing, marketing, storage, forward and backward linkages, various government schemes, etc
Environment –Various Conventions,Biodiversity,Flora and fauna,National parks,physical features of India and the world, Wetlands in India, Climate Change, etc
Bio-technology – Hybridization, new developments such asgenetic engineering techniques, use of important microorganisms, etc
These are some of the common areas from where almost every year many questions are asked. Therefore,they form a crucial part of your prelims preparation and due care should be taken that you read at least all the major news articles associated with these topics that have appeared in the last 1-2 years.
Regular reading of newspapers, like the Hindu and Indian Express, is also very helpful.