Best Magazines for UPSC Preparation

Preparing for UPSC civil services examination is a most dynamic task as the aspirants has to keep themselves updated with latest ongoing events in the society. They have to prepare a critical analysis of various government initiatives. Besides they have to understand study different thoughts of various writers for a particular event. Preparing in this way adds values to their answers and fetch them extra marks.

For example, if we consider the protests being held against the against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), the aspirants have to cover the topic from multiple dimensions: –

  • Constitutionality of the CAA Act
  • Right to protests and its impact
  • Impact on Fundamental Rights
  • Various petitions and Supreme Court Judgements
  • Consequences of CAA on society
  • North -east and CAA and NRC
  • State Assembly moving a resolution demanding the scrapping of the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA)

Covering a single topic from such a wide dimension requires the aspirants to study the topic from different point of view. To recollect this information, along with newspapers, magazine plays a very important part!

Why Magazines are important while preparing for UPSC?

In the UPSC preparation aspirants can get various benefits of using the Monthly magazines. The magazines are useful in all the three stages of the UPSC preparation be it Prelims, Mains, or Interview.

For Prelims: – It provides the factual details that can be used to eliminate the statements in multiple choice questions.

For Mains: – It helps the aspirants to prepare a critical analysis with balanced conclusion.

For interview: –It gives the aspirants insights into various national and international issues which can add weightage to the answers in interview.

Some of the benefits of adding magazines in the list of UPSC Sources are listed below: –

  1. The aspirants can add valuable points on various burning issues in their notes.
  2. Using magazines helps the aspirants to form a balanced conclusion without being biased.
  3. It gives the aspirants the multidimensional approach.
  4. The aspirants can get complete analysis of a topic at one place.
  5. It also contains articles on motivation and success stories.
  6. The magazines provide the aspirants with the value- addition material (like quotes, latest phrases, cases studies, real time examples) on specific topic which hard to find otherwise.
  7. In newspapers the issues are covered in scattered manner as per daily updates while in magazines the issues are covered in comprehensive manner along with background and possible way forward.

How to use the magazines and add value to your preparation?

The magazines can really prove beneficial and minimize the time required to cover the wide syllabus of UPSC. For this the aspirants can follow the steps given below: –

  1. Check the Content list of the magazines aspirants is using.
  2. Mark the Paper (GS 1,2,3,4 or essay) and sub-topic from the syllabus in front of the Articles.

(Aspirants can skip the articles not relevant to the syllabus.)

  • Read the article and note down important points as per the Prelims, mains and Interview relevance.

Dos and don’ts while using a magazine: –

Dos: –

  1. The aspirants should be careful while choosing the magazines.
  2. Read original magazine. Reading full article will give a concise understanding of the issue.
  3. Be careful of the relevance of the article while reading a magazine.
  4. Always read official magazines or which are prepared by various department of the government, like Yojana or Kurukshetra.

Don’ts: –

  1. They should not opt for the gist of any magazine.
  2. Be aware of the content while choosing any magazine.
  3. Don’t waste your time reading political news not useful for UPSC.
  4. Don’t make word to word notes. Instead make short and crisp notes which are easy to revise.

Which magazines are best?

We have seen the significance of using the magazines while preparing for UPSC civil services examination. Now the question comes which magazines can be used and are most significant for UPSC.

Here we have provided a tentative list of magazines along with specific details: –

Kurukshetra Magazine

It is one of the best official magazines for UPSC civil service examination. It mainly covers news and events pertaining to agriculture and rural India along with important government schemes. It is published by the Union Ministry of Rural Development.

It gives a perspective about a topic from the Government’s point of view with relevant data and critical evaluation. Along with prelims examination, It is helpful in Essay writing and General studies papers of UPSC Mains.

Yojana Magazine

This magazine is must-have in your UPSC preparation strategy. The Yojana magazine is very significant part of UPSC preparation. It is published by the Publications Division of the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India.

It provides the UPSC aspirants with authentic information of the most pertaining issues in the society. Aspirants get the genuine facts which can be quoted in Mains answers or any tricky IAS interview question.

The magazine contains real time stories of the outcomes of various government schemes. These data are very helpful while critically evaluating the government initiatives. It also helps the aspirants to measure the success of various government initiatives.

The Yojana magazine covers all important national events along with focus on international issues. Besides it also covers the socio-economic problems and ethical aspects of different measures taken by the Central and state government.

Down to Earth

The UPSC has increased its interest in environmental topic. The environmental issues have gained important place in overall weightage of the UPSC Exam pattern.

Various environmental issues of Climate change, land degradation plastic pollution in sea water have been discussed on large scale. Number of international platforms and institutions are working on these issues. The environment topics are allocated with significant marks in Prelims, and mains examination.

To cover such important and wide range of environmental topic the best magazine is Down to earth. This magazine helps the aspirants to prepare for topics under the environment with national interest, including economic security, livelihood, and health. It analyses the environmental topics from multiple aspects.

This magazine is a good source of reports, India’s rank in various indices and global best practices to solve the environment issues.

Economic and Political Weekly

Economic and Political Weekly magazine for UPSC is an unquestionable best. It covers all important national and international issues particularly important for UPSC mains.

Economic and Political Weekly is more similar to an abstract gathering where you can discover the analysis, conversations and remarks by significant political pioneers, finance managers, academicians, analysts and other eminent names in India.

EPW is an extraordinary and best current issues magazine for UPSC preparation. It provides the UPSC aspirants with analysis of the discussion where there is a trade of thoughts across the sociology disciplines. It covers views of the political specialists, financial experts, business analysts etc.

This magazine is a good source to acquire information in the subjects of human science, legislative issues, financial matters, culture and climate.

Examples of UPSC Previous Year Questions from Various Magazines: –

  1. The establishment of ‘Payment Banks’ is being allowed in India to promote financial inclusion. Which of the following statements is/are correct in this context? (Civil Services Preliminary Examination 2016)
    1. Mobile telephone companies and supermarket chains that are owned and controlled by residents are eligible to be promoters of Payment Banks.
    1. Payment Banks can issue both credit cards and debit cards
    1. Payment banks cannot undertake lending activities.

Select the correct answer using the code given below

a) 1 and 2 only

b) 1 and 3 only

c) 2 only

d) 1,2 and 3

Source: – Issue of Payment Banks was discussed in Yojana Magazine August 2015 Edition.

  • With reference to the circumstances in Indian agriculture, the concept of “Conservation Agriculture” assumes significance. Which of the following fall under the Conservation Agriculture?  (Civil Services Preliminary Examination 2018)
    • Avoiding the monoculture practices
    • Adopting minimum tillage
    • Avoiding the cultivation of plantation crops
    • Using crop residues to cover soil surface
    • Adopting spatial and temporal crop sequencing/crop rotations

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

a) 1, 3 and 4

b) 2, 3, 4 and 5

c) 2, 4 and 5

d) 1, 2, 3 and 5

Source: – Kurukshetra February 2018 issue

  • In the absence of well-educated and organised local government system, Panchayats and samitis have remained mainly political institutions and not effective institutions of governance. Critically discuss. (Mains GS2 2015)Source: – November 2015 edition of Kurukshetra.

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