[Study-plan] India and World, International Relations for GS (Mains) Paper 2, Essay and Interview along with Free Study Material

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  1. Why should I prepare International Affairs?
  2. Step 1: Gather the material
  3. Step 2: Prepare the Mental Framework
  4. How to approach the Dynamic portion?
  5. Supplimentary Reading
  6. Appendix: Official Syllabus

Why should I prepare International Affairs?

  1. Because in UPSC General Studies Mains (Paper II), they ask questions worth more than 100 marks, from this topic.
  2. In the Essay paper, they regulary ask essays directly or indirectly related to Globalization and International relations.
  3. For the interview.

Step 1: Gather the material

IGNOU Political science module MPSE-001 India and the World (Click me).
That pdf file set contains pretty much all the essential information necessary to cover the static/historic portion of India’s foreign relations after independence.

Step 2: Prepare the Mental Framework

In your head, visualize following. What exactly are you supposed to prepare?

Based on Location

  1. India and her neighbours (Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Sri-Lanka, Nepal and China)
  2. India and the regions (South America, Africa, Middle East, Central Asia, Europe and so on.)
  3. India and the big 5 UNSC members (USA, China, France, Russia and UK )
  4. India and Economically powerful nations (Australia, Japan, S.Africa, Brazil, UAE etc)
  5. India and Organizations (UN, ASEAN, G20, GCC, EU, IMF, World Bank etc.)

India’s interaction with the world can also be classifed into following phases

Based on Phases

  1. Post-independence NAM/ Panchsheel Era
  2. During the Wars with Pakistan and China
  3. Atomic Bomb test
  4. Cold War
  5. Fall of USSR and LPG reforms in 1991.
  6. Second Atomic Test
  7. Post 9/11
  8. The Latest happening (Current).

Now superimpose both, and you’ve prepared India and the world.
^upto point number 5, I would classify under “static” question / theory portion.
Lately the UPSC has stopped asking questions from it, after all how much can they ask from NAM or Panchsheel! Whatever they could ask, has been asked in last 25 years GS papers, just look at the old papers and try to frame skeletal answer.

But since UPSC has a nasty habit of throwing unexpected surprizes, so one should go prepared.
So, how to approach the Static portion?
From the given IGNOU ZIP file, prepare a very short note, highlighting keywords of India’s relations through each region and each phase. There are 193 countries in UN, you don’t have to prepare each and every one of them but only the important ones, given in the “Based on Geography”.

This pretty much sums up the “static” portion.
Now what about the “dynamic” (i.e. current based). Well past two years, majority of questions are coming from the dynamic portion only.

Dynamic portion: Two parts

  1. Where India is involved. (Example: Bilateral visits of Presidents and prime ministers, India at Coppenhegan etc.)
  2. Where India is not directly involved. (example NATO in Afghanistan, US-China, Greece & EU sovereign debt-crisis, South Sudan etc.)

What types of questions can be asked from this portion? To understand it, just browse through the old question papers and prepare the current affairs on that line.

How to approach the Dynamic portion?

  1. First make list of bilateral visits (you can find information on website of Ministry of External Affairs) Then dig up on google, What trade-pacts or treaties were signed. You don’t have to do Ph.D on each and everything, for example of PM of Nicargua visited India, and signed a few trade pacts, it’s hardly of any importance but when PM of Bangladesh visits India and discusses something on land tranfer, border or river dispute – that part is important. Again no need to mug up how many crores were given as loan or what was the exact date of meeting etc.
  2. The list of all important international events happened last year, where India was not involved, can be found in your monthly issue of Chronicle, Wizard, Pratiyogita Darpan.
  3. What to prepare for Diospora? First the theory: OCI, PIO, NRI, Citizenship issues. Then based on current events. For example,
    1. Kamla Prasad Bissesar became PM of Trinidad and Tobago last year, so prepare that region.
    2. Crisis for Indian Workers in Tripoli, Middle east, Libya etc.
    3. Schemes of Government for the protection and welfare of Indian workers abroad. And so on.

^this list is not exhaustive, just as an example.

You cannot prepare the international relations in a week, it’s a continuous process, keep a habit of reading newspapers daily, particularly the Columns related to International relations. But at the same time, you don’t need ball by ball commentary on what is going on, for example Political turmoil of Nepal, their Prime minister keeps changing every fortnight, so by the time it is October November, they’d be 25-30 Prime ministers already (!), you try to mug up the names and timelines, it won’t do you any good.

Secondly, If you’ve to attempt an Essay on Globalization or international affairs, you’ll need fodder material (facts and viewpoints), therefore reading newspapers and columns Is must.

Supplementary Reading

Depending on your time and energy, you may approach

  1. Frontline
  2. Political and Economic Weekly and
  3. The Economist.

But like I said earlier, there is no need to do Ph.D, else you won’t be left with any time or energy for other subjects. Always keep the syllabus in mind, you’ve to prepare the topics, not the books or magazines.

Appendix: Official Syllabus

The Official Syllabus of UPSC for International relations Topic in GS Mains (Paper II)

1. India and the World :

This part will include questions to test candidate’s awareness of India’s relation- ship with the world in various spheres such as the following:- Foreign Affairs with special emphasis on India’s relations with neighbouring countries and in the region. Security and defence related matters.
Nuclear policy, issues, and conflicts.
The Indian Diaspora and its contribution to India and the world.

2. India’s Economic Interaction with the World :

In this part, questions will be on economic and trade issues such as foreign trade, foreign investment; economic and diplo- macy issues relating to oil, gas and energy flows; the role and functions of I.M.F., World Bank, W.T.O., WIPO etc. which influence India’s economic interaction with other countries and international institutions.

3. International Affairs and Institutions:

This part will include questions on important events in world affairs and on international institutions.

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142 Comments on “[Study-plan] India and World, International Relations for GS (Mains) Paper 2, Essay and Interview along with Free Study Material”

  1. hello sir
    can u suggest how to prep for international affairs for upsc though i m not takins as my optioal subject//

  2. hello sir their is request from me and economic’st optional students and also complain that u are not listening our complain of not provinding any guidance for economics as optional sir plz plz provide guidance for economics.
    another request if ur valuable time is their then plz show direction to get solved question set of economics.

    1. He does not maintain these links. Search for alternatives.

  3. sir,i have a big doubt…UPSC selection process is genuine? so many members are telling to me like we require some MP’S recommendation and we have to spend some money etc…is it true?plz plz do reply sir…….


  5. excellent compilation

  6. sir the frontline link isn’t working… kindly update

  7. YOUR explanation of gs portion is very effective
    please send all gs notes

  8. thanks a lot!!!
    its a great help for me… :-)

  9. Very very helpful sir.

  10. how many optional subjects are present. in this year

    1. how 2 prepare gs

  11. sir is it worthy to buy INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS – V N KHANNA book for international relations or the imformation given by you stand sufficient???please reply

  12. Sir,
    Thanks for the excellent compilation…
    Issue is the India and World documents framed long back during reign of NDA govt.
    Is there any revision of materials…
    If so, please provide the link of the revised materials…

  13. Hi Mrunal sir.
    I am regular visitor of your site.It is very helpful for me.The way you explain the concepts is the best approach for that.Especially for Economics,there was no alternative and effective source than your site.
    I read your guidance article for Inter. Relations and after that i started to study it.But can tell me that should i go for relations between 2003 to 2012.As this is so lengthy,i have prepared from independence to 9/11.
    I m giving UPSC in 2014.so should i prepare 1947 to 2013? plz reply me.It is so important for me.
    your words r so heplpful for me.m waiting..

  14. Sir, While going through ncerts shall we consider syllabus or it will be beneficial to go through whole ncert.
    For ex.- Work and liesure , print culture etc in history ncert.

    While going through them i found some things benificial but many not required things.
    Kindly guide for future readings.

  15. Bhari,sir




  17. Hi Mrunal,

    Do you see any chances of getting UPSC CSMains postponed due to elections.??

  18. hello mrunal…
    you are doing a great job greetings and thankx a lot..
    I HAVE A SERIOUS CONCERN”suppose im not joining any coaching for mains then how shuold i correct my writing skill which i think is a serious concern and requires correction”
    please do provide suggestion
    i can also join coaching if it is the only way
    luckily prelims is my strong area..

  19. hi Mrunal sir,

    Could you please provide answer sheets of toppers(any one) for GS Mains papers if possible ?

  20. Sir how i can download notes of NEERAJ SINGH

  21. thanx a lot sir, sufficient gk material.I truly appreciate ur effort. Great job !!

  22. hi sir,how to check quality of answer prepared for mains.

  23. Thanx for your valuable guidance…

  24. Thanks sir,
    I truly appreciate the guidance,
    1 request sir plz tell mi,,
    international thinkers , how to study .?

  25. Respected sir,I am extremely thankful for your nice presentation on books and notes to refer for international relations, but lately subsisting since I am an ifs aspirant, I have been witnessing very few individuals opting for ifs. What are the reasons?

  26. hi. Sir
    I am preparing for civil service and I want study material for international relation so how can I get this and how..plz tell me si..

  27. Sir , ignou link is not working , could please help ??

    thanks in advance

  28. aur behtar karo////////////

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