[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.

Indian History Freedom Struggle Pratik Nayak

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

  1. Hi Mrunal,

    As an individual totally aloof to International Developments and world affairs, I find it extremely challenging to understand the origins of the International Affairs that impact the foreign policy- especially where India is not involved (Dynamic portion). I find my entire exercise of reading newspaper for IR futile at the end of the day.

    Is there a comprehensive resource wherefrom one can gather the understandign needed to appraise issues like 1) Russia-Ukraine 2) Israel-Palestine 3) Russia-Afghan and NATO 4) African issues etc?

    Also for India- 1) Rajiv LTTE issue 2) Bodoland issue etc

    The list of such issues is exhaustive, but it takes great pains to go through each one of them from Wikipedia, because one doesn’t really know where to draw the line and stop.

    I’d be extremely grateful if you can shed some light on how to understand the background of current affairs in International Domain, post world war. A comprehensive literature will definitely be a savior.

  2. any good reading for contemporary foreign policy???

  3. Sir the link u provided above for ignou political science module is not working.. plzz help

  4. Dear Sir, could you please update the link/provide an alternative link for downloading the political science module of IGNOU given at the top. It’s not working presently. Thanks!

  5. Hi Mrunal, thanks for a very informative blog indeed, please keep writing .. it does benefit many like me. I am unable to download the pdf file .. request you to either e mail it to me or provide the link for same. thanks!

  6. Hello, I will be giving UPSC Civil Service Exam 2014. It is my first attempt. I am preparing for the exam from November 2013. I will be highly grateful to you Mrunal Sir if you publish updated strategies for cracking the Prelims(what to study now, not to study in the remaining 2 months, what to study in the last month i.e. August 2014) ASAP.

  7. Sir, The links for the pdf is dead. Would you kindly re upload the pdf

  8. Sir all your articles are outstanding..However sometimes while searching current affairs articles , it feels like getting puzzled as these are not arranged in a orderly manner. If you could arrange all articles in a orderly manner in all subject then it will be much helpful..Lets say in the diplomacy all the articles related to Indo sino relation are under a single title..similarly in case of economics at first you keep the article related to concept or fundamentals and then move on to discuss current policy and updates.. All i want to say is that if article links are provided in a orderly manner (like book) the I think we wont need to study other things.. Only your artcle will be exhaustive and sufficient for UPSC

  9. IGNOU Political science module MPSE-001 India and the World (Click me). — This pdf is not been found sir, please could you upload it again. Thank you

  10. Sir, International relations download link is not working. Kindly upload again or send me by mail. Tons of thanks

  11. sir the link that you have given for ignou is not working??do you think that ncert for the same will suffice???

  12. The link of IGNOU material is not working… How to download that?

  13. Mrunal sir i have started preparing for cse till now i have completed the core syllbs of historx except culture part,pol sc,geo from manual and ncert.and rght now doing eco,what should i start nxt.i hvnt joind any coachng.please suggest me any prep strategy.

  14. Namaste sir I m beginner so I want to know about the GS mains paper that how to prepare IR nd Political science….

  15. Mrunal Ur links for IGNOU Political science aren’t working. Could you check them once.. And could you upload IGNOU History books too.. That would be really helpful.

  16. This is providing useful information for upsc – civil service aspirants

  17. Hello Mrunal Sir, You are doing the great work for upsc aspirants. Salute to you.Sir I have one question for u, im doing preparation for upsc 2015,actually I’m good in maths as well as in sociology. I want to take one subject as optional for upsc main, can u suggest me which books n other important study material should I read n revise? Also suggest for public administration. Please solve my problem as soon as possible u can…!

  18. Hello sir..can you pls post the link of
    IGNOU history optional and Indian polity..thanks in advance

  19. Hi mrunal, could you please give a lucid differentiation between the look east and act east policy, and the asia pivot of the US and the rebalance theory.?

  20. Hello Mrunal Sir,
    I just want to say you are doing great job.
    Thank You So much.

  21. hello sir,
    This is the first attempt for me and so i feel i have a lot to study.
    I am confused on what to focus and how to start preparation.how to deal with essay and current affairs.please kindly suggest me some ideas and notes

  22. What is your Message? Search before asking questions & confine discussions to exams related capf exam sir please tell me something second paper english

  23. sir please tell me jo capf kay paper main english ka paper hota hai jo usmain make santense banna hota hai unka meaning hindi main likh sakta hai

  24. Sir, I would like to thank you for all your efforts that you have put in designing this useful platform for civil service aspirants.
    I find it very useful since time is a constraint for me as I am a working professional.

    Thank you once again

  25. Is your content for GS paper 2 only?

  26. Please tell about the “cuber security in India and what reforms will be taken for better cyber space security”. I already search regarding that but couldn’t satisfy please help me regarding this topic. last year one question ask from the topic so is there any possibility to ask further from that topic ?

  27. am weak at science and technology and ir part pls suggest me some remedy.and tell me with in how much time can average stuent finishes the syallabus of upsc.in my case i have one more than half part but not able to handle in a required manner.pls provide me solution.am preparing for group1 servies for telanaga.i have to finish everything in a very short time bcos am carrying.pls reply me sir.thanks for your help.takecare.

  28. sir help me regarding IR , geting vry tough to me

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