Magazines play an important role in the Civil Services Exam (CSE) preparation. Since, the majority of the current affairs related questions in the Main exam are analytical in nature, reading newspapers alone is not sufficient to clear the exam. One has to collect background information, additional data and opinions of various stakeholders to have a 360 degree approach on an issue. By reading magazines, aspirants can get all this information at one place. Besides the study material, magazines also provide practice tests, toppers interviews, tips and strategies to clear the exam.
For the benefit of IAS aspirants, we are providing a list of the best magazines for the IAS exam preparation. It is given below.
Yojana is a monthly magazine published by the Publications Division of the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. It is devoted to socio-economic issues and every month, the magazine cover an important topic like Skill India, Make In India, Agriculture, Industry, etc. It covers all the government programmes, legislations and other initiatives related to the chosen topic. Besides, opinions of experts related to the particular field are given. This magazine is helpful for aspirants for Main exam, including the Essay paper and the Personality Test.
Besides English and Hindi, Yojana is being published in 11 other languages viz. English, Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali, Assamese, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam and Odiya. Hence, it is helpful for those writing the Main exam in regional languages.
Aspirants can also download previous magazines (up to 2014), from the website yojana.gov.in at a free of cost.
Like Yojana, it is also published by the Publications Division. Its focus is on rural development and covers a wide range of issues related to rural infrastructure, agriculture, tribal population, etc. The monthly magazine is being published in Hindi and English.
This magazine’s focus is on the operational aspects and impact analysis of the programmes and schemes in rural areas. This magazine is helpful for the Mains general studies, essay and the personality test.
Aspirants can also download previous magazines (up to 2013), from the website yojana.gov.in at a free of cost.
3. Economic and Political Weekly
EPW, as the journal is popularly known, brings together academicians, researchers, policy makers, independent thinkers, members of non-governmental organisations and political activists for debates. The journal covers a wide range of areas such as economics, politics, sociology, culture and the environment.
This magazine is helpful for aspirants to answer analytical questions in the Main exam that ask you to comment or discuss or analyse or critically analyse a given statement. The data given in this magazine are also helpful for the written exam as well as the Personality Test.
4. Down to Earth
It covers important issues that are of major concern for ordinary citizens like environment, health, livelihood and economic security. It brings together news, perspectives and knowledge related to major challenges faced by the Indian society.
As the importance of the environment has been increasing in the Preliminary exam, this magazine is helpful for all the three stages of the exam.
5. Pratiyogita Darpan
Available both in Hindi and English, this magazine is one of the most sought after among aspirants of government jobs. With a focus on current affairs, employment related news, toppers' interviews, quality articles on universal topics, solved papers of competitive exams, the magazine has proved to be a great value for its readers.
6. Civil Services Times
It compiles study material from the most reliable sources such as websites of government departments, ministries, press information bureau (PIB), etc. The in depth articles on various topics are prepared by taking into account the questions asked in previous exams. This exam centric magazine covers all the relevant areas of the exam, such as, national, international, foreign policy, science and technology and economy.
7. Geography and You
Geography and You (English) and its counterpart Bhugol Aur Aap (Hindi) are two bi-monthly journo-mags that cover different genres of science, technology and sociology around the globe. This magazine is helpful in answering environment and geography related questions in Prelims and Mains. This is also one of the most sought after magazine among aspirants with geography optional.
8. Competition Success Review
Often abbreviated as CSR, it is an immensely popular magazine among students preparing for competitive examinations in different areas. Most of the civil services aspirants find it indispensable due to its all-encompassing format—both for Prelims and Mains. In every issue, it gives a synopsis of events taking place globally and at home. It has a permanent feature on interviews conducted for civil services aspirants. It also publishes success stories of CSE toppers, which prove useful for aspirants.
9. World Focus
It is a premier Indo-centric foreign affairs journal since 1980. It discusses and analyses international issues with an Indian perspective. Policy analysts, policy-makers, experts, diplomats, distinguished scholars, decision-makers and persons of eminence write comprehensively and contribute to World Focus each month. The World Focus focuses on current affairs, India and worl international affairs, economic diplomacy, foreign policy and national security issues. It is helpful for aspirants in Prelims and General Studies -2 paper of the Mains and the Personality Test.