Here we are going to discuss about the subject, International Relations. The happiest interesting fact in studying IR is, your educational background doesn't matter here. anyone can have entered on to the track of IR very easily in a short span of time.
As far as Civil Service Examination concerned, IR is one of the important subject which majority of the aspirants are unaware of. The most attracting feature while studying IR is, it will assist you in the preparation of all GS papers as well as in the preparation of optionals like Political science and Philosophy. When we come to the type of questions asked, it can be direct or indirect or multidimensional. The questions from Indian Foreign Policy and relationships with neighbors can be asked directly. While the questions on world order and India's present international positions can be asked indirectly. In the preliminary examinations also, the questions on international organisations, international agreements, and the achievements made by many nations in the international scenario can also be asked, and if we are seriously analysing the prelims for the last 3 years, the questions on international affairs achieved more importance and weightage in the past 3 prelims.
From the above discussed concepts now you can understand the importance of a subject like IR.
Are you afraid of dealing with IR?
No need to worry.
The method of studying IR is very simple than you think. It can be dealt in a way of 'going with the wind concept'. One of your daily routine is more than enough you to preparing IR, that is newspaper reading!
Newspapers are the most trusted and certified material for preparing IR than any other material for dealing with current events on international affairs, which are frequently asked in the mains examination.
There are some mandatory static portions also to be covered while preparing IR like History of Indian foreign policy, and role of Indian national leaders in designing Indian foreign policy etc. Which can be prepared with some standard books which we'll be mentioning below.
What to study?
Here we are going to discuss about what are the basic concept you have to cover in IR.
# History of Indian foreign policy since ancient times to present, without going much deeper in to historical aspects.
# Basic understanding of world order during Cold War era
# Basic understanding of Indian foreign policy, relationship of India with its neighbours and major world powers
# Importance of concepts like NAM, Panchasheel etc in designing Indian foreign policy
# Contribution of Indian nationalist leaders in Indian foreign policy
# International organization, agreements, bodies, summit in the international scenario (Prelims focused)
# Timeline of major events in India as a result of Indian foreign policy.
How to prepare?
As we mentioned above Newspaper, mainly The Hindu newspaper is one of the major source for preparation, it will help you to get updated with current events in the international scenario.
Rajya Sabha TV - news related to India's foreign affairs. (Shows like Big picture, India's world)
IDSA website and official website of Ministry of foreign affairs, GOI
A casual reading on Pax Indica (selected chapters) by Sashi Tharoor will bring you more clarity on the subject
Indian foreign policy by Rajiv Sikri (for static portions)
As we mentioned you are not supposed to have an academic knowledge in the area of IR, instead a basic understanding of concepts relating to Indian foreign policy measures and how it impacts other nations and vise versa. Through our platform we will try to eliminate some major hurdles on your path to civil service by simple and comprehensive approach on topics relating to IR and assure you success.
All the best!