Let’s be rational.
Internal Security: A prominent component of GS paper 3. But there is something more to this subject.
Marks in mains examination approx. : 50 as part of GS3
Questions in prelims : approx. : 2 to 3 numbers
Probability of questions being asked in Personality Test: approx. : 20% to 30%
If that’s not enough…………………………….
Here is more for you. If you are well versed with Internal Security, you may be fortunate enough to find 125 marks essay. “Management of Indian border disputes – a complex task” was the essay topic asked by UPSC in 2018 mains.
How should we prepare the subject “Internal Security” for UPSC? We can follow four step approach.
- Be thorough with the syllabus
- Cover the static part
- If you are associated with a coaching institute, follow their material.
If you are preparing at your own. Follow some standard book. One of the highly rated books for National security is published by a renowned faculty from Alchemy IAS. Internal Security Book Link
- Make your own notes taking reference from various sources
- Focus on current affairs
- Current affairs bring dynamism in your answers. At the same time, current affairs enhance your understanding of the subject.
- Follow standard newspaper like ‘The Hindu’, ‘Indian Express’. If you miss out on newspaper someday, follow some renowned institute website like alchemyias.com current affairs section. You will get concise knowledge about daily happenings in domain internal security.
- Practice PYQs (Previous Year Questions)
- Try to solve at least last 5 year questions asked by UPSC
- Get the questions checked by some mentor.
- Compare with standard book having solved PYQs. Internal Security Book Link
Another problem faced by aspirants is how to make notes and read articles related to Internal Security. Let’s follow the best way in terms of ‘5W, 1H’ approach. ‘5W, 1H’ stands for What, Why, Who, Where, When, How. This approach is explained below with help of an example.
- ‘Basics of Cyber Security’ is one topic mentioned in the syllabus. To prepare the topic first define the term properly. It can be a definition in your words. But you will get an edge if you mention the definition given by a renowned body or institution. Example : As per IT Act 2000, Cyber Security is defined as protecting info, devices, equipments, computer resources and info stored in them from unauthorized access / use / disclosure / disruption / modification or destruction. This will answer “What” part of 5W, 1H approach. If you come across a newer definition given by some other reliable agency, update it. At the same time also note what kinds of challenges are present in terms of cyber security.
- With help of standard book and current affairs, please note why “Cyber Security” is important. Has our country / world undergone some kind of cyber attacks? How lack of cyber security may impact our polity, economy, society.
- Next focus should be on Who ensures the cyber security. What kinds of stakeholders are involved in this process and in what capacity? Eg CERT-In acts as national level coordinator to manage cyber security of country. Private firms have a CSO (Chief Security Officer) to manage their data. ‘Who’ aspect may also include people who are affected. Like Twitter account of Joe Biden was recently hacked.
- ‘Where’ this aspect may be linked to physical location or organizational structure. Like HQ of CERT-In, which ministry they are part of.
- ‘When’ aspect may relate to the timeline of a particular event related to cyber security. Eg ransom ware “WannaCry” was in news in 2017, Pegasus made headline recently. One need to have approximate idea instead of giving precise details about this aspect
- ‘How’ aspect of note making is very important. Depending on context, we may have to answer how a particular event happens and how it is overcome. In case of cyber security, it will include various kind of attacks like phishing, DDOS, ransomware, malware, trozan, social phishing etc. At the same time we need to note how such attacks are countered. Initiatives like M-Kavach, Cyber Dome project of Kerala government, National Cyber Security Policy 2013, cybercrime portal by MHA need to be added to your notes.