Yes Brief and Whole Current Affairs are now Essential for UPSC from Last Few Years,
Because Now a Day's weightage of Current Affairs has increased in UPSC Prelims, Mains and Interview especially most of the question in GS Paper 2 & 3 are current affairs base.
Some Direct and Indirect Question are asked from Current Affairs about 50% question are Current Affairs Based
So You have to know every key point related to the current affairs like:- Past, Person Related, Future, Effect, Social, Economical, and other points related to a specific article.
Strategy For Current Affairs Preparation
Reading the newspaper every day is vital for your preparation. Recommended newspaper The Hindu and The India Express. Alternatively, follow daily current affairs that are curated especially for competitive exams like IAS - Daily Current Affairs . This saves a lot of time since these already have only the important articles and a summary with just key points.
Learn to read the newspaper effectively.
Use current affairs magazines to cover any area or news that you might have skipped or missed.
Take practice Tests/Quizzes daily.
Watch the news.
Finally Read, Revise and Be Regular
Recommended newspaper The Hindu, Business standard and The India Express. Alternatively, follow daily current affairs that are curated especially for competitive exams on Sites such as Gradeup , Vision IAS , Unacademy, AffairsCloud for Competitive Exams , insights , IAS Adda, Hind Classes etc to keep updated with Current Affairs .
Video On Current Affairs Strategy By Chandra Mohan Garg CSE-2015 Rank-25