When you are preparing for civil services exam everyone would be asking you to read the newspaper. So every aspirant would buy one and open it on an early morning. However, the aspirant would start to see for some important news in the country and would jump to their favourite section in the newspaper. It could be Politics or Sports or Entertainments. Here Let us see on How to read Newspaper for UPSC Civil Services Exam.
Newspaper vs Current Affairs material
Let me start from the very basic question. Should we have to read newspaper for UPSC Civil Services Exam? Current affairs are mandatory for Civil Services exam but can’t the current affairs be studied from any sources like Learning Space, Vision or Insights?
Each and every IAS Academies provide some current affairs materials. I would recommend you to be reading any one of them mandatory. Anyhow, it can’t replace reading newspaper instead it can only be a supplement. Like Whey proteins are just a supplement whereas Rice or Wheat would be your main Food.
Yes, like rice, wheat and other staple foods newspaper are very essential for UPSC preparation. As many of the aspirants are from a rural background and state board schools they may need a better practice with basic English to understand questions and answer it. The English Newspaper would help them for vocabulary and lucid language usage.
Short Answer: Newspaper + Any Current Affairs Material
Which Newspaper is better?
Usually, all aspirants and academies would recommend The Hindu. I would do the same as they have some left leniency. If you are looking for some alternative you can also prefer Indian Express as their news would be more elaborate and detail.
Short Answer: The Hindu
Which Current Affairs Material is better?
Every materials take notes from the newspaper and so more or less all are some. But when some materials provide better background and more details and terminologies about a news it would be very easy for aspirants to learn in faster way.
In my experience, I would recommend you to go for Learning Space Digital (I’m not affiliated with this team). His explanation on basic terms will be so good. Insights daily current affairs are not so recommended but their yearly compilation will be useful. Vision’s monthly current affairs will be more elaborative for prelims and more factual. Fast readers may opt for that.
Short Answer: Learning Space if you are good at watching videos. Vision Monthly current affairs if you are good at reading.
How to Read Newspaper for UPSC
- Read the UPSC syllabus before starting your preparation. This will make you know which are all the topics to read and what to skip.
- Read Previous Year Question Papers at least once if you are new to the preparation. This would enrich you on how to make points and what are all the points to note and what are all the points that UPSC doesn’t care about. Eg: If you have gone through TNPSC Question paper you would have understand that they would give importance to the date of the news even. But UPSC is concerned more about the concept. You could get that grasp only if you read previous year question papers.
- The goal is more important than your interest in UPSC preparation. You may be lured by some news which is not related to UPSC. But never divert from your attention. Else you would lose your precious time in it.
- Always make notes. Never just leave a point if you think is important. Your revision will get easier and you can add more points when you are writing mock test and learning more from it. So never ever skip this crucial part.
- You don’t have to go in-depth in most cases. For example, you don’t have to remember every name and number that figures in articles related to a particular scam. You only have to understand the basic problem, the key figures and people involved, the policy/law related to it, and the implications of the same for the country and society.
- When you read editorials you must note down the positive and the negative sides to an issue. You must include points from multiple perspectives. Editorials tend to prefer a particular side depending on the newspaper management’s tilt. But when you read and extract material from them, make sure to incorporate both points of view and have a balanced approach.
- Try to classify what you read into categories like geography, polity, economics, environment, ecology, science and technology, etc. This will help you make notes and also ease your preparation.
- When you make notes out of the newspaper articles and editorials, write in your own words. Keep it simple and easy to learn.
- Be serious about your newspaper reading time. Sit at your study table while reading, so that you don’t miss out on any vital news. Avoid reading the newspaper while travelling. You can definitely read the notes made out of the newspaper while travelling if you lack time.
- Check out the daily updated BYJU’S comprehensive daily news analysis in the link below.
Topics to note
- Any Bill in LokSabha or Rajya Sabha
- Any news related to Amendments and Constitution and Laws like section 66A.
- When policies, schemes and small changes in schemes are announced.
- Any special events like Election, Dismissal of MLAs, MPs.
- Every ministry is giving their ads about their achievements. you could take notes on it as the government is very proud of it.
- News related to the Constitution, amendments, etc.
- Supreme Court/High Court verdicts are important.
- Announcements from RBI, SEBI, NITI Aayog, RBI, banking reforms, reforms in the economy, agriculture, industry, etc.
- Indicators like GDP, CPI, IIP, etc. Previously you need not memorize these figures but now it is recommended to memorize these things as you can use it both in prelims and mains.
Science and Technology
- ISRO, DRDO tends to discover something new of world-class. If it is indigenously built submarine or warcraft carrier or fighter jets it is very important to note from where it is built and what are its classes.
- The location where the Prime Minister or President pays a visit. It may be a temple or a monumental place.
- The treaties and agreements signed on bilateral and multilateral ties.
- International organisations like the UN, WTO, IMF, WB, WHO etc. and their reports/publications. India’s role in them should also be read.
- Regional Organisations like BIMSTEC, ASEAN, the European Union, USMCA, etc
- Major political events in other countries that have possible international ramifications like human rights violation in Srilanka, Myanmar and military coup etc.
Environment and Ecology
- Any new species being found with special characters
- Effects of global warming
- Any news about endangered species or any species that are becoming extinct in wild
News to avoid for UPSC exam preparation
- All entertainment news.
- Sports news. You can read it if you are specifying it as your hobby in DAF. If a ministry is developing sports in the nation it should be noted. Eg: National Sports Talent Search Scheme.
- Press conferences by political persons on merely political issues
- Who won in the by-elections, etc.
- Any scam reports without proof and just being the pending case.
- Regional news can be avoided. Just know about your state and city and any common problem like untreated sewage exposure or incidents that happened in bellandur lake and ulsoor lake. /it would be helpful in Interview but not in Prelims.
Maintaining Note Books
It is better to hold notes for prelims and mains. Prelims notes can go by date. So a single note is enough for all subjects. For Mains, you can separate by subjects. Classify according to General Studies Paper. This will be useful for last-minute revision.
Right Time to Read Newspaper
Right time for each would differ. It depends on your active hours and your interest in reading. Some aspirants take newspaper in the morning and will finish it in an hour or two, which is very healthy reading. Some aspirants take newspaper in the morning and would struggle to read the editorials upto afternoon. Would waste more than half a day in reading newspaper.
If you belong to such category start reading newspaper by evening and have a strict time schedule by keeping alarm and try to skipmany news and just grab important news.
Reason for the delay
The main reason for delay would be because of googling each and every information and getting diverted from that. To avoid such things avoid google. just read the entire newspaper and have some extra time just for googling and finding more details. Be strict about that time too. just fix I will be googling for an hour and not more than that. Even if you skip something you can catch it from Learning Space or Vision IAS.
Hope now you know How to read Newspaper for UPSC Civil Services Exam. you can also refer to some of our content: 25 Concentration Techniques for UPSC Preparation