Newspapers are an important part of UPSC Civil Services preparation since they keep applicants informed about current events across the country and around the world. However, there is a precise manner to read newspapers in order to avoid wasting time. The idea is to read the newspaper in a way that will help you prepare without taking up too much of your time. “The Hindu” and “The Indian Express” are the two best and most recommended newspapers for UPSC preparation.
Before you begin your preparation, get a good understanding of the UPSC curriculum so that you know what is linked to the syllabus and what is not. Exam-relevant articles and editorials should be read solely. When it comes to reading the newspaper, your purpose takes precedence over your curiosity. It’s easy to be enticed to read about a favourite topic or a celebrity highlighted in the newspaper, but this eats up valuable time. Remember that you’re reading the paper in order to pass the UPSC civil services examination. Make notes as and when you read the newspaper. Your notes should be short and to the point.
In most circumstances, you won’t need to go into great detail. You don’t have to recall every name and number that appears in publications about a particular scam, for example. All you need to know is the core problem, the important figures and people involved, the relevant policy/law, and the repercussions for the country and society. Look over the Previous year’s questions, particularly those from the current events area, will offer you an indication of the types of questions that will be asked, allowing you to read more systematically. You do not have to take in all of the information in the newspaper. Just go for reading that’s relevant. Try to organise your reading into categories such as geography, politics, economics, the environment, ecology, science and technology, and so on. This will make it easier for you to take notes and prepare.
Make notes in your own words when taking notes from newspaper articles and editorials. Keep things simple and straightforward. Make your newspaper reading time a priority. Sit at your study table while reading so you don’t miss any important information. When travelling, avoid reading the newspaper. If you don’t have much time, you can read the notes you made from the newspaper while travelling. You can make use of Eduzone IAS’s WACE program to acquire a better idea.
For quick revision, read monthly compilations: Revision is more important than reading heaps upon piles. As a result, revise what you’ve written or saved from news articles on a weekly and monthly basis. Allow extra time for reading editorials: Editorials are an excellent source of inspiration for UPSC Mains answer writing. As a result, give it the attention it needs, and write handwritten notes for editorials. Also, maintain updating them on a regular basis to ensure that you retain the necessary knowledge. When reading editorials, make a list of the positive and negative aspects of a subject. You must include information from a variety of sources. Editorials favour one side or the other depending on the editorial policy of the newspaper. However, when reading and extracting information from them, make sure to consider both sides and take a balanced approach.
Give special attention to the following news
- Policy/schemes/reforms are announced at government press conferences.
- Important bills have been introduced in Parliament.
- You may also see the ruling party’s advertisements, which tout its accomplishments. This will provide you with a list of developmental schemes as well as their benefits. You’ll know which ministry is in charge of which schemes.
- Important Parliamentary debates
- Election-related news, such as the Election Commission’s reforms.
- News on the Constitution, amendments, and other related topics.
- The Supreme Court/High Court verdicts are significant.
- SEBI, Planning Commission, RBI, banking reforms, economic, agricultural, and industrial reforms, and other government press releases
- Business-related news from NASSCOM and ASSOCHAM.
- GDP, CPI, IIP, and other economic indicators the actual number is less relevant than the rationale for it.
- Important national news. Always consider the consequences of an event. For example, if a major train accident occurs, focus on why it occurred and how the government lacks a thorough disaster management plan. You are not need to recall the exact number of deaths.
- Natural disasters are the same way. Read about the geography behind the disasters in this case.
- ISRO-related news, as well as any scientific breakthroughs in the country, are vital.
- A military coup, revolutions, and other major political events in other nations that could have international implications.
- International organisations and their reports/publications, such as the United Nations, ASEAN, WHO, IMF, and others. It’s also worth reading about India’s role in them.
- Visits of the Presidents and the Prime Ministers
- Global warming/climate change news
- Environment and ecology-related news.
- Science and technology news, such as notable scientific breakthroughs.
- News concerning endangered species, species extinction, and so on.
Make use of deep newspaper analysis to prevent missing out of major events and build confidence to prepare for UPSC in a well organised manner. Smart work matters!