Why you should read Newspaper?
Reading newspaper is a very important and indispensable part of UPSC preparation. Since you are deemed to become a civil servant, you should be thorough with the current happenings.
As you read newspapers not only you get to know what is happening in and around you but it also shapes you mentally in how to judge a situation in a holistic manner, analyze a situation and accordingly take an action.
While preparing for civil services examination the importance of newspapers cannot be neglected. Many newspapers starting from the local daily to the Hindustan Times, Indian Express ,Times of India etc. are available in the market but there is a newspaper named “The Hindu” which elaborately and necessarily includes entire news from the dimensions and perspectives of national, international, science and technology, environment, defense, art and culture and its present day significance ,editorials ,opinions ,debates and other issues in a comprehensive manner relevant to UPSC.
What are the Pros in reading newspaper?
Even though completing the full newspaper takes a lot of time but Newspaper helps build an opinion.
For Example: A news article on RBI’s monetary policy is in the newspaper. So as you read through you need to know the followings-
- What was happening before in the policy structure?
- Why it is in news now?
- What can be done further?
When you analyze it, it provides you the clarity of understanding. With the detailed understanding it becomes easy to reflect on your answer writing.
How to read a newspaper?
- Take one standard daily like “The Hindu”.
- Makes notes in 4 separate copies for GS1, GS2, GS3 and GS4.
- GS1: Indian heritage and culture, History and Geography of the world and society.
- GS2: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social justice and international relations.
- GS3: Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management.
- GS4: Ethics, Integrity and aptitude.
- Note down the news article notes from a particular section in the particular copy.
- If you find any topic which you think is going to continue for long, then leave some space to add further developments.
- Index the topics. Sometimes you would have already taken down a note, but you have forgotten what you have written on it previously. So you tend to write it again, wasting time. Hence making an Index is useful for such.
What to read in newspaper?
As you flip through the pages of the newspaper keep these in mind:
Page 1: Here you just glance through the news headlines.
Pages 2 to 6: They usually carry, regional news, state news which can be skipped.
Page 7: This page deals with the nation and hence it is very important. The page majorly includes Supreme Court and High Court verdicts, debates in the Parliament and Government orders etc.
Editorial Page (Mostly on Page 8): This is the most important page of ‘The Hindu’ newspaper from UPSC Exam perspective. Read the two editorials, lead article, letters to editor (as it provides different opinions on one issue)
Perspective Page (Mostly on Page 9): The op-ed page (“opposite the editorial page” or “opinion editorial”) expresses the opinion of authors who draw different perspective on current issues.
Page 10-11: Here a general view of certain news is given on which just a superficial knowledge would do.
Page 12: This page covers topics of relevance from the world and can serve as a useful matter for the International Relations topic.
Pages 13-14: It Focuses on economic trends and issues connected with the Fiscal and Monetary Policy and at times socio-economic issues too (related to women, vulnerable section,education, health etc) which must be focused in-depth.
Sports Page and Life Page: Not much relevant for UPSC CSE.
Not to miss: Thursday’s edition of The Hindu’s Science and Technology covers questions from both prelims and mains examination point of view.
What tips to follow while reading the newspaper?
- Keep the UPSC syllabus in front of you while reading the newspaper which would help you concentrate on areas of importance as mentioned in syllabus. This will make sure that you are not missing out on topics related to your syllabus.
- Analyze the current issues (from the Editorial page and Op-Ed page).
- Focus on Supreme Court, High Court verdicts and Parliamentary Debates.
- Focus on Issues of national and international importance, summits and ministerial meetings, agreements like Paris agreement, bills etc.
- Focus on Government policies, orders, programme and interventions.
- Note down new launch with respect to innovation in science and technology, concept or phenomenon, which has its roots in the static portion.
- Do not focus on political news or political remarks.
- Always focus on issues of national and international importance
- Focus should be on political issues related to Indian Constitution, Legislative and Administrative processes
- With regards to deaths, awards and sports section, just a formal reading will do.
Why not to go beyond hours?
After reading newspaper for 2-3 hours, it feels like you are not able to give time to static portion.You will not realise now.But once you are writing mains, the opinion you had formed months back in analyzing current affairs will shape your answer.Those 2 hours will justify your hardwork of a year.
How to take Notes from the newspaper?
When you read a topic try analyzing it in the these perspectives/dimensions
- Environmental factors.
What are the advantages of buying/subscribing to any good monthly compilation?
When you have already read a newspaper, self-made elaborate notes, then going through the monthly compilation becomes a revision. It will solidify your entire month’s self-made notes. If you find an extra brownie point in the monthly compilation, you can then add that your notes. Secondly watching daily editorial’s ready-made videos by institutes does provide you a frame work of how to analyze a topic but doing it every day, paralyses you. But the question is why to go for self-note making which is so tiring and time taking better to buy a booklet at the end. But No, when you do on your own, it gets printed permanently in your mind. Since Current affairs analysis constitutes 70% part of the mains examination, self-note making helps not only mains but also the preliminary too.
What is the importance of reading the newspaper from both preliminary and mains answer writing point of view?
In preliminary around 40-45 questions are asked form the current happenings.60-75% of mains examination’s portion consist of analytical part of the current affairs you get from reading the newspapers. Students get stressed out with the amount of topics to cover but it is important to learn how to prioritize topics.
How much range of current affairs to cover?
Range is 2018 May to 2019 May for the CSE 2019.
How to search for relevant material or in detail related to current news?
It is always advisable to refer for more details on any current affairs from the government sources. And Press information Bureau(PIB ), Magazines like Yojana and Kurukshetara is the best source to refer to. But how to search.
In the Google search type like this:
Example: Article 370+PIB
Rising petrol prices +The Hindu
You can also add Filters such as 1 week, 1 month, and 1year so that you get detailed news on it for the entire range of past happenings. How to filter your search? Here is a demonstration picture provided:
Can an aspirant succeed in the UPSC exam without reading ‘The Hindu’ newspaper?
The answer is yes. There are always substitutes like magazines, current affairs capsules, mobile apps etc.But at least 1 hour reading of ‘The Hindu’ newspaper daily has multiple benefits. The pictorial memory would be of immense help in Prelims, Mains, and Interview and would improve your vocabulary and communication skills.
What are the usual problems aspirants speak off while reading a newspaper?
People usually complain that Newspaper takes too much time to read for some it takes 2 hours, some 3 hours and for some it takes even 4 hours. At times while reading through the article while coming across the difficult words or concepts one gets distracted, thinking this is too difficult, get bored and feel sleepy.
How to improve English?
- The best way to learn English is by reading English newspaper.
- Book that can supplement your learning is Word power made easy by Norman Lewis.
- Try to speak with mirror or close friends.
- Listening to English news channel.
- Note down the difficult words, write their meanings and once you have learnt the word try to use them in answer writing.
- As you are listening to an English news channel and you come across a word said by the reporter whose meaning you also know, it gives a sense of confidence that yes “I know this word”.This confidence then motivates you to learn even more new words.
- Reading loud will improve pronunciation.
Why is there a need to improve English?
Once you know and understand difficult words and are able to simplify a difficult sentence, it will help in UPSC level of answer delivery. Language is just a medium. How confidently you can perceive things and express them depends entirely on your determination and a challenge taking attitude.
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