Reading the newspaper is an integral and indispensable part of UPSC exam preparation. It plays an important role in covering the current affair portion and provides vital study material for this section. The newspaper articles cover the current events of national and international importance, whereas editorials provide insights into the current issues.
It is seen that most of the aspirants end up wasting so much time reading the newspaper and become unable to allocate their limited time to study other portions. But reading the daily newspaper in the right way is easier and consumes less time. Candidates should know that it is not necessary to read the entire newspaper. There is also some news in it which you do not have to focus on.
In this article, we will discuss how to read the newspaper and what to read in it. You can allot one hour for reading the newspaper.
What to read in the newspaper
Before even starting reading the newspaper, the aspirant must go through the UPSC exam syllabus and understand it so that while reading the newspaper, they know about the important topics and news to read. Initially, newspaper reading requires patience and takes time, but once you start reading it daily for a few weeks, it becomes easy for you to cover it in less time.
As we know, the Current affair is a vast area to cover. Not everything given in the newspaper is important for covering the current affairs for UPSC exam preparation. If a candidate is familiar with topics in the syllabus, he would certainly know what to avoid reading.
Important sections of the newspaper
Among the newspapers, most of the candidates read ‘The Hindu‘ newspaper, primarily for its high standard and comprehensive coverage. The best way to cover it is to divide it into sections.
- National News section.
- International news section.
- Editorial section.
- Economics and Business section.
- Science and Technology section.
Usually, Frontpage of the newspaper contains the majority of the important news. Identify the headline related to your syllabus. Some news on the front page is continued on the subsequent pages of the newspaper.
To cover the National news always focuses on news related to development in the country, new policies, schemes, reforms announced in the country, scientific news, geographical news, disaster management plan, natural calamities, etc.
To cover current affairs under the polity section, put more attention on important verdicts of the Supreme Court and High Court, government press conferences, development schemes, news related to the Constitution, important bills introduced in the parliament, parliamentary debates, etc. Do not focus on press conferences by political parties or debates between the political parties.
The Editorial section is the most crucial part to read for the examination. The articles on this page are written by eminent personalities and experienced people knowing the topics. It helps the aspirants in building opinions about a particular topic. However, do not follow the political ideology while reading. Candidates can objectively analyze the given information and then build their opinion.
Under the International news section, you can read about India’s bilateral & multilateral relations, treaties and agreements signed, visits of President and Prime Minister, news related to international organizations like UN, WHO, ASEAN, important reports and publications, etc.
To cover the Economic current affairs, read the news related to RBI, banking reforms, industrial reforms, International reports and indices, reforms in the agriculture sector, core industries, India and its trade agreement, government press release related to SEBI, NITI Aayog, Planning commission. Also, focus on economic indicators like GDP, IIP, CPI, etc., and factors that affect these indicators.
For Science and technology section, read about the Indian space program, biotechnology, news related to the environment, ecology, climate change news, global warming, and major developments in science & technology. Avoid all the entertainment news, and masala news items.
Important points that help to read the newspaper
- Have a clear understanding of the UPSC exam syllabus before starting the exam preparation so that while reading the newspaper, you can relate the news to your syllabus.
- Mark the headlines of exam-relevant topics in the newspaper before start reading it. Marking the topic helps you to pay more attention to the only relevant article.
- Many toppers suggest making self-notes while reading the newspaper, as it helps during the time of revision. So, try to make the notes subject-wise when you’re reading it.
- Initially, when the candidates start reading the editorial, they might find it difficult to comprehend the editorial. But, with time, they start understanding it. So, have patience and take time to read them in the beginning.
- The editorial section of the newspaper helps you in mains answer writing. So, after reading the editorial, do analyze it and try to make your opinion and views on it. The best way to build an opinion is to note down the positive and negative sides of an issue in the editorial.
Reading the newspaper daily will help you in all the stages of the UPSC exam – Prelims, Mains, and Interview. To cover the current affairs of national and international importance, you must also read the Magazines like Yojna, Press Information Bureau, PRS India, and websites of various ministries, along with the newspaper. I hope this article helps you in your exam preparation.