Current Affairs play an important role in UPSC Civil Services Exam preparation as the questions from this section appear in all the stages of the examination- Prelims, Mains and in the Interview. For a detailed analysis of current affairs and its importance in Civil Services Examination.
Most of the candidates preparing for civil services are recommended to read The Hindu newspaper primarily for high standards and comprehensive coverage.
Reading, The Hindu newspaper is a crucial and indispensable part of IAS preparation, however reading the entire newspaper of more than 16 pages, is a daunting task for most of the candidates as it consumes a significant amount of free time especially for the beginners. If you are beginning civil service exam preparation, you may be spending too much time reading the newspapers especially “The Hindu” newspaper.
This article tries to cover all important aspects a candidate should keep in mind while reading The Hindu Newspaper and thereby helping candidates to bring down the time taken to read newspaper considerably.
1. Go through the UPSC Syllabus
- Before you even start reading the newspaper, it is important for a candidate to understand the syllabus of the UPSC prelims and mains examination, so that while reading the newspaper you know what are the important topics to read and what news to cover.
- Initially. Newspaper reading takes time and patience but once you bear through the initial few weeks, it will be a very rewarding activity. You will be able to relate static with dynamic, expect developments in a story and develop a sense of relative importance of a news event.
2. Profound Analysis of the Previous year Question Papers:
Just going through the syllabus isn’t sufficient enough, a candidate should also try to analyze previous year question papers, which would develop his understanding of several aspects of the examination. For instance, the candidate would get to know what are the important topics which are being asked repeatedly in the examination? how many of them are derived from current affairs? how topics of current affairs are linked with the static part of the syllabus and so on. Analysis of the question papers will help the candidate in focusing important topics and avoid the nonessential part of the newspaper which consumes a lot of time.
3. What to read?
Not everything which comes up or mentioned in newspapers is important for UPSC examination’s perspective if a candidate is familiar with the syllabus he would certainly know what to read and what to avoid reading and save time, issues such as, political parties and their conferences, in-depth details on the share market, entertainment columns, sports news unless it’s your hobby and regional news unless the candidate is also preparing for State Public Service examination are not important hence one should not waste time on these issues. Current Affairs is a vast area comprising of current events of national and international importance, government policies and schemes, Indian Economy, latest technologies, bilateral relations between countries, etc. Therefore, reading newspapers keeping the syllabus in mind is recommended to the candidates.
4. Important sections of the Newspaper:
- Front Page
- National News Section
- International news Section
- Opinion and Editorials
- Economics and Business Section
- Science and Agriculture
In general, the front page of the newspaper is important as it usually contains important news, the candidate should read the front page and related news mentioned in the subsequent pages of the newspapers. The City news and regional news pages are not that important as they contain information on local news, however, a candidate should not completely ignore them a quick skimming would suffice. The most important section of the Hindu newspaper is the editorial and the Opinion Pages. Initially, as a beginner when a candidate starts reading newspapers he might find it difficult to comprehend the editorials and opinions expressed and may take more time than required. However, with time slowly candidate will realize which news is important and which are not and would take less time and would be able to read the entire newspaper in very less time.
The Other pages sections such as National and International, Economics and Business and Science and Agriculture should strictly be read keeping the syllabus in mind. For instance:
In the Economy section, news related to the Indian economy, International reports and indices, banking and finance, external sector, inflation, unemployment and poverty, sectors of Indian economy, India and its trade agreement, international economic agencies and multilateral platforms for trade, etc. are important.
In the International News Section, Indian visits- bilateral and multilateral, international organizations, major political events, etc. are important.
In the Science and Technology Section, the latest scientific developments, Indian Space Program, Contribution of Indians to science, biotechnology, communication technologies, etc. are important.
5. Notes making:
- Just reading current affairs is not adequate, it is recommended that a candidate also makes notes out of what he is reading which would help him in revising important topics in less time right before the examination. Other benefits of comprehensive coverage required for UPSC are possible, easy and quick revisions can be done, own analysis of topics and Issue and then making notes aids in answer writing skills, etc.
Some important tips to read Newspapers:
- Newspaper reading takes time and patience but once you bear through the initial few weeks, it will be a very rewarding activity.
- Try to relate static with dynamic, expect developments in a story and develop a sense of relative importance of a news event.
- As an IAS Aspirant, you are required to focus on the underlying theme or issue rather than specific news bytes and try to understand the issue rather than just reading word by word.
- News on issues of socio-economic importance such as education relates issues, health issues, women issues, issues or policies affecting backward sections of the society are important.
- After reading news, do analyze them on your own and try to make your view on that topic. This helps when you are writing the mains. For analysis, the editorial and op-ed page is a must.
- Try to make notes out of what you read subject wise, use pointers, flowcharts, and mind maps in your notes.
- Always Revise your notes periodically to maximize your chances to score more in the examination
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