Current Affairs is a gargantuan task to cover when we are preparing for UPSC. Usually UPSC aspirants go forward with the fear of not being able to cover every current affair events while going over their vast syllabus. Today, with availability of various newspapers, which has shifted its domain to online news portals as well, news comes right at away within the grasp of our palm without hankering for it.

Online or in print, the importance of newspaper for UPSC cannot be comprehended as it helps one shape his/her opinion as well as get their concepts very clear about any and every issue. Daily reading of English newspaper really enhances your vocabulary. It is advised to read a newspaper like ‘The Hindu’ for an hour at least for pictorial memory helps you grasp facts quicker.

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However, with the urge to read every newspaper for hours all day, we tend to lose our ability to retain the information the proper way. Thus, one can avoid making mistakes of reading newspaper a certain way by doing the following-

  • Always read editorials about recurring issues.
  • While taking down notes from newspaper, keep it simple and short for your understanding.
  • Don’t go after memorizing every name or figures from a news story. You just need to understand the issue, the prominent figures and the people/group involved.
  • When reading an editorial, always take a neutral stand and pick out the advantages and disadvantages of an issue, for example, the abrogation of Article 370. It really helps you develop as many sides of the story as you can bring out with an unbiased opinion.
  • Set a reading time limit for newspapers. You must go over every important issue and not miss out anything while taking down notes.
  • Do not read entertainment news or Page 3 news or any trivial issues.

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What are the topics we should focus on while reading newspaper?

  • Firstly, there are few newspapers which are considered as the Bible for UPSC. The Hindu and Indian Express being two of them.
  • Analyse the newspaper. Divide the sections according to your requirement. Front page includes the main headlines which might include political news, international news, hard news, i.e., news about a natural calamity, manmade disaster , terrorist activities, etc., as well as government schemes, etc.
  • Another way of dividing news can be International, National, and Regional/ Local news. Focus on the national news and then go over other news as UPSC doesn’t focus much on local news unless it’s a recurring issue.
  • The news articles you are reading must include keywords relevant to your syllabus like National Schemes, Environment, Medical sector, Health Policies, Unemployment, Inflation, RBI, Agriculture, Archaeology, Space, Constitutional Amendments, Supreme Court, Geography, Women Empowerment, etc.,
  • Read more editorials from various newspapers. They might seem a lot to read but it helps you build various perspectives for one story.
  • Finance section of the paper is very important. You must first have a detailed understanding of Indian Economy and then go ahead reading this section. Go over issues like fiscal and monetary policy, Inflation and its causes, RBI changing it’s interest rates, industrial production of Indian Economy, Banking sector reforms, Reports of IMF and World Bank about Indian economy, Financial committees formed, investment funds for government schemes, SEBI, agriculture, NASSCOM, ASSOCHAM, GDP, CPI, IIP, etc. Avoid reading details about share market.
  • International News should be about visits of Prime Minister and our President to various places. News about India’s role in reports/publications of International Organizations like UN, ASEAN, BRICS, WHO, etc., Major events in neighbouring countries and how it affects India.
  • News about Supreme Court and High Court verdicts, Parliamentary debates and government orders are to be read thoroughly as well.
  • Don’t go deep into political news but just have a brief knowledge about what and how it has happened.
  • Sports news are to be covered for minimum time
  • News about Science and Technology also to be covered.


How to save time in reading newspaper?

  • Skim through the headlines on the first page.
  • Avoid delving into general or political news. Rather focus on why and how a certain event has occurred.
  • Read the editorial page for 30-40 minutes while taking down points.
  • Spend few minutes over International news, following the same format of finding what and how something has happened.

Read: UPSC 2019 Prelims Detailed Analysis

Effective way to read Newspaper for UPSC

Thus, the easy and effective way of reading a newspaper for UPSC is to just pay attention to topics like International Trade, Bilateral Issues, Polity, Governance, Financial and Socio-Economic Policies, Internal Security, Environment, Science, Technology, Agriculture, Women And Child Rights, Wildlife, Health And Sports. Avoid political, city news or news about petty crimes.  Ideally, reading one newspaper for an hour is advised. With daily reading of newspaper for UPSC preparation, you will also get a grasp over issues that keep coming up and thus you can mark out what is important and what is not easily.

Reading newspaper for UPSC preparation is as important as other stuffs as UPSC asks a lot of question from it. Read newspaper for UPSC everyday.

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