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HOW TO READ A NEWSPAPER FOR IAS EXAM

IMPORTANCE OF NEWSPAPER

Which is the most informative newspaper from the candidate's point of view? An ideal newspaper which provides the updated information of current affairs, latest developments and detailed analysis of the International events of importance like treaties, legal updates and Technology Innovations. In order to get the most out of the newspaper, the candidates are advised to have the insight into the editorial sections of the paper as it provides the most comprehensive coverage of important topics for the IAS exam. Besides the current affairs, there are special sections dedicated to various topics such as Politics, Economy and Environmental and Ecology besides others. Some of the major advantages of reading a newspaper are :
It acts as a hallmark of success in the preparation of the UPSC examination. The newspaper acts to cover the crucial issues in all dimensions like national, international science & technology etc. The daily newspaper is always one of the integral preparatory strategy adopted by every UPSC aspirant. It serves the following important purposes:
  • An important source of topics of national concern
  • Provides one with exposure on regional news which though are not extremely important yet it provides one with an overview.
  • Information on major High court verdicts and Parliamentary Debates
  • Acts as a source of Focus on trends, growth parameters and issues. Also provides in-depth analysis of issues related to  Fiscal and Monetary Policies
  • Detailed of issues related to women, education or health.
 
SOME OF THE NOT SO IMPORTANT NEWS FROM UPSC EXAM PERSPECTIVE
 
  • Local News
  • Political News unless they are related to Treaties and Government Policies
  • Gossip News such Bollywood news.
  • Sport Titles and Awards
 
A newspaper covers wide array of topics ranging from Geography, International Relations, Socio-Political News, Business, Financial News and current affairs.It is a matter of utmost to understand how to read the newspaper to garner the best and the most optimum results. Below we cover the strategy of how to study the subjects from the exam's prospective:
 
1.GEOGRAPHY
 
a) One must go through the syllabus carefully and sift the related keywords that are of prime importance
b) Editorials must be gone through in great detail especially related to important inter-regional issues
c) The candidate should be able to extract important points on topics such as federal structure and power distribution among union and states.
d) The previous years IAS papers should be strictly referred to and solved for extended practice. The candidate should determine the pattern based on the type of questions repeated again every year and pay importance to those topics.
e) Topics such as Indian Geographical mappings like rivers, mountains and gorges which require knowledge that can be gained through Atlas. Also, the changes in the economy along with the change in the climatic pattern is of utmost importance.
 
2.International Relations Topics
 
Some of the integral topics  to be considered while preparing on topics of International Relations  are:
i) International Treaties 
ii) Global Issues
iii) Bilateral and Multilateral Issues
iv) Foreign Policy
v) International Institutes of Repute
 
Read the newspaper for International Relations
 
i) Stress on the whole rather than on the part i.e The examination is designed in such as a way that it evaluates the candidate for his in-depth understanding of the topic. Understand the who, what and why dynamics of the important topics.
 
ii) Have an in-depth understanding of the important events in the editorial section of the newspaper. Most crucial and important points are usually picked up from the editorial section of the newspaper.
 
iii) The candidate should have an inquisitive desire to know the chain of related issues which eventually led to the event. From the perspective of the exam, one should understand the WHAT, WHY AND HOW of the event?
 
iv) One should have a strong foundation of the best books on the Foreign policies by going through a in-depth study. It is vital to go through some elaborative and exhaustive books on the subject such as Pax India by Shashi Tharoor before starting the newspaper. The main topics of interest are:
a) India and Neighbours
b) Indo-US Relations
c) Indo-Russian Relations
d) Indo-China Relations
e) Arab World and the rest of Asia
f) Europe, Africa and Latin America
 
v) One should have the will to plan and execute. The candidate needs to extract the essence of the topic of study and try to be as close as possible. With so much information available from a variety of sources it is much needed from the candidate to streamline the scattered information for the logical response. 
 
3. Business Section
 
After the in-depth study of the Hindu editorial, move to the Business section for important updates in ratios and figures for prelims and guidelines or reforms in the economy for IAS Mains. It often comes with SEBI guidelines, RBI recommendations which can be noted to add factual value to your IAS Preparation.
 
Lastly, do a cursory reading of the national and international page to note only the topics or happenings frequently stated in the paper and then backtrack the issue to study it in detail from all perspectives.
One more vital know how is to identify where to focus within special editions and how to utilise it in coherence with the IAS preparation. Here, we have provided a table with all the sections to focus on while going through special edition sections and also how it will help you enhance your notes.
Day
 
IMPORTANT POINTS OF READING A NEWSPAPER FOR IAS EXAM
 
To have the most gained from the newspaper, it is vital to note the following
 
i) Avoid making detailed notes of the newspaper as it is not effective and moreover is a time consuming process
 
ii) Highlighting important points is of importance .
 
iii) There are online software which can aid the candidate to make notes free of cost.
 
iv) Make notes on the various topics of the exam including Polity & Governance, Issues related to Health & Education, Economy. Ensure that you categorize  Current Affairs Analysis using the same categories. These categories cover every topic of Prelims & Mains
 
v) It is a great idea to put every news under its appropriate category. With the accumulation of notes with time and the notes in the systematic way, it becomes easier to revise notes as the exam approaches.
 
The newspaper, an important source of current affairs is an integral entity in all the three stages of Civil services examination viz. Prelims, Mains and Interview. Review of the previous year exam papers reveal:
 
i) Sudden increase in the current affairs questions in the Preliminary
ii) The General Studies Papers in the Mains also expects a candidate to have a command of current affairs
iii) The Mains General Studies -I also requires a good reading of current affairs.
iv) The habit of newspaper reading  helps tremendously in the comprehension section of CSAT
V) Lastly, the current issues hold tremendous importance in the Interview/Personality Test.
 
NOTE: One can evaluate from the above that one cannot afford to take newspaper reading lightly as it covers the current affairs at every stage of the exam.
 
Newspaper Reading: Inevitable Part
 
The detailed importance of current affairs through the reading of the newspaper has been covered in the aforesaid paragraph. Thus it can be concluded without a doubt that the newspaper forms an inevitable routine in the daily reparation strategy of an IAS aspirant.
With a range of newspapers in the market one has to select them on the basis of the following parameters:
 
a) Cover the National and International news in detail. Local news holds absolutely negligible importance in UPSC exam.
 
b) Encompass news from a variety of spheres such as Political, socio-Economic and scientific.
 
c) English newspapers are usually more exhaustive in nature as compared to others. Even the students who are keen to appear the exam in Hindi or any regional language are advised to subscribe to one English daily besides the regional newspapers.
 
d) Read newspaper daily and make notes accordingly. The habit of making notes come in handy as the exam approaches.
 
We believe adhering to one newspaper is good enough for a thorough preparation of current affairs, but taking into consideration the diversity of topics and if time permits one can refer to two newspapers.
 
We advise all the IAS aspirants to ensure that you are selecting an authentic newspaper for your current affairs. 
 
METHOD OF READING THE NEWSPAPER FOR IAS EXAM
 
Before the preparation of any competitive examination like IAS, one needs to go through the syllabus in detail a couple of times to understand the topics that one needs to cover from the examination point of view. It not only helps you get geared up for the preparation of the exam but also enables you to select the appropriate newspaper.
 
Some of the key points are:
 
a) Underline the specific information considered important .
b) Ensure that you find an answer to all the difficult questions or the ones that are hard to understand.
c) Omit the pages or topics that cover local news or sports news as they are not integral  to the exam. Browse the first page of the newspaper for political news. One should just overview the headlines and important quotes and not go in detail. 
d) Though the main topics in editorials vary and covers a wider range yet they have abundance information for building the much necessary opinions.
e) Ensure that the page on important policies and decisions are thoroughly read in the NATIONAL PAGE.
 
While the Economy page covers in detail the  news related to various aspects of Indian Economy and its interaction with the world, the pages dedicated to  Science and Technology coverage as it covers many questions both in prelims and in mains exam as well.
 
AN EXAMPLE OF EFFECTIVE READING OF NEWSPAPER FOR IAS EXAM (WITH HINDU AS THE BASIS FOR REFERENCE)
 
1. MONDAY 
 
BUSINESS SECTION: Throws light on various aspects of Economy and the current affairs associated with it
 
2. TUESDAY
 
Focus on Editorial section which helps the individuals to develop an independent viewpoint on various topics, the trait which is essential in all stages of the CSE exam
 
3. THURSDAY
 
Pay special attention to the page on Science and Technology which can provide you with important insights to the developments and progress in the field of Technology. The candidate should make notes on categories like IT, Space Technology and Genetics. Also, some of the important progressive breakthroughs in the agricultural practices that can turn out to be helpful for the farmers are worth remembering.
 
4. FRIDAY
 
Important topics on Art and Culture are elaborated in the Friday section. It covers in detail the current issues pertaining to traditions, art forms and also personalities relating to Indian culture and history.
 
5. SUNDAY
 
The ethics paper of the UPSC examination can use 'THE LIFE' page as a reference for the effective preparation. Also, it is an integral source of motivation for the IAS candidate.

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