The significance of reading the newspaper cannot be ignored for success in the UPSC civil services exam. Besides the standard textbooks, newspapers give important study material for current affairs which is an essential component of the questions asked in the IAS exam. Aspirants should also know that it is not important to read the full newspaper in detail as part of your IAS preparation.
Time suggested for reading the newspaper for IAS exam is just for 1 hour.
What to search for while you read the newspaper for IAS exam?
Under national news
- News related to national importance. At all times focus on the implications of an event. For example, if there is a huge railway mishap, aim on why it happened and the way country is lacking in a comprehensive disaster management plan. You don’t have to actually remember the exact number of deaths. The same criterion is for natural calamities. In this case, do read about the geography behind the calamities.
- News linked with ISRO or any scientific developments in the country are necessary.
- Government press conferences where schemes/policies/ reforms are announced.
- Vital bills in the Parliament.
- You can also look at the advertisements by the ruling party where they jot down their achievements. This will provide a list of the developmental schemes and their provisions. You will understand which ministry deals with what schemes.
- Election-related news such as reforms by the Election Commission.
- Supreme Court/High Court verdicts are essential.
Under international news
- Visits of the Prime Minister as well as the President.
- The treaties and agreements signed on these bilateral visits.
- International organizations like the UN, WHO, IMF, ASEAN, etc. and their reports/publications. India’s role in these organizations should also be read.
- Major political events in different countries that have possible international ramifications like an uprisings, military coup, etc.
Ways to read the newspaper for IAS exam:
- Have a clear idea of the UPSC syllabus before commencing your preparation so that when you sit to read the newspaper, you know what is related to the syllabus.
- Focus only on the exam-relevant articles and editorials.
- Your aim is more important as compared to that of your interest when it comes to reading the newspaper. Remember you are reading the paper with the aim of clearing the UPSC civil services exam.
- Write important points when you read the newspaper. Your notes should be crisp as well as relevant.
- You don’t need to go in-depth in most cases. For instance, you hardly have to remember each and every name and number that figures in articles related to a specific scam. You only have to understand the basic issue, the important figures and people involved, the policy/law connected to it, and the implications of the same for the country and society.
- When you read editorials you must jot down the positive as well as the negative sides to an issue.
- Always classify what you read into different categories like geography, ecology, polity, environment, economics, science and technology, etc. This will assist you make notes as well as ease your preparation.
- When you make notes out of the newspaper articles and editorials, write it in your own words. Keep it simple and also easy to learn.
- Don’t read the newspaper while traveling. You can surely read the notes jotted down out of the newspaper while traveling if you don’t have enough time.
Reading the newspaper will assist you in each and every stage of the UPSC exam, the prelims, the mains as well as the interview. Besides from that, it is also an excellent habit that will go a long way in making you a well-informed, socially aware as well as sensitive human being.