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As promised in my earlier post, today we will see how to read newspaper, especially for UPSC Civil Services Exam.
The post will be in Question and Answer format so that once you finish this reading you may not have any doubts.
Which newspaper should I begin with?
Any newspaper which is easily available. Nowadays all newspapers are available either online or have their own apps.
When I checked several portals and sites, why it was suggested that civil service aspirants need to read 'THE HINDU' newspaper?
You have read it correctly. You must read THE HINDU newspaper but it does not mean that other newspapers are not useful. Because as a civil service aspirant you must read views along with the news. Even layman reads the news but for exam preparation, views given by experts are also more important.
Why 'THE HINDU' newspaper is strongly advised for civil service aspirants ?
Traditionally, THE HINDU has been newspaper for class rather than mass. You will be surprised to know that the majority of Indians do not know that newspaper with such name exists.
In this newspaper, the current happenings are explained in a detailed manner; you will also find domain experts writing articles on their subject of study. Moreover, the editorial column rarely supports the majority views. What I mean to say is that you would find many such points about the particular news item that are not mentioned or covered by other newspapers. So if you want to find critical points to some ongoing issue you may find them in this newspaper. This is one of the qualities that civil servants may need when they are involved in the policymaking process. Unless you have critical views, your policy may bound to fail.
Can you please elaborate with some example ?
Let's take current situation where India - China relations are not in good terms. It is considered that uninstalling mobile apps by Chinese companies will put some pressure on the Chinese economy. You may have received such a message. Superficially, it seems correct but we must not forget that Indian apps have received huge investment from Chinese companies and in our day to day life we are more dependent on these Indian apps rather than native Chinese apps. What I mean to say civil service aspirants need to go beyond the superficial things and need to analyse them in the proper context. Different perspectives given by experts would help you to analyse. You will rarely find such 'other perspective' in newspapers other than 'THE HINDU'. More important, this analytical ability would help you in the Personality Test.
Now I understood why I should read 'THE HINDU'. But I felt reading it very boring and its vocabulary is quite difficult to understand. Is there any other option?
When you start reading it, in the beginning, you may feel boring because you don't understand the things in the first reading. If you are not habitual to read any newspaper in the English language I suggest you to start with
INDIAN EXPRESS and THE TIMES OF INDIA. Why?
Among all the newspapers in the English language, you will find that language and vocabulary used in these newspapers is easier because these papers have greater reach and are for a layman. Once you get into the habit of reading, you can start with 'THE HINDU'.
What should I read in any newspaper?
This is the million dollar question...
Whenever you read any newspaper, you must keep a copy of syllabus alongside. This syllabus copy will guide you what to skip and what to read.
Can you please elaborate further?
Ok..Let's make to do list what to read and what to skip.
What to read...
Editorial / Opinion pages.
All the decisions taken by the government.
Any amendments in law or acts passed by Parliament and Acts passed by Legislative assembly of any state.
Judgements /Verdicts/ Observations by Supreme court or High Courts.
Recommendations or suggestions by any committees.
News related to Constitutional Authorities like Election Commission, Finance Commission, CAG findings etc...
Any Administrative reforms.
Findings of any Surveys/Studies/Project published by any Govt body or reputed Non-Govt body.
Issues or terms related to economy, finance.
Any discovery or invention in Science and Technology sector.
News related to Global Climate change and Environment. Effect on any wildlife species, changes in biodiversity etc...
What to skip..
Political news...rallies....who left the party...statements done by any political party..
Celebrity news...which movie is releasing...entertainment news..in short, page 3 news or masala news..
Regional news that are not related to your syllabus.
The above list is indicative only. Once you start reading newspaper and relate it with the syllabus, you yourself will become expert in a short time what to read and what to skip.
You can read items mentioned in what to skip when you want some break in studies...At least you can improve your vocabulary to some extent...
Is it true that one should dedicate 4-5 hours daily to read newspapers?
It depends on two things. Your reading speed and the content.
In the beginning, it may take more time. As you progress, you will know what to read and what to skip, you will improve your speed of reading and in a few months, you won't take more than 2 hours including taking notes.
How to prepare notes from Newspaper?
I will discuss this in detail in my further posts.
Is it necessary to read a newspaper, when there are several magazines available?
This is the common query asked by many aspirants. One thing you should understand, newspapers give you current happenings in current time while the magazines give you the record of events that already had occurred. You can read magazines to supplement your notes and to revise the news.
Which magazines should I read?
I will discuss this in detail in my further posts.
I am from a rural area and the newspapers are not available at my place. Where can I read these papers?
You can follow their website or download their apps. For your convenience, you can bookmark the following links.
I hope you may have got answers to your queries after reading this post.
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