Which Magazines To Read For UPSC Preparation

Today we will see which magazines or journals to read and how effective are they in preparation of UPSC exam.

Before that, If you have not read my previous post about notes making from the newspaper you can read it here.

So let's begin.

The magazines are published by Government and Non-Government bodies.

Let us look at which magazines are published by Government bodies.

The two prominent magazines are

Yojana and Kurukshetra.

Yojana magazine

Published by Publications Division under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

This magazine gives you deep insights into the matter of current importance. The articles are written by retired or working government officials and subject experts. Because of this, you may come to know about several perspectives, especially when the columns are written by government officials. The facts and figures are reliable. Moreover, the simple language makes these magazines a treat to read.

Although Yojana is sponsored by the government and is an official venture, it is in no way restricted to expressing the government views alone. It attempts to give praise where praise is due and criticize with constructive purpose. Yojana gives different shades of opinion and views on any issue and thereby presents a balanced picture.

The magazine is now published in 13 languages viz. English, Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali, Assamese, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam and Odia.

This is the must-read magazine for Prelims and Main exam preparation.

You can subscribe it online by clicking here.

Kurukshetra magazine

Published by Publications Division under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Whatever we discussed for Yojana magazine more or less the same applies here. The articles written in this magazine is more aimed at experts and researchers. The focus is more on rural and agricultural sectors. You can know more about how the Panchayati Raj System actually works at ground level. To know more about developments in the rural sector this could be the best magazine to read.

This magazine is published in two languages viz. English and Hindi.

This is the must-read magazine for Prelims and Main exam preparation.

You can subscribe it online by clicking here.

Along with these two journals, every ministry publishes its own book to showcase its achievements. The facts and figures or case study mentioned can be used to justify your answer or in an essay.

Just for an example, you can download and read E-book(2018-19) by Ministry of Rural Development by clicking here.

Magazines published by Non Governmental bodies.

These are mainly published by the leading NGOs or the organisations or the trusts or the companies that are working for decades in a particular area.

Let's see which are these magazines and journals.

Down to Earth

Published by Centre for Science and Environment.

Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) is a public interest research and advocacy organisation based in New Delhi.

As the name suggests this magazine focuses on Environmental issues and all the related disciplines. For instance, If a law is passed by the Government impacting natural resources you can find the analysis, pros and cons of each and everything related to particular law impacting humans and the environment.

You can read some articles online on their website downtoearth.org.in

available in English and Hindi language.

You can subscribe to either print or digital or both version of the magazine by clicking Subscribe to Down to Earth

This is the best magazine that highlights the latest environmental issues. If you look at previous papers the questions on climate change, environmental issues, environment and economy are being asked regularly. This is also helpful for covering some topics in Geography optional subject and in GS paper-I. So I suggest you to read this magazine regularly for syllabus related to environment and climate change.

For other reports and books published by CSE click Books.

World focus

World Focus is a premier Indo-centric foreign affairs journal. Today WF is an independent platform for discussion and analysis of International Issues with an Indian perspective. Policy analysts, policy-makers, experts, diplomats, distinguished scholars, decision-makers and persons of eminence write comprehensively and contribute to World Focus each month. World Focus focuses on current affairs, international affairs, economic diplomacy, foreign policy and national security issues. 

This is the best journal in preparation of syllabus on International Relations in GS paper 2 and helpful for those aspirants who have opted for Political Science as an optional because it covers International affairs from Indo - centric perspective.

You can read old issues and subscribe to the magazine by visiting its site


Economic and Political Weekly

Published by Sameeksha Trust, a public charitable trust registered with the office of the Charity Commissioner, Mumbai, India. 

This weekly journal focuses on political, economical and social happenings. The articles are written by subject experts and therefore may be difficult to comprehend on first reading. Though personally I do not recommend it highly, you may go through some articles relating to the syllabus that may help you in your essay preparation.

You can read old issues and subscribe to the magazine by visiting its site



This is published by THE HINDU group fortnightly.

I am not keen to recommend this magazine. But if you find some article relating to your syllabus then you can glance through it. Visit Frontline for more articles.

There are several magazines published by the coaching institutes too.

If you read the newspapers regularly and are making notes on a daily basis, then these magazines may not be of great help but you can glance through them to fill missing news item if you have left out something important.

Let us see how magazines can be effectively used in our preparation.

1. Magazines are a good source of data and information (Hope you know the difference between these two). This can be used to fill the gaps you have in your notes and also to provide historical background. Let me explain you with an example.

Suppose you are reading an article on the issue of merger of banks. In this case, the article would surely provide you with all the information pertaining to the Nationalisation of banks in the 60s - 70s. This would help you to understand the hindsight and current policy of merging of banks in a better way.

2. As the articles are written by subject experts you may get new perspective and points which you might not have thought of.

3. If you come across any case study you can use it in your essay paper.

4. You may revise your basics again.

5. Instead of doing underlines in magazines please write down the material in your notes. Don't forget you need writing practice too and one time reading and again reproducing it in writing helps you to remember and recollect easily.

I hope this post will help you to know the significance of reading magazines.

Happy Reading.

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