Decoding the News of Use – Art of Reading Newspaper

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Decoding the News of Use – Art of Reading Newspaper

Newspaper analysis is one of the integral parts of UPSC civil services examination journey. Whether it is Prelims, Mains or interview; current affairs acts as weapons in our armory to sail through this journey. However, too much reliance on newspaper may prove to be counterproductive. Aspirants need to efficiently allocate time for newspaper analysis. This skill is acquired over a period of time only with practice and proper guidance. Following are few guidelines which need to be followed while reading a newspaper

  • An aspirant need to understand and internalize the syllabus thoroughly. Initially one can have the printout of syllabus fixed on your study Syllabus acts a filter to discard irrelevant news and find out news of use.
  • Aspirants need to finalize a newspaper to be followed on daily basis. It may be any national newspaper like The Hindu or The Indian One needs to check his / her comfort level with a newspaper before finalizing it. You can read 2 or 3 newspapers for 2-3 days as demo exercise for yourself. Whichever newspaper you are able to comprehend with ease can be selected as reference newspaper to be followed on daily basis.
  • Once the reference newspaper has been finalized, follow it for the entire preparation
  • Be selective while reading the Filter out unnecessary news which does not have relevance to the examination.
  • For all relevant news try to answer 5W, 1H i.e.( What, Why, Where, Whom, When & How). Some of these answers will be hidden in article For other details, use internet, books or any other relevant source.
  • Maintain a database of relevant news. It can be a digital database or a notebook / register with proper index. Prefer to maintain a subject / topic wise database and keep on adding relevant news as and when you read
  • Avoid following the practice of cutting the newspaper article and paste it in your file. You will not be able to revise it later. Rather, analyze the news and write relevant content in your own words
  • Front page and editorial page of newspaper contains most relevant articles. Extra focus is needed while reading such articles.
  • In case of regional articles, be very specific in selecting Strictly follow the syllabus while delving deeper into it. Most of such news are not relevant for UPSC exam
  • If any news (relevant for syllabus) is making headlines on daily basis, do not follow it rigorously on daily basis. E.g. Covid related news need to be analyzed from policy related issues. Avoid reading news related to increase in no of cases / fatalities on daily basis
  • On economy sections, follow important announcements from authorities like Finance Minister, RBI, SEBI
  • As far as International news is concerned, focus on news which may have a direct / indirect impact on India. Avoid news related to internal politics of various countries
  • Avoid
    • sports articles
    • Company specific news unless it is affecting the whole sector
    • Celebrity related news like (actor’s birthday celebration etc)
    • Politically motivated articles (Wherein political parties are involved in blame game etc)
  • If you happen to miss newspaper once in a while, do not try to cover the whole newspaper next day. Rather follow news analysis from some institute’s website like for quick glance of previous days’ news and get back to the

Make newspaper analysis an integral part of your preparation. Newspaper is to be read not only to collect facts and data, but more importantly for an aspirant to understand views and opinions of scholars and experts on various issues of National and International importance, and develop his/her own opinions and views based on it. Questions in your Mains Examination will be opinion based, so you would not be able to answer them effectively if you have not analyzed issues and formed your opinions. However you should remember here that you are here to become a Civil Servant, so your answers in the Mains Examination must look like one that befits a Civil Servant. You should avoid any kind of extreme opinions and views that you may come across while reading newspapers. Always try to be Rational, Objective, Neutral and Apolitical while reading and analyzing the newspapers.

Revisit the notes prepared by you on a regular frequency either monthly or bimonthly. Do not compromise static part of syllabus for sake of current affairs. A right balance of Static & dynamic and revision of same is a sure shot formula to achieve success.

Wishing you all the best and luck from the entire ALCHEMY IAS team. Stay HEALTHY, Stay FOCUSED, Stay STEADY