Reading newspapers is an integral part of a UPSC CSE aspirant’s daily routine. Newspapers are not only important for UPSC Preliminary examination but also for the Main examination and Interview. Candidates preparing for any competitive exams, be it PSC, SSC or any other bank exams, should be well aware of the current happening in India and the world.
Every competitive exam has a different exam pattern, and the nature of questions vary. Competitive exams like SSC and bank exams mostly focus on factual questions, for e.g., when is the national milk day celebrated, names of important books in the news, when was a particular scheme launched etc. On the other hand, UPSC Civil Services Examination questions are mostly analytical in nature. Therefore, candidates should change their preparation strategy based on the nature of the examination.
Right Way to Read Newspapers for UPSC CSE
Candidates preparing for CSE must first understand the UPSC Preliminary and Main examination pattern by going through the UPSC CSE Syllabus and previous years’ question papers. After going through these resources, candidates will get an idea of the nature of questions asked in the UPSC CSE exam. Based on the requirements of the CSE examination, candidates should read selected newspaper articles. Candidates should focus on the following topics while reading a newspaper.
- Important Acts passed by the government
- Important places, historical sites etc., in the news both in India and the world
- Important national parks, flora and fauna etc., in news
- Information pertaining to the environment, climate change, ecology etc.
- New inventions and discoveries, and other relevant science and technology related news. E.g., Metaverse, 5G etc.
- Government schemes and missions
- International organisations
- Important treaties and agreements between countries etc.
- Inflation, recession, monetary and fiscal policy, public debt, exports and imports, the balance of payments, budget etc.
Points to Remember: How to Read Newspapers for the IAS Exam?
Candidates should remember the following while reading a newspaper.
- Aspirants don’t have to read the entire newspaper. Candidates should mainly focus on the topics mentioned above.
- Candidates should look for UPSC CSE relevant information while reading a newspaper. Initially, it may be difficult to find out what is important, but if CSE aspirants have gone through the Syllabus and previous years’ question papers, then they will have a better understanding of the type of questions asked in the exam.
- Aspirants should not spend too much time reading newspapers. Candidates should be able to finish reading the newspaper in 1.5-2 hours. Initially, it may be a time-consuming process, but over a period of time, candidates should be able to finish reading the newspaper in less than 2 hours (including making relevant notes).
- In order to understand some of the topics given in the newspaper, candidates can use NCERT textbooks. For e.g., geographical features of India, viruses, national income, inflation, greenhouse gases and other pollutants etc., are comprehensively covered in NCERT textbooks.
Candidates should remember that factual and analytical information, which are equally important for different stages of the UPSC Civil Services Exam. For example, UPSC may not directly ask about important dates and days, but questions related to the relevance of a particular day in the current times can be expected. If CSE aspirants, especially working professionals, don’t get time to read newspapers, they can make use of the monthly current affairs compilations published by institutes on their websites. However, the current affairs summary is not a substitute for newspapers.
It is important that UPSC CSE aspirants develop the habit of reading newspapers. It will help them in forming an opinion and get a perspective on various issues, which is essential for UPSC CSE.