1. Newspapers are an indispensable tool for the preparations of civil servicesexaminations. A newspaper generally contains information about different issues and topics. Many of these issues may or not be as relevant for the civil services preparation. So it is really important to cultivate a mature newspaper reading habit and to develop the style of selective reading. However, before this, it is really important to go through the syllabus of UPSC exams thoroughly.
2. The sections of the daily newspapers that should be focused on are the different news sections such as - National, International, Economy, Science and Technology, sports, etc., and the most important one is the editorial section.
3. Editorials are typically published on a page dedicated to the editorial section where there is an article by the editor or any other senior journalist from the publication.
4. The main aim of the Editorials is at tackling recent events and issues by trying to take viewpoints from all aspects and formulating an opinion based on objective analysis of the given situation. The purpose of an editorial page or section is to provide an analysis of the news which seeks to persuade readers to think more deeply about current events. Therefore, one can form their opinion about a given situation based upon such analysis. Editorials are mostly neutral but sometimes they may also feature personal views of the editor. Reading editorials can provide an important UPSC insight into how decision-making can be influenced by public opinion.
5. However, it is very important to understand that as the editorials are biased towards one opinion, so, one has to identify the points carefully, both for the topic and against it. Recognizing both pros and cons will help in the qualitative answer that can be framed in the Mains examination.
6. While reading the newspapers it is very important to make notes as a part of your preparations.
1. More than one hour should not be spent with the newspaper.
2. Remember, it is important that civil services exam does not bother about the political tussles and non-decisive debates so one should not spend much time going through them but should go through articles and news relating to the political developments of the working of different parties and groups.
3. There is a plethora of information in the newspapers. One should focus on the following from UPSC point of view
4. Categorize and divide the news or issues into a few categories like Environment & Biodiversity, International Relations, Personalities & Awards, Government Policies & Schemes, Economic Policies, Science and Technology, International Organizations, Health and Medicine, Miscellaneous, etc.
5. Focus on the issue and not the news. For e.g. - If a minister has been arrested so instead of reading who is removed or what did he do or when was he removed, focus on " How a minister can be arrested", "What provisions are there in the Indian Constitution for arresting a minister" and "What effects it can have on the nation or people", etc.
6. You should properly identify social issues or challenges that are faced by society and understand the pros and cons and also make notes of the incidents related to the topics that have occurred recently. You can quote them to substantiate your point. E.g.- moral policing, caste riots, restriction on freedom of speech, etc.
7. Identify Government policies, schemes, geographical issues, RBI's policy initiatives, and orders, etc. Make notes on the issue being discussed in the Government by the departments/ministries, understanding the pros and cons of the issue e.g. linking rivers, water conservation, etc.
8. You should make notes on the objectives of the policy, Ministry /department under which it operates, special features of the policy and who are the members involved (If it’s an organization .e.g. Inter-State council)
9. Focus and make notes on Supreme Court and High Court verdicts such as any judgment or ruling /remark by the Supreme Court or the High Court is important. Also, understanding the significance in the syllabus of the judgment noted down by you and finding its relation with subjects like Economics, Polity, Geography, and History.
1. Reading news related to electoral reforms, judicial reform or political reform, country's social and economic indicators like GDP, Inflation, Poverty, flood, drought, monsoon conditions. Issues or problems between states, analysis of govt. policies etc are important for the preparation of the UPSC exams.
2. Read that news that are of Issues of national and international importance how this news and events have significant importance for the country.
3. While reading the editorial, it is important for you to identify the issues first and then figure out the points that are in favor or against it.
4. Under General knowledge (GK), you should focus on issues related to the environment and biodiversity, endangered species, news related cultural and heritage such as the conduct of national programmers and events, GI Tags, addition to UNESCO heritage site, etc., and news related to science and technology.
5. Give extra time for reading editorials as they are an extremely important source for taking inspiration for answering questions for UPSC Mains. Therefore, give it the time it deserves, for editorials, you should make handwritten notes. And keep revising them regularly to retain the relevant information. Remember revision is more important than just simply reading.
6. While reading the editorial, it is important for you to identify the issues first and then figure out the points that are in favor or against it. Along with handwritten notes, make digital notes and save them on your device for quick reference.
7. Last but not the least, for more information, just don't rely on newspapers only but surf the internet and gather more information about the topics of importance.