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UPSC CSE: IAS Topper Shares Newspapers to Read & How to Prepare Current Affairs

UPSC CSE: IAS Topper Shares Newspapers to Read & How to Prepare Current Affairs

“Most often aspirants can skim through the sports section and make note of only historical achievements or at times when new world records are made,” says IAS Naveen Chandra, UPSC, CSE Topper.

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In general, the habit of reading the newspaper will most certainly hold you in good stead. However, for Civil Service aspirants, regularly reading the newspaper is a non-negotiable ritual. Newspapers are the best source to keep abreast with what is happening around us and help form opinions on world events.

According to Naveen Kumar Chandra, Assistant Collector and Magistrate, Malda district, West Bengal, more than just reading a newspaper, what and how you read it is more important.

He offers the following tips to the aspirants to help maximise their return on time invested in newspapers.

How to Pick Important Articles in a Newspaper?

“Stay focussed,” says Naveen Kumar

 

  • Look Beyond the Headlines

“On the front page of a newspaper you will see various stories. It is important to pick the ones which are of either immediate relevance, some historic significance or headlines that call for some sort of action based on some policies or decisions taken by the government,” he says.

 Do selective reading with political parties. If there is an article about a party proving its strength in the House, you must jot down points on the floor test and understand what and how it functions. This way you can extrapolate and connect various points from a single story and expand your knowledge.

  • Mark Out Relevant Terms

 

 If you are unaware of some terms used in an article, make a note and read up about it. For example, if you come across SAARC, then you must find out what it is, why it came to into being, what it does, etc.

Similarly, there are many organisations which you may have heard of but do not know much about. Making a mental note, or writing it down can help you enhance your knowledge. 

“Such notes can be jotted down in the same place where you have made notes for the International Relations,” suggests Naveen.

How to effectively use newspaper to study.
  • Leave out stories that have only an immediate impact

An article on a new medical college for women may not be of any significance but overall, it can come in handy during the interview stage or while attempting an essay question. “Learn to connect the dots and look at the bigger picture while you read the newspaper,” shares Naveen.

He adds that during he was preparing for the CSE, he read the newspaper from the last page inwards. “Most often aspirants can skim through the sports section and make note of only historical achievements or at times when new world records are made,” says Naveen.

 

  • Learn to Cross-link Data Points

 

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An article on a new medical college for women may not be of any significance but overall, it can come in handy during the interview stage or while attempting an essay question. “Learn to connect the dots and look at the bigger picture while you read the newspaper,” shares Naveen.

He adds that when he was preparing for the CSE, he read the newspaper from the last page inwards. “Most often aspirants can skim through the sports section and make note of only historical achievements or at times when new world records are made,” he remarks.

 

  • New Legal Introductions/Changes

If there is a mention of the possibility of a new Bill or debates on it, you must read about it and make notes. 

“You may be asked to deliberate on whether or not such a law should be passed and what it’s ramifications might be,” says Naveen.

Even if the law is state-specific, make sure you understand what its overall impact might be and understand it in a larger point of view.

“You could also read the blurbs/summary mentioned in the article to help take a call on whether or not the article would be important. With practice, you will be in a position to sift through the clutter,” he points out. 

Also, note that the editorial of any good newspaper is extremely important and you must spend quality time reading and assimilating information from it. “Even on the editorial page, be selective in picking what all you need to spend time reading,” he says.

Naveen Kumar Chandra shares tips on what newspapers are good for prelim preparation.

Pay Attention To:

  • Policies
  • Key concepts
  • Data points (numbers, figures etc. for essay)
  • Facts (these may be asked as statement based questions)
  • News that has the ability or potential to change the course of things
  • News of national or international importance

“When one picks up a newspaper, the number of articles in it can be daunting. However, aspirants do not have to read every single article in it. Once you sift through it, you will, in all likelihood be left with about 8 articles to go through. Giving each article about 10 minutes time will amount to an aspirant spending about 70 to 80 minutes reading the newspaper daily,” he says.

As you progress in your preparation the number of articles and therefore the total time you spend on reading the newspaper will also reduce. 

What Newspapers and Publications to Follow?

1. The Hindu
2. The Indian Express
3. Yojana
4. Kurukshetra
5. Rajya Sabha TV
6. The Big Picture
7. India’s World

With the Commission announcing the dates for the CSE, you must use these tips to improve your preparation.

(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)

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