The Hindu Newspaper: How and What to study in it
The Hindu Newspaper: How and What to study in it
Now that you have taken one of the toughest decision of your life which is to prepare for “Civil Services Examination” conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). This examination is more of a process than an examination and one must be ready for all sorts of obstacles while going through this fanciful yet mystic journey. As we all know, some ingredients are essential for any successful journey and further as the saying goes there is one secret ingredient for every successful journey. Unfortunately, Civil Services journey is full of such ingredients however some basic minimum is followed by most of the aspirants which is “THE HINDU NEWSPAPER”.
Why read The Hindu; Not any other newspaper for government Examinations?
The answer is very simple, because it has a long history of journalism therefore they maintain the balance of objectivity and subjectivity while reporting any issue (social, political, cultural etc.). Secondly, UPSC has been asking questions in prelims, mains, interviews which can be traced back to this newspaper. Thirdly, editorials are not very long and less biased in the newer The Hindu edition. Lastly, most of the bureaucrats in our country read this paper therefore its important common source for all.
The 2nd most basic question arises among freshers is how/what to read in the newspaper?
Get a hold of 2 weeks of “The Hindu” Newspaper then put don’t put all of them at the table because you won’t read it that way, actually pressure never works except for some people. Take a copy of syllabus and if possible memories it first in broad terms. For first 2 days just read and reread the syllabus the syllabus and finally write it in your notebook in short forms like 40-50 words for example: ( Art & Culture, History: Ancient, Medieval, Modern, World, Geography: India, World and so on..) Now that you know the syllabus, you have the tool to operate on the newspaper.
Steps to read The Hindu: DO’s
- Take a look the Front Page, Mark the news items/Articles, which are directly or Indirectly related to CSE syllabus.
- Go to the last page; here mostly Prelims related stuff can be found such as some scientific, biological, historical factual information. Mark such news items.
- Leave the sports section and jump to the Business Page, mark the news items by taking help of syllabus, always remember CSE syllabus is the only tool to judge any news item as important or not from UPSC perspective.
- Now, keep marking like this till you reach regional section.
- From page number 5 to page number 2 you might be getting 2-3 important incidents daily which are important for mains and you may write them and for humanities people this information is very relevant to score good in optionals.
- Opinion must be read from the perspective and the context and not consider them as the only truth or for that matter completely true. This applies in case of subjective articles/opinions.
- Stay away from political news, slugfests, election news.
- The hindu articles of philosophical underpinnings are not relevant for this examination.
- Book reviews
What kinds of points must be noted in your notebook:
- Reports (Global: IMF,WB,WHO,UN,NGO,WEF, etc.) and National(Think Tanks,Niti Aayog, RBI, Ministries, Government at all the 3 level, NGO etc. ); who published it, for what purpose and its possible impact for India and the world.
- Reports on Issues such as : Poverty, Unemployment, Climate Change, Gender, Socio-economic issues.
- Factual information for prelims related to science and technology and Environment.
- Any data and future prospectus for syllabus related topics.
- Government Schemes, Initiatives, Projects.
- Report of government appointed committees, RBI announcements
Now that you know these steps, only required ingredient is consistency and hard work. There is always the tendency of why not smart work than hard work and read some “Bana-Banaya” Notes of any institutions. There is no harm in that but there is a problem of reading anything and everything unless you are done with the syllabus and the self study for at least a month. Therefore, continue this hard work for at least 1 month and excluding those 14 days old papers. Thus total 44 days of self made notes must be there with you.
Learnings from this hard work/Exercise
- You will be able to remember the syllabus to least 80% which is enough at this stage of preparation.
- You will get the hold of what to read, what not to, and therefore pro in skimming of the newspaper.
- Your newspaper reading time will reduce from 2-3 hours at the beginning to within 60 minutes by the end of 44 days.
- You have self-made 1 month current affairs notes which you can easily remember.
- You will be writing daily therefore your hands will now become smooth and are ready for answer writing exercises.
Newspaper Reading after 1 month :
- Time should be less than 1 hour on the Hindu and for another 30 minutes read only editorials form live mint, Indian express, business standard.
- Do this 1.5 hours reading and note making for another 1.5 months
- If you can continue with this hectic work, its good and you love hard work and it will pay off in your prelims and mains.
- If you are tired of this exercise them comes the coaching materials help which is called smart work. Now if all of these work is being done by some coaching institutes then why not focus on some weak areas of one’s preparation and take help of daily/monthly magazines of coaching? It’s an ethical dilemma and it’s a question of trust which you can answer for yourself if you have done this exercise.
MOST IMPORTANT: For those who can not find the hindu newspaper in their areas they can utilize IASEXAMPORTAL resources which is of the highest quality and with similar processes and sources are used. Even we all provide Air news/RSTV/LSTV and much more...