In my earlier thread, I've explained why newspapers are important, and why shouldn't you rely on magazines for current issues. (here)
In the present trend of UPSC G/S prelim
- Geography (current based)
- Current Affairs
- People / Award etc
Most of the questions from them are based on current affairs,
So Never miss reading the newspaper on any day.
Now the issue comes – how to read newspaper to prepare current affair – this is important cause most student either glance over the newspaper in 3 minutes and some waste 3 hours reading each and every detail.
How to read any newspaper (for General Studies)
What is not important in newspaper / Current Affairs?
(from General Studies POV : Point of View)
Following things should be ignored
What is important in newspaper then?
|Follwing things are extremely important to read in newspaper|
- For more on what's imp in current affairs- refer the old question papers of UPSC
(AND MAKE A NOTE OUT OF IT- keep a diary, cut and file the imp articles / maps / charts from newspaper.) How to make a note, & why is it important ? – its explained on this page.
Why Read Editorials?Because the regular news won't talk of what happened in History or what are the good / bad points of a particular topic. But the editorials will give you the 'big picture.' Along with the suggestions for reforms so it also helps in writing mains + Essay. + interview too.
Many of the articles/editorials will be completely criticizing anything and everything of Administration. So be careful about what to read and what to skip – because your answers have to be constructive criticism and positive "there is still hope for reform" and "Democracy is the best way to run country " etc.
Cause if criticizing everything about Administration was going to make you an IAS officer then every reporter of Aaj Tak, NDTV and Zee News would be a District Collector. You've to be constructive, creative, visionary and positive in your answers, opinions and criticisms –only then you'll get more marks. I'm saying this here because when you are reading anything in newspaper- that's not just one shot to prelims but also helps you in mains, essay, interview as well.
Current Affairs is a year long continuous process.This process doesn't take more than 1 hour per day. And its worth it, cause current affairs is not something that you can develop reading some book for 15 days before exam
on April 2010- lot 'current affair special' books will come in market from Wizard, Chronicle, Pratiyogita Darpan and many more but if you've been following the newspaper through out the year & making your own diary- then you won't need to read them AND if you've not maintained a diary then you won't be able to remember much from these books – and will end up wasting 15 days reading it.)
WHAT IF You DON'T read newspapers?Then this will be your situation
On April 2010- you'll be blank in Current affair and will start reading any of those 'current affairs special book' as mentioned above – but since you've never read newspaper, you won't be able to cover the book very fast- and it's a thick book, and you won't be able to remember everything you read, you won't even have time to revise it, so in the end you'll be ignoring either your G/S's rest topics or your Opt. Subject or the current affairs itself, and ultimately losing heavy marks in Prelims.
Newspapers Help in Essay Writing.In the mains you've to write a compulsory Essay paper which is worth 200 M and they're counted in the merit list.
There are many books / guides for essay writing in the market as well, but if you write from it, you'll end up writing a street quality , cheap, strerotype school essay and getting very few marks.
Your essay has to be unique, precise, showing your vast knowledge and understanding of the subject which can't be done reading 2 page essay in some cheap guide book.
If you analyse last 10 years papers of Essay (posted here)
Then you'll notice that they generally ask essay from following themes ONLY
So whenever you see some editorial related to it in the newspaper – DO READ IT,And note down the imp topics from it/ cut and file it
That'll help you have sufficient knowledge , viewpoints and ideas to write a 200 Marks worth essay.
And its not a one day process- you follow it through out the year.
If you prepare your current affairs topics this way then you should have not much trouble clearing the UPSC civil service IAS IPS Exam.