Aspirants preparing for UPSC CSE often face the dilemma in finalizing the best newspaper for UPSC Current Affairs. Current Affairs is an integral part of UPSC CSE preparation for both Prelims and Mains, and the recent year examinations have witnessed higher weightage of current affairs in both CSE Prelims and Mains Papers. Even after one decides the sources for their preparation, it is important to know how to read these sources including the newspapers. This article outlines both the important sources and strategies to prepare current affairs for UPSC CSE Preparation.
Which Newspaper is best for UPSC CSE?
Deciding the best newspaper for UPSC CSE preparation can be tough. However, two newspapers – The Hindu and The Indian Express are popular among the UPSC CSE aspirants. One needs to understand that certain sections of the newspapers are important, while others are not relevant for the exam. Unless this understanding is developed by the aspirants, it would be tough for them to make the best use of the newspaper reading.
Aspirants can thus go for either ‘The Hindu’ or ‘The Indian Express’, and base their current affairs preparation on these.
Best Newspaper for Current Affairs
Analysis of the previous year’s questions of UPSC CSE Mains and Prelims gives an insight into the trend of the CSE exam. If one analyses the Prelims GS paper well, one can easily find that various questions were asked directly or indirectly from the current affairs covered in more than one newspaper.
The choice of newspaper is not much to worry about. It is the selection of the right article and identification of topics of interest for UPSC CSE, which plays a key role in current affairs preparation for UPSC CSE.
The UPSC CSE Prelims 2021 saw questions from previously untouched or ignored topics – like sports and basic concepts of biology (Science), and both of these were from the topics or issues in news and were covered by various newspapers.
Still, for the sake of completeness – we would recommend The Hindu or The Indian Express to be read on daily basis. You can also refer to our daily compilation – Edukemy’s Gazette, which is prepared by the experts of the fields and covers daily issues in news, important terms, and concepts, editorial analysis from the various newspapers, the Day in History, and Image of the day sections.
How To Read Newspaper for UPSC?
Before reading newspapers, aspirants need to be well acquainted with the UPSC CSE Syllabus and previous year questions. An overview of the syllabus will help candidates better understand the need for the exam and thus wisely select the important articles and information in the daily newspapers.
- The first prerequisite for newspaper reading is understanding the syllabus and needs of the exam.
- Once the aspirants are aware of the syllabus, they should start with reading articles that are related to the syllabus.
- UPSC never asks the redundant facts, and thus mere happenings or incidents are of very less relevance for the UPSC CSE exam, while they might be of importance for other exams.
For example, where were last meetings of BRICS were held, might not be sufficient for UPSC CSE, but for other exams, knowledge of the last meeting or the members of BRICS might be sufficient. For UPSC, apart from this basic information, the decisions taken in such meetings, the agenda of the meeting, and your opinion on such events will be important.
UPSC CSE aspirants must therefore read the newspaper articles with the clear purpose of:
- Gaining knowledge of the affairs and happenings (of national and international significance).
- Forming their opinion on key issues and developments (of national and international significance).
While the former will be of help in Prelims, the latter will be greatly helpful in Mains and Interview.
Remember, to be an avid reader of the newspaper, who reads it for knowledge and opinion, and to gain insights into the future trajectory of the world in the field of politics, international affairs, science and tech, climate and environment issues, and as humanity as a whole.
How to read newspaper, step-by-step process:
- Have an overview of the complete syllabus and know the need for the UPSC CSE Exam – Prelims and Mains, clearly. Go through the previous year’s Question Papers for both Prelims and Mains.
- Read and find out which articles are important and to which paper or subject of the syllabus, they are related.
- Read editorials and try to summarize the issue dealt with in your own words. Have a repository (theme-wise) of such summaries to develop a holistic picture or understanding of the issues.
- Look at both sides of the coin. Often articles tend to be biased or deal with certain aspects of an issue. Read various articles on an issue (which will eventually happen if you continue to read the newspaper daily), and try to find out various dimensions of the issue. Remember that nothing is absolute and thus there are always alternate views on any topic or issue.
- Develop your own insight. This is the purpose of you reading newspapers daily. After a few months, you should be able to critically examine articles, and give your own suggestions and ideas to problems/issues in news.
As a civil servant, you will need to write reports, suggest reforms to policies and programs, and represent India or the government at various platforms and forums. It is therefore important that you develop such insight during preparation to ensure your success at the exam.