Reading The Hindu or Indian Express is the preferred newspaper as it is crucial and indispensable part of IAS preparation. The importance of reading newspapers for Civil Services has increased tremendously because most of the questions are triggered from there. Out of the many newspapers available in the market, The Hindu and Indian Express cover entire news very well from the national perspectives, international perspectives, science & technology and other issues in a very holistic manner.
When it comes to IAS exam preparation, covering the Current Affairs part is the most difficult what most of the aspirants feel and the frequently asked question is which newspaper to read for the examination and how to make notes of it. The Hindu newspaper is the best source in terms of authenticity and content among other Indian newspapers.
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Here are some of the recommendations to help you realign your strategy on “How to read The Hindu newspaper for IAS Preparation”
- First, read the very 1st page. Then go to the last page.
- The starting from the last page move towards the 1st one. The order will be last page, sports page, economy section, science and technology section, International, National and at last editorials page.
- Do not read after editorials because pages( no. 2 to 5-6), just contain local news of some states.
- Now, please do one thing: do have a pen/pencil in your hand and underline every specific information you feel will be helpful.
- Then cut all the important news. Have 5-6 files with titles like national, international, sports, awards, bilateral etc. Then put them accordingly. Initially, it will take much time.
- Only newspaper studying will take 4 to 5 hours per day. Cutting and putting them in files will take another 1 hour. But slowly you will realize which news is important and which are not.
- At the time of the exam, you will see that this effort of yours will put you much ahead of others in the GS score.
- Besides The Hindu, one monthly magazine is a must. You can use any of 3-4 magazines that are available like civil services chronicle, competition wizard, civil services times etc. The magazines are to be studied only to remain updated with respect to current affairs.
- Another important thing is the analysis. After reading news, do analyze them at your own and try to make your view on that topic. This really helps when you are writing the mains. For analysis, the editorial and op-ed page is a must.
- In economy, some technical terms are there which one has to understand to fully understand the news. So, do purchase one good dictionary of economic terms. Also, the special issue of Pratiyogita Darpan (Known as PD) is very helpful.
- Another important question is whether to make notes or not. The answer is Yes. For GS, notes making is really helpful.
- At last time, do nothing but revise your own notes and write it down on paper. Notes making really helps but remain updated with your notes.
- Another thing is to mug up all the international treaties for all the issues like disarmament, global warming, economic meltdown, IPCC, Ramsar convention, G5, G8, G20, NAM, SAARC etc. Here again, do remember their history, year of treaty, purpose and most important current updates.
- For statistics, there are two resources. One is a book which is for M.Sc. students by Mr Gupta. This book clears the fundamentals in a very nice manner. The other one is the Spectrum statistics book, which contains the previous 10-year papers also.
- Do read Mr Gupta’s book if you have time in plenty. If in hurry, spectrum book is more than sufficient. But please note, statistics requires lot-lot-lot of practice. You have to take all the arms to solve the problems like calculator, protractor, scale, pencils and graph paper. Practice as if you are sitting in the actual exam and try to reduce time and increase accuracy.
- Also note that in the exam, never follow the strategy of Stats question first and others last. Doing stats first will kill your precious 1 hour. Moreover, stats weight is decreasing. Instead, do the stats questions at the end. Give half an hour for this. And make sure that you have so much practice to complete it in half an hour.
- For Science and Technology, there are 2 lines of preparation. One is to prepare all the traditional topics like Nanotech, Biotech, Indian space missions, DRDO military weapons etc. You can prepare these topics from any conventional book or monthly magazine. Special issues of monthly magazines are really helpful. Second is to prepare the latest in Sci and Tech. Now it is a very very vast field.
- Here, again The Hindu or Indian Express is the most reliable resource. Never miss the Thursday special Science and Technology issue of The Hindu newspaper.
Try to reduce the resources but not to that extent that in the exam you start realizing that your preparation was not up to mark. What you have to put is just optimum. Neither they are too much nor too small in number. This much is a must.
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