Newspaper Reading Tips for UPSC Exam Preparation

The UPSC exam preparation process is rigorous, requiring all aspirants to be aware of everything going on in the country. Being informed about what is going on around you and in the country serves as the foundation for future policies and decisions made by the government, bureaucracy, and administrative services.

Why is reading the news important for public servants?

The Union Public Service Commission is committed to serving the Indian people. All departments make dynamic decisions that change with time and need.

Being informed about everything that is going on in and around one's country serves as the foundation for policymaking and changes in decision-making by the authorities. UPSC assesses your ability to stay informed and make decisions and changes in the best interests of the public.

Running through the entire newspaper while preparing for UPSC may flood your mind with unnecessary information that will not even come in handy during the examination. 

Here are a few pointers to help you get the most out of your newspaper reading.

Choose to read "The Hindu":

The Hindu is widely regarded as a "neutral" newspaper publication, with less emphasis on political parties' agendas and more on events in and around the country, both positive and negative. Furthermore, the language contains some rather obscure words that will help you improve your vocabulary and use it in your daily life with ease.

Avoid political news:

While governments change, bureaucracy persists. The public service commission holds this as a core value. This is reflected in exams that assess your knowledge of policies/schemes/reforms and their current status/new announcements.

Political news, if any, is only relevant within the framework of the constitution, legislation, and administration.

Keep an eye out for government advertisements:

Both state and federal governments spend a lot of money on advertising. Their goal is to inform the public about the policies that are being implemented and/or the progress that has been made, if any.

National news is essential:

The news that makes the front page on any given day is usually the one that has national ramifications. Such occurrences provide insight into what may be going on in the aftermath or even in the background.

For instance, the arrival of Rafale jets was a significant event for the IAF, and the news on that day meant that the aircraft would now be tested and finalized before being officially inducted into service, which occurred a few days later.

Economic news is essential: 

Economic activity, policies, and achievements and failures, whether limited to your state or national in scope, have the potential to have a widespread impact on people's livelihoods. All major and minor events are necessary, and all UPSC aspirants must be kept informed of them.

Having said that, the stock market is not a good indicator of the economic situation, and that news can be ignored.

Political party statements are NOT to be emphasized:

Even when national news is making headlines, political parties have their own take, narrative, agenda, and statement. The commission does not change its policies based on what any political party believes, and thus such statements are not given weight during exams.

General Knowledge:

Changes in the environment, the monsoon cycle and its impact, and the creation/deletion of legislative/parliamentary seats are just a few examples of how you can stay informed. More general knowledge of news like this is useful to have on hand.

Be informed about international news:

Foreign visits by the prime minister, president, and/or other important government officials usually result in some kind of bilateral development, for better or worse. Keeping a close eye on the outcomes of such visits is a good way to stay current with the global situation.

Paparazzi and gossip are not needed:

Headlines about actors and actresses, box office collections, marriages and divorces, and so on have little to no impact on the average Indian. Such information is neither useful nor significant. Any news that falls into the masala category should be avoided at all costs.