Almost all serious IAS aspirants are aware of the significance of reading newspapers for their UPSC Civil Services Examination. Among all the respectable newspapers available in the market, “The Hindu” qualifies as the most recommended one of the bunch because of its ridiculously high standards.
Why The Hindu?
The Hindu newspaper is believed to follow the “Centre-Left” political philosophy. Because of this, it focuses fundamentally on issues with socio-cultural relevance. The paper also distinguishes news and opinions reasonably well, thus, making it a trusted source of information, on the whole.
The Hindu’s international news coverage is also top notch giving it an additional edge over the others in the market. Along with that, there’s this additional benefit of it avoiding trivial or “masala” issues thereby, making it tailor-made for the UPSC Civil services examination preparation.
How to read the newspaper “The Hindu” thoroughly within 60 minutes
Just go through the headlines. Don’t waste too much of your time here.
Pages 2 to 3 usually deal with regional news (that varies from city to city). 4 to 6, on the other hand, deals with state news, in general. You, as an IAS aspirant, may skip these pages outright because they aren’t given much importance in the UPSC civil services examination.
This page is very important because this is the one that deals specifically with the nation. Give this page a thorough read from the very top to the bottom. Focus on the High Court and the Supreme Court verdicts, Bills (AKA Laws), Parliamentary debates, and Government orders.
- The editorial section (Page 8)
Perhaps the most important section of the Hindu. Read the two editorials provided on the margin to the left. As soon as you are done with them, move on to the “lead” section.
And finally, read the “Letters to the editor” section to wrap things up.
Tip: Try to read the editorial section from an unbiased point of view to get the actual meaning and the possible solutions to the underlying problems.
This is where you will come across the “op-ed” which means “opposite the editorial” page. The paper publishes the opinions of a named writer on this page; one having no direct connection to the editorial board in any way whatsoever. Give this page a good read to get different viewpoints on current political and social issues.
- Pages 10 – 11 (The general News Section)
These pages usually deal with general news. I would, therefore, ask you to give these pages a superficial read just like you did page 1 (in case something important crops up from nowhere).
You don’t have to go deep into political issues because they are not valued much in the UPSC Civil Services Examination.
UPSC Civil Services Examination includes the International Relations topic in its syllabus. This page can contribute a lot to improving your knowledge about the topic. Hence, I would advise you to spend a fair bit of your time here for good.
Focus on things like trends, growth parameters, monetary and fiscal policies. If you find any socio-economic policy related to women on this page, give it a thorough read.
Ignore these pages.
IN A NUTSHELL: The Dos and Don’ts
- Focus strongly on the editorial and the “opposite the editorial” pages.
- Focus on the high court and the supreme court verdicts.
- Read national and international issues of utmost importance.
- Stress more on Bills, Government policies, and Orders.
- Focus on hot topics such as GST, demonetization, etc.
- Spend much time on political and local news.
- Focus on “masala” news such as film reviews, wardrobe malfunctions, Bollywood celebrity news, interviews, etc.
- Stress on trivial sports news.
Okay, so that pretty much sums up this article. I sincerely hope the tips and tricks mentioned above come in helpful for your preparations. Good luck!