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How to read The Hindu Newspaper for IAS Exam

Jan 5, 2017 11:02 IST

    The Hindu newspaper is known to act as a trademark for success in the IAS Exam. The Hindu is known for its unique coverage of all crucial issues in all dimensions and in its entirety. The Hindu's editorial page gives importance to varying opinions and hence provides news in a very holistic manner in relation to all perspectives like national, international science & technology etc.

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    The Hindu is rightly considered as the top source of knowledge and study material among UPSC aspirants as it requires a blend of static, plus dynamic awareness of an issue to completely examine a good editorial of the Hindu newspaper.

    Once you are well settled with the fact that every aspirant needs to read the newspaper, the next question arises how to start or initiate with newspaper reading? Let’s start with some perquisites while starting with the Hindu every day:

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    • Keep a copy of the IAS mains syllabus with you if you have not yet memorised the keywords from the syllabus. But if you try the following pointers you can save a lot of time.
    • Learn the keywords of the portion from the UPSC syllabus to help you identify the vital information to be extracted from the newspaper. For example; let’s say you read a good editorial of the Hindu on the inter-state water disputes. Then the syllabus keywords should be as follows: Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein. The aspirant should able dig out the good points on federal structure, challenges and recommendations on power distribution among union and states from the article.
    • Do a profound analysis of the last 5 years previous IAS papers to identify the most central focal point of UPSC. For example; for past 3 papers, at least one question is being asked on PPP model of development. So, students should ask themselves why such importance is given to this topic and on similar lines try to decode the crucial articles from the newspaper relating to such important issues.

    International Relations Topics

    • Focus on issues rather than news. For example, there is an ongoing update on demonetization in the country, but the focus should be on banking reforms underlining chronic problems like money laundering and impact on Terrorist financing.
    • Focus on what and why rather than when and where. To comprehend an event holistically, it is necessary to do an in-depth study on it and the Hindu’s open editorial page can prove to be highly helpful in this regard.

    The Hindu Editorial Page

    The highest yielding portion of the Hindu newspaper is its everyday editorial page. Editorials and open editorial pages are the most informative sections of the Hindu and hence it should be dealt extensively. High yielding notes as per the IAS Exam perspective can be prepared from here. Try to pick up good introductory and summative lines on crucial issues from here; it can enhance the value of your answers exponentially.

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    The Hindu newspaper is known for its elegant views on events impacting the socio-political structure of the nation as some of the best columnists in the country writes for the Hindu newspaper.

    It’s advisable to read this section every day and develop a habit to read the full editorial in one go to get an overview of all dimensions of the issue. To streamline your IAS preparation according to the current happenings, make profound notes from this section and update them every time a new editorial appears on the same issue.

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    Sections/Areas of focus in the everyday newspaper:

    After the in-depth study of the Hindu editorial, move to the Business section for important updates in ratios and figures for prelims and guidelines or reforms in the economy for IAS Mains. It often comes with SEBI guidelines, RBI recommendations which can be noted to add factual value to your IAS Preparation.

    Lastly, do a cursory reading of the national and international page to note only the topics or happenings frequently stated in the paper and then backtrack the issue to study it in detail from all perspectives.

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    One more vital know how is to identify where to focus within special editions and how to utilise it in coherence with the IAS preparation. Here, we have provided a table with all the sections to focus on while going through special edition sections and also how it will help you enhance your notes.

    Day

    Special Edition to focus on:

    Monday Edition

    Focus on Business section on this day. It contains good informative articles on Indian economy relative to all current affair issues directly or indirectly impacting the sectors of the economy.

    Tuesday Edition

    • Read the open page in the Tuesday edition of the Hindu, it contains analysis type editorial which is a bit different from daily news.
    • It helps to develop a unique and individualistic viewpoint on events which is very useful for opinion based questions asked in UPSC.

    Thursday Edition

    • Read the special page on science & technology and agriculture. Make notes categories like information technology, space technology etc.
    • It also gives an account of new agricultural practices used by the farmers, which can be can be noted and used as examples to enrich your answer.

    Friday Edition

    • Read the art and culture section in the Friday review. It has information on current issues relating to traditions, art forms and also personalities relating to Indian culture and history.
    • It is seen that questions are being asked from this section directly in the examination.

    Sunday Edition

    The life page of the Sunday edition can be vibrantly used to give instances in the ethics paper of UPSC. Moreover, it is also very special from the motivational point of view of an IAS aspirant.

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    Time and now, many coaching institutes or even students have tried to substitute newspaper reading with some local study material, but it all lands down on the fact that there is no real substitute for standard sources be it a book or a national newspaper like the Hindu.

    What you will gain while reading the first-hand news in the Hindu can never be replaced or even enhanced by any sources. So, try to be focused and loyal to the Hindu. It has proved to a game changer for many toppers and the same can be achieved by you.

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