Which books, magazines, or newspapers should I refer to, while preparing a strategy for the UPSC CSE?

Every aspirant knows how important the current affair in the UPSC civil services Exam Preparation is. But the difficult part what most of the candidates find is how to prepare for current affairs, read the newspaper, make notes out of it and correlate it with the UPSC Syllabus. Here is an attempt to help candidates especially keeping the beginners in mind we have come up with this article on how to read the newspaper and correlate the issues in the news with the UPSC Syllabus and make notes out of it.

Before getting into how to read the newspaper let us take a look at what and what not to read in the newspaper. The newspaper reading for UPSC Current affairs can be differentiated as two parts one is news (which is important for IAS Exam) and the other is noise (which one should avoid this part and not waste time on it).

Here are three important key points which an IAS Aspirants should follow while reading the newspaper for UPSC Current Affairs Preparation.

Consider the news articles about demonetization that appeared in the paper on a single day. Make sure you know how to segregate news from the noise. The following image illustrates how:

Candidates do not need to read the entire newspaper to prepare for current affairs of the IAS Exam.

Major portions from the newspaper which candidates should avoid are Politics, Sports, and Entertainment.

It is advised to read the important news first and later reread it and make notes out of it, because if you start making notes in the first read itself then you are likely to end up with creating your own newspaper.

A candidate should focus on the core theme or issue as most parts of the newspaper is noise so just phase it out.

Notes Making from Newspaper

It is advised to candidates that whenever they read an issue in the news they should try to collect the static part of the issue. While making notes reading the newspaper, candidates should stick to these three concepts and they are What, Why, and How.

Here’s an e.g. of a recent article on Demonetisation in the newspaper that made huge waves in the country and let us see how to implement these three concepts in this issue.

Currency withdrawal: RBI sets 100 percent incremental CRR to manage liquidity

Though the article is related to demonetization this particular article talks about the CRR.

Now, the question a candidate must ask oneself is,

What the importance of CRR (Cash Reserve Ratio) is?

Why it was in the news, and

How they can correlate with the syllabus?

Taking this article as an example it is explained below how to read a newspaper for UPSC Current affairs and correlate it with the UPSC Syllabus.

In this article particularly taking some issues related to the economy, we have discussed how to correlate it with the Indian Economics syllabus of UPSC

● Reading the newspaper every day makes it easier for candidates to know that a particular issue has made in the news repeatedly for a week or a month. For e.g. the recent issues in the news, demonetization, its concept, its impact, its outcome, the role of government and RBI etc. are the best examples in this case.

● The economy/business section would have some technical terms, so it is advised that you have a good economics dictionary or Google ready at hand.

● It is important that you make some notes in the form of short points so that you can revise them once a week. Ensure that you don’t copy-paste the articles from the newspaper. Rather, write it yourself after you have read the whole article. These notes should contain the crux of the article and points to remember.

Below an article has been taken and explained as to how you can make notes and prepare for Indian Economy for the IAS Prelims Exam.

(The Indian Express, November 29, 2016)

This news article deals with the surge in the cash reserve ratio from 4% to 100% that the RBI announced following the increase in deposits due to demonetization. The key word in this article is Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) and the probable questions related to CRR by interlinking to the syllabus would as given below.

● What is CRR?

● What is the objective of CRR?

● Alternate names for CRR.

A likely question on this keyword for the UPSC prelims is given below:

Q. Choose the correct option regarding CRR:

1. The main objective of its usage is to control the flow of money/credit

2. It is referred to as a variable reserve ratio

3. The increase/decrease is referred to as credit expansion/credit squeeze respectively

a) Only 2 is correct

b) 1 and 2 are correct

c) 1 and 3 are correct

d) All are correct

Correct answer: (a)

II. Another example is explained below:

This news article deals with the Goods and Services Tax (GST). Some of the areas to focus on this particular article are:

● GST Council

● It is composition,

● Voting rights distribution between center and states and amongst the states

● 4-tier structure

Hope, this article would come handy to many aspirants who flounder when it comes to taking notes from the newspaper and end up reading a lot of unnecessary stuff wasting precious time. This article exclusively gives you tips on effective newspaper reading from the UPSC prelims exam perspective.