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What to read in a newspaper and what not? how to manage time while reading newspaper

edited June 2013 in Current Affairs
Hi all.
I have a question.
while reading newspaper thinking of UPSC preparation in mind, I cant figure out what sections to read, and what sections not to read.
Is it not correct that only things which are worth readings are the schemes, economic reforms, and international, national meetings which happen are important? I mean for eg. today JDU is parting from NDA. is it worth making notes? can they ask about it? and sports? and international news like Rouhani is new Iran president, or Jinnah's house is bombed? do we have to make notes for these? are these important? sports news like India today beat pakistan? or business news like CIE and Mahindra's merger?
please shed some light on it. I spend approx 2-2.5 hours on reading news paper. And I know this is wrong.
Please help. Thanks.

Comments

  • And yes ofcourse, do I have to read my local news to help me get through the interview. because I have heard they ask questions related to my location and academic background. I am a computer graduate. so should I read and make notes related to computer technologies and upgrades going around lately.
  • and if they ask about my hobby, like playing chess. should I make current affair notes of chess tournaments too? please help in enlightening everything. Thanks
  • edited June 2013
    Copy pasting from what i posted regarding newspaper reading almost an year back :

    Making notes from newspaper (The Hindu) is always a good idea. I too was facing the same problem which you are facing but then i found a simple solution to it. I dont know if it will work or not but this is what I do.

    1.) My optional is Pub Ad. so whenever i read any news item, I always try to find out if there is something in that article using which i can amend any Pub Ad. topic, if yes -- I make notes of it and I jot down there itself,which topic can be amended .

    2.) If there is nothing substantial relating to my optional, I try to find out if that article has something vital related to Polity, Science and Technology, Rural development, Women and Child Welfare and related topics (since these are important from UPSC's PoV). If yes, I make notes of it.

    3.) If something very important is happening around i.e something which is focusing on reforms/policies/wider public benefit e.g Kelkar commission on fiscal consolidation. Also e.g right now Mr. Kursheed and Zakir Hussain trust scam is in news. It might seem important but you do not have to make notes of it. Just knowing about what the issue is would suffice. Because no sound pre. questions can be framed on it.

    4.) Read the editorial religiously. Usually editorial has the same news which you have already read but in it you will find opinions of the author and other eminent personalities which would really make you look at that news from a broader angle. If you find an opinion interesting,note it down. e.g When Aseem trivedi case was going on the whole world (including me) knew it was because of Sedition Act according to Article 124A of IPC. But I never knew that Pt. Nehru had himself advocated for abolishment of such an act and even Gandhiji was against it. Gandhiji once said that affection or disaffection cannot be taught by using force.
    By this example i mean to say that using quotes and opinions will give u a big plus while writing your answers for Mains.
  • edited June 2013
    Many UPSC toppers, on their blogs, have recommended reading The Hindu's page on International news religiously. Is it really worth the time?
    If the news is somehow related to India, then I accept that it is important. But, what about news such as Iran elections, first woman speaker of Bangladesh, new king of some country, new president, what should Myanmar be called? etc. Even Syrian conflict doesn't seem that important to me especially in relevance to new syllabus.

    In new syllabus, there are 4 IR topics which have been explicitly mentioned.
    1. India and it's neighbours
    2. Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
    3. Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
    4. Important International institutions, agencies

    So, I just want to ask, shouldn't a news be read only if it is somehow related to India?


  • Many UPSC toppers, on their blogs, have recommended reading The Hindu's page on International news religiously. Is it really worth the time?
    If the news is somehow related to India, then I accept that it is important. But, what about news such as Iran elections, first woman speaker of Bangladesh, new king of some country, new president, what should Myanmar be called? etc. Even Syrian conflict doesn't seem that important to me especially in relevance to new syllabus.

    In new syllabus, there are 4 IR topics which have been explicitly mentioned.
    1. India and it's neighbours
    2. Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
    3. Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
    4. Important International institutions, agencies

    So, I just want to ask, shouldn't a news be read only if it is somehow related to India?


    Last year's mains had a question on how Putin's re-election would affect Russia's relations with the west (or something to that affect). This would clearly suggest that you need to have an understanding on how internal developments of a few 'key' countries affect larger, global issues.

    My two cents on how to read the international news page: Most items are part of a continuous chain of events which get reported as and when they happen. For example, a news item about the Syrian regime's alleged use of chemical weapons must not be read in isolation, but from a perspective on how the conflict has evolved over the last 12-18 months, the key actors and the pseudo conflicts emerging between NATO - Russia/china, Sunni-Shia countries in the region, role of non state actors etc. This will help you provide a rich perspective if you face a 20 mark question on the issue.

  • For International Relations, try economist.com and check the section Leaders . There you could get an outline of burning issues , write it . Will be helpful , better than Hindu's International Page
    2017--> 8th attempt
  • edited June 2013
    I have stopped reading The Hindu newspaper in full like I used to in the initial stages of preparation. I only read an make notes from its op-ed, Periscope, Economy, and Science feeds and then I move to Indian Express op-ed (I have begun to look forward to IE columnists more, I should add). Needless to say, it's a personal calculation and experiment, might sound very wrong to others to skip National news altogether. I keep checking PIB once in a while (especially Ministries of H&FW, W&CD, SoJEm) to avoid missing some scheme or announcement.

    As for the International news items, I skim through the daily news from here and there to keep myself abreast, but I make notes only from Frontline. It generally has 4-5 essays/articles on World Affairs every fortnight, so I have convinced myself that anything worthy of being known by a well-read person, or whatever euphemism for a jobless mug UPSC is using in the syllabus, should get covered by them.
    CSE 2013 with Sociology
  • @kafka what is it exactly that you note down from Periscope?
    will you please elaborate?
    coz i usually find only case studies there which i dont think are much important. on the other hand many people advice going through that page. am i missing something here?
  • edited June 2013
    @kafka what is it exactly that you note down from Periscope?
    will you please elaborate?
    coz i usually find only case studies there which i dont think are much important. on the other hand many people advice going through that page. am i missing something here?
    You are right actually. They are case studies mostly and since they are often about similar issues (marginalized groups, neglected heritage, etc.), the notes would be very repetitive.

    Taking today's paper for example:
    Maharashtra domestic workers: no notes; Delhi lesbian helpline: no notes; Too early at altar: no notes ... and so on. Last Periscope article I noted down, for the record, was ONGC "adopting" 6 monuments under its CSR to keep them clean. Mental healthcare bill one, before that.

    But the thing about Periscope articles is that unlike editorials -- which usually contain one or two novel arguments on an issue which one would want to note down somewhere for revision -- they are mostly narrative pieces. They usually do not contain any new argument which one would need to note down as they have relatable real life stories which just stick. For example, reading about issues in informal sector in Economic Survey can be a bit mechanical but it becomes relatable when we read today's article on domestic workers.

    Putting it in another way, I am making notes of Editorials for skeleton of answers, and am reading Periscope articles for the body of the answers. Can't be making extensive notes for the meat, they should come naturally.

    Also, my optional is Sociology so they are even more helpful. For example, the story about FM advertisements targeting domestic users to reduce water wastage even though most of the water is used by industries was a wonderful real life example of theories of false consciousness and ruling class ideology.
    CSE 2013 with Sociology
  • I'm reading Hindu for a few months- but still in a confused state - what to read- what to skip- so I searched many blogs, websites, people, trainer. what they tell?
    1) Rukmini Riar- news paper is the most important material- I used to read 30-45 min a day (I wonder, how people spend only 30-45 min on the most important material)
    2) My senior- I used to read (actually STUDY) Hindu on an average 4 hrs a day- He cleared this year and within 100 (I agree with him)
    3) I attended Jojo Methews wsorkshop yesterday- he said- "Read whatever on the front page + one article a day+ and most importantly make your opinoin on the article+ DON'T read any other page, even dont read business page"- Maximum 1 hour a day.
    4) Most of the blog+ website+ Mrunal- Read 1-2 hours a day.
    Conclusion?
  • Newbies will be felt they are inundated with advices ,suggestion etc . Dont worry you will develop your own strategy when you are on roll .
    Regarding newspapers , try to write at the end of third week or after it . You could end up with less news , but more views .

    Success becomes habit , when you failed earlier.
    2017--> 8th attempt
  • Let me explain this in another way:

    1) Notes can be taken for national and international issues such as terrorism, poverty, malnutrition etc whatever related to this you find in paper. For these issues editorial column will help in going to the depth of the problem.

    2)Notes should be taken for all the new schemes, policies, bills and its provisions in a detailed manner.

    3)Also notes should be taken for scientific, medicinal and defence developments happening in the country.
    eg. launch of agni-v, rolling of retrovac, ISRO's new launch

    4)Taking notes will help a lot for all the national and international organizations/boards/commitees whatever you find it in the paper their motives and their functioning. eg. ICAR,NTRO,UN organisations.(which are in news recently)

    5)For issues such as JDU-BJP split up, Electoral victory of congress in Karnataka or BJP in Gujarat, just have a knowledge of whats going on and why it happened. There is no need for notes. You may expect indirect questions as given below:

    i) What do you think about the peoples mandate in recent state elections? Is it based on any particular factor?

    ii)Is religion and caste still play a major role in indian politics like that

    So to answer these questions you just need some basic knowledge about the society and the issues happening around.

    So to conclude,

    1) Wherever points, facts or certain datas are there, notes should be taken for rememberance.

    2)For general issues happening in india and world taking notes is not necessary, just coming to know about the issue is sufficient.
  • Believe me when i say that even if you spend 4 to 5 hours on newspaper+ANALYSIS alone....it will definitely be worth it.
    Personally know a working professional who used to read only newspaper in his office timings and cleared with a decent rank and that too without any coaching.
    @Ozzy_Osbourne
    Totally agree with your senior friend

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