How To Read Newspaper For UPSC?

how to read newspaper for upsc

Newspaper For UPSC: “Mera Din Bhi Na Hindu Se Shuru Hota Hai Aur Yojana Kurukshetra Mein”

When Abhilash says this in TVF’s Aspirants web Series, all UPSC aspirants could feel the hit.  Newspapers The Hindu and Indian Express have remained the most essential part of the UPSC preparation. Now-a days, it has become a fashion to read them. The aspirants keep following the advice of reading newspapers without knowing the significance and understanding the correct method to read it.

In this article, we have analyzed the questions regarding the method of Newspaper reading and its significance in detail. This has been written by faculty of best UPSC coaching in Delhi i.e. Elite IAS Academy. This will help aspirants to understand the process of newspaper reading. Besides, it will also save the vast amount of time aspirants spend reading the newspaper incorrectly. So, let’s start!

Why The Aspirants Should Read Newspaper For UPSC Preparation?

Newspaper For UPSC: So, the first question is why the Newspaper should be read so seriously when we already have a huge set of study material and reference books? This is because the UPSC exam revolves around two important factors: 1) Current Affairs and 2) Changing Examination Patterns.

Both these factors demand that the aspirants must remain updated in terms of what issues and events are associated with their day-to-day life. This demand can be fulfilled by reading the Newspapers and analysing the burning current issues from multiple dimensions.

The newspaper reading is significant in UPSC preparation for the following reasons: –

  1.  Newspapers are a chief source of current affairs.
  2. The candidates can also enhance their vocabulary through the newspaper. 
  3. Newspaper helps the candidate building their opinon on burning issues objectively.

How The Aspirants Should Read The Newspaper?

The aspirants should spend their valuable time very judiciously. Most of the aspirants spend lot of time in incorrectly reading all the Newspapers. This will only waste their time without adding any value in their knowledge.

Following are the steps to be followed to correctly read the Newspaper: –

  1. Understand the syllabus thoroughly. Syllabus will help aspirants in picking the relevant articles for UPSC examination. This will save significant time.
  2. Analyse through the Previous Year questions, especially that have been asked from the current affairs section. This  will give you an idea of what kind of questions are asked, thus you will be able to read more systematically. 
  3. The aspirants should try to understand the articles better. It is advisable to have some understanding of the concepts. 
  4. The aspirants should focus on Socio-Economic news. It is important to read socioeconomic news like women issues, educational issues, health issues, issues or policies affecting vulnerable sections of the society.
  5. Emphasize on Issues Rather Than on News. Focus on why and how than on what and why of every news. This is a master strategy of reading a paper.
  6. The aspirants should read issues of national and international importance:. They should focus on the political issues related to the Constitution of India and the legislative and administrative processes.
  7. The candidates should always read the current events of national and international Importance. Candidates should read events of the national important first.  They are asked in the UPSC exams.
  8. Making handwritten notes from the newspaper can be a little time-consuming. The aspirants can use digital tools like Evernote and make digital notes. It is easy to use and information can be easily added into it. 
  9. The candidates should allot a specific time in their daily routine. Two hours to two and a half hours is sufficient time to read and finish the newspaper. The candidates should read and finish the newspaper daily. 
  10. After finishing the national news, the aspirants can list out the important topics and search any updated information or new initiatives related to the topics.
  11. The aspirants should prepare their own notes from the Newspaper. The notes can be divided as per the Prelims data and Mains data. This will help them while revising the material for the particular exam.   

What to Read from the Newspapers?

The aspirants should identify important issues from the newspapers. For this understanding of syllabus, scanning of previous year question papers is very crucial. You can get those question papers at any online UPSC coaching institute.  

Some basic topic the aspirants should focus while reading the newspapers are given below: –

  1. Editorials: – The editorial of the newspapers gives multidimensional approach of a topic since they are written by experienced personalities. The candidates should note down the points of criticism and research that how the government policy is designed to address such points or how the government is addressing such problems. They should not follow the political ideology of the writer. The candidates should objectively analyse the information provided and build balanced opinion.
  2. National News: – The aspirants should focus on implications of the event of national importance. For eg, national schemes/initiatives launched by the government, 
  3. International Relations Topics: – One of the most important topics covered in the newspaper is India’s bilateral relations with other nations. All the newspapers publish the details about the bilateral summits and its details. For example, Treaties and agreements signed by Indian government, international conferences and events attended by Prime Minister and President. Major political events in other countries like uprisings, political coup etc. Eg Israel issue, Rohingya crisis.Besides, reports published by international organizations such as the UN, WHO, UNICEF, ASEAN, etc should also be studied seriously.
  4. Science and Technology Topics: – The newspapers provide updates of new developments in the field of Science and Technology. The candidates should research about these new developments and prepare the Science principles behind such developments. UPSC always ask the basic science principles behind such inventions. For example, News related to ISRO or any scientific development
  5. Economy: – The aspirants should focus on economic Indicators like GDP, CPI, IIP, etc. the newspapers also provide details on Press releases by SEBI, RBI, NITI Aayog, NASSCOM, ASSOCHAM, etc. Besides, the reforms and measures introduced by the finance ministry and their implications are also important. For Eg: GST reforms, Relief package introduced by the government, etc.
  6. Polity : – The vast political issues can be covered from the newspapers. Some of the important topics are: –
  • Parliamentary bills and acts. Eg: Citizenship Amendment Act
  • Schemes/reforms etc announced by the government.
  • Ministry-wise schemes and reports
  • Verdicts of the supreme court and high courts on important matters.
  • Parliamentary debates
  1. Other Topics to be focused are: –
    1. Culture and heritage-related news
    2. GI tags
    3. UNESCO heritage site
    4. Issues related to environment and biodiversity.
    5. News about endangered and extinct species

Should We Read Newspaper Daily For UPSC?

Yes, the aspirants should read the newspaper daily. It is important to cover the newspaper on its particular date. The aspirants should not postpone reading the newspapers. It will disturb the link between the ongoing current issues. Besides, the pile of newspapers will only add to the stress and overburden the aspirants. The candidates should make the notes from the newspapers and revise them periodically to remember the details about the event. 

How To Read Newspaper Effectively?

For effectively utilising the Newspapers for UPSC preparation it is important to follow the correct method of reading. This can be understood from the following three important steps: 

Step 1: – Reading the newspaper

Step 2: – Analysing the newspaper 

Step 3: – Preparing notes from the newspaper.

At initial stage, it will take time for aspirants to understand the language of the newspaper. But, with regular practice, this time would gradually reduce to manageable levels. The Aspirant should realize the true value of note-making and give appropriate time for it.

How the aspirants can improve English by reading the Newspaper?

  1. For Vocabulary building, develop a reading habit. This is the easiest to encounter words.
  2. Use the dictionary and thesaurus. There are various English words which required a dictionary for the meaning, so keeping a dictionary is fundamental to enhance the English vocabulary. 
  3. Do not stick to one newspaper. Change the newspaper you read periodically. 
  4. Use flashcards. You can add words from editorials to flashcards.
  5. The candidates can prepare a notebook for such words and use these new words in the answer writing practice. 
  6. Understand the context and discuss with others. Practice using new words in conversation.
  7. Regular practice of reading newspaper is important.

What Are The Alternatives To The Newspapers?

  1. The Internet has numerous websites that provide daily analysis of newspapers editorials.
  2. There are also YouTube video analysis of The Hindu and Indian Express.
  3. Yojana magazine contains relevant and authentic information, since the government of India itself publishes it. It is one of the essential reads for a UPSC aspirant.
  4. TV news is another alternative. It may sometimes showcase irrelevant news and topics, but going through it once in a while is mandatory. Television news is also a great source of information, It even improves your speaking skills, which are essential as per the interview part of the paper.
  5. Another alternative is reading monthly compilations for quick revision. The aspirants can go for weekly and monthly revision of what you’ve written or saved from the news pieces. 

When Should We Stop Reading Newspaper Before Prelims?

UPSC civil services exam consists of two portions, which are the static syllabus and the current affairs. The static syllabus refers to the one which is constant and present in the textbooks while the current affairs part is dynamic and regularly changing. An aspirant has to develop his strength in both the parts to clear the exam.

Moreover, syllabus released under official notification exclusively mentions that the current affairs for UPSC exam shall include the events of national and international importance. Therefore, it is of utmost importance for a student to get updates regularly with the ongoing current events in the nation as well as world. Here, we will discuss the strategy to prepare for current affairs

Which Newspaper Can be Studied For UPSC For Beginners?

The best newspapers as recommended by IAS toppers for UPSC preparation are:

  1. The Hindu
  2. The Indian Express
  3. The Times of India
  4. The Tribune
  5. Hindustan Times
  6. The Economic Times
  7. Business Standard
  8. Mint
  9. The wire

What is the Page-wise Approach to read The Hindu?

The Hindu is the important newspapers for UPSC preparation as it provides most authentic and multidimensional remarks on different issues. Here is a page-wise approach that can be followed to read “The Hindu” newspaper:

  1. Page 1: – It is recommended covers all the main news for the day in brief. This page will give general awareness of the different things happening across the country.
  2. Pages 2-6: – The pages 2-6 can be skipped. These pages have regional and state news which is not very important for the UPSC exams.
  3. Page 7- The national news is compiled on this page and it is very important. Supreme Court verdicts, important quotes from parliamentary debates, and different types of government orders and bills are included in this page.
  4. Page 8- This is the editorial page of “The Hindu”. This page is very necessary for an IAS aspirant. The aspirants should give special attention to these three contents.
  5. Page 9- This page is also known as the OP-ED page where a person not associated with the editorial board expresses their views on certain current issues. You can get an overview of the current affairs through this.
  6. Page 10-11- These pages have general news about the current political scenario. This is not very important but casually skim through so you have a basic idea about the present happenings.
  7. Page 12- This is the world page. Here you will find all the international news which are important for your preparation for IAS.
  8. Page 13-14- This page consists of economic and business news. For UPSC, read thoroughly through the news that is socioeconomic in nature and relates to women, children, and health.
  9. Page 15- This page is dedicated to sports that are not very important in IAS preparation.
  10. Page 17: – The page 17 can be skipped as the news here onwards are on Sports etc. 

What Are The Does And Don’t While Reading A Newspaper?


  1. Keep a copy of the UPSC Mains Syllabus with you and focus on the keywords. 
  2. Maintain a diary or a notebook for current affairs related topics and make notes every day.
  3. Avoid making notes in the very first reading, you are likely to find more essential points while reading further.
  4. Focus on High court and Supreme court verdicts. These are very important from the exam point of view.
  5. Make short notes and summary of important news daily for topics like new policy, who declared it, the organizations associated with it, etc.
  6. Maintain soft copies of the notes or simply subscribe to an e-newspaper version of “The Hindu” so that you can go through them on the go.
  7. Avoid news from the politics, entertainment, and sports section; it’s just a waste of time.
  8. Read only the Exam Relevant Topics like polity, economy, national and international laws should be the highest priority.


  1. Don’t try to learn the basic concepts from the newspaper. This will definitely kill your time and confidence.

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