[Tech] How to read The Hindu Online, Efficiently via Google Reader

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Majid Hussain

UPDATE: May-27-2013: Since Google decided to shutdown google reader from 1st July, This article has become obsolete. Please click me to read the new technique/trick on how to use feedly instead of Google reader.

How to read Hindu Online, Efficiently? Ans. Well, one way is their E-paper edition (http://epaper.thehindu.com/ ).

Problem:

  1. costs money
  2. doesn’t work well on low speed internets.
  3. Not convenient on small sized monitors.

But here is a workaround, using Google Reader, that doesn’t cost money and gives you data in a more organized way.

Step1: download this file named “google-reader-subscriptions.xmlCLICK ME

Step2: Goto this link: http://www.google.com/reader

Enter your gmail username-password. If you don’t have a gmail account, you can create one for free.

You’ll see a new window, Click on that bolt-like icon and select “Reader settings”.

You get a new window.

Step:3 Select the “Import/Export Tab”

  • Now upload the file you downloaded in step1 (google-reader-subscriptions.xml)
  • You’ll have subscription to all the important items. Click on “Back to Google Reader“.
  • You’ll be back to home page of Google reader. Now click on individual folder to see the news items. Check the following screenshot

  1. This online trick requires way too many mouseclicks and stress on eyes, so Use it as a last resort, otherwise it is far more convenient to read and make notes out of paper-edition in real life, more on that, explained at bottom.
  2. At first this would feel like an information overload, but not every news item is important. (we already discussed that- in the How to read newspapers click ME) so learn to skip the news items.
  3. And even in the important news items, don’t get bogged down by dates, names and numbers. You job is to find out the essential facts/features/pros/cons or fodder material (in case of columns)
  4. If some news article / column is extremely important, you can click on the “star” button on the left side, to bookmark it for future reference.

Here is an overview of the what you’ll have in your google reader, after uploading my settings file.

Folder Content
Column All columns, editorials etc of Hindu. But unlike IndianExpress, they don’t have system of classifying editorials according to name/themes so at times you may also find columns related to music and movie reviews -Skip them.
Diplomacy/IR
  1. Hindu’s articles on International affairs
  2. + C Raja Mohan’s columns (Indian Express) he provides good fodder material on Indo-China, Afghanistan,Russia and USA relations, therefore highly recommended.
Economy Hindu’s articles. It has four subsections: Market, Industry, Economy, Companies.

  1. The Market section deals with daily ups and downs in Share, Forex and Commodity market. So no need to go in minute details everyday.
  2. Industry and Economy segment are important from exam point of view.
  3. Companies segment usually deals with profit / loss / investment plans of particular company. Again no need to go in minute details everyday.
Environment Hindu Sci-Tech (sub-segment) Energy and Environment
+ Indian Express’s section on climate change
+Economic Times’s section on Development issues involved in environment.Why this overkill for environment. Well, UPSC is giving too much emphasis on those questions related to environment and biodiversity, both @prelims and mains level.
Again, not every thing is important for e.g. if XYZ NGO has done some small solar project there will be a news item. But no need to read it
Misc. It contains updates from a blog called sarkari-naukari, to inform you on upcoming vacancies in State PSC, ONGC, LIC, other PSUs, SSC and Bank jobs. But If your career backup plan doesn’t involve those fields, then remove this subscription.
Polity and Yearbook
  1. Official press releases of Government. (pib.nic.in) -it also gives info on appointments of minister etc. =not important but announcement of schemes, or outcomes of Cabinet meeting / meeting between Foreign Secretaries of various nations = important.
  2. National News from Hindu.
  3. Feeds from prsindia.org (it’ll give you summery of various bills in parliament)
  4. Column of Soli Sorabjee (Indian Express). Every Sunday, he usually writes three small paragraphs- two on judiciary and third on guitar/jazz etc.  So skip the last one.
Public Health Hindu segments on health, medicine, policy Issues.
Science-Tech Both Hindu + indianexpress segments. Not an overkill, because Sci-tech is important for both prelims and mains plus many a times news items here overlap with Environment and Public Health.
Supplements Mrunal.org,
Hindu’s English- vocabulary, culture segment.

In case you are wondering where is the “Front page”!?
Well, The Hindu’s RSS feed-system is such that frontpage items overlap with national, Economy and International segment. So, you’ll find them in appropriate folders.

How to add more subscriptions?

In this google-reader subscription,  I’ve skipped certain segments of The Hindu. For example “Gadgets” segment because it usually contains only mobile phone reviews and such items are useless from exam point of view. So I skipped it. Same goes for “Career and Jobs”. Anyways, visit this link

http://www.thehindu.com/navigation/?type=rss

You’ll find subscription link to various segments. If you need to add more, just right click on particular link select “copy link address”, come back to google reader page, click on that orange colored “Subscribe” icon and paste the link and click on “Add” button.

E.g. if you’re from Banglore or Hyderabad, you might want to add those feeds in google reader. (for profile-based interview questions)

Side question: I’m from UP, Maharashtra, Gujarat or Punjab, what should I do? Because Hindu doesn’t have special feeds / segments for those states.
No problem, goto this link and add the required feeds

http://www.indianexpress.com/rss/

You can subscribe to any other website, as long as it is providing the RSS feeds. To remove or rename any subscription, just do as directed in this screenshot.

Anyways, Use the online edition of The Hindu, only as a last resort because it is far more convenient to read and prepare notes out The Hindu’s paper-edition, compared to the online edition. (Tips on speed reading of paper-edition, were given in separate article, CLICK ME)

Following situations can happen

  1. The newspaper vendor says he’ll charge extra Commission and or deliver The Hindu after lag of one day. Well go ahead and use it.
  2. The newspaper vendor simply refuses to deliver The Hindu. In that case, visit local Government library, see if they’ve it.
  3. If you’re a full time UPSC  aspirant, then visit library everyday use The Hindu. If you’re a working professional, it may not be convenient to make trips to library each day so visit it on weekends and cover all Hindus of that week.
  4. Hindu is nowhere available in your town. You don’t have good speed internet or there is electricity problem. In that case subscribe to paper edition of Indianexpress, make notes out of it and use the following google reader trick, to access Hindu once in a while and update whatever was not covered in Indianexpress.
  5. If you’re a Hindi (or any non English) aspirant, still you need to read English newspaper (Hindu/IndianExpress) for current affairs because Dainik Bhaskar, Gujarat Samachar etc. can’t provide you the content, depth and coverage required for UPSC level questions.

And Mind it: Times of India doesnot count as newspaper for UPSC or any other competitive exam. It mostly deals with Masala News, Mainstream/ Breaking news type of thing. Ya it may cover a few news topics in good manner but your time, energy (and money) is way better served in following Hindu or Indianexpress, in terms cost:benefit.

So, In the end, use whatever way you feel comfortable, device your own solutions but daily newspaper reading (+notes making)=essential for success in UPSC exam.

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142 Comments on “[Tech] How to read The Hindu Online, Efficiently via Google Reader”

  1. sir, Google Reader will be finally & totally retired on July 1, 2013. So now pls suggest any alternative

  2. Thank you Mrunal for your great efforts!

  3. Its nice and useful…

  4. Sir, The Said Service is not continue by Google

  5. REALLY THANKFULL

  6. How can i subscribe to the hindu via… So that it comes to my home straight

  7. Reddit experts would really love your blogs. If you can, shoot me an email and we will talk more becasue I have an idea you will love. I just stumbled upon your article. great read. Found this on Google and I am so happy I did

    https://www.scribd.com/WeedNaLFVptgU

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