✅Wrong approach: Watching daily 1 hour summary video on newspapers/editorial.
✅Right approach: Finish newspaper in 30 minutes, only for selected portions make notes, Do rest of the things from CA-PDF.
Prerequisites for finishing Newspaper in 30 Minutes
Following conditions need to be met before you can hope to finish the newspaper in 30 minutes for UPSC prep:
AT LEAST You are preparing for the UPSC for four to six months.
AT LEAST You have finished the core syllabus of polity and economy.
You are completely familiar with the syllabus, trend and topic wise papers from 2011 onwards (for prelims) and 2013 onwards (for mains). If not, visit Mrunal.org/Prelims and Mrunal.org/Mains
So, I’m assuming that you are intelligent enough to know whether a given CA-topic connects with which part of the syllabus.
TheHindu Newspaper Page-by-Page Utility
Latest example of today’s theHindu newspaper (1st July 2020). Similar scene in IndianExpress
theHindu News Headlines and its utility
✅Only one news was important that PM Anna Yojana extended.
✋Everything else was tamashaa / or already covered in yesterday’s news (e.g. Tiktok ban)
⏱ 2 mins
✋Open Book exam controversy. Once u gathered 3-4 points for it, There is no need to read this daily commentary
✋ Gotham Delhi city ka same daily tamaashaa ke hospital mein bed nhi, people killing each other in road accidents and robberies. BJP-Congress fights.
Glanced over in 1 minute.
⏱ 1 mins
✋advertisement SBI full page. So just flip over the page that means Zero minute taken in reading it.
⏱ 0 mins
✋Ad-Page about SBI celebrating 65th Foundation Day and its Accomplishments in terms of number of branches number of ATM machines. So just flip over the page that means Zero minute taken in reading it.
⏱ 0 mins
✋Same as above. Ad-Page about SBI
⏱ 0 mins
✋Northern states and Eastern states news.Congress bjp type news. Police man murdered robbery undertaken HIV kids are vulnerable to Covid. Just glanced over nothing golden gem exam worth news here.
⏱ 1 mins
✋Western States news: Mostly about how many people died in Maharashtra etc. Just glanced over nothing golden gem exam worth news here.
⏱ 1 mins
✅Tiktok App ban- Yes useful for writing mains
✋Two big columns on the Corona. Once you have gathered some 7-10 Big Points on how to control Corona Which can help you fill up 1200-1500 points essay then no point in reading every column every day.
✋One column on India China. No point in reading it word by word every day, once you’ve got a basic idea and enough points for 250 words answer. Then just observe the headlines without reading the inside material. it is NOT compulsory to do daily answer writing from this thing everyday. Some people will even spend one hour watching YouTube video of The Hindu editorial analysis, Which can be finished in just 10 minutes of self reading.
10-15 minutes Depending on your reading speed
✋MGNREGA ka randi-ronaaa. Whenever The Hindu does not have any content (And not finding clients for advertisement) they will fill up the page with some column on how to reform MGNREGA. Not compulsory to read it all the time, Once you get the basic idea.
✋Reviving SAARC : Once you’ve got the basic points from Pavneet Singh’s IR book no point in reading it all the time. Maximum utilities 250 words.
✋Column on making the trade more digitised: iss type ki baatein Already given in the last two economic surveys. So in terms of additional knowledge gained = nothing much.
✋There is a section on the bottom right corner about what happened 50 years ago from theHindu archive. Usually nothing significant here. Some people tend to think great history of freedom struggle question may be asked but it will give you a poor cost benefit
3 minutes. of glancing over.
✋Mostly Southern States news: How many people died whether they have postponed the college exams, how many gas leak and other random accident. Not greatly important from exam point of view
✋Core industry output has shrinked → Wait for the official economic survey next year for entire year’s data.No need to manually look at it every month
✋India’s fish production has slightly increased. Not important
⏱ 1 mins
✋Most of this page is dedicated to China-India standoff. No point in reading it word by word every day, once you’ve got basic idea and enough points for 250 words answer.
⏱ 1 mins
✋Corona crying continued.
✋Venugopal is given a one year extension is Attorney General. Such person in news is not important for the scope of UPSC. But of course some people will create a one hour youtube video on this ke What is Attorney General excetra? Bhai, you’re Supposed to have read that from Laxmikant book already.
✋“FAITH”. Some candidates mistake that everyday they will find the gems of ethical wisdom in this column, whereas rarely it happens..
⏱ 1 mins
✅State of World Population 2020 report released by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) says 46 million indian girls went missing. Due to neglect by the parents, human trafficking etc. so GSM1, Essay utility.
✋World bank okays funds for Namami Gange. You are supposed to prepare the government scheme and know that money will be given
✋LIC employees request pm not not do disinvestment. Woh toh jab Budget 2020 announced, at that time itself you should have prepared the topic. Afterwards, daily commentary is not required. (Same approach for the merger of banks BSNL MTNL Air India etc)
✋India-Nepal. Same approach as India China. No point in reading it word by word every day, once you’ve got a basic idea and enough points for 250 words answer. Then just observe the headlines without reading the inside material. it is NOT compulsory to do daily answer writing from this thing everyday.
✋Products should display country of origin- asks a PIL in SC. Until the judgement is given we need not worry to prepare.
✋Geelani admitted failure: J&K DGP. Within one sitting, you should have finished the internal security → J&K for GSM#3 from any copypaste book by Mcgraw Hill or Pearson. No need to follow daily on what -stonepelting, curfews,terror attack happening in Jammu Kashmir.
✋Arnab Goswami controversy. As far as the GSM1 communalism or GSM2- freedom of speech. You would come across sufficient matter through supplementary reading of newspaper columns anyways.
⏱ 2 mins
✋Full page advertorial about cars. Since cars are not selling so it is obvious automobile companies are paying truckload of money to the Hindu newspaper to publish this type of advertorials to create demand for cars.
⏱ 0 mins
✋Showcase: Lifestyle type of news, mainly targeting SJWs and millenial DINK couples.
⏱ 0 mins
✅Russia is making constitutional changes. Deals with presidential tenure. You need to have some idea for the GSM2 → Comparing constitutions
✋HongKong China. 1) Once you have gathered enough points on how it impacts India, You need to read whole news word by word every day. just observe headline and move to the next thing.
✋India Srilanka talks over debt. Same as above.
✋Israel Palestine. Same as above
✋Anti-Trump News / daily internal-politics of America. I really don’t see the utility of chasing it every day. We are not preparing for the American IAS exam. Once you’ve gathered enough of India-US trade/visa, India-US(vsChina) interest. Dangerous move to other parts of the syllabus.
⏱ 2 mins
Economy and business
✋External debt crisis: Current accounts shrink, Banks have given this many crores of loans, NPA problem rising etc. No need to chase it daily because economic survey 2021 will give you the whole years’ trend anyways.
✋Uniform stamp duty for deals in securities. Chartered accountant type information not important. Just off the union list state list wala tax distribution in LAxmikanth’s appendix.
✋Banking GK like Bank of Baroda to issue 2000 cr worth AT1 Bonds. You should know basics of what is at1 bonds through the economy → BASEL-noros preparation. no need to chase it daily afterwards.
✋U.S. State Dept. says its 5G list not for promoting any firm.
✋Business GK related to ONGC, L&T, etc.
✅L&T despatches cryostat lid for $20 billion global fusion project. Science technology angle of “global fusion project” related matter need to be prepared. but you don’t have to note it down because all this monthly current affair wala PDF file makers will cover it anyways
⏱ 2 mins
✅Maharashtra and Kerala ‘rediscover’ Globba andersonii, commonly known as ‘dancing ladies’ or ‘swan flowers’. While it is important but you don’t have to note it down because all this monthly current affair wala PDF file makers will cover it anyways,
✋NADA launches a mobile app. But it does not have a fancy name so no point in preparing
✋Sports news and how the players and coaches are coping up with the coronavirus. Unless you are planning to mention sports as your hobby in the interview stage no point in reading this much.
⏱ 1 min
⏱ 33 mins
Thus we can see hardly 6-7 items are newsworthy from a given days theHindu newspaper, And it can be finished in barely 30-35 minutes of self-study.
If you are taking more time that means you are reading the unnecessary things not important for the exam.
Should I watch Daily Current Affairs/Newspaper Summary videos?
Youtubers make 1 hr videos on daily newspaper analysis, because longer video = more number of advertisement breaks = more money from Youtube.
To drag their video for one hour, such youtuber unnecessarily bloating it with so many factoids which are not important for the scope of exam. Example: India-China Territorial dispute
✋Depth of the lake or
✋Height of the mountain,
✋List of every low profile mountain pass etc.
Such approch Which is giving very poor cost-benefit for the exam.
So, If you are able to finish a topic in 30 minutes reading then there is no need to spend 1 hour video of it.
Because even after watching DAILY Newspaper summary video for 1 hour you will require some hard/soft copy TEXT-material to revise before the exam anyways.
IF only you are unable to understand the given topic e.g. removal of article 370 orRBI’s Operation Twist → then only watch video for Complex Topic
Can I completely skip the newspaper and rely on the Current affair PDF files?
Current affairs PDFs are supplements but not substitute for the Newspaper reading.
Newspaper is required for building the clean vocabulary, grammar and language proficiency for the essay paper.
Newspapers also contain information related to Optional Subject, Cases Quotable for Essay / GSM4, & factoids imp. for UPSC interview i.e.
Your Home-state’s polity, economy, environment, developmental issues
Graduation e.g. Some new drug discovery for MBBS, or new developments in Companies Act for B.Com grads,
Job (e.g. working in ONGC/Infosys and appearing in exams).
Above information is NOT covered current affair PDF files yet It is important for your optional subject for UPSC interview.
Therefore you have to read the newspaper i.e. The Hindu or IndianExpress (NOT both, only one).
Whether I should make notes from the newspaper?
Ans. Make newspaper NOTES ONLY FOR Optional Subject, Cases Quotable for Essay / GSM4, & factoids imp. for UPSC interview i.e. about your home-state, hobbies, graduation & job (if any).
No need to make notes for General studies such as Art370 or AtmaNirbhar Bharat. Because Current Affairs PDF-walla will provide their combined notes anyways. Maximum utilities 150-250 words. No point in inventing the wheel by yourself.
It is true that not many MCQs can be solved directly from the current affair PDF files but if you engage in ‘Manual notes making exercise for all the general studies topics from the newspaper by yourself’= you will get exhausted and you will be left with very little time to finish other parts of the syllabus.
Beside the prelim cut off is never 200 out of 200 marks. One does not have to become the master of current affairs.