‘The Hindu ‘ is the most important part of your preparation, as most of the questions come from this newspaper in both prelims and mains. In this article, you will get a few handy tips on how to read editorials for IAS exam.
Before you learn how to read the editorial section of the newspaper, here are some things that you should do:
- Know the UPSC syllabus thoroughly.
- Practice previous years’ question papers & know the question patterns.
- Have a knowledge of the important issues in the news.
- More than one hour should not be spent with the newspaper.
There is a plethora of information in ‘The Hindu’, however, the following are what is relevant from UPSC point of view & deserve your focus:
- Any judgement or ruling /remark by the Supreme Court or the High Court is important. Also, understand the relevance in the syllabus of the judgement you note down. Find its relation with subjects like Geography /History /Economics/Polity.
- The social issues or challenges that are faced by society need to be identified properly. Understand the pros and cons and also make notes of the recent incidents that have happened related to the topics. You can quote them to substantiate your point. E.g. -caste riots, moral policing, restriction on freedom of speech, etc.
- Make notes on the issue being discussed in the Government by the departments/ministries. Also understanding the pros and cons of the issue is equally important. E.g. linking rivers, water conservation , etc.
- The schemes/policies & initiatives by the government need to be identified. From prelims preparation point of view this is very important. You should make notes on:
- Objectives of the policy
- Ministry /department under which it operates.
- Special features of the policy.
- Who are the members involved (If its an organisation .eg. Inter State council)
- Any constitutional provisions related to the policy.
- For the mains, you need to understand the issues related to the policy/scheme and make notes on the pros and cons of it.
- While reading the editorial , the issues need to be identified first. Then you need to figure out the points that are in favour or against. Please understand that the editorials are biased towards one opinion. So, you have to identify the points carefully, both for the topic and against it. Both the things-pros and cons should be recognized so that a qualitative answer can be framed in the Mains examination.
People say that reading the newspaper is an art, but it can very well be mastered with practice and we tell you how:
- Focus on the issue not the news: Suppose there is a news headlined as “Supreme Court judge removed from his seat”. So instead of reading who is removed, what he did to be removed, when was he removed. etc. focus on “How a Supreme Court judge can be removed”, “What provision does our Constitution have for the removal of a judge from his seat”, “What effects could it have on our nation and upcoming generation” etc.
- Categorise the news: Divide the news or issues into a few categories like Environment & Biodiversity, International Relations, Personalities & Awards, Government Policies & Schemes, Economic Policies, International Organisations, Science and Technology, Health and Medicine, Miscellaneous etc.
- Matter in “The Hindu” is not enough in itself: Surf the internet and gather more information about the topics of importance.
Also read: How to read “The Hindu”
If you go through the previous years’ question papers, you will find that the following topics are given importance:
- Scientific Researches
- Places of national and international importance
- Government Policies
- Government Bodies established/dissolved
Hope you find this useful. Happy Reading!