How to Study a NEWSPAPER for CIVIL SERVICE PREPARATION – by ABHIJIT GUPTA (ABG) IRPS 2017 Batch, Rank 53 in IFoS, Rank 45 in Indian Engineering Services

  • IASbaba
  • May 6, 2020
  • 0
IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Many students are often confused, when reading or perhaps studying a News Paper (Current Affairs). Most importantly because of the abundant materials and newspapers available in the market. This keeps many in a spot of bother, with questions bombarding like-

What to Read? What Not to Read? To what depth to Read?

How to Study Newspaper from Prelims Perspective?

How to Study Newspaper from Mains Perspective?

How to Analyse an Issue? 

….. the list goes on…

So today, we have a lucid and to the point article written by  ABHIJIT GUPTA IRPS 2017 Batch which will clear all your doubts with regard to Studying a Newspaper (Current Affairs).

ABHIJIT GUPTA is presently serving in Railways (IRPS 2017 Batch -Rank 511). Amazingly, he has the distinction of qualifying all the top 3 examinations conducted by UPSCCivil Services Exam, Rank 53 Indian Forest Services (IFoS), Rank 45 in Indian Engineering Services (IES) 

He was our ILP Student (2017), and used to write Mains Answers on our TLP Platform. He has been a guiding light for many in our TLP Mains Answer Writing Programme (a Free initiative). He was not only known for his answer writing skills but also for his helping attitude for others -through peer reviews and guiding others in answer writing. He is more famous as ABG (his Disqus name). Most of you must be aware of it, as he was one of the most active student on the platform.

To Watch Abhijit Gupta’s Strategy -> CLICK HERE


How to STUDY a Newspaper for Civil Service Preparation? 

Newspapers happen to be the common source of information for people from times immemorial. When there was no social media, no television or radio, newspapers were the sole medium for broadcasting information. But even after advent of latest modes of mass communication, the newspaper remains one of the most trusted source of information.


For a civil service aspirant, newspaper forms the backbone of entire preparation as the entire exam is about general awareness. An aspirant need not just read a newspaper, but STUDY it.
I will take an EXAMPLE of a news item which appeared in the Hindustan Times. It is related to “Etalin Hydropower project in Dibang valley of Arunachal Pradesh”.

Hindustan times


If one carefully STUDIES this news item, he/she will notice
3097 MW ETALIN hydropower project proposed in Arunachal Pradesh’s Dibang Valley


Geography –
Dibang river and its tributaries – Tangon and Dri
Natural Vegetation type in Dibang valley – Sub tropical evergreen and rainforests


Society –
Tribal group – Idu Mishmi community belongs to Dibang valley of Arunachal Pradesh


Government Body/Polity –
Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) –
A question must come in mind about what is FAC? Who are its members ?
Here the internet comes handy. On internet search, one can get the following information –


Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) 
1. It is a statutory body which was constituted by the Forest (Conservation) Act 1980.
2. It comes under the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MoEF&CC).
3. It considers questions on the diversion of forest land for non-forest uses such as mining, industrial projects, townships and advises the government on the issue of granting forest clearances. However, its role is advisory.
4. FAC, with seven members — three of them independent — is headed by the director-general of forest.



Now from MAINS perspective, one has to connect the article with the syllabus. In GS3, Environment, Energy, Economy and Biodiversity form important topics.
So, a question may come in exam on critical analysis of need for hydropower projects in North East India. An aspirant needs to understand the impact of such projects on environment and biodiversity. However, development of region depends on availability of affordable electricity in the region. Sustainability of the project becomes an important paradigm in any policy formulation. An aspirant must appreciate the concept of sustainable development.
The issues faced by this project can be quoted in the answers related to development vs ecology questions as value addition to substantiate answers better.
If an aspirant has time in his daily schedule, it can be a right time to revise notes on topics related to this issue.


Some of the related topics –
1. Environment Impact Assessment,
2. Draft New Forest Policy
3. Compensatory afforestation funds,
4. Gadgil and Kasturiranjan report on Western Ghats
Needless to say, Newspapers must be the best friends for all the aspirants during their preparation period.


Some of the newspapers which I found helpful in my preparation –

1. The Hindu
2. Indian Express
3. The Times of India (Times top 10 section available on TOI app and website is must read)
4. Hindustan Times
5. Livemint
It is not important to read all the newspapers and articles. One must prioritize the article based on syllabus of the exam. And then based on availability of time, study the important articles.


A Sample MCQ which can be based on FAC

Which of the following statements is correct about the Forest Advisory Committee (FAC)  ?
A.  It is a statutory body which was constituted by the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972
B. It is headed by the Minister Of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MoEF&CC)
C. It considers the questions on the diversion of forest land for non-forest uses and its decisions are final
D. None of the above
Answer – D


Thank You


For a dedicated peer group, Motivation & Quick updates, Join our official telegram channel –

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel HERE to watch Explainer Videos, Strategy Sessions, Toppers Talks & many more…

Search now.....

Sign Up To Receive Regular Updates