How to Prepare Current Affairs and News Items for Civil Services and other Exams
No matter which examination you may be preparing for, whether it be UPSC, PSC’s, IBPS, CAT or any other exam, you need to go through newspapers on a daily basis. Select any one good newspaper and stick to it. The Hindu is the most favored choice but some candidates prefer Indian Express. It is up to you to decide which newspaper you wish to follow and can be easily available at your doorstep. In government job exams, at all three stages (preliminary, mains and interview), questions pertain to current affairs and thus, it is essential that all major current affairs are on your fingertips.
Such information that you gather will also come in very useful while attempting the essay paper. It is important to realize that one should make notes on your own as you come across many other articles when you read a newspaper for making notes. Simple copy paste from other sources or using only magazines is a futile exercise.
• Magazines have limited number of pages, and cover topics minutely while newspapers are more like opinion pieces which is needed. You are free to use magazines, blogs etc as supplementary sources but primary sources should be newspapers such as The Hindu, Indian Express etc. Read a national newspaper and not any local newspaper as you need information on India and not just your state or region.
• Press conferences of government, announcement of various policies, administrative reforms etc should be highlighted from newspapers on a daily basis. This needs to be collected. You may cut it out and paste it in a file or notebook.
• Election related news is also important. Accidents and calamity related news is also important but figures are not important. The reason behind it and steps taken for prevention are more important.
• Science and Tech related news is very essential especially any satellite sent by ISRO or NASA. GPS and bilateral treaties on science and tech with other countries should also not be missed.
• International organization such as UN, IMF, World Bank must be covered in detail.
• Any major schemes or policies by them should also be covered. In addition, climate change, environment related news must also be covered. Press conference or press note by Government, SEBI, RBI etc.
You can use a pen to highlight main points or make individual notes, entirely up to you. Once done, cut it out and paste it in a file or notebook for review. Keep going through them on a regular basis. No need to mug it up. Just read once every day with a glance. When you do it 100 times or 365 times for one year, it will automatically get registered inside your brain without any extra effort. Personally, file is better as you can add extra material or any follow up news items. But the choice is yours.