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How to Choose the Best Newspaper for UPSC Preparation

The Hindu: Pros and Cons

The Hindu is one of the oldest and most respected newspapers in India. It is known for its high-quality journalism, editorial standards, and coverage of national and international issues. Many UPSC aspirants prefer The Hindu as it is often considered as the gold standard for UPSC preparation. Some of the advantages of reading The Hindu are:
– It provides in-depth and comprehensive coverage of topics that are important for UPSC, such as economy, polity, environment, science and technology, culture, and international relations.
– It has a dedicated section called Explained that simplifies and clarifies complex issues and concepts that are relevant for UPSC. This section can help you form a clear and balanced understanding of various topics and write better answers in the mains exam.
– It has a rich vocabulary and a formal tone that can help you improve your language skills and expression. Reading The Hindu can also help you prepare for the comprehension and essay sections of the exam.
– It has a moderate and impartial stance on most issues and does not indulge in sensationalism or bias. It presents multiple perspectives and viewpoints on various issues and helps you develop a critical and analytical thinking.
However, The Hindu also has some drawbacks that you should be aware of. Some of the disadvantages of reading The Hindu are:
– It uses unnecessary and fancy words that can make it difficult to understand the meaning and context of the articles. You might have to consult a dictionary frequently to grasp the content of The Hindu. This can be time-consuming and frustrating for some aspirants.
– It has a leftist tendency and tends to criticize the government policies and actions more often than not. While it is good to be aware of the shortcomings and challenges of the government, it is also important to acknowledge the positive aspects and achievements of the government. Reading The Hindu might give you a skewed or negative impression of the government and its initiatives.
– It has extra pages on Sundays that are mostly irrelevant and unnecessary for UPSC preparation. These pages contain news and features that are not related to the syllabus or the exam pattern of UPSC. Reading these pages might waste your time and divert your attention from the important topics.
– It has less coverage of ecology and environment related news than The Indian Express. Ecology and environment is an important and dynamic part of the UPSC syllabus and you need to be updated with the latest developments and issues in this domain. Reading The Hindu might not provide you with enough information and insights on ecology and environment.

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The Indian Express: Pros and Cons

The Indian Express is another popular and reputed newspaper in India. It is known for its crisp and concise reporting, investigative journalism, and diverse opinions. Many UPSC aspirants prefer The Indian Express as it is often considered as a smart choice for UPSC preparation. Some of the advantages of reading The Indian Express are:
– It provides fine articulation of facts and information in a user-friendly and simple language. You can easily understand the content and context of the articles without having to refer to a dictionary or a thesaurus. Reading The Indian Express can save you time and energy and help you retain the information better.
– It provides a balanced view from both the left and right perspectives on various issues and topics. It does not favor or oppose any particular ideology or party and gives you a clear and objective picture of the situation. Reading The Indian Express can help you develop a neutral and rational outlook and avoid being influenced by any bias or propaganda.
– It has a section called Explained that directly forms an answer to UPSC mains questions. This section provides you with the background, analysis, and implications of various issues and topics that are important for UPSC. Reading this section can help you enrich your content and structure your answers in a logical and coherent manner.
– It has more coverage of ecology and environment related news than The Hindu. Ecology and environment is a crucial and dynamic part of the UPSC syllabus and you need to be updated with the latest developments and issues in this domain. Reading The Indian Express can provide you with more information and insights on ecology and environment.
However, The Indian Express also has some drawbacks that you should be aware of. Some of the disadvantages of reading The Indian Express are:
– It provides less coverage of topics that are important for UPSC, such as economy, polity, science and technology, culture, and international relations. It focuses more on the current and breaking news and less on the background and analysis of the issues. Reading The Indian Express might not provide you with enough depth and breadth of knowledge on various topics.
– It has a shorter and simpler vocabulary and tone than The Hindu. While this can make it easier to read and understand, it can also limit your exposure to new and diverse words and expressions. Reading The Indian Express might not help you improve your language skills and expression as much as The Hindu.
– It has no dedicated section for editorials and opinions. It mixes the news and the views in the same page and does not clearly distinguish between the facts and the opinions. Reading The Indian Express might confuse you or mislead you about the source and credibility of the information and the opinions.

My Take: Which Newspaper is Better for UPSC Preparation?

Based on the pros and cons of both the newspapers, I would recommend reading both The Hindu and The Indian Express for UPSC preparation. However, you should not read both the newspapers completely or equally. You should read selectively and smartly and use the best of both the newspapers. Here is how you can do that:
– Read The Hindu for the topics that are important for UPSC, such as economy, polity, science and technology, culture, and international relations. Read the Explained section of The Hindu for the background and analysis of the issues. Read the editorials and opinions of The Hindu for the multiple perspectives and viewpoints on the issues. Use The Hindu to improve your vocabulary and expression.
– Read The Indian Express for the topics that are related to ecology and environment. Read the Explained section of The Indian Express for the direct answers to UPSC mains questions. Read the news and views of The Indian Express for the balanced and objective coverage of the issues. Use The Indian Express to save your time and energy and retain the information better.
– Use other sources such as monthly current affairs magazines, online portals, and Google to supplement your newspaper reading and fill the gaps in your knowledge and understanding. For example, you can use Vision IAS magazines to augment your notes on ecology and environment. You can use Insightsonindia to cover the best of the latest happenings from all the major newspapers that are relevant for UPSC exam. You can use Google to search for the constitutional background, supreme court judgments, commissions, parliament, etc. of the important news items.
By following this strategy, you can optimize your newspaper reading and get the maximum benefit for your UPSC preparation. You can also avoid the pitfalls and drawbacks of reading only one newspaper and get a holistic and comprehensive view of the current affairs and general knowledge.
P.S: The Hindu is a highly overrated newspaper. 99% of aspirants in Old Rajinder Nagar read this. And I very well understand that it is tough to follow the road less taken. But you should not blindly follow the crowd and read what everyone else is reading. You should read what suits your needs and preferences and what helps you achieve your goal. Remember, UPSC is not about reading newspapers, it is about cracking the exam.
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