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How much of newspapers and magazines should I read

Here I tread into controversial ground. Virtually every one I have met with, and virtually every one you will meet, will suggest you to read as much and as many of newspapers and magazines as you can. This is a very good advice. It will help you in gearing up for General Studies, and will help you in the interview stage as well. But the question arises whether you can better utilise your precious time reading from your syllabus, especially your Optional(s) syllabus. True, as a prospective civil servant you are expected to be in touch with the latest happenings around your street corner, as well as in Delhi and Washington. Newspapers and magazines broaden your mental and intellectual horizon making you more of a complete and informed citizen. So, there can be no two opinions that they are very helpful, and not just for the exams.

But have you ever asked yourself how many questions actually come from the latest who's who and the latest happenings? Take the Prelims GS for example. Every year not more than 5 to 10 questions come from this section. GS Paper II in the Mains has a pretty big section where they ask you about current affairs. Even for that it is not mandatory that you have to go through many newspapers every day. Just going through the main headlines and the editorials will give you the requisite information and enlightenment so that not only can you write up your Prelims but even your Mains GS. Monthly magazines with a roundup of the monthly events come in even more handy and can act as a nice substitute for the daily newspaper. A half an our sitting with Doordarshan and BBC will get you the latest of national and international news.

Instead of reading three four newspapers a day and two three magazines a week, spend your time more profitably with your GS and Prelims manual. Before the exam, read the monthly roundups (or get a half-yearly copy of Current Events Update published by Spectrum Books). You are more or less done.

Read the daily headlines. Keep track of new laws and amendments to the Constitution. Keep track of who won what in Sports. Read the editorials if they are good and relevant. And concentrate on your Optional(s).

If you ask for suggestions as to newspapers and magazines, I have not many to offer. The Hindu is, of course, the best newspaper. Read it if it is available in your city or town or village. If you have time in your hand, read Frontline. Don't read Yojana, Economic and Political Weekly etc- they are very good books, in fact too good to be of any use to you.



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