Are you looking to start your UPSC preparations, but don’t know where to start? Or maybe you’re already in the midst of your studies, but could use a bit of guidance on what newspapers to read. In either case, this blog post is for you! Here I’ll be discussing which newspapers are best for UPSC preparations and why. So whether you’re a beginner or an experienced candidate, keep reading for some valuable tips.
Which newspapers are best for UPSC Preparations
The first question you might ask is why do I need to read newspapers for my UPSC preparations? The answer is simple. Newspapers provide detailed news on all the events happening around us, so it’s an extremely useful resource to improve your general knowledge and also stay up-to-date with what’s going on. Some people think that it only makes sense to read newspapers after their prelims are over.
That isn’t true at all! It’s never too early to start reading newspapers – sure, there won’t be much you recognize because of course, not every event will have an impact on the UPSC exam or your studies, but reading newspapers at any stage can help you understand current affairs better before your exams come along. And trust me, even if you’re not planning to read newspapers now, you will be reading them at some point during your preparation.
Here’s a list of some popular newspapers, and why they should (or shouldn’t) be part of your Preps:
Why it is a must-read: The Hindu is India’s oldest newspaper, which means it has a lot of data and information on file. It’s definitely the best choice if you’re completely new to reading newspapers for UPSC – not only does it have easy language but is also the most preferred newspaper among lawyers and other competitive exam aspirants.
Why it shouldn’t be part of your Preps: If you’ve already started your preparations, The Hindu might not be as useful to you because there will be less new content that hasn’t been covered elsewhere. Plus, quizzing yourself on current events that aren’t included in the UPSC syllabus can feel like a waste of time (the key here is balance). And finally, the fact that The Hindu is quite popular could make it difficult to understand for some people.
Times of India
Why it is a must-read: The TOI has the second-largest readership in India, which means you can take advantage of all their content to bulk up for your exams (and also get entertained). Unlike other newspapers, this one is especially great if you have a knack for current affairs – these are covered extensively by the Times of India. Also, while there may be overlap with The Hindu on occasion, so far I haven’t seen too much overlap.
Why it shouldn’t be part of your Preps: There’s no denying that TOI publishes a ton of articles daily. This sometimes makes it hard to digest information quickly enough compared to other newspapers. And because there might be some overlap with The Hindu or other newspapers, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to answer whatever comes your way on test day.
Why it is a must-read: Eenadu has some great informative content that can help enhance your general knowledge. And since most of the questions asked in UPSC prelims are based on current affairs, this newspaper definitely needs to be part of your Preps if you haven’t read any other ones so far. Plus, it’s the most popular vernacular daily in Telugu-speaking states, making it extremely useful for anyone studying regional politics or history.
Why isn’t it part of your Preps: While Eenadu has a lot of unique content, you might struggle to understand the language if it’s not your mother tongue. If you’re from other states, it might be easier to understand articles in Hindi. Plus, the newspaper is spread over multiple pages so there’s a high chance of overlap with other newspapers.
Why it is a must-read: The HT website has a great collection of articles that you can use to prepare for prelims. Also, most questions asked in prelims tend to come from current affairs. But what makes this newspaper stand out is the quiz section – these are easy, short quizzes that give you enough time to study and also help your memory recall better before the exam.
Why isn’t it part of your Preps: Since Hindustan Times has a limited number of articles, there’s a huge chance that you might not be able to answer most questions asked in prelims. And even if you can, these newspapers might not cover some news that could come your way during the exam.
Why it is a must-read: The India Today website has a ton of content related to current affairs and GK. What I like about this newspaper is their quiz section and lists on countries and personalities – these are great for visual learners and those who want to move away from standard written text.
Why isn’t it part of your Preps: If you’re an avid reader, India Today might seem repetitive at some point as they publish a lot of new articles without making significant changes in their existing content. This might leave you with a sense of deja vu (and also waste your time).
Why it is a must-read: Prabhat Khabar, especially the Pk Hindi website, provides some great content related to current affairs and GK. The newspaper has an extensive quiz section that covers both general knowledge and current events (so you can train yourself well for prelims). But what’s even better is the fact that they summarise important news from multiple sources into one document – saving you time and effort.
Why isn’t it part of your Preps: Prabhat Khabar only publishes a few articles, so there’s a chance that you might run out of content to read by the time prelims come along. Also, the GK section is not as organized as Hindustan Times and India Today – making it harder to study from.
How to use these newspapers for UPSC Preparations:
This is where your decision-making comes in. While it’s important to read multiple newspapers, there’s no reason why you can’t stick to one for UPSC preparations and then switch to another when you’re done with prelims.
You might not want to go through 5 different sources if time isn’t on your side; equally, you might not be able to enhance your knowledge as well by sticking only to one newspaper.
If you haven’t already started reading newspapers or watching news channels for current affairs (which is a big NO), I’d recommend that you start with Hindu and India Today. But make sure you pick up at least two other sources before the exam since they’ll help diversify your knowledge base – which is especially important in a scenario where you’re unable to access any newspapers because of the exam timings.
If you’re an avid reader, Hindustan Times and Prabhat Khabar are great for current affairs and general knowledge. But if you prefer a quiz-based approach, then think about starting with HT’s online quizzes. Plus, all three newspapers have a wealth of GK-related content – since it kind of help if your GQ is at par with your GS score (in prelims). So pick up any one or two from these as well depending on how much time you have left before the prelims!
Which sections of these newspapers are important for UPSC Preparations :
For prelims, you need to be aware of all the sections of a newspaper (not just GK and current affairs). But if I had to pick two areas where it is necessary for you to read everything available, I’d say GK and Current Affairs.
HT doesn’t really have specific quiz-based articles; instead what they do is publish multiple quizzes and then assign them an appropriate section – like General Awareness or India Today
India today provides some great material on Everyman’s education, history, and general knowledge as well as politics and economy. While the site has more than 20 quizzes as such, it also has some great lists on personalities and countries. But make sure you don’t get bogged down with too much content at once!
The GK section of Prabhat Khabar provides some great reading material – but it also has a summary of important news and events from multiple sources (so you’re covered even if you want to put together your own opinion on current affairs). It also has quizzes, but I’d recommend that you go through the Hindustan Times quiz series instead since they’re more organized and cover all the topics mentioned above in a single read.
HT’s online quizzes are extremely popular among UPSC aspirants, mainly due to their simplicity and ease of access. It has quizzes on history, politics, and geography as well as current affairs. It also lets you go through the explanations of the answers to all its questions – which is a great way of brushing up your subject knowledge.
While most people prefer HT’s quiz series, there are some who swear by these. If you’re looking for more than just GK or current affairs (because let’s face it, prelims do have a lot of diverse subjects), then this is an excellent choice!
The Hindu has a quiz every day in the form of Top Five which lets you test your knowledge on a variety of topics. It also provides some great reading material for history buffs and political aficionados. Plus, it’s worth mentioning that The Hindu is a daily newspaper – so if you prioritize one paper over all others, this should be it!
My Personal Opinion about these newspapers for UPSC Preparations:
Hindu covers almost all topics in such depth that there’s no point wasting time or money on any other newspaper; however, it might not be the best idea to rely on just one source since it might get repetitive after some time. Plus, even though this paper has nice quizzes, it is not at all suitable for prelims.
HT’s online quiz series is very good, but they don’t cover all topics or provide GK-based material; so I’d recommend you to go through a few initial rounds of this and then start reading Hindustan Times for current affairs (and general knowledge) as well as India Today (history, politics, etc.).
Prabhat Khabar covers almost all the topics that Hindustan Times does with equal depth; however, coverage isn’t as wide as HT or India Today. So if you’re looking for diversity in your preparation, Prabhat Khabar is basically a must-have!
How to make the best use of your time while preparing for the UPSC exams using these newspapers :
If you have a job, I’d recommend that you take a look at all the newspapers once a week and find out which one of them is best for you. On the other hand, if you’re unemployed then just get HT and Prabhat Khabar – because they’re cheap enough to buy every day.
If possible, try to do their quizzes on a daily basis since it will help you solidify your subject knowledge. In fact, some papers categorize GK into multiple lists based on geography, history etc., so make the most of these!
Read through current affairs in journals like The Hindu and India Today during your free time (in between watching TV or something) but only read the ‘meaningful articles’ (not the short ‘headlines only’) – since doing this will improve your comprehension skills and help you prepare well for current affairs in prelims!
Last but not least, please DO NOT rely on just these newspapers – they’re simply there to supplement your preparation. So, keep working hard and push yourself out of your comfort zone if you want to ace the UPSC exam. Best of Luck!