I’m a working aspirant. So, I grab what ever time I get like 10-15 mins here and there to read The Hindu daily newspaper online from this link Today’s Paper . Previously I subscribed to online e-paper edition and read it for few months. Comparing both, I felt the online edition reading has below advantages.
1. Today’s paper section is cumulative collection of all the editions of ‘The Hindu’ which means we don’t miss any article which appeared in any of the city editions (As you know different city had different editions and some time the articles published vary).
2. I prefer making online notes and once we read the article, we can save the link next to the points we make for future reference/revision which was not possible with e-paper edition.
Coming to making notes, first and foremost we need to by-heart the Syllabus given by UPSC. I also gave tags to each section in the syllabus. This helps us classify news articles into various sections of syllabus and also will help us while doing paper wise revision in future. We also need to go through previous 3-4 years question papers and see what kind of questions UPSC is asking. That will really help us in selecting the articles for reading news and making notes.
One more thing which I do is when I come across new abbreviations in news articles, I Google it and read about it and also save the link along with that news article. Now that I have a rough idea of the kind of questions UPSC has been asking, I try to frame one or two relevant questions for myself and Google them. This way we will find new and relevant articles from internet other than what we read from the newspaper.
Sometimes, news article content may not be important but the concept. For example: In any news article related to Israel and Gaza, content may not be that important but the questions we frame for ourselves like “How does this Israel-Palestine war impact us?” or “Bilateral ties between India-Israel” etc will be important since as we know UPSC mostly tries to frame questions from Current Affairs.
To do a selective study of news article as I said, we need to be thorough with our syllabus first and then automatically as soon as you see a news article our mind will internally identify the article related to so and so part of syllabus. This mapping is very important which comes automatically within few weeks of reading newspaper regularly.
Finally, Over the weekend, I try to once again go through the whole week’s news articles one by one and select few articles to make a detailed study (from Google, Wiki) and add more points to my notes. This will act as a revision as well as detailed study of important articles. I feel this exercise is very important to have a good grip of what we read on weekdays.
Software tools I use:
1. Google docs – Daily I make notes online so that I can access the same at home also.
2. One Note – Weekend I copy the notes from Google docs into daily page of One note(for eg: I make a page for each day with name ‘1st August 2014’) as we can organize it better here and also search for the tags easily. This will be very helpful during revision as you classify all the similar articles and read.
I designed this way of reading and making notes myself which is suitable to my styles of reading and comfort and also gives me a sense of satisfaction. This way may not be directly suitable to others. So, I suggest that you try different ways for few days and make your own way of reading and making notes which suits your style. Ultimately your comfort and sense of satisfaction is what is most important for smooth preparation 🙂