This query invokes another question that is “better” in that sense? After analyzing both of the newspapers, The Hindu and The Indian Express for almost 2 years I can suggest you this:
If you would like to follow politics, governance, and market, The Indian Express is a better alternative for you due to the wide news coverage, experience, and courage ( for politics and governance just ). In the economic section, it won’t ever have a stand contrary to that of FICCI, CII and other industry bodies.
Its editorials and op-ed usually contain articles from distinguished personalities. They are extremely enlightening and are devoid of hue and cry that is produced by visual media on the vast majority of issues. Its stand on foreign policy issues is extremely objective and is nearly the same as that of MEA. Nation-wide news coverage is not so good. (The Hindu has an edge here in the event of north India)
The Hindu is a really good newspaper. Exceptional selection concerning news headlines. Avoids sensationalism, quality reporting and focuses well on topics which concern the nation. Therefore it’s strongly recommended for Civil Services preparations.
The Hindu always places “news that matters” on priority. For a rookie, the Hindu is extremely dry paper and has no entertainment value. However, as opposed to giving shallow coverage in”who wore what” the Hindu puts the in-depth center on cinema, music, art, and style.
Contrary to the popular belief, no paper is said to be more balanced. This is very much true for the Hindu also. Each newspaper has a specific ideology and interests. The Hindu is accused of selective news coverage and barely gives any distance to the counter-views. In issues like Atomic power, NaMo, Communalism, etc..
For the preparation of civil services that this paper is a really effective tool. But to gain a comprehensive perspective of the issues one must not rely entirely on a single paper. I believe a combination of Indian Express and Hindu is extremely good as it will let you examine issues from multiple angles and therefore help enjoy the diversity of perspectives. The opinion that you form after this could be Balanced.