Thiruvananthapuram: Despite the heavy rain, more than 500 students turned up for the interactive session on Civil Service exams organized by Fortune IAS Academy.
The program, held at Tagore Theatre, had former USPC chairman Dr DP Agrawal dispelling some of the common misconceptions that aspirations had. In his opening speech, he gave the audience tips on how to prepare for all three stages of the exam – the preliminary, mains and interview.
Dr Agrawal emphasized that civil service is for all and that the exam can be cleared by anyone, irrespective of what their socio-economic background is. He re-iterated the unbiased approach of UPSC, by stating that one's academic qualifications would not be given a weightage in the selection.
Dr Agrawal also stressed the need for a broad reading across subjects from a young stage to crack this competitive examination. Dr Agrawal also highlighted the need to read a vernacular paper in addition to an English daily as the vernacular paper-like Malayala Manorama is likely to have more local news than an English daily. Furthermore, he stressed the need to have an in-depth understanding rather than a cursory reading of the subjects detailed in the syllabus.
During the interaction, it was also observed that a large number of engineering graduates selected liberal arts subject as their optional. Dr Agrawal suggested that it was always better to select one’s graduation subject as optional so that more time can be spent on general studies paper. He hoped that aspirants will make a decision to pursue civil service by plus two so that they can pursue graduation in a subject of interest.
According to him, prelims is an art of recognizing the correct option among the given which only comes through practice. For the Mains examination, he stressed the need to know the syllabus like the back of one’s hand. Answering the questions directly, with utmost clarity and desired legibility is the key to answer writing in mains. He also stressed on giving adequate importance to the qualifying subjects in both prelims and mains, because according to him it would be a “crime” to fail in these papers after clearing the other hurdles.
Regarding the interview stage, he told that one should not prepare for the interview but rather try to project the best version of oneself. There is nothing more to read from books but only to learn through life. Honesty is an essential ethical value that would guide an aspirant’s interview.
This was one of the few instances that UPSC aspirants in Trivandrum got a chance to interact with a former UPSC chairman. There were also sharp questions from the audience that showed their calibre of the crowd and determination to become future bureaucrats.