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The world of Civil Services Aspirants – Introduction

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By Harshmeet Singh

Some call it one of the world’s toughest examinations, some call it the entrance gate to a golden career, while some call it the chance to impact the society like nothing else. The UPSC Civil Services examination (or informally known as the IAS exam) presents a chance to the common man to enter the national bureaucracy based on his or her credibility.

One of the most coveted examinations in the country, the civil services examination’s preparation is in itself a penance. With a never ending syllabus and frequent twists in the examination pattern, aspirants prepare for multiple years to get a shot at the glory. Such is the aura of this examination that clearing it in the first attempt is considered an exception!

But behind the glory it brings to the successful candidates lies the toil and agony of the lakhs of candidates who leave their comfortable homes to come to Delhi with hopes that their next destination would be the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie.

This series of articles by NewsGram is an attempt at taking a closer look at the UPSC civil services aspirants, their hardships, the money-spinning coaching institutes and the examination itself. And we begin by studying the pattern of the ‘mother of all examinations’.

The UPSC civil services examination recruits officers for 24 central services, of which the Indian Administration Services or the IAS is considered the most illustrious. IAS officers go on to take up revered roles such as Collector, Chief Secretary, Head of the PSUs and others. Each year, close to 10 lakh candidates apply for the exam, out of which, close to 1000 candidates are finally selected for all the services!

image coutesy- www.news.civilserviceindia.com
image courtesy- www.news.civilserviceindia.com

The various stages of the examination stretch over a year, starting with the preliminary examination which is conducted in August. At this stage, the candidates need to appear for two papers, viz. Paper 1 or General Studies (History, Geography, Economics, Science & Technology, Polity and Current Events) and Paper 2 or the civil services aptitude test. Both the papers are objective type.

Upon clearing the first stage, the candidates will appear for the Mains stage. Here, the candidate will appear for nine descriptive papers. Of these nine papers, four are from General Studies, one English paper, one language paper, one Essay paper and two papers from the optional subject which that candidate is free to choose from the list of subjects offered by UPSC.

If the candidate is declared successful at this stage too, he or she proceeds to the grueling personality test where he or she will come face to face with some of the top bureaucrats of the country and answer their questions. The marks obtained by the candidate in the Mains stage and the personality test are added to form a merit list for the successful candidates.

The overall rigor of the examination is even more daunting than this lengthy scheme of the examination. They say that those who manage to successfully clear this examination despite all the odds have matured enough in the process to handle nerve-wrecking job postings in the coming times.

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Rajiv Mehrishi Takes Over as CAG of India

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Rajiv Mehrishi (IANS)

New Delhi, Sep 25: Former Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi assumed the office of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India today. He took the oath of office before President Ram Nath Kovind at a ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi.

Mehrishi succeeds Shashi Kant Sharma, former CAG of India, who demitted office on September 22 of this year.

Mehrishi, who retired as Home Secretary in August at the end of a two-year extension, will have a tenure as CAG until August 7, 2020, when he will turn 65.

Mehrishi belonged to the 1978 batch of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) of Rajasthan cadre.

He was appointed Union Home Secretary in August 2015. Prior to that, he was Finance Secretary at the Centre and Rajasthan Chief Secretary.

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Jharkhand girls make it to toppers’ list defying odds

It’s been a hard road to success for Aarti who now hopes to become an Indian Administrative Service official one day

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St.Aloysius School Ranchi Jharkhand affiliated to the Jharkhand Academic Council Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

By Nityanand Shukla, Ranchi: Nothing could stop Aarti Kumari of Ranchi. Defying all the odds — poverty to displacement — this girl from Jharkhand stood out in her effort to make a mark. Today she has tasted success: Aarti is at the second spot in this year’s Arts intermediate merit list published by the Jharkhand Academic Council (JAC).

Aarti had lost her father in 2015 when she was studying in the 12th standard. It was then left to her mother to shoulder the responsibilities. But a distraught Aarti could not take the JAC exam that year.

But she pulled herself together and made up her mind. This year, she took the test and the JAC result proved that she’s one of the brightest students in Jharkhand.

Her mother has been the pillar of strength for Aarti and her brother, who has also completed his engineering studies.

Besides losing her father, Aarti had to face displacement as the family was forced to vacate their tenement in Naga Baba Khatal. They took shelter in another part of Ranchi. It was a tough time, but Aarti was constantly supported by her mother who told her to never deviate from her academic pursuits.

It’s been a hard road to success for Aarti who now hopes to become an Indian Administrative Service official one day.

Similar is the story of Gayatri Singh of Gumla district. Her parents work at a brick kiln in Uttar Pradesh. Gayatri, however, didn’t follow them to the neighbouring state — she stayed back along with her sisters and brother, who works in a local store.

Gayatri had been adamant that despite financial constraints and the troubles that come with it, she would never give up studying. Her brother worked hard to ensure that Gayatri was not forced to drop out.

The result has been spectacular: Gayatri is at the third spot on the JAC merit list.

No wonder then that the neighbours are happy — the girl next door has made them proud, proving that nothing can come in the way if one is powered by a dream, determination and hard work.

Another shining example of grit and determination is Reeta Nupur Kujur of Lohardaga district who followed her dreams even as she got married and gave birth to a son. She has secured 10th position as per the JAC merit list.

Reeta got married after taking her matriculation exam. The marital life took away much of her time, as she became a mother. But her wish to pursue studies remained etched deep in her heart. Thankfully, she was encouraged by her husband, a farmer, who understood the need to study if Reeta was to fulfil her dream to become an Indian Police Service official one day.

So after a gap of six years, Reeta got back to the study materials and took admission in a women’s college. There has been no looking back since then. Reeta now plans to pursue graduate course in English and then chase her dream to become an IPS official. (Source: IANS)

(Nityanand Shukla can be contacted at nityanand.s@ians.in)

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Dalit IAS Officer Shashi Karnawat announces to become a “Sanyasin”

Karnawat, who was promoted to IAS in 1999, received a five-year imprisonment by a Mandla district court in 2013 in a graft case

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IAS officer Shashi Karnawat. Image source: facebook
  • Shashi Karnawat was promoted to IAS in 1999
  • Accused the MP Govt. of showing heavy “caste bias” against Dalits and tribal public servants
  • In 2013, received a five-year imprisonment by a Mandla district court  in a graft case

BHOPAL- IAS officer Shashi Karnawat, who has been under suspension since her conviction in a corruption case, announced her plans of becoming a “sanyasin” on Thursday, June 2.

Karnawat, who belongs to the Dalit community, had earlier accused the Madhya Pradesh government of showing heavy “caste bias” against Dalits and tribal public servants. Joining hands with Ramesh Thete, another Dalit IAS officer, Karnawat had participated in a dharna in January.

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Such allegations don’t come as a surprise at a time when already two IAS officers have borne the brunt in two separate incidents of praising the former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, said a PTI report.

Bhopal: IAS officer Shashi Karnavat speaks as Ramesh Thete (IAS) looks on during a dharna organised by Dalit-Adivasi Forum to protest against the alleged attrocities on Dalit and Adivasi in Madhya Pradesh, in Bhopal on Monday. Image source: PTI
Bhopal: IAS officer Shashi Karnavat speaks as Ramesh Thete (IAS) looks on during a dharna organised by Dalit-Adivasi Forum to protest against the alleged attrocities on Dalit and Adivasi in Madhya Pradesh, in Bhopal on Monday. Image source: PTI

“I have been running from pillar to post for justice since 2000. In my case, natural justice has been overlooked,” said Karnawat. The MP govt has been giving her a chase even after a jail sentence, and several notices during festivals like Diwali.

Karnawat, who was promoted to IAS in 1999, received a five-year imprisonment by a Mandla district court in 2013 in a graft case. She was later suspended. Karnawat got bail after she moved the High Court challenging her previous conviction.

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“I have taken a decision to renounce the world and become a sanyasin. One becomes powerful when he takes refuge in the Almighty. To conquer the downfall, to turn adversaries into victories, bothering into meditation and troubles into means to happiness, I am going to enter the spiritual realm shortly,” said Karnawat. She had been living in a state of penance by eating only one meal a day since her suspension 33 months ago.

 “The world outside has inflicted pains on me, but now I have discovered bountiful happiness inside,” Karnawat added.

-by Maariyah, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: @MaariyahSid

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