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No paper admit cards for civil service main exam

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New Delhi: The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) decided not to issue paper admit cards for this year’s civil services main examination scheduled to begin from Friday. All the candidates were requested to download their e-admit cards and take a printout of it.

Notably, UPSC mains exams will be held in 23 centers.

UPSC conducts the civil service examination annually in three phases. A preliminary exam is followed by main and interview. The examination is aimed at selecting officers for the posts of  Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and Indian Police Service(IPS).

“The candidates have to download their e-admit cards from the Commission’s website www.upsc.gov.in and produce it at the respective exam venue”, said a press release of the UPSC.

According to the UPSC guidelines, a candidate must carry an identical photograph for each session along with the proof of identity such as valid identity card, Aadhar card, voter identity card, driving license, passport etc. to the venue of the examination. 15,000 candidates have qualified this year’s civil services preliminary examination, results of which were declared on October 12.

A total of 15,000 candidates had qualified for this year’s civil services main examination, results of which were declared on October 12.

A record number of 9,45,908 candidates applied for the exam this year with 4.63 lakh appearing for the test held on August 23. This is 49 per cent of the total applicants.

(With inputs from agencies)

(Picture courtesy: www.clickias.in)

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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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UPSC to hold Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination on August 23, 2015

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

The Union Public Service Commission will hold the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination, 2015 on August 23, 2015. This Preliminary Examination will be common for the candidates applying for Civil Services Examination and Indian Forest Service Examination, and will act as a screening mechanism for selection of candidates for the Civil Services (Main) Examination and Indian Forest Service (Main) Examination.

The Examination will be held at 71 Centres across the country, in accordance with the rules of Civil Services Examination notified in the Official Gazette on May 23, 2015 by the Department of Personnel & Training, Government of India and the Rules of Indian Forest Service Examination notified by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in the Official Gazette on May 23, 2015.

Candidates are required to apply through online mode on the Commission’s Website www.upsconline.nic.in. No other mode is allowed for submission of the application. The filling of online applications shall start from May 23, 2015 and conclude on June 19, 2015 [till 11.59 PM].

For details regarding the Syllabus and Scheme of the Examination, Centers of Examination, and Guidelines for filling up application form etc. aspirants must login to the Commission’s Website www.upsconline.nic.in or www.upsc.gov.in and refer to the notices of the above mentioned two examinations.

While submitting the online applications for the Civil Service (Preliminary) Examination, the candidates will have the option to choose either the Civil Services or the Indian Forest Service or both. Therefore, before exercising their options, applicants may carefully read and understand the eligibility and other criteria contained in the detailed notices of both the Civil Services Examination, 2015 and Indian Forest Service Examination, 2015 which are available on the aforementioned Website of the Commission.

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Did western education give world the concept of academic dishonesty?

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By Anurag Paul

The world is going gaga over the Bihar Cheating scandal. This case of cheating has amused the western media to such an extent that elaborate opinion pieces are written on this subject.

Though cheating is condemned as it kills the essence of learning, highlighting only one side of the  story will not curtail this world wide phenomenon.

Here’s a look at the cheating trends across the US and rest of the world.

Issue of Cheating – Data reveals it all

In the United States, studies show that 20% of students started cheating in the first grade. Similarly, other studies reveal that currently in the US, 56% of middle school students and 70% of high school students have cheated. A large-scale study in Germany found that 75% of the university students admitted that they conducted at least one of seven types of academic misconduct (such as plagiarism or falsifying data) within the previous six months.

History of Cheating

In ancient times, the concept of cheating or academic dishonesty was not recognised. Ideas were the common property of the literate elite class. Books were published by hand-copying them. Scholars freely made digests or commentaries based on other works, which could contain as much or as little original material as the author desired. There was no standard system of citation, because printing—and its resulting fixed system—was in the future.

Scholars were an elite and small group who knew and generally trusted each other. This system continued through the European Middle Ages.

Academic dishonesty dates back to the first tests. Scholars note that cheating was prevalent on the Chinese civil service exams thousands of years ago, even when cheating carried the penalty of death for both examinee and examiner.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, cheating was widespread at college campuses in the United States, and was not considered dishonourable among students. It has been estimated that as many as two-thirds of students cheated at some point of their college careers at the turn of the 20th century.  As higher education in the U.S. trended towards meritocracy, however, a greater emphasis was put on anti-cheating policies, and the newly diverse student bodies tended to arrive with a more negative view of academic dishonesty.

Students are not the only ones to cheat in an academic setting

A study among North Carolina school teachers found that some 35 per cent of respondents said they had witnessed their colleagues cheating in one form or another. The rise of high-stakes testing and the consequences of the results on the teacher is cited as a reason why a teacher might want to inflate the results of their students.

The first scholarly studies in the 1960s of academic dishonesty in higher education found that nationally in the US, somewhere between 50%-70% of college students had cheated at least once. While nationally, these rates of cheating in the US remain stable today, there are large disparities between different schools, depending on the size, selectivity, and anti-cheating policies of the school. Generally, the smaller and more selective the college, the less cheating occurs there.

As for graduate education, a recent study found that 56% of MBA students admitted cheating, along with 54% of graduate students in engineering, 48% in education, and 45% in law.

Cheating in high schools is growing in the United States. There is also a great difference in students’ perceptions and the realty of their own ethical behaviour. In a 2008 survey of 30,000 students in high school carried out by the Josephson Institute for Youth Ethics, 62 per cent of students polled said they “copied another’s homework two or more times in the past year.”Yet, on the same survey, 92 percent said they were “satisfied with their personal ethics and character.”Hence, there is generally a discrepancy between actual behavior and self-image of high school students’ character.

Cheating in Online tests

Moreover, there are online services that offer to prepare any kind of homework of high school and college level and take online tests for students. While administrators are often aware of such websites, they have been unsuccessful in curbing cheating in homework and non-proctored online tests, resorting to a recommendation by the Ohio Mathematics Association to derive at least 80% of the grade of online classes from proctored tests.

How Students usually cheat during the examination?

People generally apply different strategies of cheating during the academic examinations. Cheating can take the form of crib notes, looking over someone’s shoulder during an exam, or any forbidden sharing of information between students regarding an exam or exercise.

Recent development in cheating methodology

Many elaborate methods of cheating have been developed over the years. For example, students have been documented hiding notes in the bathroom toilet tank, in the brims of their baseball caps, or up their sleeves. Also, the storing of information in graphing calculators, pagers, cell phones, and other electronic devices has cropped up since the information revolution began.

Traditional methods still works

Students have long surreptitiously scanned the tests of those seated near them,  some students actively try to aid those who are trying to cheat. Methods of secretly signalling the right answer to friends are quite varied, ranging from coded sneezes or pencil tapping to high-pitched noises beyond the hearing range of most teachers. Some students have been known to use more elaborate means, such as using a system of repetitive body signals like hand movements or foot jerking to distribute answers (i.e. where a tap of the foot could correspond to answer “A”, two taps for answer “B”, and so on).

Negative impact of Cheating

Cheating in academics has a host of negative effects on students, on teachers, on individual schools, and on the educational system itself. Indeed, one study found that students who are dishonest in class are more likely to engage in fraud and theft on the job when they enter the workplace.