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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. Today, we shift our focus towards the IAS coaching institutes.
Need for coaching
There are almost 500+ UPSC coaching institutes in Delhi. Of these, the Hindi medium coaching institutes don’t even constitute 10% of the numbers. The institutes teaching in other Indian languages are almost non-existent in the national capital. This puts the students from Hindi or other regional language background at a distinct disadvantage.
The average teacher-student ratio in most of these coaching institutes is 500! While the more famous coaching institutes enroll up to 350 students in on batch, the other ones take about 100-150 students per batch. There is nothing called ‘personal attention’ in these institutes. The fact that these institutes remain jam-packed despite exorbitant fee structures is a testament to how much the people are willing to spend in return for ‘guidance’.
Government run coaching?
A number of state governments have come up with steps to support civil services aspirants in their state. Following are some of the government run institutes which offer free/subsidized coaching to the aspirants.
Last year, the government of Karnataka announced that it would increase the number of aspirants from backward classes for whom it sponsors coaching. According to the Government, poor aspirants belonging to the backward classes, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes and minorities planning will be offered training in reputed coaching centers in New Delhi, Hyderabad and Bengaluru, but it would also provide a monthly stipend to the candidates. The number of such candidates will be increased from 250 to 500.
The state of Nadu runs a similar program where the state government offers a stipend and scholarship to the civil services aspirants. The number of vacancies is 225.
Another such initiative is run by the Thane Municipal Corporation since 1987. Chintamanrao Deshmukh Institute for Administrative Careers offers free guidance to the UPSC aspirants in the state. It is the only such institute which is run and operated by a municipal corporation. The Institute is widely known for its uncompromising level of guidance.
Over the past 28 years, a number of students from this institute have gone on to join the central and state services. The guidance and other facilities are offered free of cost to its students. Every year, the institute chooses 50 students with the help of a screening test, followed by an interview. The students are also free to continue availing the facilities offered by the Institute if they intend to give multiple shots at the examination.
More in this series-
On 2nd of December, India observes 'National Pollution Control Day' in remembrance of the people who lost their lives in the 1984 Bhopal Gas Tragedy. The incident which affected over half a million people, occurred during the night of 2nd and 3rd December 1984. The leakage of gas from the Union Carbide India Limited pesticide plant in Bhopal is considered as one of the worst industrial disasters in the world. Around half a million people were exposed to the highly toxic Methyl Isocyanate gas which resulted in some losing their lives immediately, while others suffered major injuries. The cause behind the disaster is still under debate. According to the Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), it happened due to an act of sabotage.
Apart from the tragedy that happened. The day is, also, a symbol of the deteriorating state of environment. It is the need of the hour to curb and take necessary steps in order to survive. Human foot-print is turning out to be nothing but negative on the planet earth. The pollution from any human activity is not only adversely affecting the planet but no stringent measures are in place to curb the damage caused.
“Environmental pollution is a result of human activity and the development that occurs when physical, biological and chemical agents are released to the environment in such quantities that the pollution adversely affects human health and damages the environment.” The major kinds of pollution are water pollution, soil pollution, air pollution and noise pollution.
Water Pollution – Harmful chemical waste is released from factories into water bodies or rivers, which then flow and end up in seas and oceans. A lot of plastic and other waste also, end up in rivers because of littering. These affect the marine ecosystem. Fishes or other marine animals may eat and choke on them or not be able to digest them.
Fishes swimming in polluted water | Unsplash
Soil or Land Pollution – This kind of pollution is partially linked to water pollution. When the polluted water from water bodies seep into the surrounding land, it gets polluted. Littering is a major cause of soil pollution. The chemical pesticides used in agriculture at times become pollutants.
Air Pollution – Toxic fumes and harmful gases that are emitted from factories and automobiles contribute greatly to this type of pollution. The presence of chemical constituents in high amount in the air is bad for the human body. It can cause lung cancer, heart diseases, respiratory disease and neonatal disorders.
Also Read : Poor air quality in Delhi
Huge amount of polluted gases being released into the environment from a factory | Unsplash
Noise Pollution – Speakers or sound systems blaring over the decibel limit contribute to this kind of pollution. Loud noises from firecrackers are also a part of this. These affect the ability to hear, not just of humans but also other animals.
There are a lot of things that we can do to lessen the amount of pollution caused. The following are a few of them:
- Stop littering
- Use trashcans to throw away garbage
- If possible, the trash should be separated into recyclable and non-recyclable and treated accordingly
- Not waste electricity, turn off appliances and lights when not in use
- Switch to other forms of renewable energies, like the solar energy
- Use lesser amount of plastic and try to recycle whatever is absolutely necessary
- The cars should be checked on a regular basis to ensure that they do not release toxic fumes
- If possible, carpool or even better, use the public transport
- Using paper bags
- Using rechargeable batteries
Recently, a lot of brands and products are trying to be more considerate towards the environment. A particular skincare brand has started selling their products in paper tubes instead of plastic ones. Some companies are selling one-time use pens without the plastic body, the refills are instead wrapped in paper.
We have to follow the mantra of reduce, reuse and recycle in order to cut down on the amount of waste that we generate.
(Keywords : Pollution, Prevention, India, Chemicals, Air Pollution, Water Pollution, Soil Pollution, Noise Pollution, Reuse, Recycle, Climate)
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One of the world's largest hotel franchising company, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, with approximately 9,000 hotels in nearly 95 countries, continues to expand its presence in India with the addition of four new hotels under the Ramada, Howard Johnson by Wyndham, and upscale Wyndham brands in sought-after and culturally-rich destinations such as Jaipur, Varanasi, Mohali, and Udaipur.
The new properties will bring Wyndham's total number of hotels in India to 50, and they are part of the company's ongoing commitment to the sub-Indian continent's growth, with about 30 hotels in the pipeline, eight of which are anticipated to open in 2022 alone.
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Indra, Panos Loupasis, Vice President Development for Middle East, Eurasia & Africa, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts EMEA, said: "One of the fastest growing economies in the world, India brings immense potential for hospitality. These four new openings represent a significant milestone in our continued growth objectives to bring even more accommodation options all across the country. We look forward to continuing our strong growth trajectory here and in the wider Indian sub-continent and making travel possible for all in such a beautiful and diverse region.
Also Read : Hotel occupancy has grown to 35% in November 2020
The latest additions in India include:
Wyndham Chandigarh Mohali
Opened in October, this upscale hotel offers 80 guest rooms, three on-site eateries, a full-service spa with a heated indoor pool, steam room, sauna, and fitness centre and salon. The property also features a business centre and a wide event space for up to 1,200 guests. Conveniently located within direct access to the city centre and just 11 kilometres from Chandigarh International Airport, the hotel's guests can easily reach the nearby Elante shopping mall and the 11-acre Mohali Golf Range.
Inside of a hotel | Unsplash
Ramada by Wyndham Varanasi Katesar
Located in Varanasi, regarded as the spiritual capital and with world-renowned architecture, temples, and palaces, the 68-room hotel features a contemporary design and top-class amenities, including a gourmet restaurant and cocktail bar, and a modern spa with a swimming pool and fitness centre. The property opened earlier this month and also features four generously sized meeting rooms and access to Varanasi's business highway.
Ramada by Wyndham Jaipur North
Expected to open in December, the 107-room hotel will be the perfect getaway to experience Jaipur's colourful architecture, impressive City Palace, old bazaars, and Hawa Mahal, offering guests easy access to Jaipur Airport and the modern city centre. The hotel will boast a spa, an outdoor pool, a gourmet restaurant, and a seasonal rooftop overlooking the city. In addition, It will offer ample event space, including four meeting rooms and a theatre, to accommodate over 400 guests.
Howard Johnson by Wyndham Udaipur Roop Nagar
Expected to open by the end of the year, the contemporary, 94-room hotel features a wellness spa facility and a rooftop infinity pool overlooking Udaipur, also known as the "City of Lakes". Ideal for business travellers, the hotel offers an impressive business centre, meeting rooms, and banquet halls measuring more than 3,000 square feet. This amenity-rich hotel is perfectly positioned to explore one of India's most popular cities, with easy access to the World Heritage Site of Udaipur Palace, Lake Pichola, and Fateh Sagar Lake, which boast panoramic views of the Aravalli Mountain Ranges. (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : Wyndham, India, economy, hospitality, milestone, Mohali, Varanasi, Jaipur, Udaipur.)
By Olivia Sarkar
There is no doubt that the pandemic modified travel -- but that's just part of the story. Hilton released a global trends report, "The 2022 Traveler: Emerging Trends and the Redefined Traveler' which dives into an important truth: in two years, peoples lives were dramatically altered, and that radically changed people.
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The report examines the macro trends and changes that have emerged and will continue to thrive in 2022. Using insights from Dr. Kate Cummins, a travel psychology expert, and industry leaders, the report explores four consistent themes that summarise the new, pandemic-changed traveler, which are fueling several emerging travel trends:
Amid Chaos, People Found Efficiencies, And Will Be Looking for the Same in Travel: After on-demand services, grocery deliveries, and other time-saving measures become commonplace, people expect efficiencies and convenience .Shifts like contactless payments and digital check-ins to become more popular than ever before.
The Overall Focus on Wellness Will Span Beyond the Gym: The wellness vertical has moved beyond the spa and the gym. From bringing your dog along for the trip to creating spaces with more natural light and indoor plants, mental and physical wellness is a focus that will continue to grow.
Also Read : Few points for Pet Parents to keep in mind
Travellers can expect a rise in pet-friendly and sustainable travel optionsUnsplash
They Nurtured New and Existing Passions and Will Have More Refined Tastes and Preferences: After months of baking sourdough breads and planting victory gardens, people have new hobbies and passions, and they're expecting to pack their passions while traveling. Culinary and integrated experiences are expected to be in high demand.
Catering to this change, travellers can expect a rise in pet-friendly and sustainable travel options, unique food and beverage experiences and menu changes, and more offerings catered to guests' health and overall wellbeing -- and this is just the tip of the iceberg. The report outlines changes to guest preferences across the entire hotel experience, backed by internal booking and revenue data, guest feedback, third-party research and more. (IANS/SP)
Keywords: pet-friendly, travel, sustainable, pandemic, trends, convenience, wellness, passion, change, contactless, digital.
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