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The world of Civil Services Aspirants – Coaching Institutes

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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.

coaching

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-

The world of Civil Services Aspirants – Introduction

The world of Civil Services Aspirants – their struggles

 

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The Best IAS Preparation App’s For Aspirants

I.A.S stands for ‘Indian Administrative Service’. It is the administrative arm of the All India Services. The service is considered to be the top-notch civil service of India

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IAS exam is held through Civil Services Examination (CSE). Wikimedia Commons
IAS exam is held through Civil Services Examination (CSE). Wikimedia Commons
  • IAS is considered to be the top-notch civil service of India
  • IAS members are deployed in various public-sector undertakings
  • There are many mobile applications that can come handy while preparing for IAS exam

I.A.S stands for ‘Indian Administrative Service’. It is the administrative arm of the All India Services. The service is considered to be the top-notch civil service of India.

The IAS (Indian Administrative Service), IPS (Indian Police Service) and the IFS or IFoS (Indian Foreign Service) comprise the three arms of the All India Services. Candidates from these administrative services serve the central Government as well as other States. IAS members can also be deployed in various public-sector undertakings.

At par with countries which follows the Westminster system of government, the IAS is part of the permanent bureaucracy of the nation and is an inseparable element of the executive of the Government of India. The bureaucracy is supposed to remain politically neutral and guarantees fair administrative continuity to the ruling party.

Civil Services Exam

IAS exam is held through Civil Services Examination (CSE). It is a nationwide competitive examination in India conducted by the Union Public Service Commission for recruitment to various Civil Services of the Government of India. There are a number of mobile applications for civil services exam online preparation.

Also Read: Exams are Knocking at the Door? Here are 10 Things you can do to Handle the Exam Pressure

Civil Services Exam Pattern

Till 2010, Civil Services Exam pattern was based upon the recommendations of the Kothari Commission (1979). It consisted of two examinations, one on general studies worth 150 marks, and the second on one of 23 optional subjects worth 300 marks. The pattern got a revamp in 2011. The preliminary pattern was sustained with only minor changes once every ten to fifteen years.

There are a number of mobile applications for civil services exam online preparation. Wikimedia Commons
There are a number of mobile applications for civil services exam online preparation. Wikimedia Commons

Every year many aspirants prepare hard and try their luck in clearing one of the toughest exams of India. But due to the complexity of the exam, the success rate becomes very narrow and only a handful of people are selected after the gruelling selection process.

Following are the number of exercises which can be taken into practice to crack the IAS exam:

  1. English Dictionary: Dictionary is the foremost component for the preparation of IAS exam. One can not read between lines unless he/she understands the whole meaning of the lines completely.
  2. Thesaurus: It will help you to learn new words, to refer to when you are writing an essay and struggling to find fitting words
  3. Civil Services Prelims Papers: Prelims Papers sorted by years will help you to analyze the paper pattern and take calculated decisions while preparing for IAS exam.
  4. Aptitude and Logical Reasoning: It is one of the most significant parts of the IAS paper. By practising hundreds of aptitude, reasoning and English vocabulary questions will settle you in a very organized way.

    Indian constitution comprises a principal aspect of every IAS exam. Wikimedia Commons
    Indian constitution comprises a principal aspect of every IAS exam. Wikimedia Commons
  5. Indian Constitution: Indian constitution comprises a principal aspect of every IAS exam. Thus, going through the whole of Indian Constitution will always cement your base stronger.
  6. Wikipedia: As we all know that Wikipedia is the key station for any knowledge. It will surely help you to gain a better understanding of any subject.
  7. World Atlas: World Atlas will help you with countries, capitals, economies and other details. Every minute details related to the globe should on one’s fingertips if he/she wants to after I.A.S all guns blazing.

Also Read: How to prepare for your Engineering Exams in the Age of Digital Distraction?

Apart from the above-mentioned practices, one can always rely on their smartphones. Here are some of the top mobile applications that can be downloaded and come handy in guiding the IAS aspirants to achieve their goals.

  1. Online Tyari

Online Tyari is a leading web and mobile app platform which helps in preparing for different competitive exams. It partners with coaching institutes, independent tutors and publishers to provide the latest study materials to aspirants. For more details, visit the website.

  1. ClearIAS

ClearIAS is rated among the top websites for IAS preparation. It provides free online study materials, guidance, toppers’ interviews, online mock exams, etc. Clear IAS is also an Android application now. For more details, visit the website.

  1. Civilsdaily

Civilsdaily application offers a lot of general knowledge and current affairs topics for IAS and UPSC preparation. It provides news in a simplified manner for aspirants. It also publishes daily flashcards and compiles them under different topics on the website. For more details, visit the website.

  1. Unacademy

Unacademy is India’s largest free education initiative. It makes high-quality educational videos that are free for everyone. The digital application bestows the best explanation of every educational topic in all languages. The Unacademy application is also available on Google Play store. For more details, visit the website.

Unacademy is India’s largest free education initiative. It makes high-quality educational videos that are free for everyone. Wikimedia Commons
Unacademy is India’s largest free education initiative. It makes high-quality educational videos that are free for everyone. Wikimedia Commons
  1. mrunal.org

This website is for every newbie who wants to give the exams a shot. Mrunal Patel is well-known for breaking down complex ideas and explaining things to public service aspirants in the simplest manner. Mrunal wasn’t able to clear the UPSC exams but he channelled his energy into teaching other aspirants. He also gives video lectures on Youtube. For more details, visit the website.

  1. Pratyogita Darpan

Pratiyogita Darpan is one of India’s leading magazines for UPSC aspirants. It is available in both English and Hindi and is widely read. It covers current affairs and interviews of prominent personalities. It now has a free app on Google Play store, where the entire magazine is available to the user. For more details, visit the website.

  1. Byju’s

Byju’s is an education organization that focuses not only IAS aspirants but also those who want to crack other competitive exams. Byju’s started training UPSC aspirants in 2011. It uses fun and unique teaching methods and is a popular online classroom used by IAS aspirants. It has a paid app. For more details, visit the website.

Byju’s is an education organization that focuses not only IAS aspirants. Wikimedia Commons
Byju’s is an education organization that focuses not only IAS aspirants. Wikimedia Commons
  1. IASexamportal.com

This website is one of the widely used portals by civil service aspirants. The community comprises more than 5.5 lakh members. It promises to provide the latest information to aspirants and has a large base of users from rural areas. It also has an app. For more details, visit the website.

  1. ias100.in

IAS100.in is an online portal for UPSC exam preparation. It has various courses online for civil service aspirants. It also has a distance learning program. The application is also available on Google Play store. For more details, visit the website.

  1. Mapboard Lite

Mapboard Lite is a smart study tool for Geography students, civil services aspirants and learning enthusiasts. With eight ready-to-edit blank maps, it lets you practice map drawing and allows you to make notes on the go. It also works in offline mode.