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BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation)
By admin / April 12, 2020

BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation)

The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is a sector-driven cooperative sub-regional organization of seven...

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Co-operative Federalism
By admin / April 12, 2020

Co-operative Federalism

The Constitution of India envisaged a creative balance between the need for an effective Centre and empowered states. The federal...

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Indian Health Care Industry
By admin / April 12, 2020

Indian Health Care Industry

Introduction Healthcare has become one of India’s largest sectors - both in terms of revenue and employment. Healthcare comprises hospitals,...

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By admin / April 12, 2020


The success or failure of any government in the final analysis must be measured by the well-being of its citizens....

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Human Capital Issues in India
By admin / March 20, 2020

Human Capital Issues in India

With the population touching 1.2 billion, half of which is around 25 years of age, India is set to be...

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Contemporary Issues with Indian Economy
By admin / March 20, 2020

Contemporary Issues with Indian Economy

India is the world's fourth-largest economy. It produced $9.4 trillion in goods and services in 2017. But it has a...

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By admin / March 3, 2020


Cyberspace, “A global domain within the information environment consisting of the interdependent network of information technology infrastructures, including the Internet,...

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By admin / March 3, 2020


Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana (PMVVY) is a Pension Scheme announced by the Government of India exclusively for the senior...

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By admin / February 29, 2020


“The Indian ocean region had become the strategic heartland of the 21st century, dislodging Europe and North East Asia which...

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Recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission for 2020-21
By admin / February 27, 2020

Recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission for 2020-21

The Finance Commission is a constitutional body formed by the President of India to give suggestions on centre-state financial relations. ...

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Why do IAS aspirants falsely believe that they can change the system?

IAS officers are considered to be a part of steel frame of the nation. The current system is largely part of British legacy has played an important role in the unity and the integrity of India.

As permanent executive they are expected to be the part of the problem solving group irrespective of the challenges or situations. However to understand the system one need to understand the political system where political executives are part of legislation and execute the policies with the help of the officials.

Thus, permanent executives work within the umbrella of political system to execute the will of the political parties in power. They are part of the executing wings though they do have a strong role in policy formulation inform of policy inputs through their unbiased, non-political and anonymous role. The real onus to bring change is through administrative reforms which requires political executives will. Yes, theoretically Civil servants can give policy inputs and execute them in letter and spirit and cannot bring major systemic reforms to cater to the needs of the citizenry.

However, by virtue of being at the top of the hierarchy they can certainly influence and ensure justice for the needy. There have been examples of activist Civil servants who have made real change to benefit the citizenry at large. Many famous government schemes like Direct Benefit Transfer, Smart card based identification and delivery of services like Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna have been the brain child of Civil servants. In fact there is so much scope to bring change within the system through delivery of services to intended beneficiaries that one doesn’t need to go overboard.Try to help the needy and poor , be compassionate and grounded. If one aims to be service oriented, is innovative in approach with problem solving attitude then Sky is the limit.

Why should I waste time in IAS preparation when I can become an entrepreneur?
  1. Several IAS quit to become entrepreneurs, but the reverse ain’t true.
  2. Entrepreneurs in west are celebrated for bringing prosperity to their economy, not federal agents & are deemed the real change agents.
  3. Indian IAS is the most corrupt bureaucracy in Asia.
  4. Shitty treatment by politicians?

Being a entrepreneur and pursuing Civil Services are both service to the nation. In fact every one contributes to the nation in some or the other way. However, one should be more concerned about one’s own personal preference, areas of interest and love for the work. Let’s analyze the role of both :

Entrepreneurs are the guiding lights of the nation, they innovate, create and set the transformation for the future. The progress in the society or development of the humankind can be attributed to some inspiring people who invented and led the change. Similarly, new age entrepreneurs are also doing the same, if we talk about start ups like uber, ola or unacademy i. e. free learning initiative they are doing something either to organize market, facilitate free learning and set the new benchmarks.

Civil Servants are the harbingers of hope and change in the society. They ensure positive and desired change through development process especially in a country like India which is still entrenched in ills of poverty, unemployment, uneven stratified society, caste system and patriarchy. Change can be brought through social legislation, awareness and literacy. As society is empowered i. e. especially weaker sections, it not only facilitates growth but also brings equity and social justice. And here no one is better equipped to bring such change than Civil servants. We have examples for e. g. recently in Aurangabad District in Bihar the District Magistrate Kanwal Tanuj ensured the job of a cook in a midday meal scheme as she was suspended from her job because of her caste. Mr Tanuj ate the cooked meal by her along with his team of people and also suspended the officials involved. We can find numerous such examples where Civil servants are silently doing service to the society.

Similarly we have ilks of Roman Saini who left their job i. e. IAS to work for his passion. His Unacademy initiative is making its mark silently. So we have examples of IAS turned entrepreneur too.If you really feel that deep down taking a detour to innovate and create something out of the box is the calling then go ahead. It will certainly be an uphill task but again entrepreneurs are different league they are the futures only hope. They not only create ideas but jobs, economic growth and development of a culture of curiosity and enterprising attitude. So take a plunge and be the change you wish to bring.

Is it true that the UPSC interview panel asks for a bribe even from a merit candidate?

I think this question is misplaced and shouldn’t be asked at first place. The panel to judge candidates are reputed with high integrity serving the most august constitutional body i. e. UPSC. Though i do believe the interview’s are highly subjective and depends from panel to panel. To give you an example, i am fortunate to have appeared in the interview thrice. In one of my attempt i got 180 where i missed my name in the list by few marks. In the next attempt i scored 132 where this time a score of 165 would have ensured my name in the final list, at 180 would have got IRS and similarly few extra marks would have made it to IPS. But then this just a story i would like to forget, because Civil Services are unpredictable at this stage particularly.There is still lot of faith instilled in UPSC as recruiting agency where selections are merit based. We would like uphold this faith and it is true that selected candidates do have something about them which sets them different from the crowd.

Is UPSC only for the Geeks?

Preparation for Civil Services is a journey of transformational learning. It changes the entire window-view and canvas of one’s thinking and perspectives towards situations, people, society and country. It is also about building one’s thought process, creative and imaginative skills. If you go through the papers of Civil Services you will know they check the depth of intellectual learning and trait and not just information and memory.The requirements of Civil Services examination is different from what we go through in schools and colleges, there learning is mostly pedantic and information based. It is heavily centered towards analytical and aptitude skills lacking creativity, empathy and emotional aspects.Do you think geek have these attributes 🙂

Is it possible to appear in MAINS of UPSC in English medium and interview in Hindi medium?

Yes, it is possible. You can write mains examination in English medium and interview in the medium of your choice i. e. Hindi or any other language too.But it has to be specified in Detailed Application Form (DAF).

What will be Cutoffs for UPSC prelims?

Civil Services Prelims 2016 paper was little atypical with more focus on Current affairs. Almost 60% questions were from 2-3 years of Current areas especially last 18 months .

The cutoff should be on expected lines around 55% i. e. score of 110 should be a safe score for general category. Though i am little conservative here in terms of score.

On a liberal side score between 105-110 can help you nearing the mains hall. My predictions are based on following logical arguments :

Static Part :The static part in areas like Polity, Economy, Modern History were of medium level in terms of toughness. A good student should be able to score these areas with 90% of accuracy.

Other static areas like medieval and Ancient history were relatively tough with very few questions from basic books like NCERT.

Dynamic Part:The paper was heavily current based but were reasonably easy if Newspaper Reading is good. Following a decent online material or magazine of past 18 months along with regular reading of The Hindu will cover most of the areas of general awareness.

Current Affairs : Here questions were heavily biased in areas like Indian Economy, Government Schemes, Contemporary Science & Technology, Government Policies and International Relations. The options were close in few questions but then this is where CSE is different from the rest.

Smart Guesses: Around 8-10 questions could be scored with intelligent guesses. Remember, your preparedness level will help you cracking these questions. These questions will be the decider for your selection. But as i said you can easily choose the correct option with little common sense and smart approach. Few questions were almost direct here.

If one analyzes the previous year’s paper since 2011, Civil Services has been shifting goalposts from dynamic to static and vice- versa. But in all comprehensive preparation will easily take you to the score of 125-140. Few of my students have done it consistently.

If your score varies between 105-110 you should start preparing from mains examination. Trust yourself and hope for the best.

PS: After getting the above mentioned score, keep yourself away from rumors, prediction maps, unwanted discussions and other distractions

While writing UPSC mains Answers what should be the ratio in which various parts of the answer may be divided?

● Follow an organic approach – don’t predetermine the approach while entering the exam hall
● Think for few seconds, structure your answer in your mind and then proceed
● Always keep a tab on time while writing and stick to time and word limit
Answer writing for Civil Services Mains is a creative skill hence there is no standard template which ideally an aspirant should follow. In recent times the word limit is around 200 per question where in an entire paper, one is expected to write 4000 words. Its a challenge to write quality answer in a stipulated time 8–9 minutes that too within word limit.
There are still few points which needs attention :
Be specific : Be direct in your approach where sticking to the core of the question in a brief and precise manner should be the intention of the candidate.
Introduction is must: Even if it is one line, make sure you start the answer with introduction. Ideally 10% of the word limit can be utilized for introducing the answer. Intro sets the base of the answer and it should start making sense in reference to the question from the first word itself.
Body: It should cover the question in terms of all the dimensions. Anything upto 80% of the word limit should be utilized for this. Here it can be in paragraph mode, points form with diagrams and flow chart.
Always remember picture is worth thousand words, hence flowchart and diagram can actually push up one’s score especially if there is a word limit with limited time.
Conclusion : Again it should not breach 10% of the word limit. But content of the conclusion is important, it should be balanced with optimistic, positive and problem solving approach. It reflects one’s personality in terms of issues, a good administrator is one who has sagacity, foresight, optimism with emphatic and humanistic approach.
Other points to remember :
● Structure of the answer should be smooth with interlinkages and flow.
● Use simple and lucid language while explaining concepts
● Read the question properly and process in your mind ‘what exactly question is looking for’
● Practice answer writing a lot before exams – can devote 30 minutes daily on an average-500 words
● Underline important keywords if possible
● Use examples from contemporary trends
Always remember after a certain level its more about presentation and less about content.

Which newspapers to refer for CSE?

Ideally, The Hindu is the most suitable newspaper for the aspirants. It covers issues extensively with reformative approach. However, most of the times they are over critical of government and system following an idealistic approach. Here candidates need to judge the situations putting their own opinions in a balanced manner. Remember they need candidates who can be a part of the solution for future.

Other is “Indian Express” , this is also a good paper infact issues are covered in a detailed manner even more than Hindu, many aspirants seem to be following this paper too. I would rather be conservative here and go with “The Hindu”.

TV Shows :

Some of the popular channels are:

  • The Big Picture – Rajya Sabha TV
  • India’s World – Rajya Sabha TV

Many other programs at Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha are popular. Bit stick to these for now. Fortunately, the recorded version is readily available on YouTube updated almost on daily basis. Students can go for selective approach here.

Now comes the most important part here:How to follow them regularly?

A good student should make their own notes regularly devoting 1.5-2 hours on an average.This should include everything that includes) reading and notes both. Be precise here and jot down the important points. If the issues or articles are lengthy then Students can file the articles – subject – wise & issue-wise for future reference and revision. Do mark and highlight the points here in a meticulous manner.

Complement it with secondary sources : Apart from following these one can also go for selective reading of magazines and online E-resources and collate them properly.

Simultaneous Revision :Apart from following the above process , revise the notes and articles regularly. Also develop your own thought process on major issues covered here in gist form and update it regularly.

Should I Join IAS coaching On very year of my Graduation?

Starting early does have its advantages especially for Civil Services e.g Tina Dabi (AIR -1), she planned her preparation meticulously and she was thorough in her approach, her mains marks are testimony to this fact. You can self pace your preparation in a continuous manner and can also work on your weaknesses. Many institutes today are offering this course where students can start as “Early bird”. However, it is important to work on it a following manner i.e.

  • Knowing the competition – Trends, Pattern, Evolution
  • Planning
  • Implementation
  • Appraisal & Testing

I have created a plan for my undergraduates students in this manner:

Block 1: 6 months

  • Basics – NCERT
  • Thought Process Development Classes
  • Sectional Tests & Creative writing

Block 2: 6 months

  • NCERT’s – Revision
  • Basic Classes – for Subjects (Standard Textbooks)
  • Essay Writing

Block 3: 6 months

  • Current Affairs & Doubt Classes
  • Bridge Classes for Weak Students
  • Comprehensive Syllabus Completion – 1

Block 4: 6 months

  • Comprehensive Syllabus Completion -2
  • Current Affairs & Modular Tests
  • Revision & Doubt Classes
  • Essay & Answer Writing – UPSC Pattern

Block 5: 6 months

  • Complete Course Revision – NCERT’s & Others
  • Comprehensive Tests – Prelims & Mains

Block 6: 6 months

  • Comprehensive Tests – Prelims & Mains
  • Current Affairs & Doubt Classes

You can also plan your preparation with weekly & monthly targets. Now remember execution is the key here.