‘Bureaucracy’ in our country has taken on negative connotation over the years as far as our regular parlance goes. The term spurs on thoughts of red tapism, slow-moving administrative process and corruption among the class. However, scratch a little under the surface and you see a large team of carefully chosen and appointed officers who meticulously work to ensure that the governance of the country does not cripple and break down due to inefficiency and administrative logjam. A bureaucratic post is not just a government job with the authority to wield significant administrative and diplomatic power, but a service that one performs by being part of the administrative process that forms the backbone of a country.
A civil servant is not only a government employee but also a cogwheel in the machinery that makes possible the day-to-day functioning of the government. The importance of this wing of the Executive can be comprehended from the fact that the illustrious policies and programs of any government would be perhaps reduced to another legislative document without the intelligence of the civil servants who implement these on ground. Stepping into the role of a civil servant is about deploying a high level of intelligence quotient along with a very specific set of skills that one acquires as an aspirant and constantly hones for application in various domains of administration throughout one’s career.
Developing this skill set is crucial to cracking the smartly crafted civil service examination that surpasses the traditional approaches. It is therefore of utmost importance that the training approach, which includes test preparation, is undertaken with great care. A successful UPSC candidate is expected to exhibit a sharp sense of judgment in complex situations, a certain level of not just administrative but also emotional intelligence, and a level of righteousness. The examination, which is conducted in three stages – Prelims, Mains, and Interview –, tests all of these and more.
Preparing for the civil services examination is a self-introspecting journeythat brings out the best in you. Holding this prestigious office is a matter of pride for the office bearer. A civil service aspirant must remember that there is no specific formula to success, and one’s way to prepare for the UPSC examination is to develop their passion for administration and ability to endure pressure under stressful circumstances. The qualities that one acquires in this entire process are not just skills needed to crack the exam but also valuable life skills that teach one the art of success.
Let us have a look at the stages of the UPSC Exam
As the first stage of the UPSC exam, Preliminary examination tests the general aptitude of the candidate. Therefore, UPSC demands the candidates to work on their personalities and general knowledge, right from the beginning of the preparation. Students often make a mistake to gain knowledge of almost everything under the sun and forget the basic requirement of UPSC, i.e., right aptitude and administrative traits. Therefore, to begin with, candidates should thoroughly study NCERT books to make a stronger foundation and then start solving previous years’ question papers. Current affairs should never be avoided and must be on fingertips of every candidate. Hence, reading newspapers is one of the most important parts of the preparation process.
Moving to the second stage, which is the Main Examination, UPSC assesses a candidate for in-depth knowledge of the candidates on different subjects. However, the preparation process is in itself a wonderful journey that transforms their perspective of society and people. Students should study efficiently and should not limit themselves to books. It is highly advisable that they move out and see things from a larger perspective. This helps candidates in essay writing as it increases their thinking capacity.
Current affairs should not be mugged up rather be discussed with other people; as important discussions always stay in mind. The optional paper must be selected wisely and should be completely based on personal interest. Attaining efficient speed of writing is another crucial point for general studies, as UPSC gives stipulated time within which the candidate must answer all the questions correctly. Therefore, they must practice question paper of past years by writing answers to each and every question. Apart from this, essay writing practice is mandatory and should not be neglected at any cost.
As we are approaching for UPSC interview 2016, let’s look at the final stage of Civil Services exam which most of the aspirants must be eagerly waiting. After completion of Mains comes the final stage – ‘Interview’.
As termed by UPSC, the Interview process is completely a personality test of the candidate and aspirants should keep this fact in mind during their preparation. Usually, 5 panel members are present during an interview, headed by a chairperson. The interviews are conducted at the UPSC office at Dholpur House in New Delhi. The panel may consist of very experienced members from diverse backgrounds including civil services, academics and legal. This is not a test of knowledge but assessment of personality, the candidates must go through mock interview practices so as to hone their personalities and develop their skills for facing the board smartly.
Civil Services Examination needs an integrated approach of preparation for Prelims, Mains and Interview. Relevant studies with an approach of developing right attitude for problem solving, decision making and inculcating administrative traits in personality are basic requisites of the examination. Preparation under right guidance makes the task simple and success oriented.