The role of newspapers in helping students prepare for civil services and competitive examinations, was stressed at a University Grants Commission sponsored IAS Orientation Programme organized by the Emerald Heights College for Women here on Friday.

Participating as the Chief Guest, the Project Director, Hill Area Development Programme (HADP) Srinivas R. Reddy said that those aspiring to enter the all India services should be well informed with good general knowledge.

Pointing out that the best way of keeping abreast of developments and current affairs was reading newspapers and scanning the net, he said that students should not stop with only their favourite sections. They should also read features particularly on the Editorial page. Only then they can hope to be well versed with international and national affairs. Both national and regional newspapers should be read.

Stating that the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examiners looked for both depth and range of knowledge, Mr. Reddy said that students should not only keep pace with developments but also analyse them and form views.

Civil services go beyond IAS, IPS or IFS. There are over 24 types of services and all of them are challenging.

Stating that sans scientific and in-depth preparation it would be very difficult to get through the Civil Services examinations, he said that every year about 4.50 lakh aspirants appear but only around 1800 make it to the main exams.

“Motivation has to come from within” he averred and added that integrity and aptitude are vital.

The Superintendent of Police S. Nizamuddin said that with single minded devotion and hard work it is possible to join the list all India service officers. He lamented that a place like the Nilgiris has so far produced only two IAS officers. Urging people to mull over this, he said that the students should broaden their horizon.

The Principal, G. Selvanayagi who presided listed the ways in which students should prepare for competitive examinations.