Civil Services have craze and clamour. There is always a fascination for most people to go in a car with a beacon light atop, and the number of youngsters aspiring to be in the civil services is growing.

With several successful candidates hailing from smaller towns and rural areas, the hopes are growing bigger.

The latest Civil Services topper from Madurai, T.Prabhu Shankar, gave a route map to students on how to succeed and suffix ‘IAS’ to their names.

At ‘The Hindu Education Plus Career Counselling Fair 2013’ held here on Saturday, the topper shared his experience in preparation, coaching, managing optional subjects and interview round.

He has secured the seventh rank in the Civil Services Examination 2012-13 held by the Union Public Service Commission recently. It was his second attempt.

Dr.Shankar, working as an assistant professor in a private medical college in Chennai, suggested a few simple ways to crack the national-level competitive examination.

“The IAS exam is not like a course and everything depends on interest, determination and preparation. So, doing right things in a right way at the right time holds the key to success,” he says. The 29-year-old topper chose geography and political science as his optional subjects.

An analysis of Civil Services success trends in the recent years indicate that humanities are popular subjects as close to 50 per cent of the toppers have chosen public administration, management, accountancy, economics, commerce, political science, international relations and geography.

“If you ask me when one has to start preparation, I will say today is the day. Twelfth standard pass-out stage is a very good age,” he says.

Giving a “recipe for success”, he said IAS aspirants must develop national consciousness, civic awareness, soft skills, read newspapers and magazines, besides being thorough with NCERT textbooks of Standard VI to XII.

For the question on where to prepare, the topper said a hero could come from anywhere and not necessarily from the metro cities.

“Delhi is no more the Civil Service aspirants’ capital. There are good coaching centres in Chennai too. In fact, the Tamil Nadu Government has All India Civil Services Coaching Centre at Adyar in Chennai (www.civilservicecoaching. com),” he told the students.

The topper expressed hope that a day would come when the UPSC first rank holder would be from Madurai.

He made a power point presentation on the various stages of the civil services exams, age limit, number of attempts allowed for candidates of various communities and various optional subjects available to choose from.

“ Let us make our beloved city a bureaucrat production hub,” he concluded.

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