“I believe that ethics and integrity should come from the heart. They cannot be learnt from textbooks,” said District Collector Jayashree Muralidharan while addressing IAS aspirants in a special session organised by Trichy Academy for Competitive Examinations (TRACE) here on Saturday.

Her comment was in response to a student’s query about the method to prepare for the subject “ethics” that has been introduced after the recent overhaul of the examination syllabus.

A large number of enthusiastic aspirants of both the sexes gathered in equal numbers on the Kalairangam premises for the interactive session with four successful candidates who cleared the exam recently.

T. Prabhu Shankar, R. Kesavan, T. Balasubramanian, and N. Samuel Paul doled out various tips to candidates. They cleared the doubts raised by students and shared the personal experiences they had undergone while preparing for the examinations.

As each of the four hail from different backgrounds, they had different experiences to narrate, which the students could easily relate to. While Prabhu Shankar told them about the importance of national consciousness and social awareness, Kesavan broke the various myths associated with the examinations such as false belief that only English-medium students will be successful in the examinations.

Mr. Balsubramanian urged aspirants to discover themselves, develop hobbies, and be willing to accept change.

Finally, Samuel Paul counselled them on the necessity of reading newspapers regularly, and the importance of planning for the process of becoming a bureaucrat, not the examination alone.

Candidates learnt that sincerity, dedication, hard work, consistent preparation, focus and most importantly passion, will help them achieve their aim. Questions about the difficulties faced while writing the examinations in Tamil medium, the appropriate subjects to choose, books useful for preparation and many others were answered during the in-depth session.

Suresh Kumar, Programme Advisor, TRACE, presided over the event.

“On my father’s advice, I decided to prepare for civil services, but I didn’t know how to go about it. After attending this session, I have gained confidence and have got invaluable tips about the method to approach the examinations,” said Anandhi (21).