I agree with Ruchika Sharma that only crammers need not apply. But, this assertion is not a rebuttal of my arguments, only of the title, which was given not by me but by the newspaper.
In the event, she ended up beating a straw man as there is more to my article than the title, Cramming, I said, was one of the many techniques employed by harried candidates trying to beat the severely limited time at the examination hall, to storing as much information as possible on their fingertips. Will anyone dispute that?
Elsewhere, Ms Sharma provided her own selected sample of questions with comments that rather reinforce my contention that while the questions are good, the limited time is an obstacle to writing good answers. It takes more time than allotted to recall and organise the “knowledge” that one has accumulated over time.
Even as one does not doubt the integrity of the UPSC, there are just too many contentious issues and opaque areas about this examination. What I had pointed out in my essay is just one important aspect. I got around 80 personal emails reflecting the same anxiety, and much more. I hope the debate will continue. And most importantly, I hope the UPSC will now pay heed.
(T.K. Ngaihte wrote the Civil Services Examination (Main) thrice. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)