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Those officers in the making

If you are in the stage of starting a career and have subscribed to this fine newspaper, then you’re probably preparing for the Civil Services Examination. I am too. It’s an amazing thing, this exam. Clear the three levels and you have one of the best jobs in the country. It’s the shortest way to success, if you may.

Simple as it sounds, I believe it’s not meant for everyone. Only the lionhearted set out on this adventure. I like to call us “officers in the making”. Although “IAS in the making” may sound more attractive, that would be a rather inappropriate generalisation. That reminds me how sad it gets when you’re trying to explain to your guests what you’re doing with your life. Every time I have said I am preparing for the CSE or that I aspire to join the Indian Foreign Service, they have appeared flummoxed. That’s when I take the help of the terms IAS and UPSC. Voila! My job’s done.

Life is not so easy once we choose this path. We have to start from school all over again and finish college but only in a much shorter time span, say a year. Counting from Class VI onwards, there are roughly a hundred books to read. In order to retain most of it, revision at least two times becomes a necessity.

And that’s not the end of it. Your hard work will go in vain if you’re not religiously reading newspapers to keep track of current events. There are other useful things on Google that you need to know. Basically, familiarity with everything under the sun is a must. But since we are passionate about cracking the exam, we enjoy expanding our horizons.

Based on the strategies we adopt to get this done, there are different types of officers in the making. The most commonly found ones are the ‘followers’, who join a coaching institute or an online forum and blindly do as they’re told. Some others are ascetics. They renounce the world of WhatsApp, break up with the concept of fun and devote their youth to studying. Then we have my kind of people: the “Collectors”, who collect study material, magazines and economic surveys for years as if it’s their hobby. Out of lakhs of applicants, only a little more than a thousand secure the job. So it is quite obvious that not every aspirant would sail through. Only those who truly believe they’re “officers in the making” will make it one day.

Now that you’ve reminded yourself who you are, it’s time to pull up your socks and study harder. After all, August is coming!

hirva146@gmail.com



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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 4:58:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/those-officers-in-the-making/article8462748.ece

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