Considered one of the toughest examinations in the country, the UPSC Civil Service exam demands a lot of patience, hard work and the right guidance. When this guidance comes from successful officers who have gone through the same process, it goes a long way in helping the aspirants.
In recent years, many civil servants have shared personal study plans, notes and tips to crack the exam. While some of them use social media to reach out to a large section of aspirants, others have created communities and groups to help them.
The 2019 batch of Indian Forest Service officers launched a joint initiative named “Being IFS”. The primary objective of the association is to provide a one to one communication platform for aspirants to ask their queries and provide a strategy for all stages of the exam.
Link to upsc prelims 2021 – Paper 1- answer key – prepared by IFS Probationers. https://t.co/sjzldqbug3
— BeingIFS (@BeingIfs) October 10, 2021
IFS officer Ankit Kumar — one of the founding officers of Being IFS — said the idea to launch this initiative was a collaborative step taken during their training period. “We wanted to impart the knowledge we gained during the preparation and make aspirants aware not just about the working of civil services but also the forest services. Launched by 2019 batch, now even our seniors and juniors are associated with the initiative,” he told indianexpress.com.
Talking about the role of social media in helping aspirants, he said: “Most of the aspirants reach out to me personally and even to Being IFS through our Twitter handle. Any update related to the upcoming programmes, chat, and live sessions are intimated through social media handles which have played a vital role in fulfilling our objective.”
Parveen Kaswan, another IFS officer, has gained popularity among aspirants. With more than 320k followers on Twitter, Kaswan is one of the widely followed officers for ‘gaining knowledge on the environment and ecology section among aspirants’.
The question they asked in UPSC Pre today. On elephants. My tweets are being leaked it seems. pic.twitter.com/stjTJWRlnf
— Parveen Kaswan, IFS (@ParveenKaswan) October 4, 2020
“I post and share things from my job and my observations, work-related visits, things I learn on field duty. I believe this information is helpful for people who are preparing for civil services. It is better to know things from ground zero,” Kaswan said.
Another civil servant fast gaining popularity is IPS Lakshay Pandey, who shared his entire study schedule and sources via his Twitter handle. Recently, he posted a list of tips to crack the UPSC CSE 2021 prelims exam.
— Lakshay Pandey (@lakshay_cop) August 17, 2021
UPSC CSE 2015 topper Tina Dabi is one of the most followed officers on social media. She has time and again shared her views on the exam and answered the questions asked by many aspirants. Dabi also shared the prelims revision plan on her Instagram handle.
Not just IAS officers, but the state PCS officers have also joined hands to help the unprivileged and candidates from remote areas. One such group is PRAM IAS, started by the state services officers of the Bihar cadre. The platform has its presence on YouTube, Facebook and Telegram and provides mock tests, answer writing classes, sociology optional coaching as well as mock interview classes through their online platforms.
Talking about the initiative, the founder of PRAM IAS, Abhijeet Raj said, “The idea to launch this initiative struck when I came to Delhi for UPSC and BPSC preparations. The coaching itself costs lakhs of rupees and the living expenses, cost of study material is additional. Students of underprivileged families cannot afford such hefty fees. Therefore, we decided to launch a platform that will provide free online coaching to all candidates aspiring to join BPSC or UPSC civil service exam.”
As per the founder, more than 50 state PCS officers as well as some all India services officers are associated with the initiative which was launched earlier this year. In such a short span, PRAM has given results with BPSC 65th CCE topper Gourav Singh being one of their students.
However, the guidance for competitive exams is not just limited to civil services. A few retired military officers are also helping the young Indians to join the three wings of the army. One such name is Major Gen Yash Mor (Retd) who runs a Youtube channel to guide military service aspirants.
Neha Grewal who secured all India rank (AIR) 2 in the Combined Defence Services (CDS) 2020 dedicates her success to Mor’s guidance and cites him as the source of constant preparation. “I followed his YouTube channel for keeping my preparation on track. I met him once in Delhi and also received guidance from him. He has been a constant support,” Grewal added.