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Skills Course on Civil Services Examinations: Strategies and Preparation

Symbiosis Law School, Pune, a constituent of Symbiosis International (Deemed University) conducted the Inaugural Session of the Skills Course on Civil Services Examinations: Strategies and Preparation on 25th November 2021, from 10:30 am to 11:30 am on the virtual platform of MS Teams. The esteemed panellists for the session included Ms. Vallari Gaikwad, IFS (Secretary to Indian Embassy at Mexico City) and Shri Ankit Pannu, IAS (SDM, Junagadh, Gujarat). 

Dr. Prof. Shashikala Gurpur, Fulbright Scholar, Director, Symbiosis Law School, Pune, Symbiosis International (Deemed University) began her Welcome Address by mentioning that orientation to the civil services comes at a very young age, either due to the fascination of power or the glamour or the passion to serve the public. She elucidated that civil services was a “holy mission” with the risks often outweighed by privileges. She observed that only few manage to emerge as successful civil servants among the several who write the exam. She concluded her address by mentioning that in both civil services and law, more than money or prestige or influence, it is the satisfaction of seeing the generations being shaped and we contributing our little might which is the most rewarding experience. 

The first panellist, Shri Ankit Pannu, talked on the topic of “Preparation Strategy, Planning and Time Management.” He mentioned that his journey began in his third year, where he joined a friend in a UPSC Institute. In terms of preparation strategy, Mr. Pannu observed that notes assisted in revision prior to the prelims and mains. He recommended, “If you think, you will forget it, then only make notes, if you think you are good enough, then, don’t waste time in making notes. I made little notes from the newspaper, not from any reference book.” He mentioned that this was personally strategic because he did not spend time reading lengthy books rather he relied on internet sources. Lastly, he recommended students practice essay writing. 

The next panellist, Ms. Vallari Gaikwad, spoke on the topic of “Relevance of law as a background while preparing for civil services examination.” Addressing the topic, Ms. Gaikwad mentioned that “law is the basis on which a civilized society functions, a civil servant will be expected to know what the law and order of the state is.” She observed that a law student not taking law as an optional might reflect poorly in the interview panel. She advised that if one was a novice to UPSC preparation, one must gain a bird’s eye view of preparation through syllabus and one must refer to the previous years’ question papers. She stated that her experience as a law student helped her in the preparation of notes and stressed on the importance of newspapers for the current affairs section.

After question answer session, Dr. Dhanaji Jadhav, Deputy Director (Administration), delivered the vote of thanks. 


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