Where Should I choose to Study for UPSC Exams?
The first question that is phased in front of an aspirant from any small time is not why he wants to get into the services or is he suitable for the given job description of the posts, but it is that if he will go to Delhi for preparation or will he stay back home. This not only puts the person but his/her family members to dilemma. Today we discuss the all the main Ifs and Buts that one comes across while making this decision and suggestions for the same.
Programme: ‘Chalo Delhi’
Also See : UPSC Exams
Beginning from finding the Flats/Rooms/PGs with the help of brokers, to dealing with cranky landlords, paying ceiling shattering rentals for a shabby shared room to the woes of daily brouhaha of the fellow members, the life outside home is very difficult. The rents can range from 7k -22k in the main ORN depending upon the room that you choose to live in. Also, the cost of coaching ranges from 55000 to 2 lacs depending upon the coaching institutions you join and the courses that you take.
Suggestion: in case you come to Delhi, in ORN, instead of opting for the ORN, it would cost you a lot lesser if you live in Karol Bagh, 5-6 minutes walking distance from the various coaching centres.
Ironic as it might sound, it becomes even more difficult if you live in a flat with less/no intervention by landlord. Not only do you have manage the whole flat and its members on your own, no one is accountable to the other. No defined authority with even one rogue aspirant is a recipe for disaster.
Suggestion: for all those who are new to living alone and away from their hometown, better would be to opt for PG, though may cost a bit more than flat, but it would act as a crutch for the aspirant- enabling them to study, adjust and understand the environment of the new city better.
The bane of every aspirant’s life- FOOD. The paradox is that you cannot just be focused upon it but you cannot live without it too. You will have to find just the right balance, ie- find food that tastes edible enough to eat and fulfils all your nutritional needs. The options that you would come across are tiffin system, self-cooking, employing a cook aur join a mess. One or many may look appealing from far but all the options are equally bad.
Suggestion: upon trying all of the above mentioned options, the best comes out to be the employment of a cook. The food tastes mediocre but the best thing about it is the standard food that you get. You know the quality of the ingredients being used and can regulated them according to your needs. Furthermore, you can monitor that the food is being made in a hygienic manner or not. Also, it costs you less if you opt for a cook in group.
With the rampant use of Information and Communication Technology in the preparation, Preparation, per say, is no more a problem. Moreover, the time to adjust to the new environment, getting used to the new situations like the arrangement of food and water in most of the metropolitan cities takes time. Further, you will have to remain clear of any source of that may distract you from your preparation.
However the problem with hometown is of the environment. Due to the lack of appropriate environment when you are at home, doesn’t matter how dedicated you try to be, there comes a slackness in your performance because you don’t know about your competition. You are not aware of the other options that you might have, the different strategies you can opt for or the different sources like library etc that are to the need of aspirants in the areas such as Mukherjee Nagar or ORN, Delhi.
On the contrary-perspective, it might take aspirant some time to adjust to the new environment, getting used to the new situations like the arrangement of food and water in most of the metropolitan cities takes time. Further, you will have to remain clear of any source of that may distract you from your preparation. Some may argue the point of availability of test series and its discussions in Delhi, but the issue remains same, there are alternatives to it, websites like Insights, Unacademy etc conduct not only online discussions but also online classes. With the availability of tens of distance learning courses from reputed institutions, proximity remains no boundary.
The revolution that is internet, has made "the access to e-learning tools, technologies and pedagogy inter alia content adaptation, personalized learning, creation of high quality interactive simulation environment, Open Educational Resources (OER), Adaptable e-Learning, Accessibility Models for the disabled, Ubiquitous Learning" making all the small towns at par with the any metro city in terms of facilities provided.
As mentioned in one of my articles on ‘With or Without: Coaching for CSE’, "It is not the coaching that decides success or failure in this examination, instead it is the determination and perseverance of the person along with patience that one practices that will lead to him coming out with flying colours." Similarly, Delhi or No Delhi is a subsidiary point. Success stories of Small Towners making it big are innumerable, starting from Sandeep, 29, daughter of Ranjit Singh, a peon in the revenue department, from Morinda town, Punjab attained 138th rank to Govind Jaiswal, AIR: 48/2006, rickshaw vendor’s son from Varanasi.
Coaching or no coaching, Flat-mates or PG mates, Delhi or Hometown, the questions like these are too inconsequential to deter a passionate aspirant from becoming what he really wants to be, be it an IITian, a painter or a civil servant. What counts is one’s passion for what he does and how bad one wants it. Do what suits you and your family the best. And, always take into consideration that the option you choose remains viable for you even if, God forbid, you are unsuccessful in qualifying for UPSC CSE, for even if it might look otherwise, UPSC is just a part of life and not ‘The Life’ . Keep the spirit alive, Happy Preparation, guys!
Author: Anushka Mishra