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Respect your culture, society and language to learn about your country

and equip yourself before aspiring for civil service jobs, UPSC chairman
D P Agrawal exhorted the civil service aspirants who came for an
interactive session here on Wednesday. Speaking at the session organised
by the Kerala State Civil Service Academy here, Agrawal said these days
the students, who have to be part of the universities, quit the
universities for attending coaching centres.

But the coaching centres turn them into machines for mugging up things.
One should study a subject in its depth, he said.

70 per cent of science and engineering graduates who aspire for civil
services prefer humanities as an optional subject. In that case, one has
to go beyond peripheral knowledge to score high.

One has to study in-depth about his or her village, district, state and
country before accumulating knowledge about the world. You should first
be interested in knowing more about the society you live, he said.

Stressing the need for developing respect for languages, especially for
our own languages, he said that there was no truth in the propaganda that
UPSC was against regional languages.

There was a hue and cry about the Commission differentiating between
languages. Maximum freedom is given to choose languages. Actually one who
learns languages can be a better person, the chairman, who was a former
professor in IT at the IIT said..

The Commission supports all languages in the 8th Schedule. We are
committed to respecting languages. The conclusion that we are against a
particular language is not true, he said.

Agrawal also pointed out that irrespective of the language chosen for the
main exam, there is an option to select any language for the interview.
There will be interpreters to translate. We take expert interpreters
from Parliament. But one has to give clear answers. In case of
interpreters making mistakes we will blacklist them, he said.

Speaking about the newly introduced paper of Ethics, Agrawal admitted
that the paper was a little tough. However, all the questions are about
Indian ethos.If you dont know the country, the development scenario,
you cannot mug up, he said.

Coming to the interview part, it is not the judgement of ones expertise
on a subject. However, if you dont know or remember what you have
studied a few years back, it cannot be taken lightly, Agrawal said.

He also said UPSCs reputation was very high and nobody could recommend
anyone and if at all anyone recommends, it would be of no use.

In the interview, normally, questions are simple. One has to speak from
the heart with all honesty. However, candidates have a tendency to speak
lies about even hobbies which will not do them any good. Be yourself.
Face the exam and interview honestly. Only innate qualities will help
you, he advised the civil service aspirants.

Also he was very critical about aspirants who have the habit of reading
only one newspaper.

Read more newspapers, including regional language dailies, to get a more
balanced approach towards issues and to get more informed, he advised.
Former Additional Chief Secretary Babu Paul, Former Secretary of Shipping
K Mohandas and Civil Service Academy officials attended.