The add-on advantage of NCC.

The Indian army, civil services and the government sector offer immense career opportunities that students need to explore. At crossroads and with dreams of pursuing a successful career, the tag of National Cadet Corps (NCC) on student’s shoulders is an add-on. How can this be garnered to live your dreams? Experts spoke on the career opportunities for NCC Cadets at the third national seminar organised at the D.G. Vaishnav College recently. The cadets from all over the State learnt about opportunities in UPSC, TNPSC and the Indian army.

UPSC Every year the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts Civil Services Exam to recruit candidates for the posts of IAS (Indian Administrative Service), IFS (Indian Foreign Service), IPS (Indian Police Service), IRS (Indian Revenue Service) and so on. Senthil Kumar, centre director, T.I.M.E, discussed about the syllabus for the exam and various posts for which students are recruited. A closer look at the syllabus and model questions of the examination reveals that as far as Paper I is concerned it is quite similar to the earlier General Studies paper, where besides the stock general knowledge the aspirants must have an in-depth knowledge of current economy and general current affairs but Paper II requires basic mathematics, reasoning and English skills at the secondary school level. Paper I requires extensive reading, whereas Paper II requires practice of solving the questions. Paper I requires at least four hours of preparation per day, whereas Paper II requires anything from 1 hour to 3 to 4 hours per day, depending on the aspirants level of grasping ability and IQ level.

UPSC has already announced that by 2012 or later it will change the main exam pattern (i.e. common paper for everyone). The proper strategy to clear the civil services exam in a single attempt is to prepare for both the mains and prelims simultaneously.

The candidates can start preparation as soon as possible by reading newspapers and other periodicals to enrich their knowledge of current affairs. Questions on current affairs are likely to play a key role in scoring the required marks in the new pattern. Since Paper II is the real test on aptitude skills of the aspirants as it has comprehension, interpersonal skills, logical reasoning and other similar topics, they have to undergo special training and practice. Analysing the previous questions of examinations conducted by RBI and other Banks PO exams will help them to feel the paper-2 pattern. Students may even practice on CAT, GRE model questions, he said.

Group-I Exam R Rajaboopathy, founder, Radian I.A.S. Academy spoke on the opportunities available in the government sector and how to prepare for the TNPSC examination. TNPSC Group-I exam is conducted to recruit candidates for the posts of deputy collector, deputy superintendent of police and assistant director of panchayats.

Exam Pattern: Stage I: Preliminary Exam (Objective Type) Single General Knowledge paper for 300 marks. Stage II: Mains Exam (Descriptive type) Two General Knowledge paper each 300 marks Stage III: Oral Test for 80 marks. “Earlier Group-I exam was similar to UPSC Civil Services preliminary exam. From 2008 onwards only General Knowledge paper is there for Mains, paving a level playing field for all aspirants,” he said.

Indian Army M. Rajiv Menon, battalion commander, Officers Training Academy encouraged more students from the State to join the army. He spoke about the attractive pay package offered to students.

“At the entry level, a lieutenant earns up to Rs. 50,000 per month,” he said. Mr. Menon spoke about the five-day process in Service Selection Boards (SSBs) for selection to the officer category. Students who qualify to attend the interview are told that the atmosphere throughout the interview will be relaxed and inform.

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