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Changing Scenario in Education Sector

Flexibility in India education system One important change which is to be a permanent feature of the Indian education system is flexibility. Most of the courses offered by any Indian University have a single entry and single exit opportunity. Pandemic told us about uncertainty in life. Therefore, the higher education system needs to be more flexible, where multiple entries and multiple exit opportunities are possible. The second important change is to be around education opportunities for working professionals. This is a good opportunity for the Indian education sector to become a global education centre. Indian institutions were late in adopting technology. Pandemic has forced Indian education stakeholders to adopt technology in all possible manners. Whether it is known as Executive education, continuing education, or with any other name, this segment of education needs more attention. If properly addressed, executive education which is only limited to business education can be extended to technology and science education also. India is focussing in a big way for “AtmaNirbhar Bharat”. Developing the latest skills in manpower will help India to achieve this objective. Examination system in India There are some areas of concern also. The examination subsystem requires more attention. The final examination requires proctoring. Edtech solutions are developing various AI-based solutions for better proctoring in online examinations. But no such solution is as close to as physical examinations. This allows revisiting the evaluation system based on the final written examination. Assessment of students in a class should be a regular process. It will also help in better learning. Regular assessment should be designed in such a way that should create interest in education. Assessment should be integrated with the learning process. It is certainly high time to revisit the assessment process to reduce the examination phobia and also to facilitate better learning. Competitive admission process The admission process in India is highly competitive. It creates so much pressure on the child that affects the actual learning process. Students have become more objective to crack a particular entrance examination. Since pandemic has disrupted the routine coaching industry and most of the students are studying at their home. It should be another game-changer for the Indian education sector, where dependence on coaching can be minimized. If we revisit the process of entrance examination which can check the holistic personality of students for a particular programme rather than just checking some tricks to solve objective type questions. To assess a large number of applicants, we prefer objective assessment, but it has many drawbacks. There is always a trade-off when we deal with a large number of applicants. Can we think of admissions to UG courses based on class 12th performance across the disciplines? Maybe it is time to work on these points. As we say that there will be new normal after the pandemic. The Indian education sector will become more tech-savvy, flexible, focusing on continuous assessment rather than on the final examination, enabling different types of executive education and admission process which is more student-friendly. Online learning is here to stay An immediate and effective response to the crisis was to go digital. Developing robust online platforms has become necessary to offer continuity in learning. Yet in a developing country like India with vast disparity in socio-economic backgrounds of students and the quality of educational institutions, the shift has not been easy. The digital divide has been further widening the gap, and needs urgent attention from both public and private sector players as the crisis continues. Good teachers, refreshed curricula and effective tools will ensure students stay involved and active in the learning process. New trends in teaching & learning will emerge Beyond the top band of institutional excellence with private universities setting best practices, Indian academia has been in need of transformation, long before the onset of the pandemic. There is an opportunity to rethink the traditional education system now. Digital learning is leading the charge as a mainstay, and many new trends are picking up momentum across the globe. Multidisciplinary and modular pedagogy that afford transferable skills and customised learning will succeed. Post-pandemic times could see a blend of e-learning and mainstream face-to-face teaching with a boost from traditional universities and the ed-tech sector. A call for greater global collaboration between students, academia & industry Opportunities for student mobility and practical exposure through exchange programmes, internships, participation in conferences, and more could likely be off the table for some time. Innovative new forms of collaboration and alternative paradigms are needed to drive learning, research and teaching. Sharing of knowledge between institutions globally through joint-teaching, virtual guest lectures, etc. could give students an enriched global perspective in these difficult times. Will educators rise to the challenge? A paucity of contemporary teachers has been a pressing challenge already, and it is growing more serious. Faculty are being called upon to redesign course content to meet the current and future needs. Moving away from traditional pedagogies in most average institutions, the demand for quality educators will shape the way higher education moves forward from this crisis

Tanu Kapoor January 17, 2022


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Selecting the right career path in 5 easy steps

The galore of career options may have opened doors to some new and springing fields but it has also left us in a conundrum about which one to choose and why. Career Goals: While choosing a career path, one must begin by introspecting. Contemplating your wants will help you get certain with some thoughts. One of the most helpful answers for how to choose a career path is by answering some questions while introspecting. You must answer the questions like- What are my expectations from my career? What are my interests? What are the activities I enjoy doing the most and can make out a career from? etc. After answering such questions, you will definitely reach out to some options worth pondering. Interests: Before you hop on to a particular career path, it is essential that you must know yourself thoroughly. It is always preferred to have a hold of your likes and dislikes. In order to achieve so, you have to evaluate your interests and skills. As you will be directing your life towards one single path, it is important that you enjoy doing it. With a strong grip over your strengths and weaknesses, you will easily be able to target the perplexing question- How to choose a career path. Personality: Personality traits should be considered while opting a career path for the future. Often, due to decisions taken in rush, individuals tend to enter a job profile or industry wherein they find it difficult to adjust. For example, If you are more driven towards an artistic job or career, then it would be difficult for you to adjust to the corporate sector job. Thus, it is mandatory to do a personality check and know about the Do’s and Don’ts. You can take various personality tests online and get to know yourself better. Career Options: Whilst looking out for your ideal job, an effective step would be searching for more and more career options. In today’s scenario, there are a plethora of options available other than the conventional ones. Trending career paths to explore are Career in Artificial Intelligence, Engineering Management, Shoes Designing, Fashion Designing etc. Intricate research in the field of interest will help you find an answer to how to choose a career path as well as you will be enabled with the profiles that are declining or expanding in the industry. Right Degree: Once you have narrowed down your career option, predominantly you should work upon attaining the appropriate education required to pursue a career in the desired field. There are some specific pathways which would demand certain degrees or certification like Medicine, Law, Architecture etc from the ones who aspire to enter whereas some fields are open to all. Gaining core knowledge of the domain will help you cater to a better impression. Hence, you must dig out the appropriate UG or PG level course which can lead you to your career aspirations. You must have listened to podcasts and lectures by people who have achieved a great feat in their lives. They often talk about the importance of hard work, perseverance and learning. The confidence with which they talk and the aura they exude do not come easy. They go through a hard time exploring what they want to do in their lives. A large number of people spend a great amount of time in search of their goals and by the time they realize it, it is already late. The first step for moving ahead in your career is to know what to do. It has been seen that people who make the best out of their careers follow a pattern. Dedication does play a crucial role but that’s not enough. Having a strategy maximizes your chances of succeeding in your profession. If you have set your mind to achieve your goal, the next thing you should be doing is to design a career map for yourself. Importance of Career Mapping What if there was a way to help you check your progress and plan your activities accordingly? Using a career map, you can easily formulate an approach to accomplish your goals. Your career plan keeps you motivated and ensures that you do not lose focus while pursuing your career. This maximizes your potential of achieving your target in due time. Not only does it give you a roadmap but also helps you land in your dream job. By the time you make your transition into retirement, you will have a systematic plan to make your path smoother. A career map helps you while browsing through your achieved milestones, to make intelligent decisions about your retirement. When to Start and Where to Begin from? It is important that you start your career mapping as early as possible. Designing a career plan is a gradual process that can be started right after you complete high school. It should reflect your skills, achievements, and aspirations. By the time you prosper in your life, you can go on adding things and arranging the contents in it according to your priority. It becomes essential that you revisit your formulated layout to assess what your next course of action should be. During the time you graduate from your high school, the decisions are highly influenced by your parents. You may choose to follow a career path that suits your interest and fits your need. By the time you plan to seek admission in college, the decisions you take become more consequential which can have a life-changing impact on you.

Tanu Kapoor January 13, 2022


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Everything you need to know about UPSC CSE 2022

Preparing for UPSC exams can be a cumbersome and complicated process. Owing to its vast syllabus and different sections on which it assesses the students, it has made its place amongst the toughest exams in India. Conducted for various public administration posts in the Indian government, these government exams aim to evaluate a student’s knowledge of diverse disciplines from Geography and General Awareness to Indian Polity and history. If you are aiming to appear for these competitive exams, here is an exclusive blog on how to prepare for UPSC, from curating the right preparation strategies to gathering the best study materials. How to Prepare for UPSC? The Union Public Service Commission is a prime recruiting body that holds the responsibility of conducting recruitment examinations for All India services and group A & group B of Central services. They shortlist the best candidates for the posts under Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Police Service (IPS) etc. UPSC exams are conducted in three main successive stages, i.e. Preliminary, Mains as well as Interview. “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you are right” - Henry Ford. The first and foremost success mantra you need to keep in mind for UPSC exams is to have persistence and perseverance. The below sections elaborate on the best strategies as well as useful resources you must have while exploring the best answer on how to prepare for UPSC. Meticulous Research Certainly, gearing up for one of the trickiest competitive exams is a daunting task. To begin on imparting the mantra on how to prepare for UPSC, the most important tip is that you must carry out extensive research on its pattern, syllabus as well as preparation guides. Further, check out the insights from UPSC toppers which will assist you in finding the right track for your preparation. Once you have done your research, the next step is to create a study plan and timeline and making sure to adhere to it throughout your preparatory phase. Choose Optional Subjects Wisely Another prominent tips recommended by many IAS toppers on how to prepare for UPSC is the careful selection of optional subjects. There are scores of optional subjects available for these exams which candidates can choose as per their area of interest. While opting for these subjects, make sure that you are familiarised with the discipline you are selecting. Generally, it is advised to select those subjects in which you have done the graduation or have expertise in. Read a Newspaper Everyday Staying updated with the current affairs is also a key preparation tip you must have come across. If you are exploring the best preparation strategies on how to prepare for UPSC, reading one newspaper daily is a common one you will find. The most popular one for government exams is the Hindu newspaper which is renowned for its commendable language and writing style as well as analytical editorials. You can also subscribe to its digital edition if you are unable to buy its hardcopy. Some of the other newspapers are Indian Express (Explains series online), Navbharat Times, Dainik Bhaskar, amongst others. Not only will these assist you in comprehending the major current events but will also improve your writing style and vocabulary. The major competitive exam magazines you can subscribe include, India Yearbook, Yojna, Kurukshetra, Civil Service Times etc. Familiarise Yourself With the Basics of History, Political Science & Geography NCERT books for UPSC are amongst the recommended study materials for these competitive exams. Make sure to go through the NCERT history books of 11th and 12th to familiarise yourself with the conceptual basics as these are the best exam guides on how to prepare for UPSC. Moreover, you can choose from various books to learn the basics of different disciplines covered in class 6th to 12th and Tamil Nadu Board books, because of their simplicity in language and structure. Since, Political Science, Geography and History form an important aspect of the UPSC syllabus, there are many other preparation guides you can opt for. Check out spectrum books, Bipin Chandra’s India’s struggle for Independence, GC Leong’s Physical Geography, Majid Hussain’s Geography books, Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh and Laxmikanth’s analytical works on Indian Polity. Practice Mock Test Series You can find a plethora of previous year question papers and mock test series online curated especially for government exam aspirants. These mock test series will help you understand how self-assessment is an essential aspect you need to inculcate in your study routine to effectively prepare for UPSC. Practice mock tests will assist you in identifying your strengths and weaknesses and comprehending which topics you are good at and the ones you need to work on. Timely Revision Until the final exam day, you need to follow a persistent approach towards incorporating timely revision of your notes. Make sure to go through all the important topics and books while preparing for UPSC and don’t forget to take efficient breaks on a timely basis to let your mind retain all you have learned. UPSC 2022 Mains The official examination calendar released by the UPSC has notified the date of UPSC 2022 Mains. The CSE Mains is scheduled from 16th September 2022 onwards. Learn about some important points about this stage of the UPSC exam, mentioned briefly below: It is a theory-based paper. Therefore, unlike prelims where a candidate has to select the right answer out of the given options (MCQ); in mains examination, one has to write subjective answers. There are nine papers, out of which two language papers are of qualifying nature. A candidate has to secure at least 30 percent in Indian language paper and 25 percent in English Language paper, failing which the remaining papers (GS, Essay & Optional) are not evaluated. Marks scored in the language papers are not considered in the final evaluation. The candidate has to select one optional subject from the list of 48 subjects listed by the Commission. There are two optional papers. (Please Note- Two Papers are based on the optional subject selected by the candidate). While language papers are of 300 marks; the remaining seven papers are of 250 marks each. Once through the Mains syllabus, aspirants can start off with UPSC Mains Answer Writing. Here, we post questions tailored to suit the exam trend. This practice gets you familiar with your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to penning down what you have learnt so far. UPSC 2022 Interview The dates of the UPSC 2022 personality test are not out. Only those candidates who will qualify mains examination would be summoned to take UPSC 2022 interview. Usually, the number of candidates who take the personality test is twice the number of vacancies allotted for that year. UPSC 2022 Eligibility The Commission releases eligibility criteria for the recruitment year with its official notification. The eligibility criteria include: Eligibility Criteria for General Category Eligibility Criteria for SC/ST Eligibility Criteria for OBC Eligibility Criteria for PwBD Candidates can also seek age exemption for the examination given they fulfil the required eligibility criteria. The basic eligibility criteria for UPSC 2022 considering the general category: Minimum age limit – 21 Maximum age limit – 32 Number of attempts – 6 Minimum Educational Qualification – Graduate Degree/Final Year Student UPSC 2022 Preparation Candidates must often hear the word ‘integrated preparation’ whenever it comes to UPSC preparation. It means one must prepare for prelims and mains together. As the sources of preparation don’t differ much for both these stages, candidates should opt for a blended strategy encompassing tips and tricks for each. First, let us name all the important subjects asked in the UPSC Exam: History – Ancient, Medieval. Modern Indian, World Indian Polity – Governance, Constitution Geography – India, World Economy – Indian Economy Environment – Ecology Art & Culture Science & Technology Ethics Each of these subjects can be studied using some very important books, some referred by even IAS toppers every year. Let us go through the list of some of these below: History NCERT Class 6-12 Tamil Nadu State Board Class 11-12 Indian Polity NCERT Class 11-12 M.Laxmikanth’s Indian Polity Geography NCERT Class 6-12 BlackSwan Atlas Economy NCERT Class 12 Environment NCERT Class 12 Chemistry, Biology [Relevant Chapters] Art & Culture NCERT Class 11-12 Science & Technology Class 6-10   The above-mentioned books can be complemented with the following reference books: Norman Lowe’s Mastering Modern World History Rajiv Ahir’s Brief History of Modern India Subhash Kashyap’s Constitution of India Ramesh Singh’s Indian Economy G.C. Leong’s Certification Physical and Human Geography Majid Hussain’s Environment & Ecology One very important part of the UPSC Exam is Current Affairs. Though there is no dedicated section for this, questions from various subjects are influenced by the events of national and international importance. Tips to study for UPSC Exam 2022: Download the UPSC Syllabus and rote learn it. One should get so comfortable with the syllabus that they know which topic comes under which paper after memorizing it completely. Start with NCERT Books as they form the base of the candidate in any topic. Further, one can use reference books to fill in the gaps. From the beginning, choose an optional subject with careful analysis and start preparing it. Get the list of optional subjects from the linked article. Make notes of only those topics that are harder to understand, and keep revising them often. Learn how to make notes for UPSC in the linked article. Candidates should opt for periodic revisions of the notes they prepare throughout their UPSC journey. The best revision techniques for UPSC are mentioned in the linked article. Take one good prelims test series and appear for the mock tests religiously. Using these, learn, unlearn and relearn the important facts. One can start with UPSC Mains test series when they have covered more than 50 percent of their syllabus of each of the subjects.

Tanu Kapoor January 12, 2022

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