While a sect of pessimists scream that humanity is dying, another sect of optimists defy vehemently, paving a pathway themselves. One such optimist is Anjaneyulu, whom we can proudly call 'Telugu Bidda' (the son of Telugu). Born into a poor household, with father working as a watchman and yet nurturing high values, was no mean task. His father had lofty ideals and was steeped in social welfare in Jammikunta in Telangana. Anjaneyulu is proud to say he imbibed human values, and saw life from close quarters through his father's eyes. His father was not just a bread winner, but a path breaker in his way as he condemned injustice in any form and strived for his community's welfare Says Anjaneyulu, serving the needy is not just a rich man's job or duty or obligation but of everyone who owes himself responsible towards this planet. This prologue is clear enough to say he is certainly the 'Collector material'.
To a very clichéd question 'what drove you to pursue CSAT' Anjaneyulu comes up with an unconventional answer that stuns everyone. "I studied in a vernacular medium Government school till Class 5 and moved to private English medium school from 6th onwards. Throughout my schooling, one fact became more and more evident with time, that English speaking students had a confidence and edge over the vernacular students and this impacted their (vernacular students') personality in a huge way, though they had fair idea of what was happening in academics, their communications philosophical question moved him to the next phase of his life, CSAT.
His planning and preparation was meticulous, stress-free and to-the-point, never burdening himself with excess load or getting worked up looking at his peer, he moved on gracefully.
Bio-data at a glance - Primary education was with Government school, Telugu medium. Studied at Kakatiya High School in Telugu medium from Class 5 to 10 and in Class X, became the Mandal Topper and got Pratibha Scholarship, AP Govt.Did Polytechnic in NIT Warangal and stood 6th in the E-CET State Board Exam. Did CS Engineering in Vasavi College, in 2005, and Worked in a software firm for two years from 2005-2007, lost his father the same year, which drove him to fulfill his father's last wish, to become a collector.Father was a great inspiration for him to get involved deeply with society and its welfare. He started seeing the value of service beyond the life of comforts he was leading. Being an engineer, he was refused selection in campus placement, the only reason being lack of communication skills.
How does he speak so fluently now?
After taking a three-month crash course in Spoken English. He could clearly perceive the problem
isn't just with him but with all those who come from rural areas. Then he decided to empower the students with English speaking skills, though he asks this question with certain anguish, "What is wrong with Telugu? Why don't we promote our mother tongue and disqualify a person just because he cannot articulate in English/ in the same breath we are talking about 'bhaashabhimanam (love for the language), how can you justify the two?" Ultimately learning or pursuing Telugu will not fetch you a good job. At this point, I firmly decided to become collector and reach out to all those who are longing for a direction in career. It was then that I decided to move to Delhi to prepare, with the support and love of all my well-wishers and friends'. I was sure Public Administration (PA) and Sociology would help me achieve my goal and I opted for those. PA is very interesting and opens up a whole new aspect of practical issues one would face as an administrator. It is analytical and thoughtbased. It requires thinking and problem solving skills which makes it more interesting.
What is the pre-requisite to get into CSAT?
One needs to have sound general awareness,read extensively, over a period of time, which is one to one-and-a-half-year. In fact it is mandatory for one to be in a pre-preparatory phase before going for the first attempt. I started my preparation while I was working even before I quit and went to Delhi for full time coaching. I took my coaching in Vajiram and Ravi in Delhi for three years. But they will only guide you how to go about it, you cannot rely completely on coaching centers for success, be it IAS or EAMCET. There is no short cut to success. I tell this to my students where I am working as a visiting lecturer in a Law Institute at Hyderabad. Students especially in AP expect a lot from teachers and tutorial centers, which is not going to materialize. I would like to reiterate that it is SMART WORK THAT PAYS OFF NOT HARDWORK. Many aspirants tell me they study for 16-18 hours and still cannot clear the exam, which is ridiculous, they try to use their mind as a store-house and not a thinking machine, one cannot keep loading it with unnecessary information, and it's tiring for the brain. Civil Services offer lot of material/ content, its up to your discretion what you are going to take and what you discard, it's certainly a smart choice. This discrimination comes gradually from the mentor's guidance and experience . It's very important to observe previous years question papers. For example, the trickiest part is the paper pattern; earlier papers had fixed marking scheme, like 5, 10, 20 or 30 or any number, now it's a total surprise to the students. Even the nature of questions is highly analytical. For example, there are some in depth, analytical and intelligent questions on foreign relations which only an IFS person can answer. One has to read and assimilate the essence of analytical reading, like editorials in newspapers, not just scan through the paper for headlines and sports news. This brings in speculation, comparison, understanding of different viewpoints and broader understanding of current events. This is a longterm process. I used to extensively read The Hindu and Indian Express. I read Telugu newspapers only when I went for interview. Be it PA or Sociology, the CSAT approach is practical based. For example, when they are talking about women's issues in Sociology, they ask you how really are it applicable to the Indian rural women. So reading alone doesn't help here, one has to be aware of the actual happening of things.
Is it true that one must have a great vocabulary and diction to write essays?
Not necessarily, one needs to have a simple structurally and grammatically correct sentences, in depth thought and honest expression, this will impress the reader.Is there any option for people who cannot express well in English? Yes, there is a choice of writing in any one of the 24 language list provided by the Board.
What after Mains?
This year the pattern has changed, earlier there was an optional and a main subject. Out of 4 lakh people appearing for Prelims they select only 10,000. One can appear 4 times, and the age limit is 29 years (when you sit for Prelims).One has objective type and one compulsory essay. This time my essay was on tribals.Fortunately, I studied this subject extensively in Sociology, which helped me. My preparation is certainly different from the rest; in GeneralStudies my score was more than the top 20 toppers. I know almost all of them since we have studied together.
What is General Studies?
General Studies is a cocktail of all subjects which has a blend of general knowledge, current issues, economy, foreign relations etc. You can be asked about Indian Economy, Politics, Foreign Relations etc. One tricky bit which many students don't get is that when the topics are broad and vague the answers should be fit and precise. This means no beating around the bush.
What about optional subjects?
I have prepared my own notes which are a fusion of the guide's lectures, printed and internetsurfed matter, combined with my own understanding. I do not rely on one note only. Thus for every topic I have one page notes, be it a 60 marker or less or more. I practiced the knack of expanding or shrinking the topic as per the requirement. After General Studies, we would have three days gap which would allow us to prepare for the optional subject. This is a very crucial period, where I did several quick revisions.
Would you support group studies?
I don't, because I think it is a waste of time to discuss at that point where every minute is precious, you do not have the leisure to sit and ponder and study. Time speeds by. Rather it would be better if one would like to have group discussions before interview. This is very constructive, because you tend to argue debate and know other's points during interviews. This way of studying and preparing built my memory and helped me a lot to remain grounded.
What according to you is mandatory for an IAS aspirant?
First and foremost requirement is precisions and selective sorting of material. Next is planning and revision of EVERY TOPIC, I would do this every day and every week, I had planners, day-wise, week-wise. I would study the whole week and relax weekends, hanging out with friends or watching movies, I love movies!!Since the exam and preparation is tedious, self motivation is a must-do rejuvenator for you. Have basic language and expression skills.Interview is just and personality test, your body language, presence of mind, attitude and approach to life/people is very important. How you express your opinion is very important, they provoke, instigate you and see if you blow the top or not! My interview was for 25 minutes, it was like having a heart-to-heart talk with good old friends, and it was warm and friendly. I was asked about the declining sex ratio in the country - this is because of low status of women, I told them we could do two things to stop it, one is deterrent measure, which we must follow and other is monitoring. I also insisted on economic empowerment of women, I gave them the example of Self Help Groups in AP, through Government initiated DWAKRA.I also insisted education to women was mandatory.Civil society was another major discussion in the interview and the last question was my analysis on why Chiranjeevi's party failed.
Whatever projects we have talked about so far, be it Aadhar, Sarvashikshabhyan or Self Help,are all government initiatives, is it that you scored your points here because you were talking high of government projects at the interview?
True that these are all government projects but they are happening only in certain pockets for an actual change to become visible it should happen intensely and extensively. For example in the North East, we hardly see any progress in the living conditions, neither government nor NGOs seem to be bothered about the poor quality of living here, people here do not have the technology support to save their crop—like fruits and flowers. Even tourism can be promoted in a huge way, there is a technique called Tent Culture, not all tourists can afford good hotels and motels, we can have tent culture to attract all kinds of tourists. In fact, I told the officials in the interview that only one 'ism' can unite people of India and that is Tourism. All other isms will be splitting the nation—like nationalism, regionalism etc, but
tourism will become the binding thread.
What has been a driving force in your life?
Undoubtedly our economic status, it was a burning zeal to step out of poverty and taste comforts at least, if not luxuries. I recall Bill gates statement everyday—"If you are born poor it's not your mistake, but if you die poor, it certainly is." If you observe CSAT results, one can clearly see that two types of people get through, one is the economically backward category like me, and the other is the cream of the society, probably the kith and kin of IAS, who want to maintain the legacy. This clearly reflects that the bourgeoisie of this nation is steeped in their own survival and don't have time to think of service. With this fact, we concluded the rendezvous, which was inspiring, thought-provoking and certainly hard-hitting. We could take this as a call for the youth. Well, let's wait and watch how far this fire in his belly is going to fuel him! CSAT's - New Look CSAT is expected to come into force from the Civil Services Examination, 2011. The candidates will appear in two objective type papers, having special emphasis on testing their "aptitude for civil services" as well as on "ethical and moral dimension of decision making". Both these papers — having equal weightage - will be common to all candidates in place of one common paper (general awareness) and one optional paper (any particular subject of choice) under the existing system, which lays greater emphasis on subject knowledge. As of now, the change will be effective only for the first of the three stages of the CSE from 2011 onwards. The second and third stages - CS (Main) Examination and Interview, respectively - will remain the same till a panel of experts goes into various aspects of the entire system and submits its report. The proposal to this effect was sent to PMO last year by UPSC. Officials, familiar with the proposal, explained that the changes had been suggested by various committees. Most of the panels had advocated for laying greater emphasis on "aptitude" of candidates than their subjects' knowledge, arguing that the specialists or experts of any particular subject may not necessarily be good civil servants unless they have actual inclination towards it. An official said: "The new system (CSAT) will also provide a level-playing field and equity since all candidates will have to attempt common papers unlike the current format which provides for only one common paper". Though scaling system is currently used in Preliminary examination in order to ensure that no candidate who has opted for any particular optional paper gets any undue advantage because of varying degree of difficulty of any paper or inherent scorability, the government has received a number of complaints objecting to the method on one or the other ground. Important highlights of the Civil Services