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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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IAS still the first choice

Q: In your opinion is the IAS still a good option for students, particularly when the intake is so limited?

— Lalita Biswas

A: Despite murmurs of falling standards and a relatively lower salary, the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) continues to be the preferred option for the majority of Indian youth as they provide visible as well as invisible perks, social status and benefits with 100 per cent job security, something lacking in the private sector, according to a study conducted not long ago by ASSOCHAM.

Around 80 per cent of the 300 young corporate executives who were interviewed agreed that the IAS, IFS and IPS continue to draw the best available talent contrary to impressions that flight of talent has shifted to the private sector with liberalisation.

Over 70 per cent agreed that the private sector does offer handsome packages to bright young executives but minus job security whereas there is no element of uncertainty befalling a civil servant.

Around 55 per cent of respondents blamed the oft-reported interventions of politicians in the day-to-day working of bureaucrats for discouraging bright people from joining the services.

There are plenty of other options, but many bright young people across the country would give anything to get into the coveted bureaucratic enclaves often described as the “permanent government”. Moreover, there is a reason for the civil services aspirants to rejoice: the government is doubling the IAS intake to 110 this year.

UPSC has notified a total of 671 vacancies for the civil services exams this year, increasing the number of entrants to the service. In the past few years, the total annual intake was around 500. The other vacancies were for the Indian Police Service, Indian Foreign Service and a range of Group A and Group B jobs.

Second chance at success

Q: I have completed my Class XII this year. However, I could only score 58 per cent. I want to take admission in IIT. Can I give the exam next year or do I have to do my intermediate all over again?

— Kishore Raj

A: No, you don't have to do your intermediate all over again. Since you have taken the boards this year, you can again take the exam next year to improve your performance in a subject(s) or in the whole exam provided you don’t pursue higher studies in the meanwhile.

However, you will now appear as a private candidate. If you are planning to take the entire exam, you could even appear as a regular school candidate if your school permits.

Those who have passed Class XII under the vocational stream can appear for the exam in the succeeding year as well as in the following year to improve their performance provided they have fulfilled the other conditions.

IT skills can take you places

Q: I want to know about the compulsory computer course which is essential for doing CA. Is it necessary to get registered for this course?

— Farhan Beg

A: In view of the critical need for computer knowledge, The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has designed a computer training programme to help students develop expertise in the use of information technology at a fairly advanced level.

While studying for the professional competency course, you can pursue the 100-hour ITT (information technology training) at various regional councils and branches of the ICAI and other accredited institutions. The fee for the course is between Rs 3,500 and Rs 4,000.

You will also receive a set of study modules covering various topics of the programme such as computer fundamentals, operating systems, MS Word, MS Excel, MS Power Point, MS Office, data bases, accounting package, computer-aided audit techniques, web technology, system security and maintenance, Visual Basic (introduction), digital signature and verification of electronic records.

The 100-hour ITT course is presently covered in 20 days at the rate of five hours per day.

In addition, you have to submit a project based on topics learnt during the training.

After completing the course you have to clear the final exam, a three-hour online test, comprising 200 objective-type questions.

It is conducted on the last Sunday of every month at 10.00 am. All those students who have completed minimum 100 hours of computer training are eligible to appear for this examination.

They should have cleared all module tests, submitted the project and attained 90 per cent attendance.

Ineligible students will not be issued ITT completion certificates even if they are allowed to appear for the online examination by their concerned training institute. For further details, log on to www.icai.org.


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