Creative Guidance – Passion & Success

Passion & Success:

Success this way.Made in 3d software

Success and failure are two interwoven threads that make up the fabric of life. It is impossible to succeed without failing and it is impossible to fail without aiming to succeed. Success and failure are two faces of the same coin; one cannot exist without the other. If failure is such an integral part of life, then what makes it easier to handle failures?

It is said that real failure is when you quit. As long as one is striving, there is always a possibility of success. So in this sense failure is simply the moment when one decides to quit. There should be something integral in the attitude of an individual that makes him accept failure as a part of life and keep striving; the differentiating integral factor is passion.

When an individual is passionate about doing or achieving something, failure is simply a minor distraction. When your vision is absolutely crystal clear and you are passionate about achieving it, then failures simply become stepping stones to move on.

Most people fail not because they are uniquely disadvantaged with failure; they fail because they didn’t have enough passion to pursue a certain path to its completion, irrespective of multiple failures. If we do not accept failure as a part of life and invest our passions in what we are doing, we will always be intimidated by failures.

There is no other bigger differentiating factor between two individuals pursuing a certain path other than passion. Passion is the most important invisible force that shapes a life. It is passion that helps us to solve problems and think creatively. It is passion that gives us the strength to jump over obstacles. It is only passion that can keep us going on a longer run.

Without passion, you can achieve some momentary success just as a matter of luck. But without a burning passion to do something, you will never be able to sustain yourself on a longer run. Success is not a sprint, it is a marathon and passion is the fuel that can keep you going.

Invest in a long term approach where you are motivated and passionate about achieving something. Spend as much time as possible in revisiting your passion and keeping it alive. One of the most difficult things to do is maintaining the same level of energy and enthusiasm even after repeated failures.

There is no rocket science to success. The formula is very simple. Passion multiplied by effort is equal to success. The more the passion, the lesser is the effort needed to succeed. When passion and effort come together, then success is an absolute certainty.


UPSC Exam Calendar 2020 released Check complete schedule here

UPSC Exam Calendar 2020: The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has released the programme of examinations/recruitment tests (RTS) 2020. All the candidates can check the dates of UPSC Prelims, Indian Forest Services (IFS), Engineering Services Prelims and other examinations on the official website, the link for which is

Engineering Services (Preliminary) Examination, 2020:

  • Date of notification: 25.09.2019
  • Last date to apply: 15.10.2019
  • Exam date: 05.01.2020

Combined Geo-Scientist (Preliminary) Examination, 2020

  • Date of notification: 25.09.2019
  • Last date to apply: 15.10.2019
  • Exam date: 19.01.2020

Reserved for UPSC RT/ Examination:

  • N.D.A. & N.A. Examination (I), 2020
  • Date of notification: 08.01.202
  • Last date to apply: 28.01.2020
  • Exam date: 19.04.2020

UPSC IAS Prelims 2020: Date

As per the examination calendar released by the UPSC, the UPSC Civil Services Prelims 2020 will be conducted on May 31, 2020.

UPSC Exam Calendar 2020: Detailed exam schedule


The Golden Quadrilateral and NSEW
corridor are the two largest express
highways projects of Indian National
highway system.
GQ express highways connects four largest
metro cities Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata,
Chennai and NS-EW corridor express ways
connects Srinagar to Kanyakumari and
Porbandar to Silchar.
NS and EW corridor intersect each other at
Jhansi and not Bhopal.


No Struggle Can Ever Succeed Without Women Participating Side by Side With Men”


NOTE- To initiate the process and instil confidence, we have taken the lead by writing this Model Essay for you. Would love to receive your feedback on the same.  

You also try to write on the same topic during this week. Now on, every Sunday ‘Essay Topics’ will be provided for practice. 

It was a Sunday afternoon, and place was New Delhi. Apart from who’s who of the city, room was packed with budding entrepreneurs, social activists and students from the University of Delhi and IIT-Delhi. The Speaker was a known face in the field of policy affairs and economics. “Now before I conclude, does anyone have any question to ask?” he said.

A hand rose in the air, “Sir you said while the world is eagerly waiting for the elephant to dance, the elephant cannot dance with two limbs tied. Now I understand that women need to be taken along if we are to develop, but shouldn’t our focus be on more pressing matters? World over and India, in particular, is facing many emergencies like the Humanitarian crisis, Terrorism, Refugee Crisis, Financial Crisis, Security issues, Energy crisis, diplomatic wars etc. More than 250 mn people in India are below the poverty line. A third of our children are malnourished. Food security and ensuring access to water are formidable challenges in themselves, and then we have a bulging demographic dividend, which if not tapped, can become a demographic liability. Shouldn’t our focus be first on them? In West, issues of women were addressed only after society attained some degree of standard of living for all. Should we not learn from history?”

The speaker smiled, and after a sombre pause said, “Some of the problems you mentioned are there because we failed to take women along in our story of development, and some others cannot be addressed without taking women along.

George Santayana, a famous philosopher said: “Those who do not know history’s mistakes are doomed to repeat them”.

You mentioned West. In Europe, the two world wars created a demographic crisis, with young men perishing or becoming handicapped in the two gory wars, forcing these societies to accept women going outside the homes, seeking employment, and sustaining family. It is this lesson we need to learn.

Not only this, an attentive glance through history and evolution of human being shows the importance of women in the development of mankind. To be frank, the very struggle of human existence through evolution is incomplete without women. So, not only historically, even biologically and naturally, women command a strong position.

When the world was experiencing the fierce wars of all times (mostly fought by men), it was women providing the basic support (emotion, affection and motivation) to not only family but also as a quality labour (financial and strategic) in developing goods and war materials.

Ironically, when a man claims all the success of life, be it as a ruler, as a successful entrepreneur, as a world leader or as a guiding light for national and social development, he forgets the invisible support of women providing the inner peace of mind while achieving all this. He forgets the foundational values that man carries in his journey to become a successful person have come from a woman (mother/sister/wife). He forgets that behind his existence there is a woman.

It was once truly said that “behind every successful man, there is a woman”

The struggle of mankind is an evolutionary phenomenon and historical references are just a part of it. In today’s world of interconnectedness where economic, political, social, technological and environmental battle (struggle) is involved, women’s role has become even more important. It is simply impossible to imagine facing this battle without women being part of the association.

World over, women have proved their mettle in almost every aspect involving the aforementioned domains. From a great ‘Thinker’ like Simone de Beauvoir to a great ‘Scientist’ like Marie Curie, the struggle has not stopped yet. They are the major stakeholders of the world resources and one of the key policymakers occupying centre-stage in economic and political development of numerous nations as inferred from icons like Angela Merkel, Aung San Suu Kyi, to name a few.

Their achievement has surpassed the Earth’s canopy reaching to Space in 21st century. All this was made possible by the constant struggle and undeterred determination to shoulder men side by side.

India today is fighting battles across multiple fronts, each requiring energy and efforts. In each of them, women have a role to play.

India is going to surpass China in near future to become the most populous country. Many of our development gains are neutralized due to rising population. Containing this pace of population growth is even more necessary as resources of the country are limited. Studies from across the world tell that in societies where women are educated, and part of labour force, the fertility rate is low and population growth is controlled.

Of the 3Ds (Democracy, Demography and Demand) that our Prime Minister often iterates as strength of India, perhaps the most important one is Demography. Over 65% population is below age of 30, and half of it are females. Without creating opportunities to channelize this half of our human resource capital, we are unlikely to tap the demographic dividend. Studies show that in households where women are educated and are earning, there is more likelihood of marriage in later years, fewer cases of malnutrition among children, higher school attendance and better health indicators.

In the struggle to make an inclusive society, the role of women is immense as can be seen from India’s rank (108/44) in World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap index. By involving women workforce effectively, our GDP can be doubled in no time providing a strong economic backbone to the nation.

It is often criticized that while ‘India’ has progressed, ‘Bharat’ continues to lag far behind.

Rural development and agriculture remain a story of limited success. As per Socio-Economic Caste Census (2011), average monthly earning of a household in rural India is Rs 6000. Farmer suicide is a sad reality, with every hour one farmer taking his life away due to failure to repay loan (average loan amount being Rs 27,000).

Where does a woman come into the picture? Everywhere

Over the years, with increasing mechanization of agriculture, opportunities for women to work in farms have shrunk, seriously impacting household income. This is reflected in a study by University of Maryland wherein it finds that almost half the women employed in MGNREGA were employed in manual labour for first time, indicating shortage of supply of jobs and not of demand. And what’s more is the fact that rural India continues to be major source of demand of Indian economy. So if we are to ensure a sustainable household income, it will benefit whole economy.

Even after 7 decades of independence, one may ask whether we have been able to attain objectives of constitution. How come is it that even today political parties can win votes on the basis of promise of free food and electricity? Is it really success of our welfare state or a symbol of our failure to ensure inclusive growth? Issues that really matter are not getting sufficient attention. Access to water, sanitation, good health facilities, quality education – all these are the ones that should be dominating electoral debates.

But instead, debate is revolving around mandal-kamandal politics. All these are matters in which women are direct stakeholders and without their participation, success is difficult, if not unlikely, to come by.

India has lesser number of woman parliamentarians than even Pakistan and Bangladesh. Without increasing their numbers, one cannot expect issues that affect women directly be taken up.

Change and progress in any society begin with family, and parents are the first role model. At young age, we accept many habits and lessons subconsciously. One of the perpetrators of Nirbhaya rape confessed to having watched his father abusing his mother in front of him, creating feeling of asserting his masculinity by inflicting violence on the victim. In families where women are respected, and given freedom, children are more likely to grow up with liberal mindsets, thus creating an ideal base for just society.

Additionally, in a country like India, religion plays an overwhelming influence, in both good and bad way. Religion can be a positive force or a negative one, depending on how one takes it.

To be a force of positive change, it needs to become open and inclusive, and shed its orthodoxy. In almost all religions, orthodoxy is closely associated with patriarchy. Whether it is triple talaq, or entry of women into temples, rigid attitude of clergy, and secondary treatment of women has been a sad reality. While taking women along is necessary, but that by itself is not enough.

Governments the world over are new seeing the global dimension of a number of environment problems, such as climate change, ozone depletion, dumping of hazardous wastes, destruction of biological resources and of forests and the impact of desertification therefore, the need to protect the environment became imperative.

Women have recorded successes in solving environmental problems all over the world by taking the role of managers or maintainers of the natural environment, rehabilitators of the natural environment in the sense of sustainable development, as innovators in the use of appropriate technology in the creation of new environments and as an activist or conservationist.

The priority of the world is towards Sustainable Development- of which women are a primary part of.

As the world population passes 7 billion people, reducing maternal mortality and achieving universal access to reproductive health is critical to sustainability.

We need to create conditions to tap their potential and make them co-partners in the process of development. Beginning has to be made from home, school and politics.

At home, woman must be given freedom to decide their future. Men must share the burden of household duties so that women can go out and work.

In school, gender sensitivity should be made part of curriculum.

And in politics, political parties must give tickets to women. Care needs to be taken that candidates should be self-made women who can act as role models in society. For example, in Andhra Pradesh, women from Self Help Groups are encouraged to participate in Panchayat elections, and those Panchayats where women get elected as Chairperson, they get additional grants.

The struggle to achieve inclusive economic, social, sustainable and technological development in today’s competitive world is nothing less than impossible without the participation of woman being part of our mainstream agenda. There cannot be any policy that will end poverty from the world without the inclusive growth of women, there cannot be an inclusive political development of the nation, if women are not part of decision making, there cannot be fulfillment of sustainable development goals, if women are not taken into account, there cannot be any growth in economic sphere, if there is no womenomics and there cannot be a moral or value based development of society if women are neglected and subjugated behind the veil of home.

Let us end with a story. The year of 1991 is known as watershed year in India’s economic history. But something else happened that year. Something less known, and its significance less acknowledged. In Dubhagata village in Nellore district in Andhra Pradesh, women were engaged in adult literacy programs as part of National Literacy Campaign. When they came together, the issue of increasing alcoholism in men and consequent domestic abuse and squandering of money came up, triggering a spontaneous social movement against Arrack (local alcohol). The movement was not organized by any political leadership. It was women who participated and formed the ground support. The movement spread throughout the State, becoming a major electoral issue and eventually forcing a change in party in power.

This incidence has a lot of lessons for society to learn- social, political and economic.

“There is no chance for the welfare of the world unless the condition of woman is improved. It is not possible for a bird to fly on only one wing.”– Swami Vivekananda

Creative Guidance – Focus is everything

Focus is Everything:

The difference between success and failure is focus. Our ability to pick a task and stay with it as long as it takes; even when it is boring and uninteresting, is true focus. Our mind is a constant pleasure seeking mechanism. It wants to be stimulated all the time with something interesting. This nature of the mind makes it difficult to focus.

Focus takes a lot of self-introspection. Only when you have made a firm decision about doing something, only when you have fully understood the consequences of not getting to it, only when you have understood the pain and suffering associated with not getting what you are striving for, you can fully direct your attention to focus on what you need the most.

Success is a very simple phenomenon. Pick the routine of activities that lead to success and just stick with it. Fight all distractions that take you away from your task. Decide to be boring, decide to be miserable, and decide to remain unexcited about all the things happening around you. That is all success is.

One of the biggest distractions we need to face, especially in today’s day and age is digital distraction. It is so easy to get lost in all of our youtube videos, facebooks and twitters. It is so easy to forget that we have a goal to attain to. It is so easy, in today’s times to forget the purpose of your life and make somebody else’s life your business.

Always remember that you are paying the most precious commodity for all your entertainment; you are paying your time. Nothing, absolutely nothing is free in this world. If you think you are getting something for free, think about it twice. Reflect on what exactly is it costing you to get something for free.

With today’s technology and communication channels, a lot of information and entertainment is simply available for free. You can spend the rest of your life in front of youtube and you will still have not exhausted all the free entertainment that is available there. There is simply too much of free stuff available for us now. But they are in reality not free. You have to spend your time, and that is the catch.

Tremendous focus is required to step away from all our entertainments and distractions. There is a time to work, there is a time to play and there is a time to be entertained. Never there is a time for all these three things to coexist. There is a phase in our lives when we simply cannot afford to be entertained. Knowing that phase of life is extremely important.

Not that entertainment is all that bad, but it doesn’t serve any purpose to us if we are filled with certain dreams and desires. If you have already concluded that you will not work towards certain things, you simply want to live and enjoy life, then it is perfectly fine. But when you have chosen to accomplish something extraordinary, you simply cannot afford to lose your focus.

Creative Guidance – Believe in Yourself

Believe in Yourself:

It is impossible for anybody else to believe in you. The reason for this is because nobody else knows your thoughts, dreams and desires. Even if you try to explain exactly what is it that you want in life, still it is next to impossible to make anybody else understand your life’s true vision. So why waste time trying to expect someone else to believe in our dreams.

The moment we drop this expectation from people around us, we become strong and practical. It is extremely unscientific and impractical to expect someone else to believe in us and our dreams. Trying to explain to people your deepest desires is like banging your head against a wall, there is absolutely nothing that is going to come out of it.

You have to believe in yourself and there is no other way out. This is why life is such a difficult experience. There is nothing else that makes life so challenging other than the fact that you alone are responsible for everything that happens in your life. When the strength of your inner belief reduces, you become confused and lost. Lack of personal conviction and belief in something is the root cause of all pain and suffering.

Each human being is an island, cut off from everything else. All our experiences and personal visions are restricted to this island. Once in a while we can invite a few people and give them a tour of our island, but it is impossible to make them understand why our island is the way it is? Each life is so unique and different that only the experiencing self knows what it really wants.

This is why it is so important to invest considerable time and energy to understand your mind, body and yourself. The more you know about yourself, the clearer your path becomes. Knowing yourself is the way to eliminate unnecessary doubts and confusions. A person who knows himself enough does not need any external support mechanism like someone else’s belief. His belief is enough.

Also, knowing that you are the only person who can see your dreams makes it extremely easy to understand different and contrary opinions of people. How much of our time is wasted in trying to explain to people what is it that we exactly want? How much of pain and suffering do we experience in being rejected and ridiculed by people around us. Self-belief will put an end to all this.

Self-belief removes all other false comforts and helps you to stay focused on what you want. When the necessity to please everybody drops, it becomes that much easier to focus on working towards your dreams. You will not be unnecessarily troubled by negative criticism and distractions.

Most people give up on their dreams not because they do not possess the necessary skills to get to their goals. They give up because they pay too much attention to opinions of people around them. Once an individual becomes clear about what he wants and makes a firm decision to belief in it fully, then the opinions of people around won’t matter much.

Venezuela Political Crisis

In News: A woman was shot dead and dozens injured in the Venezuelan capital Caracas, in clashes between opposition supporters and pro-government forces. Tear gas and water cannon were fired by the military amid rival demonstrations.

A slow-simmering political crisis that has gripped Venezuela for months appeared to be coming to a head this week as opposition politicians issued a direct challenge to the authority of President Nicolás Maduro.

The leader of the opposition, Juan Guaidó, called for a military and popular uprising to oust Mr. Maduro from office, triggering a day of protest that turned violent but later fizzled. Mr. Maduro characterized the action as unconstitutional, while Mr. Guaidó maintained it was a necessary move to restore legitimacy to the presidency.

Why is the presidency disputed?

  • Nicolás Maduro was first elected in April 2013 after the death of his socialist mentor and predecessor in office, Hugo Chávez. At the time, he won by a thin margin of 1.6 percentage points.
  • During his first term in office, the economy went into freefall and many Venezuelans blame him and his socialist government for the country’s decline.
  • Mr Maduro was re-elected to a second six-year term in highly controversial elections in May 2018, which most opposition parties boycotted.
  • Many opposition candidates had been barred from running while others had been jailed or had fled the country for fear of being imprisoned and the opposition parties argued that the poll would be neither free nor fair.
  • Mr Maduro’s re-election was not recognised by Venezuela’s opposition-controlled National Assembly.

Why is it all coming to a head now?

  • After being re-elected, Mr Maduro announced he would serve out his remaining first term and only then be sworn in for a second term on 10 January.
  • It was following his swearing-in ceremony that the opposition to his government was given a fresh boost. The National Assembly argues that because the election was not fair, Mr Maduro is a “usurper” and the presidency is vacant.
  • This is a line that is being pushed in particular by the new president of the National Assembly, 35-year-old Juan Guaidó.

Who is Juan Guaidó?

  • Citing articles 233 and 333 of Venezuela’s constitution, the legislature says that in such cases, the head of the National Assembly takes over as acting president.
  • That is why Mr Guaidó declared himself acting president on 23 January. Since then, he has been organising mass protests and calling on the military to switch allegiance.

What has the reaction been?

  • More than 50 countries have recognised Mr Guaidó as the legitimate president, among them the US and many nations in Latin America.
  • But Russia and China among others have stood by President Maduro.
  • Within Venezuela, those opposed to the government celebrated Mr Guaidó’s move, while government officials said they would defend the president from “imperialist threats”.
  • While Mr Guaidó counts with the support of many international leaders, he does not have much power in practical terms.
  • He is the president of the National Assembly, but this legislative body was largely rendered powerless by the creation of the National Constituent Assembly in 2017, which is exclusively made up of government loyalists.

How did Venezuela get this bad?

Some of the problems go back a long time. However, it is President Maduro and his predecessor, the late President Hugo Chávez, who find themselves the target of much of the current anger.

Their socialist governments have been in power since 1999, taking over the country at a time when Venezuela had huge inequality. But the socialist polices brought in which aimed to help the poor backfired. Take price controls, for example. They were introduced by President Chávez to make basic goods more affordable to the poor by capping the price of flour, cooking oil and toiletries. But this meant that the few Venezuelan businesses producing these items no longer found it profitable to make them.

Critics also blame the foreign currency controls brought in by President Chávez in 2003 for a flourishing black market in dollars. Since then, Venezuelans wanting to exchange bolivars for dollars have had to apply to a government-run currency agency. Only those deemed to have valid reasons to buy dollars, for example to import goods, have been allowed to change their bolivars at a fixed rate set by the government.

With many Venezuelans unable to freely buy dollars, they turned to the black market.

What are the biggest challenges today?


  • The annual inflation rate reached 1,300,000% in the 12 months to November 2018, according to a study by the opposition-controlled National Assembly. By the end of 2018, prices were doubling every 19 days on average. This has left many Venezuelans struggling to afford basic items such as food and toiletries.
  • The price of a cup of coffee in the capital Caracas doubled to 400 bolivars ($0.62; £0.50) in the space of just a week last December, according to Bloomberg.
  • The International Monetary Fund predicts that Venezuela’s inflation rate will reach 10 million percent in 2019, becoming one of the worst cases of hyperinflation in modern history.  Experts say government mismanagement and corruption is the source of the country’s economic woes; Mr. Maduro blames damaging United States sanctions.

Oil reserves leading to collapse

  • Venezuela has the largest proven oil reserves in the world, and the country’s economy is largely tied to its oil wealth.
  • This oil wealth once made the nation one of the richest in Latin America and helped stabilize its democracy although the riches were not equally shared. But the past few years have seen the economy spiral toward collapse.

Humanitarian crisis

In the once prosperous nation, people now find themselves unable to provide for their most basic needs. Hunger is widespread and children are dying of malnutrition. The country’s public health care system has collapsed and prolonged electricity outages are common.

The crisis has also triggered a vast regional migration as Venezuelans flee the country’s dire conditions, straining the resources of neighboring nations. Some 3.4 million people have left Venezuela since 2014, according to the United Nation’s immigration authority, the majority settling in Colombia, Peru, Chile and Ecuador. And as the political stalemate continues, little has been done to rectify the situation for everyday Venezuelans.

Know more about the country

  • Located on the northern coast of South America, consisting of a continental landmass and a large number of small islands and islets in the Caribbean Sea.
  • Capital: Caracas
  • The continental territory is bordered on the north by the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Colombia, Brazil on the south, Trinidad and Tobago to the north-east and on the east by Guyana.
  • Has habitats ranging from the Andes Mountains in the west to the Amazon basin rain-forest in the south via extensive llanos plains, the Caribbean coast and the Orinoco River Delta in the east.
  • Has the world’s largest known oil reserves and has been one of the world’s leading exporters of oil.
  • The colors of the Venezuelan flag are yellow, blue, and red: the yellow stands for land wealth, the blue for the sea that separates Venezuela from Spain, and the red for the blood shed by the heroes of independence.

MOTIVATION-The Problem of Benchmarking: How to avoid the most vital blunder in Civil Services Preliminary (CSP) Examination?

How many marks are you targeting for Prelims this 2nd June? 140 or 150?

Oh, is that on the higher side? Then, what was the cut off last year? Was it 100 or 110?

You need to score at least 115 then; isn’t it? But what about the cut off of 2017 Prelims? Was it higher or lower? And why not talk about the cut offs in 2016 or for that matter all the preceding years? Won’t it be better if the average of the cutoffs for the years 2013 to 2018 is calculated to set a benchmark for your performance this year? Sounds logical. But there is a problem.

Anyone having some knowledge of statistics would know the concept of standard deviation. If the standard deviation of a particular year is high, it can’t be relied upon as a reasonable benchmark. That’s a simple matter of fact that the community of Civil Services aspirants isn’t ready to accept. Time wasting speculations and unreasonable benchmarking have left aspirants disillusioned. Let us see how.

What does a typical aspirant do two weeks before the examination?

For most of the aspirants, the last two weeks before the examination are completely devoted to revision. However, since no one is at complete ease with his/ her preparation, they start doing unnecessary or rather counterproductive things. For example, they start analysing the cut off trends of the last few years.

They start browsing topper’s videos to see whether attempting 90+ questions is a must in Prelims. More funnily, they also search for tips and tricks to guess answers with the help of probability and human psychology (read UPSC’s psychology).

They get bewildered by the diversity of opinions. Some toppers and websites recommend attempting only those questions in which you are confident whereas many others suggest attempting at least 90. On the basis of the information that filters through different sources, a typical aspirant sets a target in his/ her mind, say to attempt at least 85 questions come what may. This target gets fossilised with the passage of time and under no circumstance, he/ she will deviate from it.

What does the same aspirant do during the examination?

In the examination hall, the preconceived targets haunt the aspirant. He/ she browses through the paper and immediately realises that answering more than 85 questions appears far fetched as the standard of the paper is tough. In the first round, he/ she attempts 50 questions and marks 20 to revisit them. In the first revisit, with the help of forced recall and intelligent guessing, he/she attempts 15 more. Then, the counting starts. Realising that he/ she has managed to answer only 65 i.e. 20 short of the target, he/ she then venture out in the tricky category of questions.

While all this is happening, he/ she remains completely oblivious of the fact that the question paper might have been tougher this year. Even though he/ she is struggling to answer more than 65 questions, the unreasonable benchmarking (thanks to some toppers’ suggestion) makes him/ her attempt more. What if 65 questions aren’t enough.

What if others have marked more than 90. What about those discussions on the forum wherein everyone unequivocally agreed that a minimum of 125 is a must this year? What about last year’s cut off? What if I lose it by one mark? What if only I am finding the paper difficult? So, by stretching the imaginations and applying the “tricks” of guessing the correct answers, he/ she manages to touch the benchmark of 85. Then greed starts kicking.

Why not attempt 5 more to enter into the elite category of aspirants who must have attempted more than 90? Well, to do so, one needs to have blind faith on one’s gut feeling or intuition. Finally, the golden figure of 90 is achieved. The aspirant feels happy and satisfied. He/ she has aced the examination. But has he/ she? Let’s see.

Reality Check 

What might have happened in this case is that the aspirant would have sabotaged his chances by marking too many wrong answers? To leave one’s career on the mercy of sheer luck is not a good move. One must understand that each year, the examination is different and so are the questions, their level and of course the cut-off. Let us make you understand this by taking a simple example.

If you have ever seen any cricket team batting first on a ground, you must have realised that they set the target by keeping in mind the pitch conditions on that day. Sometimes, even at a traditionally high scoring ground, teams have to adjust their targets because of change in pitch or weather conditions. It means there can’t be uniformity of externalities in Cricket. In fact, it is the curator who decides whether a game would be high scoring or it would benefit the bowlers. The same applies to Prelims.

The paper setters in UPSC are like curators. They decide the toughness of the paper. And while your benchmark reflects the reality of last year, the conditions have changed this year. Just like a team unable to lower their target gets bowled at a below-par score in a low scoring game, you can also fall below the cut off even if it is low this year. Just like a smart cricketer, you need to read the game, in this case, Prelims, so as to set your benchmark right. You don’t have to score the highest marks; you just need to clear the cut-off.

It simply means don’t mark more question just for the sake of it. You should guess mark only those questions in which you have confusion between two options. If you are taking your chances in questions involving 3 or 4 confusing options, you will repent your decision. It is simply because each wrong answer makes a dent into the scores earned by marking the correct ones. Don’t enter the examination hall with a preconceived cut off in your mind and simply focus to give your best. Don’t overstretch your imagination and commit blunders. Believe in your knowledge and be reasonable with your guessing abilities.


Guessing isn’t bad. In fact, you do need to guess in many questions asked by UPSC. However, in most of the questions, the guessing is intelligent and based on judgements derived out of the information bank stored somewhere in the mind. Blind guessing, on the other hand, is fatal and stupid. Don’t overdo it.

Lokpal Act


  • Under the 2013 Act, the Lokpal should consist of a chairperson and such number of members, not exceeding eight, of whom 50% should be judicial members.
  • The selection procedure for these posts is the same as that for the chairperson.
  • A search committee will prepare a panel of candidates, a selection committee will recommend names from among this panel, and the President will appoint these as members.
  • The Act states that not less than 50% of the members of the Lokpal should be from among persons belonging to the SCs, the STs, OBCs, minorities and women. The same rules apply members of the search committee.
  • Salaries, allowances and service conditions of the Lokpal chairperson will be the same as those for the Chief Justice of India; those for other members will be the same as those for a judge of the Supreme Court.
  • Any offence alleged to have been committed by a public servant punishable under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988
  • The Act does not allow a Lokpal inquiry if the allegation against the Prime Minister relates to international relations, external and internal security, public order, atomic energy and space.
  • Also, complaints against the Prime Minister are not to be probed unless the full Lokpal bench considers the initiation of an inquiry and at least two-thirds of the members approve it. Such an inquiry against the Prime Minister (if conducted) is to be held in camera and if the Lokpal comes to the conclusion that the complaint deserves to be dismissed, the records of the inquiry are not to be published or made available to anyone.
  • It shall apply to public servants in and outside India,” it states.
  • It clarifies that “a complaint under this Act shall only relate to a period during which the public servant was holding or serving in that capacity.

The Chairperson and Members shall be appointed by the President after obtaining the recommendations of a Selection Committee consisting of—

  1. the Prime Minister—Chairperson;
  2. the Speaker of the House of the People—Member;
  3. the Leader of Opposition in the House of the People—Member;
  4. the Chief Justice of India or a Judge of the Supreme Court nominated by him—Member;
  5. one eminent jurist, as recommended by the Chairperson and Members referred to in clauses (a) to (d) above, to be nominated by the President—Member

The Chairperson or a Member shall not be—

  • a member of Parliament or a member of the Legislature of any State or Union territory;
  • a person convicted of any offence involving moral turptitude;
  • a person of less than forty-five years of age, on the date of assuming office as the Chairperson or Member, as the case may be;
  • a member of any Panchayat or Municipality;
  • a person who has been removed or dismissed from the service of the Union or a State

The Chairperson and every Member shall, on the recommendations of the Selection Committee, be appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal and hold office as such for a term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office or until he attains the age of seventy years, whichever is earlier.

The salary, allowances and other conditions of service of—

  • the Chairperson shall be the same as those of the Chief Justice of India;
  • other Members shall be the same as those of a Judge of the Supreme Court