Advantage Journalism Students for Competitive Examinations Preparation at MGM University: Lt. Col. (Dr.) Satish Dhage, Director, MGM ICE

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There is a craze for Government jobs amongst Indian youth, especially the employment opportunities through UPSC or MPSC examinations. It is rightly so as the officer-level jobs available through UPSC or MPSC examinations provide the attractive salary, name & fame in the society, power to influence the societal behaviour and most importantly, the opportunity to serve the society. Hundreds of youngsters get attracted towards Civil services examination every year by observing the aura of IAS, IPS, IFS officers or the power associated with the Police commissioner or DySP or even a SHO in the rank of a Police Inspector. The fascination towards these posts is but natural but majority of these aspirants lack proper knowledge about the approach towards cracking these competitive examinations.

The civil services examination eligibility criterion allows students from all streams of education to appear for the All India level UPSC examination. Though a graduate from any stream is eligible for appearing in UPSC/MPSC Civil Services Examination, the students from certain streams of education get an added advantage for the competitive examination preparation. In this article, we would try to focus on certain advantages gained by the graduation students of journalism course, which could be capitalised over during civil services examination preparation.

Stages of Competitive Exams-         
The civil services examination conducted by UPSC /MPSC consists of three stages, namely Prelims, Mains and the Interview test. Every stage of the examination is designed in such a manner that various traits of personality required for becoming a good civil servant is assessed thoroughly. The prelims examination acts as a screening test checking the general awareness of the candidates whereas the mains examination stage assesses the analytical skills of the candidates along with their writing capabilities. The Interview stage assesses the suitability of the candidates for the desired post and also checks their personality and communication skills. Ideally, a civil services examination aspirant should start his preparation for the civil services examination, right from his first year of graduation course. The subjects chosen for graduation has an important role to play in civil services examination preparation as they can be supplementary and complementary to the studies required for civil services examination as well as the university level graduation examination.

Overlap between Journalism and Civil Services Exams-
The Bachelor of Journalism and Mass Communication (BJMC) course for graduation consists of six semesters, including a variety of subjects to chisel out a good journalist from the young talent. While preparing for university level examinations of a BJMC course, a candidate gains such an expertise over certain subjects that give him a winning edge in the preparation of competitive examination. The syllabus of BJMC course includes subjects like – Indian constitution and state politics, Fundamentals of Economics and Indian Economy, National and International affairs, Value education, Development and communication as well as Indian social system. The above mentioned subjects of BJMC course are also the part of civil services examination syllabus. A detailed preparation by the journalism student during graduation years would give him an inherent advantage over the other aspirants in cracking civil services examination in his maiden attempt only. BJMC course students have to prepare in detail about ‘State politics and Indian constitution’ as one of the subjects in their second semester. A thorough preparation of – Indian constitution, functioning of democratic institutions, judicial system, Electoral system, etc.- make the journalism student perfect for major components of civil services examination syllabus i.e. Indian polity, Essay topics on Indian polity and political system, and current affairs issues. The study of ‘Fundamentals of economics and Indian Economy’ is also the part of General Studies subject in Prelims as well as Mains stage of civil services examination. The analysis of various social issues as well as developmental economics can be easily comprehended with the thorough preparation of subjects like ‘Indian social system’ as well as ‘Development and communication’ subjects of BJMC course. The study of ‘Value Education’ in sixth semester of BJMC course sharpens the skills of a candidate for tackling General Studies-Paper IV of civil services examination related to ‘Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude.’ Overall, the main focus of civil services examination as well as BJMC course is the same i.e. current affairs and its analysis. The students of BAIJ (Bachelor of Arts in International Journalism) get an added advantage of mastery over international issues and hence is helpful for preparation of international issues and the optional subject of Political Science and International Relations.

Communication skills-               
The journalism graduation course sharpens the communication skills of a candidate, including his writing skills as well as the verbal communication abilities. The civil services mains examination mandates a candidate to be excellent in expressing his thoughts analytically on a particular subject whereas the Interview phase expects a candidate to be able to communicate on various issues in a balanced and confident manner. The journalism student learns and applies various communication methodologies in his formal writing as well as reporting so as to reach his audience in the most effective manner. The same skill can be utilized by the civil services examination aspirant to express his views in a balanced manner in front of the Interview panel. The writing skills developed by the journalism student throughout his graduation course would act as an important weapon in his armoury during answering conventional type of questions and would also facilitate the writing of elaborate Essays.

The supplementary and complementary nature of syllabus and the desired skills in civil services examination and the journalism graduation course offers a win-win scenario for the BJMC/BAIJ course students. A systematic approach, focused mind and a comprehensive preparation of various subjects in the curriculum of BJMC/BAIJ course would take the students on a path of success in civil services examination. Various courses run by the MGM University related to Journalism are not only properly framed to carve the best journalists out of the young minds but are also focused upon creating responsible citizens and talented bureaucrats for the future. So if you are a journalism graduation student, realign your strategies and start your journey to success right now.

Dean & Principal Dr. Rekha Shelke ,MGMU’s College of Journalism & Mass Communication (CJMC )

About Author:
(The author of this article is an Ex-Army Officer and has been qualified as IPS (Indian Police Services) officer through IPS LCE, 2012 examination. Presently, he is Director, MGM Institute of Competitive Exams- MGM ICE. )             

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