Violence against women is a social problem and it cannot be reduced to individual aberration, said Alby John Varghese, fourth rank holder in the civil services examination. He was answering a query raised by a girl student about the increasing violence against women, in the interactive session at the career conclave organised by the vocational guidance wing of the District Employability Centre on Wednesday.
V Sriram, second rank holder and Alby John Varghese were given a warm reception by the district administration on Wednesday. Addressing young students who dream to be part of the elite administrative service of the country, Alby pointed out the need to initiate structural reforms to tackle gender violence. “It is important to develop healthy relationship between opposite sexes from childhood. Unfortunately, our educational system and social life is encouraging an unscientific segregation,” he said. He also pointed out that developing a gender sensitive personality is important in addressing the challenges of the contemporary world. “A gender sensitive family and school can bring immense changes in gender relations,” he said.
The toppers reiterated that the government service provides enough space for people with a commitment to initiate social change.
“It is true that the filmy representations of the life of the civil service officers are largely exaggerated. But the service gives you immense opportunity to experiment with creative strategies for nation building,” Sriram said.
When asked about the strategy to clear the prestigious exam, both pointed that no short-cuts can replace systematic hard work. “The UPSC does not need academic specialists. It needs generalists. The UPSC exam is designed in such a way that an average student in an average Indian family is able to crack it. But building one’s foundations are important. Aspirants should develop the habit of reading and observing the social and political developments. This will help in building general awareness. Importance is given to general awareness in the new pattern of UPSC examination. Reading English newspapers that give enough coverage to national and international issues is also very important”, they said. The UPSC toppers also advised aspirants to follow newspapers with secular credentials.
They said that “It looks likemore students from Kerala will clear the prestigious examination in the coming years. Last year six students were among the first hundred and this year, the number has increased to eight. This is a very positive development”.
Aspirants should develop an independent strategy. “Combine studies with a vibrant group is crucial. But every one should develop his or her own strategy,” they said.