Education Guide

Sharing Ideas With Richa Smita: My blog will act as a career guide to industries by providing information on professional courses, competitive exams, career options in government and private sector. Share your thoughts and views with me at

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Preparing for Civil Services

The Civil Services Exam is conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) across India. Preparation for the most coveted service requires a focused mind, dedication, and hard work.

You should be a graduate in any discipline from a recognized university.


The Civil Services Examination consists of two successive stages:

  • Preliminary Examination – It consists of two papers (General Studies and one of the optional subjects to be selected from the prescribed optional subjects list) of objective type carrying a maximum of 450 marks.
  • Main Exam (Written subjective & Interview) – It consists of the following exams carrying a maximum of 2300 marks.
  1. Paper I: One of the Indian Languages
  2. Paper II: English
  3. Paper III: Essay
  4. Paper IV and V: General Studies
  5. Paper VI-IX: Any two subjects (each having 2 papers) to be selected from the prescribed optional subjects
  6. Interview
The marks obtained in the Main Examination (Written and Interview) determine the final ranking. The candidates are then allotted to various services on the basis of their ranks and the preferences expressed by them.

The Question Papers are set in English and Hindi. You must begin preparations of the main exam along with preliminary exam. You can even enroll in institutes like Rau's IAS Circle, Vajiram and Ravi. This is because there is little time for the Main exam if you wait for the results of the Preliminaries.

To begin with you should consult NCERT books and go through previous year papers. A candidate is permitted 4 attempts at the examination. If you appear in the Preliminary Exam or even appears in one paper, it is counted as an attempt.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Career in Banking

Banks are involved in variety of functions ranging from safeguarding money and valuables to providing loans and investment options. The changing banking scenario marks a shift towards Internet banking, just in time services and increased customer satisfaction. Banking offers a well paid, challenging and satisfying career.

Types of Banks
Banks in India are segregated as public sector banks (accounting for 78% of total banking assets) and private sector and foreign banks.

Banking was perceived as a career option for commerce and economics students. In reality, a majority of bank officers are from different streams of education. A course in finance, accounting, economics, marketing, or related fields serve as a good foundation. Banks often provide opportunities and encourage employees to take classes offered by banking and financial management affiliated organizations or other educational institutions. For example, The Indian Institute of Banking and Finance conducts diploma in banking and finance.

Entrance Exams
Graduates from any subject can get entry in banks through competitive exams. In general, there are two stages of the examination that an aspirant needs to clear:-

Stage I: The Written Test consisting of Objective test and a Descriptive test. The Objective test generally consists of the following papers:

  • Test of Reasoning
  • Quantitative Aptitude
  • General Awareness
  • English Language

Stage II: The Interview Round

Some banks just conduct the Interview Round for aspirants with specialization in Management, FOREX, or Finance. The Recruitment to Reserve Bank Officers Grade A/B exam is conducted by Reserve Bank of India Service Board, Mumbai.

The best way to get information on the banking jobs is to refer to the bank’s Website, newspapers including Employment News Bulletin and Times Ascent.

Preparing for Banking Exams
There is intense competition so a high level of preparation is required in order to clear banking exams. You should read financial newspapers and various competition magazines.

To clear basics one should go through standard class 10 books (RD Sharma and RS Agarwal for Math and Reasoning). For the descriptive paper, refer to model papers published in various portals and Competition Magazines. There are a number of books and correspondence courses available for bank preparatory examinations. Above all, it requires regular studies, hard work and practice.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Hotel Management in India

Do you like working in exotic locations? Do you enjoy cooking and housekeeping activities? If so, Hotel Management career could be right for you. Career opportunities in the hotel industry which includes motels, resorts, and five star hotels are increasing rapidly. You will be involved with operations like accommodation, food, drink and other hotel services with the thrust on customer comfort and satisfaction.

Hotel management demands a friendly, helpful, outgoing personality, and a team player. The eligibility to enter a course in hotel management is 10+2. Institutes coming under the National Council for Hotel Management and Catering Technology (NCHMCT) which is under the Ministry of Tourism offer a 3-year diploma course while private institutes offer a 4-year Bachelor's program.

Selection Procedure
The selection procedure in most of these institutes comprises of a test consisting of English, Reasoning, General Science and General Knowledge, followed by a group discussion and interview.

Institutes and Training
The best institutes are the IHMs affiliated to the National Council for Hotel Management and Catering Technology. The hotel management courses run by hotel chains like Oberoi, Taj, and Radisson are also very popular among aspirants.

Star hotels require trained staff for all these departments:

  • Front Office
  • Food and beverage (F&B)
  • Housekeeping
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Recreation
  • Computer Applications
  • Financial management
  • Engineering
  • Security
  • Fire fighting
  • Public relations