KAS, 2016: Some Suggestions to the Frustrated and Serially Dejected Aspirants

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By Mohammad Shoaib

Everyone in his or her life has a dream to live with. The same is the case with me. I think of myself as a scholar turned KAS aspirant. I have my own story to reveal for this unusual shift. I, as a dabbler scholar somehow managed to complete my research after getting registered in 2014 in the Department of History, the University of Kashmir after my PG from the same university. It is like you want to do something, your dreams are big, but you need the right path and the right guidance. Every civil service aspirant faces similar problems. He or she goes to every website online, every institute he or she has heard of, buys every new book in the market to ensure he or she clears. Very few find the right path, the right mentor and feasible circumstances. Unabated and terrible unrest around us turns our intentions upside down. May Almighty save us from these bizarre experiences in future!
The story of pain and tragic began during my post PG phase. Obnoxious experiences and miserable life of those days compelled me to have an alternative career of alleged glory and grace. Thus, I made my mind in 2016-17 to go for a KAS exam after motivating lectures from my family and friends. I submitted the form for this exam during the summer of 2016, when protests, post Burhan Wani’s killing, reached a crescendo. The scheduled time of the exam got deferred due to turbulence in the valley. So, I decided to leave my PhD after my M.phil submission to devote myself wholly and solely for this prestigious exam. I opted for history as the optional. History is a tricky subject in the preliminary stage, but I managed to perform well in its first tier. It softened the gates for next tier. After the prelims, we, the unlucky aspirants of 2016 submitted our forms for the Mains exam. I remained deep inside my room without giving any ear to the world and started to make friendship with my curtained room. No other exam appealed to me during this time, but the drama of rescheduling, delaying and all put us in strange situation. We suffered a lot because of the administrative lacunae and negligence. If there wouldn’t not have been any dilly dallying from JKPSC side, nothing could have hampered the way of conducting a smooth exam. The lamentable and insane decisions taken by the JKPSC were uncharacteristic in nature. We wonder how this democratic institution can malfunction time and again.
It has created a gap and trust deficit among the public. The said organization’s chairman, albeit known for his purity and incorrupt behaviour, has shown that he is a patient of adamancy. I’m still wondering how this stalwart can take shaky and inconsiderate decisions particularly related to KAS 2016.We can’t hash up things when the matter remains pending in courts. It is not easy for aspirants to focus on time and again, after multiple uncertainties, hanging over us. These structures of public importance need to work much in the interest of the public.
JKPSC should keep this in mind that the candidate should be in a position to perform well in this exam rather than the obverse. Wishes of the aspirants should be never be cast aside. In order to compensate the loss, the authority of much eminence comes with an illogical and anti preparation revised date sheet just to put the whole efforts of the aspirants into a sludge. Nevertheless, aspirants manage the things accordingly and get ready.
The most important thing, I believe during the era of much crisis, is to never lose enthusiasm. When I used to think of giving up, I would tell myself, “Anyway, what would you do after 6? Eat out, watch TV, be on Facebook (occasionally) this is better, at least you are learning something!” This helped me to be enthusiastic again. But, an ability to cut through distraction and negative energy, is one of the hallmarks of a leader/aspirant in every situation. Focus on making the journey better and productive, and take this from someone who has gone through this – the goal will take care of itself. Speaking out the unevenness of KAS, 2016 , has discouraged and demotivated me to achieve my goal. It hampered the efficiency of my life. Being able to insulate yourself from your environment is vital for success. Family functions, friends’ marriages, love /break up and so on can be different reasons for distraction, but to avoid such things can’t be a longer affair. It can be avoided only up to a certain extent.
We have no option left rather than to demonstrate perseverance and persistence when there is controversy and uncertainty looming over the horizon. In any competitive exam, candidates go through emotional turmoil in their respective lives during their preparation phase. Nobody, other than they know, what are they going through in their lives and since they are already going through a lot of sufferings, aspirants don’t even make an attempt to make the other person understand.
The unending rupture sometimes damages the confidence of the candidates, even though they are highly capable. We should build on our confidence and bounce back. This exam is tough not because of the study alone; it is tough because of the emotional and psychological turmoil which an aspirant goes through in the long period of preparation. Winners are those who do not let their consistency get affected by the psychological and emotional pressure this exam preparation presents.
It is very unfortunate that the same zeal and zest is missing in JKPSC; they always want to throw a spanner into our planning and preparations. While preparing for this exam, we got depressed and frustrated but this time we need to think “why we are preparing for this exam?” The answer to this question should be the reason for our motivation and carry on. This exam, so far, has hit us hard. In the, process most of us are yet to develop any strategy for the upcoming exams because of this KAS, which is still hanging over. We are also in flux regarding our upcoming Naib Tehsildar Exam (whether to prepare only for NT or KAS is a much burning issue among the aspirants).

—The author is a 2016 , KAS aspirant. He can be reached at: shaibm60@gmail.com