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Preparing for Civil Services along with Bank jobs: Is it possible

Dec 29, 2016 17:30 IST

    The banking sector in India is on a boom. To support India’s efforts to become a global economic power, the banking industry is expanding its human resource strength like never before. As a result, the recruitment process by the public sector as well as private sector banks has become consistent over the years.

    The consistent recruitment process has been attracting the young graduates towards the banking sector more especially towards the position of probationary officer (PO).

    However, for the ambitious youth of today, getting into a bank as a PO is a means to reach some bigger position like Group A and All India Services by clearing the civil services examination of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). Hence, it is in many aspirants thinking that it is advantageous to prepare both for a bank job as well as for the UPSC.

    Against this backdrop, this article discusses two essential elements that are frequently confronted by job seekers. They are –

    (I) How to prepare for both Bank jobs as well as UPSC?

    (II) How to prepare for UPSC while being a bank PO?

    (I) How to prepare for both Bank jobs as well as UPSC?

    Before we get into the core issue mentioned above, first let us understand the UPSC and Banking recruitment process.

    Recruitment bodies: UPSC is a recruitment platform for top posts in India like IAS, IPS, IFS, IRS, IRTS, etc. These job profiles offer highest decision making power, respect in society, government facilities like car bungalow, job security and so on.

    Recruitment to bank PO jobs will be made by the independent agencies like Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) or the banks themselves. The PO jobs offer good remuneration, decent living, job security, and also some other facilities like loans, transport allowance, etc. 

    Examination process: UPSC exam contains three stages i.e. Prelims, Mains and Interview. In banking exams also have three stages like stage 1-objective type, stage -2 descriptive and finally interview.

    Preparing simultaneously for Prelims:

    The syllabus of the UPSC prelims and stage -1 of bank PO exams greatly matches. When you start preparing for bank PO you can simultaneously become well acquainted with topics to be dealt with civil services aptitude test (this is called CSAT paper), which is a qualifying paper in prelims. The general awareness and current affairs sections of bank PO exams cover some part of the UPSC prelims Paper-1.

    Similarities in both the exams: Syllabus in the preliminary stage of the two exams matches like current affairs, aptitude, reasoning, comprehension, G.K, Indian economy, etc.

    Differences: The main difference is in terms of quality of questions. While questions in civil services are of high standard, analysis oriented and a little bit twisted, in bank PO examination, the questions are of data based, simple and direct.

    Major difference lies in the Mains stage:

    In the second and Mains stage, bank exams have limited syllabus. While in the UPSC civil services one has to choose an optional paper, there is no such provision in the banking recruitment.

    Questions asked in the PO exam are objective in nature, while in UPSC mains a candidate has to appear for 9 subjective papers for a total of 1750 marks.

    While the purpose of a PO exam is to test a candidate’s knowledge related to computer awareness, English language, reasoning, etc, the UPSC tests the knowledge in a wide range of areas like Geography, History, Polity, Economy, Science and Technology, etc.

    (II) How to prepare for UPSC while being a bank PO?

    For an aspirant of UPSC, the PO job serves in many ways. It works as a source of financial strength as well as a means of self-improvement which is necessary trait tested by the UPSC through the personality test.

    Despite its advantages, a PO job brings its own set of problems to a UPSC aspirant. Some of those most important problems are –

    1. Lack of time to prepare on a continuous basis due to job pressures and sudden increase in workload

    2. Location of posting also matters a lot. If the bank is located in a remote and rural area it is difficult for an aspirant to stay connected with his “own tribe”

    3. Getting a leave before exams is a great concern. More importantly, an aspirant needs at least three months of time before mains examination for revision and consolidation of one’s year-long study material.

    With determined dedication, hard work and perseverance one can easily crack these exams. By keeping a bird in one hand can safely try for the bigger one. If aspirant clear bank PO, it provide job security and boosts his confidence and then he can sincerely start preparing for UPSC. Most of the people will support this kind of backup plan as UPSC is little unpredictable. We safely conclude that bank PO preparation and job both will help in cracking UPSC exam.

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