All posts by Munish

Law and Behold

Let me apologize at the very outset for two things:

1. Twisting the original idiom, Lo and Behold, in a way that would put even Ogden Nash to shame (he’s turning in his grave as you read this), just to make the heading appealing.

2. Using a ‘z’ in place of an ‘s’ in apologize. I love Oxford commas, and detest American English and the American style of applying commas. But I cannot figure out how to change the US English settings on the computer I’m using. So imma be using American English, yo, just like Justin Bieber! But wait, isn’t he a Canadian?

So, this is about the law optional for UPSC. And I’m not a seasoned lawyer. I’m not, in fact, a lawyer. But still, I shall write this, since I guess I understand law somewhat. In fact, each one of us does. (I got decent marks, too – 251/500. So, you have to listen to my gratuitous advices at least once)

Law is not something alien. The basic crux has come from the way average people usually go about life – don’t take what’s not yours, be nice, don’t be violent and all that jazz. In fact, that’s what is mentioned in all religious books. And Hammurabi probably was the first dude who got it etched on stele. By the way, take this ‘average person’ thing very seriously; most laws assume that we are mango people.

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Munish Sharma (Rank 2, CSE 2013) on Civil Services Examination

My Two Cents on CSE

People tend to go doe-eyed when I talk about my preparation for civil services on two aspects. The first, I was in a job and had a slipshod style of studying. The second, I took up law as an optional, even though I am not a lawyer.

I made up my mind, on various accounts, to share my preparation strategy. But then, my way of studying is so precarious that I don’t suggest anyone, even my cousins, to study my way. Those, who know me well, call it the ‘perfect recipe to flunk the CSE’. The good, non-sadistic guy that I am, I usually direct them to the blogs of Gaurav and Riju, for I know theirs is the correct way to study. That’s analogous to every great sinner knowing the difference between right and wrong – I didn’t study the right way but I know what the right way is! The CSE is very unpredictable on its own; you don’t want to make it more complex by your own shortcomings. Nevertheless, we all have our unique journeys and stories – what clicked for me, mayn’t for others.

1. I have almost an eidetic memory for the lectures in social studies from school times, obviating the need to go full steam astern for devoting time to history and geography during my preparation. I believe that I had the greatest teachers ever at MCL Saraswati Bal Mandir, a school in Hari Nagar, New Delhi. During my MBA, I read texts like Salvatore, Dornbusch, Shapiro and Peterson & Lewis cover to cover. I remember basics from them; so I didn’t have to worry much for economics, too. My teachers from Biochemistry department at Sri Venkateswara College always laid a lot of stress on how to make sense of scientific journals and new scientific developments. So I studied no book for science and tech. Good memory, yes, I have, yet, at times, it so happens that I forget the name of a case as fundamental as ‘Keshwanand Bharti’. With age, memory starts playing tricks on you. In effect, it is only about doing bare minimum things you must know before appearing for the CSE. If you remember them from your school/college days, fine; otherwise, you will have to devote time for traditional topics, too.

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