The zeal among Indians for UPSC is never-ending. Candidates slog most of their youth to achieve their dream of becoming an IAS officer. The major reasons behind this ever-growing popularity include job security and social status.
The number of aspirants appearing for the UPSC 2023 preliminary exam is over 12 lakh and these figures are only to increase in the future. The examination, over several years, has gone through several changes in its pattern, number of attempts, duration, number of questions, age criteria, etc. The majority of the changes, however, have only been possible with the integration of technology with the examination.
In this blog, we will focus on the impact of technology on the preparation and performance of UPSC examination aspirants.
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Negative Impact Of Technology
● Less confidence among aspirants of underprivileged background
The concept of coaching and tuition is new in India that has only seen its rise this decade. The coaching sector in India has grown tremendously in the last ten years and is here to stay. The growing obsession of people with marks has also led to its virtual presence. Today, the internet is filled with hundreds and thousands of coaching institutes, having their presence on multiple social media platforms, including YouTube and telegram.
But the popularization of such institutions has done more harm than good for aspirants who come from underprivileged backgrounds, as many of them fail to meet the enormous monetary demands of such institutions. This creates an economic disparity among aspirants, and those who fail to afford the tuition fee feel left out and give up on their dreams of becoming an IAS officer.
Many parents have to sell their assets like jewellery, house, and cattle to provide quality education to their children, which in turn puts more pressure on aspirants to perform well.
● Large-scale migration of aspirants to metro cities
Despite the large-scale popularization of coaching institutes throughout the country, their accessibility is quite limited. Most of these institutes are located in the metropolitan cities of popular states, such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Rajasthan, etc. But the craze of government exams like UPSC CSE is more in slow-growing states like Bihar and Jharkhand. Because of the lesser availability of offline coaching institutes in their state, aspirants migrate to other states in hopes of getting an excellent education, which leads to overpopulation in metro cities.
Another factor responsible for this herd-mentality migration is the large-scale introduction of smartboards, clickers, and projectors have set a benchmark for good quality education. Moreover, these migrating aspirants have to face several challenges apart from their studies. The aspirants might become a victim of bullying due to their language or poor financial background.
● Increased sources of distraction
The evolution of online coaching platforms has its limitations. Online learning is as distracting as it is convenient. These platforms require aspirants to have access to a smartphone, laptop, or iPad, which not only adds to their cost of education but also incites distraction.
Some of the distractions for an aspirant include texting and scrolling through Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, which are sufficient to break their concentration from studying. A ten-minute break turns into an hour-long break. Moreover, constant usage of these electronic devices leads to various health conditions, such as visual and sound impairments.
Positive Impact Of Technology
● Development of EdTech platforms
Despite giving some of the best tech geniuses to the world, India still lags behind the major superpowers in terms of technology. The rise in the demands of coaching institutes in the country has led more and more aspirants to resort to online platforms for their preparation. This has given a great opportunity for Indians to showcase their tech abilities.
Technology today has evolved learning like never before. Online learning has helped aspirants learn super-efficiently, as they don’t have to wait for their queries to be responded to. These EdTech platforms have also helped UPSC 2023 aspirants to continue their preparation during lockdown.
● Increased accessibility of information
Another advantage that has come from the integration of technology with education is the increased accessibility of data and information. Where traditional classroom lectures demand excellent note-taking skills, aspirants can easily watch lectures as many times as required. Online learning doesn’t leave aspirants at the mercy of their teachers, as they have a plethora of options to choose from.
The evolution of online learning platforms has decreased dependency on brick-and-mortar classes among aspirants. If an aspirant didn’t understand a topic the first time, they simply have to rewind the lecture and listen to it again, which saves time for both the teacher and the aspirant.
● Reduced cost
Perhaps the most fascinating reason behind the increasing popularity of online learning platforms is their reduced cost compared to traditional brick-and-mortar coaching institutes. It does not require any commuting cost, as aspirants can access video lectures as long as they have a viable internet connection.
Moreover, a lot of money goes into buying stationery items for their preparation, which online learning reduces up to a limit. Sharing notes has become economical and effortless with the transfer of academic materials in the forms of pdf and online documents.
In conclusion, technology has both negative and positive impacts on UPSC aspirants in their preparation and performance. The country is full of talented candidates aspiring to serve the nation as Group A central government employees, and technological advancements have made it possible for economically weaker sections of society to dream big. As of now, technology is going about its promise of making human life simpler, but it would be interesting to know its path in the future. Until then, aspirants can take assistance from the mock test series for UPSC prelims exam 2023 by Physics Wallah to solidify their chances of selection in the UPSC.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. Is it possible to crack UPSC CSE through self-study?
Ans. As long as aspirants are self-aware and put serious efforts in preparing for the UPSC CSE examination, they can crack the UPSC CSE examination. However, they must have access to excellent study material and practice regular mocks, which becomes difficult without external help.
Q2. Which is better: Online or Offline coaching?
Ans. Whether an aspirant requires online or offline coaching depends on their needs. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.