onsdag 1. februar 2023

How Indians crack one of the world's toughest exams

For close to three years, Gamini Singla stayed away from friends, did not go on a vacation and avoided family meetings and celebrations. She stopped bingeing on takeaways, going to the cinema and stepped away from social media. Instead, at her family home near the northern Indian city of Chandigarh, she woke up at the crack of dawn, pored over text books and studied for up to 10 hours a day. She crammed, did mock tests, watched YouTube videos of achievers and read newspapers and self-help books. Her parents and brother became her only companions. "Loneliness will be your companion. This loneliness allows you to grow," Ms Singla says.

She was preparing for the country's civil service exams, one of the toughest tests in the world. Rivalled possibly only by gaokao, China's national college-entrance exam, India's Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) exams funnel young men and women every year into the country's vast civil service.