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Legal Bites got the opportunity to understand the struggle behind preparing for competitive examinations such as the Judicial Services Examinations in a rendezvous with Mr. Alok Ranjan – Dean of the leading judicial services examinations training institute – Ambition Law Institute.
Here are some moments from our interview with Mr Alok Ranjan.
Legal Bites: Sir, what has your journey been as a judicial coaching centre so far and what makes your institute different from others?
Mr. Alok Kumar Ranjan: As far as the journey with the judicial coaching centre is concerned it started in the year 2001 with the name – Ambition Law Institute. So far, I believe that we have trained lakhs of students. And as far as the second part of the question is concerned, I would say that our institute is student-centric. We believe in this idea that it is our duty to focus on the students not just with means of pedagogy, rather it is encouraging for the students to learn and to be responsible for learning.
I know it is very difficult for a student to maintain his/her focus and be motivated and encouraged all the time because this judicial service preparation is a long process and through this process, students will lose their orientation and direction and this is very likely to happen. Our job is to always keep them interested and enthusiastic in that matter which forces us to devise a new technology so that we can hold them.
So we often use informal methods of teaching and also inculcate this idea in the student that you should raise as many questions as you can all the time. And it is also very important for students to ask why a law was made, who made it and similar questions to go in the depth of the concept of law and understand the reason behind the judiciary and make the learning better and happier.
Legal Bites: What message of advice would you give judicial service examination aspirants?
Mr. Alok Kumar Ranjan: I would tell them that they should be meticulous in their approach in the sense that past papers should be referred to which definitely makes their task easier. I have observed that students who prepare for the judicial services or any other competitive examination make their learning very uninteresting by compelling themselves to read what they are not supposed to study. So they should focus on the important issues and the real syllabus. And for that, the best guide is the past papers of the examination. I will also tell them to adopt a smart study approach rather than a bookish approach and a memorizing approach. They should be equally smart in their study and preparation as they should be in their presentation.
Legal Bites: What is the most important quality that a student should hold to be a suitable qualified judicial service preparatory student?
Mr. Alok Kumar Ranjan: As far as any examination is concerned, they should have commitment first. They have to be equally prepared mentally to be prepared for the job. Therefore, they should look through that perspective. It is a national duty to serve in any capacity and in the best manner and anybody can do that only if he/she is interested in that. They need to question themselves whether they are really interested in this, are we really fit for this. And if the answer is yes, then they should just follow that path that is suggested by preparing in a smart manner.
Legal Bites: Sir, the dropout ratios are very high as students fail to crack these exams. These aspirants are then forced to choose between litigation and other corporate jobs as they don’t want to waste their time in reattempts and preparations. What are your opinions in this regard?
Mr. Alok Kumar Ranjan: As far as this issue is concerned, it is a real problem for students and aspirants. And the main reason behind it is that we are not preparing the manner that we should have. And that is where the smart study approach comes back in play. Even if someone does not succeed in the judicial service examination process we must never forget that our world is an opportunity for us. I developed an opportunity for me and created this institute. I never thought of taking judicial service examinations or practising anywhere.
Similarly, if they understand that the world is an opportunity for them they will realize that perhaps they can use that much in their favour and do things that they are better off doing. But, unless they are sincere in their preparation, they will find it very difficult to succeed through these competitive examinations.
Legal Bites: What in your opinion stands a better job prospect and is superior to the other – being a Judge or getting enrolled in the Civil Services?
Mr. Alok Kumar Ranjan: You see, the civil services are quite different in approach. Their people are busier and hold much more responsibilities and the job prospect is a bit wider. In judicial services, people have status, peace and limited office hours; better pay and perks; there is no doubt about that. So, it is a question of orientation for a person. With these in mind if a person believes that he would opt for either then I would say, that that prospect is better.
Legal Bites: Sir, why is it important for people to join coaching institutes for preparations of these examinations?
Mr. Alok Kumar Ranjan: A coaching institute will obviously only guide and show a path to the student. So coaching plays a role in the sense that it makes your studies easier and smarter. Eventually, everybody has to put in their efforts equally I would say whether he/she is opting for a coaching institute or not. And it is not wrong to do it without joining a coaching institute. But a coaching institute instils that continuous motivation and the smart learning process in a student which turn out to be very helpful in the preparations.
Legal Bites: Sir, what amount of content and control is necessary to crack the mains paper of this examination?
Mr. Alok Kumar Ranjan: Content and control I would say are best conveyed in the matter that one understands. See as I understand it, I can present my ideas by using the minimum number of words. But if I don’t know the subject or if I don’t understand the concept, it will be more difficult for me to explain the idea.
And as far as the answer writing is concerned, it is the basic formulae of ABC – accuracy, brevity and clarity. One should read the question, again and again, to understand what is being demanded from the question and what is being asked. That is accuracy. Brevity is where you write your answer in the minimum possible words. Shakespeare said – “Brevity is wit.” You will not get a lot of time to write extensive answers in these examinations. And thirdly, clarity will come with the understanding of the concepts in the correct perspective.