A Novel & Unique Approach of Teaching General Studies

The institute, under Hemant Jha has evolved a novel & unique, highly effective, highly intelligible and highly exam-oriented approaches & techniques of teaching. And this is the hallmark of the institute.

Approach & Technique — I — Facet - based Teaching

A topic is not dealt through simple lecture & dictation as in other classes. The aim is not to finish the topic and make students understand it in general. A topic is dealt in a highly holistic manner in tune with UPSC demand & pattern of questions — This is Facet Approach, under which all possible facets of the topic are considered and discussed. A facet represents the aspect or the issue related to the topic. This creates the basis of comprehensive preparation what UPSC demands today. Some examples are given below to understand this approach & technique.

Example - 1 - Topic : Information & Communication Technology
Facet — 1 — 5th Generation Mobile
Facet — 2 — Internet-II
Facet — 3 — Ultra Wide Band
Facet — 4 — Sementic Web
Facet — 5 — Generations of Web
Facet — 6 — Web 3.0
Facet — 7 — New Generation Network
Facet — 8 — Li-Fi
Facet — 9 — Next Generation Supercomputers
Facet — 10 — Strong AI
Facet — 11 — Singularity
Facet — 12 — Ambient Intelligence
Facet — 13 — Swarm Intelligence
Facet — 14 — Computer Modelling in Study of Climate Change
Facet — 15 — Spintronic Memory
Facet — 16 — Holographic Memory
Facet — 17 — Electronic & Digital Signature
Facet — 18 — Ultimate TV, 3-D TV, Smart TV etc.
Facet — 19 — Green Computing, Wetware Computing, Autonomic Computing, Natural                         Computing etc.
Facet — 20 — Optical Bands
Facet — 21 — New Technology forms of multiple access
Facet — 22 — Graphene Electronics
Facet — 23 — Cognitive Radio
Facet — 24 — Next Generation Chips etc.

Example - 2 - Topic : Issues related to Indian Federal System
Facet — 1 — Trends of Bargaining & Competitive Federalism
Facet — 2 — Changing Federal relation in the Era of Economic Liberalisation
Facet — 3 — Trends of Fiscal Federalism
Facet — 4 — Planning Process and its impact on Indian Federal System
Facet — 5 — Extra-constitutional forces which effect Indian Federal System
Facet — 6 — India is not a "Dual Federalism"
Facet — 7 — Role of Civil Society in Indian Federal System
Facet — 8 — Impact of Globalisation on Indian Federal System
Facet — 9 — Challenges to Indian Federal System
Facet — 10 — Role of Pressure Groups in Indian Federal System
Facet — 11 — New Trends in Federal Economic Governance
Facet — 12 — India is not a Strong Federalism
Facet — 13 — India is not a Federation but a Union
Facet — 14 — Nature of Indian Federalism
Facet — 15 — Vertical Federalism
Facet — 16 — Soft Federalism
Facet — 17 — Cooperative Federalism
Facet — 18 — Extra-Constitutional basis for the Cooperative Federalism
Facet — 19 — Extra-constitutional factors which promote unitarian trends
Facet — 20 — Working of Indian Federal System
Facet — 21 — Recent trends in Indian Federal System
Facet — 22 — Pitfalls of Indian Federal System etc.

Approach & Technique — II — Inter-connectedness of Topics / Subjects
This is the technique of displaying inter-connectedness of issues / topics / subjects etc. Understanding such inter-connectedness has become a basic requirement in Civil Services Examination. The example below will help one understand this.

Approach & Technique — III — Faster Teaching
This is a unique technique of teaching most of the topics on white-board. The institute's classrooms have the biggest whiteboards (about 15 to 20 feet in length), nowhere else (for other classes employ such boards just for explanation of certain things). The entire topic is displayed on board, showing its various aspects, links etc. The effect is that everything becomes quite intelligible instantly through visual impact and all complexities stand simplified in minutes. The result is what others teach in four to five hours, is finished in an hour with several times greater impact, understanding and comprehensiveness. The overall result is that in about 1/4th of the time taken by traditional classes the entire course of a subject is finished and students get plenty of time later to revise.

An example is given below to understand this approach.

Approach & Technique — IV — Answer-formats
This technique is meant for developing skill for writing standard answers which are crucial for obtaining high level of marks. In every class 5 to 10 answers are displayed on the white board and are discussed. It is somewhat like practising, driving a car everyday, eventually gaining perfection over one or two months. This is a complete deviation from the traditional approach, as in other classes the teacher first teaches the topic, then students study and write answers and get them examined and then they join test series etc.

This approach ensures that by the time one finishes all the classes, one becomes smart in writing very good answer as well.

Some examples of Answer-formats of a few previous years' GS questions are given below for understanding.

Example - 1 - Question : Write about Green Fluorescence Protein (GFP) and its applications.

Answer-Format :

Part — I
The Green Flourescent Protein (GFP) is protein composed of 238 amino acids which exhibits bright green fluorescence when exposed to blue light.

Part — II
Although many other marine organisms have similar green flourescent proteins, GFP traditionally refers to the protein first isolated from the jellyfish aequorea victoria.

Part — III
Martin Chalfie, Osamu Shimomura and Roger Y. Tsien discovered and developed the green fluorescent protein.

Part — IV
The availability of GFP and its derivatives has thoroughly redefined fluorescence microscopy and the way it is used in cell biology and other biological disciplines.

Part — V
In cell and molecular biology, the GFP gene is frequently used as a reporter of expression. In modified forms it has been used to make biosensors and many animals have been created that express GFP.

Part — VI
The GFP gene can be introduced into organisms and maintained in their genome through breeding. To date, the GFP gene has been introduced and expressed in many bacteria, yeast and other fungi, fish (such as zebrafish), plant, fly and mammalian cells, including human.

Part — VII
Another use of GFP is to express the protein in small sets of specific cells. This allows researchers to optically detect specific types of cells in vitro (in a dish) or even in vivo (in the living organism).

Example - 2 - Question : Define Optical Frequency Comb. Suggest at least three applications.

Answer-Format :

Part — I
An optical frequency comb is a very precise tool for measuring different colours or frequencies of light. The technology, made possible by recent advances in ultrafast lasers, can accurately measure much higher frequencies than any other tool.

Part — II
Frequency combs have dramatically simplified and improved the accuracy of frequency metrology. They also are making it possible to build optical atomic clocks, expected to be as much as 100 times more accurate than today's best time-keeping systems. Better clocks will lead to studies of for example the stability of the constants of nature over time and enable improved technology for advanced communications and precision navigation systems, such as next-generation global positioning systems.

Part — III
Frequency combs are already widely used in metrology laboratories and physics research, and they are starting to become commercially available.

Part — IV
Highly accurate measurements of frequencies are also essential for many other advanced fields of science that require the identification or manipulation of atoms or molecules such as detection of toxic biochemical agents, etc.

Example - 3 - Question : Discuss China's "Peaceful Rise" Doctrine.

Answer-Format :

Part — I
China's "peaceful rise" is an expression that has been presented by officials and scholars in the People's Republic of China (PRC) to describe the country's foreign policy approach in the early 21st century.

Part — II
It seeks to characterize China as a responsible world leader, emphasizes soft power and vows that China is committed to its own internal issues and improving the welfare of its own people before interfering with world affairs. The term also suggests that China seeks to avoid unnecessary international confrontation.

Part — III
It appears to be one of the first initiatives by the fourth generation of the leadership of the PRC, headed by Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao.

Part — IV
The term is used primarily to reassure the nations of Asia and the United States that the rise of the PRC in military and economic prominence will not pose a threat to peace and stability and that other nations will benefit from PRCs rising power and influence.

Part — V
The doctrine emphasizes the importance of soft power and is based in part on the premise that good relations with its neighbors will enhance rather than diminish the comprehensive national power of the PRC. A Part of this doctrine dictates that the PRC will avoid neo-mercantilism and protectionism.

Part — VI
However, the term proved controversial among the Chinese leadership, in part because some officials thought that the use of the word rise could fuel perceptions that China is a threat to the established order. In 2004, Hu Jintao, Chinese president, used instead the phrase China's "peaceful development".

Example - 4 - Question : Critically analyse with reference to the contexts in which they were made - "Many Englishmen honestly consider themselves the trustees for India and yet to what a condition they have reduced our country".

Answer-Format :

Part — I
The statement is a part of J.L. Nehru's presidential address in Lahore session of INC in 1929. It essentially reflects his socialist leaning and a move to pronounce socialist ideals attacking Gandhi's Trusteeship doctrine.

Part — II
He denounced Gandhi's trusteeship theory as a solution for zamindar-peasant and capital-labour conflicts. The inherent essence in the statement is that conversion of zamindars & capitalists as trustee of peasants & labour is not a practical solution.

Part — III
He intends to cite the example of the claims of many Englishmen in the same context. The second half of the 19th century onwards witnessed frequent emergence of such claims like civilizing mission, white men's burden, improvement in India's conditions under British rule etc. but the essence of British rule was colonial approach and it always served such interests and made the conditions of Indians miserable.

Part — IV
But Gandhian Theory is to be considered in the light of his specific approach which laid stress on harmony among classes rather than following a radical path of extermination of the forces of capitalism & zamindari.
Approach & Technique — V — Concept building

Concept-building in every topic has become very important today in order to perform in the civil services examination. There are several direct & indirect questions related to concepts.

This technique is to consider and discuss all concepts related to a topic in one go. Like or related concepts are classified in groups, thus several groups are created and all are discussed & explained. The result is that what one does in months or even years is done in a few hours.

Given below is an example to understand :


Approach & Technique — VI — Integrated approach
There are a large no. of topics where an integrated approach is adopted. The traditional approach is to deal with each aspect of the topic seperately which is marked by the abscence of inter-connections & linkages, besides this also takes a lot of time & creates confusions. Integrated approach helps in better understanding, better clarity and faster completion.

Given below is an example to understand it :