shivdev sharma

Mr Shivdev Sharma has secured Rank 26 in the recently concluded Haryana Judicial Services Examination, and Rank 30 in the recently concluded Rajasthan Judicial Services Examination. He is a 2021 batch graduate from University Institute of Legal Studies, Panjab University, Chandigarh and had been the gold medallist of his batch. He was an avid mooter and had also served as Co-Convener of the Moot Court Society, UILS.

He is presently pursuing LLM from Department of Laws, Panjab University, Chandigarh.

1. Please tell our readers about your journey at UILS, Panjab University, Chandigarh.

This institute has played the most important role in my success. I feel that I am blessed to get my graduation completed from UILS. I joined this department in 2016 and passed my BA LLB (Hons.) degree in 2021. The exposure, opportunities and guidance that I have got in this department was instrumental in my journey. I was good in academics and along with that I made sure that my participation in extracurricular activities like mooting or cultural events should also be up to the mark. My friends have always motivated me to aim for the best and my seniors have always guided me whenever I was in doubt. The department was quite active in organising fests and national competitions and that gives you a very refreshing experience. So, it was a lovely and balanced college life.

2. What was that eureka moment when you decided to start the Judicial Services Examination preparation? Did you decide it before your law school journey began or while in law school?

I was in my 8th Semester when I made up my mind to appear for Judicial Services Examination, so I started preparing for it during my law school days. After weighing all the options I found that my interests are more inclined toward this field hence, I opted to go for it.

3. Usually, the judiciary aspirants tend to ignore the extracurricular activities while in law school and focus merely on the exam preparation. What is your take on this?

I personally feel that once you have opted law as your professional career whether you go for litigation, judiciary or teaching, your expression matters a lot. If you are able to express your knowledge of law in an efficient manner then only you can make a difference. Participation in extracurricular activities boost your confidence and your command over the language and over the period of time it becomes easier for you to convey your point. The importance of extracurricular activities should not be undermined.

4. Please apprise us briefly with your preparation strategy for the exam. You may anchor your response revolving around the details like coaching institutes, test series, etc.

I have taken my coaching from Anil Khanna’s Academy of Law, Chandigarh but whether to take coaching or not is a very personal decision and if any aspirant is more comfortable with self-study, then he or she can stick to that. However, coaching helps you in understanding the interlinking of laws and it confines your resources of preparation. I decided to go for coaching during my law school days so that by the time I become eligible for appearing in such examination I should have my content ready with me from where I have to revise my concepts.

Talking about stagewise preparation, for Prelims I would say there should be more reliance upon Bare Acts. Along with that try to study the statutory provisions analytically so that if application-based question comes you are able to answer it correctly.

For Mains, try to concise your reference material to what you have prepared during the coaching days. You can also make short notes out of that for quick and multiple revisions.

For interview, adopt this 3Cs formula – calm, composed and confident. Before interview revise your law subjects and keep abreast of current affairs. Make sure that you have command over your language.

5. Revision is the paramount factor for a judiciary aspirant due to such a vast ocean like syllabus. What was your revision strategy?

Indeed revision is quintessential for any exam preparation. For that purpose, I used to rely upon my handwritten notes so that I am able to recall my concepts more clearly. Avoid studying from different resources just for one concept (unless you have adequate time). Revising content from the same source again and again will be more beneficial.

6. Distractions and failures are the indispensible stumbling blocks in the preparation process, as you started the preparation just before the Pandemic broke out in 2020, even you might have faced certain distractions as every other student did. Could you please share us some strategies and tips to stay focused during such distractions?

Distractions, demotivation or frustration are bound to exist in human feelings when you are following a strict routine with limited outings and social gatherings. To avoid it take a break once a week, watch motivating videos, share your feelings and thoughts with your family and friends. Always remind yourself the reason that why you did opt this field, if you are determined and loyal to your commitments it automatically will keep your moral high.

7. What according to you should be the plan of action for the Mains Examination of the Judicial Services Examination? Did it differ for you while appearing for the exams in different States?

Firstly, confine your preparation resources. Try to make synopsis out of that material and revise it.

Secondly, time-bound practice tests are equally important for Mains preparation. It will improve your handwriting; will help you to keep a track of your time and to avoid mentioning irrelevant material which does not fits into the demand of the question.

The language papers are equally important so make sure that you are regularly devoting time for it also. You can refer to newspapers and standard grammar books to improve your language.

If you are simultaneously preparing for different States, then your strategy has to be adaptive and it cannot be strict. Even though the process of preparation remains same but you have to ensure that you are distributing your time in an efficient manner. You cannot pick and choose subjects while you are appearing in national competitive examinations. So, you have to cover the syllabus entirely whether it is a major or a minor subject. Some topics might be in addition in other State, for example in Rajasthan Judicial Services (RJS) Exam judgment writing, order writing and charge framing constitutes 40 marks weightage while in Haryana Judicial Services (HCS) Judicial Branch (JB) Exam it is not there. So you have to practice that also, you cannot leave it entirely. In a nutshell, keep a balanced approach and stress on universal coverage of subjects.

8. Please share your interview experiences in Haryana and Rajasthan Judicial Services Examinations.

It is often said that interview is a test of your personality. So do not go in an interview with a baggage that you are missing on some topics.

In RJS, my interview was primarily based upon law subjects. The first question was about my introduction and general awareness about my home district. The interview panel was of 3 members. They focused more on minor laws like Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, Domestic Violence Act and Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act. They also asked upon some practical aspects of execution under Civil Procedure Code (CPC) and Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).

In HCS (JB), my interview was more oriented towards personal questions, my experiences and participation in extracurricular activities. Then there were questions on law from CrPC, alternative dispute resolution (ADR), activities of the court, etc. Some situation-based questions were also there. The interview panel was of 11 members. The interview went smooth and I was satisfied with my performance.

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