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From A Famous Child Actor To An Efficient IAS Officer

IAS officer HS Keerthana was a famous child actor and has acted in numerous movies and TV Serials. She has also won many national and state awards for her acting. She left her acting career to make her mark as an Indian Administrative Service officer.
Indian Masterminds Stories

As a 4-year-old, HS Keerthana was already doing wonders in her field of work: acting. She earned her name as a child artist in the Kannada film and television industry. Her brilliance was recognised by all as she appeared in numerous films alongside top-tier actors and actresses.

Today, this child actor is an IAS officer and has joined her first posting as an Assistant Commissioner in the Mandya district of Karnataka. However, her journey from a child actor to an IAS officer has not been an easy one. It took immense hard work and a string of failures to be able to finally achieve her dream.

Ms. Keerthana as a child artist in the arms of popular Kannada actors

CHILD ARTIST IN KANNADA FILM INDUSTRY

As a child, Ms. Keerthana was extremely fascinated by movies and TV shows that she watched with her family. She loved acting out her favourite scenes in front of her parents and family members. When her parents realized that their little girl is indeed quite talented and had the potential of acting in movies, they decided to try her luck in the film industry. And, luckily, Ms Keerthana’s expressions and clear dialogue delivery earned her her very first movie role.

She made her acting debut with the movie, Dore, starring Shivarajkumar in the lead role. Ever since her first role, the Kannada film industry became a fan of her cute acting and dialogues, which bagged her numerous movie and TV roles. In the next 11 years, Ms. Keerthana went on to act in over 32 films and 48 TV serials including blockbusters like Karpoorada Gombe, Ganga-Yamuna, Muddina Aliya, Upendra, A, Kanoor Heggadati, Circle Inspector, O Mallige, Lady Commissioner, Habba, Dore, Simhadri and TV serials like Janani, Chiguru, and Putani Agent.

Apart from acting with the giants of the Kannada film industry as a child artist, such as Dr. Vishnuvardhan, Ambarish, Shivarajkumar, Ramesh Aravind, Shashikumar, Devaraj, Malashree, Shruti and others, Ms. Keerthana won many state and National Awards.

FROM FILMS TO THE IAS

Ms. Keerthana was much active in the Kannada film industry till the age of 15. Later, she made up her mind to bid farewell to the film industry and went on to concentrate on her studies to fulfil the dreams of her father. Her father wished to see her become a successful civil servant, and therefore, she decided to quit everything and study hard to achieve that dream.

She concentrated on her studies and gave her Karnataka Administrative Service examination in 2011 and cleared it with flying colours. After working as a KAS officer for two years, she finally decided to attempt UPSC CSE and began preparing herself. She gave her first attempt at UPSC in 2013 but wasn’t able to clear the examination. Thus, began a string of failures as she kept failing in her four attempts (till 2017) which left her feeling dejected and disappointed.

“I was full of regrets that I did not take UPSC seriously for all these years (2013-2017) and wasted 4 precious attempts. I blamed myself and my situation for a long time. But then I realised that I need to do something about this. I need to come out of this cycle. So I decided that I will give one more serious attempt in UPSC 2018 and for that, I decided to go to Delhi,” the officer said in an interview.

WEARS SIXTH ATTEMPT AS A BADGE

From there, her entire preparation methodology got changed. She gave another attempt in 2018, but, unfortunately, failed once again, which left her feeling ashamed of herself. But she decided not to give up. With the motivation received from her family, boyfriend (now husband), and mentor, she changed her strategy for the preparation, quit her full-time job, left her city to avoid distractions, stayed away from social media and family functions, and spent most of her time in libraries to fulfil her father’s and her own dream.

And, finally, after a struggle of over seven years, she was able to crack the UPSC CS examination in the year 2020 with a rank of 167 on her final sixth attempt. 

“I have seen many people hesitating in stating the number of attempts they have made to crack this exam. Many say that they get embarrassed to admit they could not make it even after 3/4/5 attempts. But then I wear my 6th attempt as a badge because that shows my perseverance and passion towards clearing this exam. So please feel privileged that out of a million youths in India, you are one among a few thousand who are aware of this exam and have the ability to prepare for it,” she said.


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