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Not Luck, Only Hard Work Can Get You Through Civil Service Exams

Indian Masterminds Stories

Every year lakhs of aspirants apply for UPSC CSE prelims and some thousands only get a chance to write the Mains, in fact even less appear for interviews. Of these only a handful close to 1,000 make it to the final list. 

Given the drastic difference between the applicants and the successful candidates, many believe that luck plays a key role in the UPSC CSE selection. However, Indian Police Service officer Ankit Singh believes that luck is secondary and only hard work will you sail through one of the toughest exams in the world. The officer from the AGMUT cadre says even if you fail, your hard work will definitely pay off in life.

Born and brought up in Kanpur Mr. Singh did his B. tech from Harcourt Butler Technical University (Uttar Pradesh) in Chemical Technology. Like many others, the officer who is currently Additional DCP, North East District, Delhi, fought many inner conflicts before aiming for UPSC CSE.  After facing two consecutive failures in prelims, he finally cracked UPSC CSE 2012 and chose IPS.

PARENTS’ MOTIVATION

Mr. Singh’s main source of motivation was his father who was working for the government. In a conversation with the media, Mr. Singh had revealed, “When we are growing up, our exposure is very little. The only source of information and motivation is our parents. I also got to know about UPSC CSE from my parents. My father told me about the importance of civil services”.

Although the seed of civil services was implanted in his mind while still young, Mr. Singh said life took him around, as he found his love for Maths and Science and decided to do B.Tech. After completing the four-year course, he had three paths before him – doing his Masters; take a job like most of his friends; or the third option to go for UPSC CSE. Finally, he decided to move to Delhi and start preparing for the civil services.

UPSC IS A PROCESS

At first, Mr. Singh would feel homesick. “Everybody sees UPSC as an AIM but I always look at it as a process. A process, a journey to learn and know what’s happening in the country and around the world. It provides an opportunity to connect with the world again,” the officer shared.

He wasn’t fully prepared for his first attempt in 2010. So he couldn’t even crack the Prelims. That was it, the results in itself were a motivation to work hard. He simultaneously appeared in state PCS and reached the MAINs and Interviews. But not the final list.

In 2011 the pattern changed and CSAT was introduced. It was his second attempt and he failed again. “It was shocking at first but then I realized that one can’t be overconfident. I was getting through state PCS that gave me confidence that I am on right path and my subject preparation is good. The problem was CSAT. Given my background in Maths and engineering I didn’t prepare for it much,” says the officer. 

The moment he accepted the failure, he renewed his struggle. All his hard work paid off and in his third attempt he made it through.

REMEMBER YOUR PAST

The AGMUT cadre officer who is posted in Delhi now often visits the lanes of Mukherjee Nagar and Rajendra Nagar. He believes that remembering ones past makes them humble and grounded. 

Advising aspirants to be positive the IPS officer says that preparing for UPSC gives you strength for the next battle in life, be what it may. An aspirant learns so much in the process about the subject and life in general that he will be successful one day. So, one should always enjoy the process of learning as it never goes to waste, he feels.


Indian Masterminds Stories

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