The Story of A Lt.Col Who Became An IAS Officer
- Bhakti Kothari
- Published on 20 Apr 2023, 9:00 am IST
- 3 minutes read
- IAS officer Amol Awate served 20 years in the Indian Army before joining civil services
- He scored AIR-678 in his only attempt in UPSC CSE 2021
- He recalls his chilling experiences as an army officer and more.
- Mr. Awate's first day as an army officer in 2001
Amol Awate is a name that resonates with those who have served in the Indian Army and the IAS. He is a retired Lieutenant Colonel who chose to pursue a career in civil services, and his journey from a soldier to a civil servant is truly inspiring.
Mr. Awate, one of the few officers to have completed the compulsory 20-year tenure in the army, opted for IAS to multiply his contribution to the nation. After serving in the army for half his career, he chose to put his military skills to good use in the administrative services.
FROM AN ARMY MAN TO AN IAS OFFICER
Born and brought up in Maharashtra, Mr. Awate was always interested in serving his country. He joined the Indian Army and served for two decades. During his time in the army, he served in various conflict zones across the country and was a part of several important missions.
He was part of the counter-insurgency operations in J&K. “I joined the Rashtriya Rifles in 2008, and while serving my country directly in the counter-insurgency operations in the valley realised that J&K needed more administrative work done by young bureaucrats, so there was a possibility I could offer more as an IAS officer,” Mr. Awate shared in an exclusive conversation with Indian Masterminds.
Being in Baramulla and getting involved in counter-insurgency ops made him realize the importance of the dual role of army men and IAS officers in Jammu and Kashmir.
PREPARING FOR UPSC
Mr. Awate took UPSC CSE 2021 with Geography as an optional subject. Due to his age, this was his only attempt. He prepared for the exam with a perfect balance of static studies and current affairs. Having gone through countless question papers he realised that both are closely related.
He studied alongside his full-time job. He was at that time posted in the Operations branch in Chennai and had to manage his time accordingly. He regularly woke up at 3 a.m. to study before departing for his duty. He wrote for 4-5 hours daily to prepare for the exam.
“The covid lockdown aided me greatly because the offices were closed and I could concentrate entirely on my study. I attribute my success to effective time management, emphasising current events, and being emotionally and physically balanced,” Mr. Awate told Indian Masterminds.
GAVE HIS ALL
Majority of those who appeared alongside Mr. Awate in the UPSC exam were recent graduates who were still studying. Unlike the others, he had graduated from the Indian Military Academy in 2001 and had been an officer for almost two decades. Returning to study mode felt difficult for him.
Naturally, he had to put in more work to get into the rhythm, but staying mentally and physically fit helped him, and he eventually cleared the UPSC examination 2021 with AIR-678 on his first attempt.
The officer is undergoing training at LBSNAA in Mussoorie and has been assigned to the Gujarat cadre. Coming from a military background, team play matters most to him. One of his recent sweets, says: “In the political system, we are a team; politics and bureaucracy, we are a team. The politicians, bureaucrats and the people, we are a team.”
END OF THE ARTICLE
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