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Four Friends, One Dream: How Unity and Persistence Led to UPSC Success

Four friends from Rajasthan unite, overcome obstacles, and achieve UPSC success through shared determination.
Indian Masterminds Stories

Four friends, hailing from different corners of Rajasthan, shared a common dream: to become Civil Servants through the country’s most rigorous and esteemed exam, the UPSC. Destiny led them all to Mukherjee Nagar, Delhi, renowned as the epicenter of UPSC coaching in the nation. Thus began their journey of relentless hard work and collective struggles. Recognizing each other’s strengths and weaknesses, they gleaned invaluable lessons from one another. Ultimately, in UPSC 2023, they collectively realized their shared aspiration.

Vikas Kumar Meena, Ajit Singh Khadda, Karmveer Narwadiya, and Vinod Kumar Meena are the protagonists of this tale. Ajit, Karmveer, and Vinod united in 2021 and remained steadfast companions thereafter. Following the CSE Prelims exam in 2023, they encountered Vikas, forging a bond that solidified their friendship. What bound them further was their common preparation in Hindi medium, with Hindi literature as their chosen optional subject. Together, they embarked on the journey of preparing for the Mains exam. When the results finally arrived, the quartet embraced each other, extending heartfelt congratulations and jubilantly celebrating on the streets of Mukherjee Nagar.

Indian Masterminds interacted with these successful UPSC aspirants to learn more about their shared inspiring journey.

Vikas Kumar Meena

VIKAS KUMAR MEENA  

Vikas Kumar Meena, a native of Karauli district, Rajasthan, achieved success in cracking UPSC CSE-2023 with an All India Rank of 672, marking his second attempt. He completed his Bachelor of Technology in Electrical Engineering at NIT Delhi in May 2021. Despite receiving a lucrative job offer from a multinational corporation, Vikas decided to follow his heart and pursue civil services, a path that also resonated with his father’s aspirations.

He joined coaching in December 2021 in Delhi. His first attempt was in UPSC CSE-2022. He didn’t prepare much for it and unfortunately failed in the preliminary stage itself. However, in his second attempt, he fulfilled his dream. Coming from the ST community, he might get Indian Foreign Services. He said, “It’s a small journey, yet it possesses numerous layers.”

With his success, he also dispelled numerous myths surrounding preparation for the Civil Services exam in Hindi.

He said, “All four of us sharing the same medium and optional subject created the perfect synergy among us. This bond strengthened with each passing day. Our routine included extensive discussions.”

His preparation was meticulous and target-oriented. He set daily goals for specific topics and ensured he met them regardless of the challenges.

He said, “Every evening at 8 pm, we would convene and deliberate until around 11:30 pm. We engaged in questioning one another on various topics and dissecting test series and papers. Dividing topics among ourselves, each member would elucidate their assigned topic to the rest, followed by rounds of questioning and answering. This method ensured clarity on all topics and consistently enriched our knowledge base.”

Vikas notes that as a newcomer to exam preparation, he encountered numerous challenges. However, receiving guidance from the other three, who had attempted the UPSC exam multiple times, proved invaluable. Their insights helped correct his mistakes and refine his approach. “Preparing together enhances the quality, broadens the scope of your thinking, and considers multiple dimensions when formulating and answering questions,” he added.

Karmveer Narwadia

KARMVEER NARWADIA

Karmveer, who hails from Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan, secured AIR 954 in his third attempt. He pursued his B. Tech degree from NIT, Kurukshetra, Haryana, before embarking on his UPSC journey.

In his initial attempts, Karmveer encountered hurdles with the CSAT paper despite success in the General Studies (GS) section. However, undeterred by setbacks, he dedicated himself to rigorous practice, particularly focusing on improving his CSAT skills. This determined effort bore fruit as he successfully cleared the exam in his third attempt.

Karmveer holds a belief that Hindi medium aspirants often succumb to fear, especially when facing unfamiliar topics. He emphasizes the importance of confronting challenges head-on rather than avoiding them. He advocates for a proactive approach to learning, underscoring the necessity of embracing and mastering all subjects, even those perceived as difficult or unfamiliar.

On preparing together with a friend, he said, “Connecting with fellow Hindi medium aspirants is challenging due to their scarcity, compounded by diverse backgrounds and perspectives, particularly among those hailing from smaller towns. This disparity can pose difficulties in expressing oneself effectively.”

He further added that each of us possessed a core area of expertise, and we utilized each other’s strengths accordingly. The individual who excelled in a particular area would take the lead in guiding the rest of us. We would then strategize for both prelims and mains based on our collective strengths. For instance, my proficiency in economics allowed me to contribute significantly in that area.

Ajit Singh Khadda

AJIT SINGH KHADDA

Ajit, hailing from a village near the renowned Khatu Shyam temple in Jaipur district, Rajasthan, achieved a significant milestone by securing AIR 563 in the CSE-2023 examination on his third attempt. He completed his undergraduate studies at Kirorimal College, Delhi University, before pursuing his postgraduate degree from IGNOU.

Facing initial setbacks, Ajit encountered challenges in cracking the prelims in his first attempt in CSE-2021, missing the mark by a few points. Despite dedicated efforts, he faced a similar outcome in his second attempt, failing to clear the prelims due to CSAT. Undeterred by these obstacles, Ajit adopted a proactive approach in his third attempt. Recognizing the need for improvement in CSAT, he enrolled in a crash course before the prelims of 2023.

Ajit’s perseverance and commitment to overcoming challenges ultimately paid off as he successfully cleared the exam in his third attempt.

He said, “We prepared for the interview together as well, which significantly helped us handle the pressure. Our joint practice sessions, including mock interviews, were particularly beneficial.”

Vinod Kumar Meena

VINOD KUMAR MEENA

Vinod cracked the CSE exam with AIR 798 in his sixth attempt. He comes from Sikar district of Rajasthan. His father’s occupation in the Delhi Police likely instilled a sense of public service within him. Embarking on his Civil Services preparation journey in 2018 after completing his graduation, Vinod sought guidance from a coaching institute to aid his endeavors.

Despite facing initial setbacks, with his first three attempts failing to clear even the prelims, Vinod remained resilient and undeterred. He firmly believed in the virtues of patience and consistency, understanding that success in the UPSC journey demands perseverance.

In his fourth attempt, Vinod advanced to the Interview round but fell short of making it to the final list. Similarly, in his fifth attempt, he encountered disappointment with a failure to clear the prelims. However, in his sixth attempt, after a seven-year-long journey filled with challenges and perseverance, Vinod finally achieved success, culminating his efforts on a joyous note.

He said, “By studying together, our perspectives broadened, enriching our understanding. Collaboratively engaging in test series and peer review of each other’s work proved immensely beneficial. Our collective preparation extended to interview readiness, where we found strength in unity.”

Four friends, wearing flower garlands, celebrating success together

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