Crossed all Highs and Lows of Academics, Sailed Through UPSC, and Entered IAS
- Pallavi Priya
- Published on 28 Mar 2022, 6:05 pm IST
- 5 minutes read
- Even after failing in school and at graduation, Kumar Anurag didn’t lose confidence and hope.
- He kept on striving for his UPSC goal and managed to clear CSE 2018 with AIR 48.
- He joined Indian Administrative Service and is currently SDM Bihar Sharif (Nalanda, Bihar)
- Kumar Anurag, SDM (Bihar Sharif, Nalanda)
Failing in class can be a disheartening experience for a student. It brings with it loss of self-confidence and gives rise to self-doubts as well. At the same time, many achievers vouch that, failures catapulted them towards greater success in life. They are the ones who kept moving ahead in life despite stumbling and reached their destination. SDM, Bihar Sharif (Nalanda, Bihar), Mr. Kumar Anurag, falls in this category of achievers.
Not once or twice, this officer of 2018-batch of IAS struggled at various points in his academic journey, but never gave up. After every fall, he stood up with lot more confidence, resumed hard work, and did not stop until he reached his goal. His success in UPSC CSE 2018 is proof of his determination. He secured All India Rank 48 to get Indian Administrative Service.
In conversation with Indian Masterminds, he talks about his school and college days, the challenges he faced during his UPSC journey, and his best experience as an IAS officer so far.
SWITCHING MEDIUM WAS CHALLENGING
Mr. Anurag comes from a village in Katihar district of Bihar. He started his school journey from a government Hindi medium school, where he studied till Class 3. Later on, he shifted to a semi-English medium school and was there till Class 5.
He says that adjusting to the change of medium was really difficult for him, and in the mid-term exam of Class 5, he scored zero in English.
“Looking into my academic downfall, my parents shifted me to a boarding school in Silliguri called St. Michel. Here, the whole curriculum was in English, and all students had to converse in English only. I was admitted in Class 6 and the first two years were too tough for me. I was struggling in almost every subject and was losing confidence. But the teachers were very supportive. I joined the quiz club which helped in gaining confidence and with the guidance and appreciation of teachers, I passed with very good marks in class 10,” Mr. Anurag said.
Then he went to Delhi and took admission in Delhi Public School in Class 11. In 12th, he failed in the pre-board and had to take extra classes. He didn’t want to score badly in the board exams because he knew it was the stepping stone to future careers. So he put in all his efforts and got above 95 in Mathematics and passed the 12th board exam with flying colours.
Like many others, he also tried to get into engineering but couldn’t crack the entrance exam. On the basis of good percentage in 12th boards, he got admission in Sri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University, and took Economics as major.
Mr. Anurag says that Civil Services was always at the back of his mind. He wanted to, at least, try once for UPSC, and that is why he had taken Economics, as it could be his optional subject. In first year, while most of his classmates scored above 85%, he only managed 65%. Sharing his experience of those days, he said, “I was sharing the class with best of the minds. Most of them wanted to pursue higher studies and were putting in extra effort. Whereas I was busy chilling with my friends of school days. I never thought of putting in extra efforts for getting good marks. Plus, I was lacking in purpose to be among the toppers. This costed me and I got a back in Macro Economics paper.”
After completing graduation, he made up his mind to go for UPSC, but still took admission in Delhi School of Economics for Masters as a back-up plan. The course was not of his interest, and he found it quite tedious. There also, he got a back in one paper but managed to get the degree in two years. After this, he started his full-fledged preparation for UPSC and, in the first attempt, he reached till interview and was one of the high scorers in Economics. And in 2018, which was his second attempt, he cleared CSE with AIR 48.
HARDWORK AND DISCIPLINE GO HAND IN HAND
After getting to know about his journey, one would wonder how he managed to sail through one of the toughest examinations in the country, after being an average student and a low scorer at times.
Let’s hear from the achiever himself how he did it. “I chose UPSC as my own battle. I had a purpose, and that was to prove myself. Failing in graduation was an eye opener for me. However, I knew one thing, that leaving aside some, most of the toppers are toppers not because they are smarter than others but because they put in extra efforts and hard work. With sincere hard work and the right attitude, intelligence can be matched. When you are determined to achieve some goal, you have to go all out.”
Coming to his IAS days, Mr. Anurag says that his best assignment so far was during his training days. He was posted as the Assistant Collector in West Champaran. There, he worked in an initiative of DM Kundan Kumar, to establish a Startup Zone in the district. “Many migrants who came during the lockdown were skilled. We wanted to give them an opportunity for entrepreneurship. We started the Chanpatia Startup Zone and employed more than 1000 workers by providing funds for their work. The fund was managed through the Prime Minister Employment Generation Scheme. Most of the businesses are related to textiles. Some make bats and handicraft items, as well.”
Mr. Anurag’s journey from being an average student to Indian Administrative Service is an eventful one, filled with highs and lows, just like a rollercoaster ride. But his journey proves beyond doubt one thing: that one can taste success only if he learns to handle the lows well, first.
END OF THE ARTICLE