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An Officer Who failed Four Times in UPSC Before Getting IAS

Rahul Sankanur had failed four times in UPSC CSE Examination. He bagged AIR 17 in his fifth attempt in Civil ServicesExam2018. An IAS officer now, he believes family support is crucial to success.
Indian Masterminds Stories

Failure is a part of life, and one who courageously takes on failures eventually tastes success. IAS officer Rahul Sankanur is a good example. He failed four times in the UPSC CSE examination, yet he never gave up. He worked on his shortcomings and concentrated on building new strategies. His courage and resolve finally brought him success in 2018, as he cleared the exam with the high rank of 17. He is currently posted as Assistant Commissioner of Lingasugur in Raichur district, Karnataka.

Looking back, the IAS officer now says that discipline is very important in the UPSC journey because one might feel lost during the preparation days. However, he believes that if the same preparation is done with ample patience and without the fear of encountering difficulties, then no one can stop you from reaching your desired destination.

Rahul Sankanur (Sitting on Chair), Assistant Commissioner of Lingasugur, Raichur district (Credit: His Instagram)

LEFT IT JOB FOR UPSC

Mr. Sankanur hails from the Hubli district of Karnataka. After completing his engineering from RV College, Bangalore, he worked in an IT company for two years. While working there, he made up his mind to prepare for UPSC and left the well-earning job after a while to concentrate on studies.

Rahul Sankanur with his Grandparents (Credit: His Instagram)

FAMILY SUPPORT CRUCIAL

According to Mr. Sankanur, his family always stood by his side during his UPSC journey. Because of his family support, he was able to succeed even after failing many times. He believes that when your family is with you, it helps you to stay motivated. “During my initial preparation, papa used to ask me to study hard, and then a time came when he started asking me not to read so much,” he says of his father SV Sankanur who is a government employee.

Rahul Sankanur (Left) topped UPSC exams in his fifth attempt with an All-India-Rank of 17 (Credit: His Instagram)

FATHER STOOD UP FOR HIM

The officer recalls that after he failed four times, a neighbour told his father that “it seems that your son is not preparing properly”. However, his father immediately defended Rahul and said that his son was working very hard. This helped build Mr. Sankanur’s confidence and that is why he asserts that family support is crucial in every step of a journey like UPSC.

PREPARATION TIPS

Mr. Sankanur finally tasted success in UPSC after five years of hard work and struggle in 2018. He says, “During my earlier preparation, I had made many mistakes which I realised later and eventually tried to remove them.” The first few times, Rahul had appeared for all three levels of examination (prelims, mains and interview) twice, but couldn’t make it to the final list.

Enjoying with children: Rahul Sankanur (Credit: His Instagram)

He gave the interview in 2015 after clearing Prelims and Mains but didn’t get selected. And, next year, he couldn’t even pass the Prelims. In this way, he achieved success after almost five years of struggle.

His optional subject was Anthropology. For the Prelims,he believes that aspirants should strengthen their basics as much as they can and solve all the previous years’ question papers.

PRACTISE ANSWER WRITING

For the Mains exam, Mr. Sankanur advises to pay full attention to answer writing practice. He says, “I made the mistake of focussing only on studying, instead of focusing equally on answer writing. Your written answer will not be perfect unless you practice a lot.”

Rahul Sankanur with his friends (Credit: His Instagram)

He says that his handwriting was also very bad, so he could not write well in the Mains paper, and maybe his answers were also not up to the mark. He suggests practicing answer writing and simultaneously focussing on improving handwriting.

DO’S AND DONT’S FOR ASPIRANTS

The officer says that UPSC preparation does not mean just bookish knowledge. One should focus on overall development. “Apart from bookish knowledge, keep a close eye on the events around you. UPSC is a long process, and you have to be mentally prepared,” he says.

He insists on continuous studies. According to him, if one studies one day and skips the other day, he won’t be able to do well.

Rahul Sankanur (Credit: His Instagram)

He also says that the more one stays away from negative people while preparing for UPSC, the better it is. Because UPSC exam is full of uncertainties and sometimes it can take a lot of time to see success. In such a situation, people will try to demotivate, but one must ignore it and just keep eyes on the target.

Mr. Sankanur sums up by saying that “if you have a firm grip on anything you do, no one can stop you from succeeding.”


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