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Bhopal Gets Woman UPSC Topper for Second Time in a Row as Jagrati Awasthi Secures AIR 2

Jagrati Awasthi, who hails from Bhopal, is an engineer by profession and was previously working in BHEL as electrical engineer.

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) announced the CSE 2020 result on 24 September this year and around 761 candidates made it to the final list. Bihar boy Shubham Kumar emerged the topper while Jagrati Awasthi from Bhopal clinched the second rank. After Shruti Deshmukh, a Bhopalite who secured AIR 5 last year, this year it was the turn of another Bhopal girl Jagrati to make it to the top five. She attributes this success to “consistency, a lot of practice and a forward-looking strategy.”

LEAVING BHEL TO PURSUE HER IAS DREAM

Jagrati Awasthi completed her graduation in technology from Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology (MANIT), Bhopal, after which, she got placed at Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), government-owned engineering and manufacturing enterprise, as an electrical engineer. She started preparing for the UPSC exam during her stint in BHEL.

In an exclusive interview with Indian Masterminds, she said “During my first attempt, I was working with BHEL in an 8-5 and six-days-a-week job. Therefore, time constraint was a limiting factor for me. Most of the time I was unable to complete the syllabus and, if somehow completed, I couldn’t revise it. This time, I knew that I had to study and revise, as the importance of revision cannot be emphasized enough.”

Jagrati Awasthi

She left her job in BHEL and started focusing completely on the UPSC exam after failing in the first attempt.

HOW SHE ACED UPSC

Covid lockdowns affected the preparation of aspirants all around the country and Jagrati was no exception. “I used to go for coaching earlier, but due to the lockdown restrictions, it got discontinued. From March 2020 I started preparing at home. During this time, I worked on my mistakes and did a lot of self-study, which is one of the main reasons that helped me clear the examination this year,” she revealed.

Jagrati Awasthi with her family after UPSC 2020 result

Jagrati believes that no coaching can take the place of self-study as ‘in UPSC, 98 percent of your work is based on self-study.”

WHY SHE OPTED FOR SOCIOLOGY

Despite being an engineer, Jagrati chose sociology as her optional subject. “Yes, I am from an engineering background, but my focus this time was on learning more. Also, once you have command over social issues, you can easily connect geography, economics and everything with social aspects, and I think UPSC demands that, that we connect to things around us,” she explained.

PRIORITIES AS AN OFFICER

Now that Jagrati has secured the second rank in the UPSC 2020 exam, her first preference is to get into the Indian Administrative Service (IAS). Self-growth is a priority for her at this stage and so is working for rural India. Being in IAS will help her interact with the prominent bureaucrats of the country, from whom she hopes to learn the ropes of the service and grow as an officer who is accountable and sensitive at the same time. She hopes to optimize the strengths of a woman in her work: “Women are known for their emotional intelligence. I want to use this intelligence during my administrative journey and work for the development of rural India.”

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