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Bihar Produces UPSC Topper after 20 Years, All Eyes on Katihar Boy Shubham Kumar

24-year-old Shubham Kumar aced the UPSC 2020 exam in his third attempt. He started preparing for UPSC after completing his civil engineering from IIT Mumbai in 2018. He is from Katihar district of Bihar.
Indian Masterminds Stories

When the results of UPSC 2020 were declared, it emerged that Shubham Kumar, a resident of Katihar district of Bihar, has topped India’s most prestigious and toughest exam. A Bihar boy made it to AIR 1 rank after 20 years. Earlier, it was Alok Jha who had secured the first position in the year 2001.

Shubham studied at IIT Mumbai and is currently undergoing training for Indian Defense Account Services at the National Defense Academy of Financial Management in Pune. This was Shubham’s third consecutive attempt. Last year, he got 290th rank and was selected for the Indian Defense Accounts Service (IDAS).

THE BEGINNING OF A DREAM

Shubham Kumar is a resident of village Kumhari in Kadwa block of Katihar district. His father is a manager in Gramin Bank and mother is a homemaker. His sister is a Scientific Officer in Indore. When Shubham was six years old, he was sent to a Purnia school for his primary education while his family remained in the village.

Shubham had made up his mind to prepare for UPSC when he was in class 12. But he decided that first he has to make his and his family’s future secure. He admits that that since he was from a middle class family, he used to think that the future will be secure if he passed out from IIT. And since he was good in both science and mathematics, getting into IIT became his priority at that time.

After completing his B. Tech. in Civil Engineering from IIT Mumbai in 2018, he started working in a private company. But after some time, he started focusing on his main goal, which was civil services, and began to devote his full time to UPSC preparation.

Taste of Success: Friends celebrated Shubham’s Success with Sweets in Pune (Credit: Social Media)

CONSISTENCY IS THE KEY

Shubham did not take any coaching for UPSC, he prepared on his own. His optional subject was Anthropology. Talking to the media, Shubham revealed that in the last 3 years, he had studied for 7-8 hours daily. He believes that the number of hours allotted each day to study doesn’t matter, what matters is the consistency.

His preparation suffered during the Covid-19 outbreak and the resultant lockdowns. However, his sister always motivated him to stay focused on his goal and the whole family supported in any way they could.

In an exclusive interview with Indian Masterminds reporter, Shubham Kumar said, I was crystal clear with my preparation strategies. All I did was focused on my core syllabus and took mock test a lot.”

He continued, “There are different emotions that you go through during your preparation. However, never lose hope, believe in yourself and practice a lot.”

GOALS AS IAS OFFICER

Shubham Kumar says that as an IAS officer, his primary mission would be to focus on development of villages, employment generation and poverty alleviation in rural areas of the country.

His ultimate dream is to serve the marginalized sections of society and the underprivileged. Shubham’s first choice for cadre is Bihar and second is Madhya Pradesh.

Taste of Success: Shubham Kumar with his friends after UPSC – 2020 Results

SUPPORT FROM FAMILY

Shubham’s father Devanand Singh said that he got the news of his son’s success when he was coming down the stairs of his bank after his duty was over. Shubham’s call came and he informed his father that he has topped in UPSC. Hearing this, his father got emotional and Shubham also got teary-eyed.

Devanand Singh said that Subham was very good at studies from an early age. Seeing his passion for studies, the family decided to support him in all his goals. Now that her son has made the state proud, Shubham’s mother feels that all the children of Bihar should study hard like Shubham and make Bihar proud.

PRAISES POURING IN

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has congratulated Shubham on Twitter.

The Leader of Opposition in Bihar Assembly, Tejashwi Yadav, also tweeted: “Congratulations to all the successful UPSC-2020 candidates! Bihar’s topper Shubham Kumar and others have ensured that the flag of the state continues to flow. Your dedication and perseverance has brought you all this far. Now the time has come to implement it in the service of the country.”

BIHAR GOT 4 TOPPERS IN 34 YEARS

This is the fourth time in the last 34 years that a person from Bihar has topped the UPSC. Earlier, Amir Subhani in 1987, Sunil Varnwal in 1997, Alok Jha in 2001 had been toppers. While Amir Subhani is currently the Development Commissioner of Bihar, Sunil Varnwal of Jharkhand cadre was the Chief Secretary in the former Raghubar Das government and is currently on central deputation. Alok Jha is currently working in the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.


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