How Meera K Emerged as Kerala Topper With AIR 6 in Her 4th Attempt
- Shailja Purohit
- Published on 6 Nov 2021, 4:59 pm IST
- 4 minutes read
- 216 women out of a total of 761 candidates fulfilled their dream of becoming a civil servant this year.
- Meera K, a Mechanical Engineer from Thrissur, was among the 216 women.
- She clinched AIR 6 in CSE 2020 and was the topper among the successful candidates from Kerala.
- MEERA K AIR 6 IN CSE 2020 FROM KERALA
After the announcement of UPSC CSE 2020 results, it was noticed that the participation of female candidates had increased from 23.7% in 2019 to 28.3% in 2020. There were 12 female candidates in the top 25 of the total 761 selected candidates. Eleven from Kerala made it to the top 100,and of them, 8 are female candidates. Among them is Meera K who scored AIR 6.She shares about her bumpy ride to UPSC and reveals how she made it through this time in her 4th attempt.
FROM ENGINEERING TO UPSC
Meera K, who comes from Kolazhy, Thrissur, Kerala, is a Mechanical Engineer who completed her B.Tech from Govt College of Engineering, Thrissur. After that, she worked in LNT as Quality Analyst for a year. In 2017, she attempted UPSC for the first time but could not clear it and quitted job in December 2017 for further preparation. From 2017 to 2020, her journey was a roller-coaster ride because she failed by just 1 mark in the interview in 2018.In her 3rd attempt, she couldn’t even pass the prelims. But she didn’t give up and, with the same zeal, she appeared again in 2020 and put her name in the final list with excellent marks.
HER STRATEGY FOR CSE
Sharing her secret of success, Meera says, “Continuous improvement for a smaller period makes a lot of difference, as I never study for long hours. Steady preparation is important, be it for 3 to 4 hours or more. “She doesn’t believe in quantity of time, rather she believes in the quality of time. Studying from NCERT books, making notes, and reading newspapers daily used to be her study plan.
A QUALITY ANALYST AND QUIZZER
Meera says, “As quizzing is my hobby, it helped me in my answer-writing preparation. It gave me the perspective to see things beyond one-sided vision. While being a quality analyst developed my rational understanding.” She emphasizes on making notes from basic NCERT books as it helps to compile everything in a single notebook which she could go through even for her interview round. She got guidance from Shankar IAS academy for preparation and explains why joining test series is important. “Test series give you an all-India perspective of where you stand on the national level and also help you to attempt a lot of questions.”
OPTIONAL AND ANSWER WRITING
She cleared CSE two times with sociology as her optional as this subject has a concise syllabus and covers various issues that she wants to work for. Her tips for answer writing include:1. Understanding the question 2. Good handwriting and proper content 3. Way of presentation 4. How and when to proceed.
She emphasizes the importance of reading newspapers from a sociological point of view, making notes of various examples of welfare works, execution of schemes given in newspapers, etc. Above all, covering the whole syllabus is a must before 2-3 months of Prelims.
On the importance of having a mentor, Meera says, “If one can afford coaching, he/she must go for it, but if not, it’s important to have at least one person who can correct your answers and point out the mistakes.”
About her interview experience, she cautions, “Be careful while filling DAF because it’s the paper on which the whole interview is going to be based. Be selective about everything and prepare yourself for the things that you can handle very well.”
She shares an interesting question asked by a panel member. It was about her name Meera and its sociological perspective: Do you want to change your name, and which one will you go for – Radha, Rukmani or Yashoda? There were also questions from current topics such as NEP, Farm Laws, etc. She performed very well and got 206 marks in the in interview.
ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Meera also advises to read regional as well as national newspapers to have both the center and state perspectives of any issue. She is also an avid user of social media, especially Facebook, and she didn’t quit scrolling it even during her preparation. In fact, she says, she used social media to her advantage during her preparation.
HOW THE EXAM CHANGES YOU
Last, but not least, she says of the UPSC exam, “It’s a bumpy ride, a journey that can change you as a person. Whether you clear it or not, you will emerge as a well-informed and socially more responsible person.”
END OF THE ARTICLE