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How One Officer’s Success is Shining a Light on UPSC in J&K

2018-batch IRS officer Atul Choudhary cleared UPSC CSE with AIR 896 in his second attempt He is the first person from his district, Samba, to qualify for the civil services To learn more about his journey, read the article
Indian Masterminds Stories

The journey of this IRS officer from Samba district in Jammu & Kashmir reflects a path paved with dedication, perseverance, and the transformative force of enlightenment. Growing up in Jammu & Kashmir, 2018-batch IRS officer Atul Choudhary, like many others, had limited exposure to the vast career options beyond traditional engineering or medical courses. Inspired by civil servants, a dream ignited within him, but the lack of knowledge about prestigious exams like the UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE) held him back.

THE WORLD OF UPSC

Coming from an Army background, he attended Kendriya Vidyalaya and went on to pursue a B.Tech in Electrical Engineering through the JKCET entrance exam (which is scrapped now). Speaking with Indian Masterminds, he shared that the idea of cracking the prestigious IITs or NITs wasn’t even a consideration.

How One Officer's Success is Shining a Light on UPSC in J&K
How One Officer’s Success is Shining a Light on UPSC in J&K

It wasn’t until his final year of engineering that he stumbled upon the world of civil services. “Driven by my senior’s success in the JKAS exam, I began exploring options,” Mr. Choudhary shared. 

With coaching institutes and the guidance they offered, a new world opened up for him. He initially aimed for the state services exam but was drawn to the UPSC CSE while preparing in Delhi.

TWO ATTEMPTS AND IRS 

In his first attempt, he cracked the preliminary stage, but the mains proved to be a hurdle. He didn’t give up. In his second attempt, his hard work paid off, and he secured a place as an IRS officer with AIR-896. He is currently posted in GST and Central Excise, Meerut. 

How One Officer's Success is Shining a Light on UPSC in J&K
How One Officer’s Success is Shining a Light on UPSC in J&K

His story highlights a crucial factor – Awareness. “With limited knowledge about these exams in my region and in J&K in general, many talented individuals miss out on opportunities. I am the first person from my district, Samba, to qualify for the civil service,” the officer shared. 

Mr. Choudhary’s journey doesn’t end here. He continued to appear for the UPSC exam, aiming for the IAS, but ultimately found fulfillment in the IRS. “The role offered a work-life balance and suited my personality, allowing me to specialize in investigation wings within the department,” he further shared. 

PLAN B 

Preparing for UPSC comes with no guarantees, emphasizing the importance of having a plan B. Each individual’s circumstances vary, and during his UPSC preparation, Mr. Choudhary concurrently pursued the Excise Inspectors exam. Successfully qualifying for it provided him with a backup option.

Atul Choudhary, IRS
Atul Choudhary, IRS

“Additionally, I was also participating in the JKAS exam. Although I advanced to the mains stage of JKAS, my UPSC success came before that,” he added. 

AWARENESS 

IRS officer Atul Choudhary’s journey is not just about his success, but also about the growing awareness of civil services in Jammu & Kashmir. Today, more and more youngsters are setting their sights on the coveted UPSC CSE, a testament to the power of inspiration and knowledge. The officer himself has authored two books on public administration, sharing his knowledge and experiences to guide future aspirants.

Atul Choudhary, IRS
Atul Choudhary, IRS

“With the right mindset and consistency, along with a dash of luck, anyone can clear UPSC,” the officer concluded. 


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