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If Caught Between Development & Nature, UPSC IFS 2022 Topper Jay Singh Kushwaha Will Take Nature’s Side 

Indian Masterminds Stories

In this fast paced technology-driven world, where development takes precedence over nature, a boy from Prayagraj was curiously getting more and more attached to nature. Soon this attachment became a passion and he decided to make a career which will help him to save and be near nature. 

So, he aimed for forest service and first cracked the State Forest Service 2018 of Uttar Pradesh and became a range officer. But, he didn’t stop there. The results of UPSC IFS -2022 brought in more good cheer for him as he cleared the exam securing AIR 80.

He is Jay Singh Kushwaha who is currently serving as a Range Officer in Dudhwa National Park in UP. Speaking to Indian Mastermindshe said that for him, forest service was a natural choice for a career. 

IN THE LAP OF NATURE 

Born and brought up in Prayagraj, Kushwaha completed his 10th from Jawahar Navodaya Vidayalaya, Prayagraj and 12th from JNV, Kottayam, Kerala. Both the schools were surrounded by trees and forest-like areas. Spending so many years in the lap of nature made him inclined towards the forests and the environment. Although he went to IIT Dhanbad for his B.Tech, forest services was something he really wanted to be part of. So, after graduating in 2017, he gave his first attempt at UP State Forest Services and, thereafter, UPSC CSE in 2018. 

He is serving currently in Dudhwa National Park

He got into the state service, the result of which came only in 2021. Meanwhile, since he couldn’t reach the cut off for UPSC IFS, he wrote the Mains for civil services but couldn’t clear it. 

Covid struck and UP’s Forest Service results were pending. His family was going through a financial crisis, so he had to keep the preparation aside and join a corporate job. He said, “I joined in 2021 and, luckily, the same year the result of UP forest service came. I went for training and didn’t appear for Indian Forest Service exam for two years. After, everything settled down, I appeared for the combined Prelims of UPSC CSE in 2022. This time I achieved the required cut off for forest service.”

FOR NATURE ALWAYS! 

Unlike many, Kushwaha didn’t have any plans to get into the civil services. His sister-in-law is also a forest range officer. Observing her work closely inspired him to opt for forest service. 

On why he made this not-so-common choice, he replied, “Everyone wants a career but the question arises, what should be the choice of field. I decided to be in forest because in civil services, each and every department is working for development. And forest department is only department which is working for nature and wildlife and having deep love and concern for nature and wildlife Indian Forest Service came as natural choice to me.”

STRATEGY FOR PRELIMS 

To get into Indian Forest Service, an aspirant has to first get through the combined UPSC CSE Prelims but reach the cut off required for forest service, which is higher than civil. Then for Mains, the candidates for IFS have to choose two Optionals. Kushwaha said that since the cut off is high, most aspirants struggle to reach till there. 

Lately, there has been many changes in the pattern for the UPSC exam. To be fully prepared, he didn’t give any test series or mocks. He only analayzed and worked hard on previous years’ question papers. It helped him score well in Prelims. He said, “Previously, traditional books and newspapers were helping a lot with the preparation. Now, the pattern has changed and traditional books only help with basics. To clear the exam, aspirants need to focus on the analytical skills more.”

HAPPY FOR SECOND CHANCE

The topper, who is already serving as a forest ranger, is now looking forward to the IFoS training. Although, more or less the training is same, but he is still excited to go again on all India tours as part of the training. According to him, he is getting a second chance to learn things again and he plans to utilize this opportunity to the fullest! 


Indian Masterminds Stories

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