Meet Aerospace Engineer Who Cleared Prelims 7 Times, Became IFS Officer This Year
- Ayodhya Prasad Singh
- Published on 15 Jul 2023, 9:18 am IST
- 6 minutes read
- Bhuvaneswar Babu from Andhra cracked IFS-2022 in his 6th attempt
- He failed in 6 Mains exams because he neglected answer writing practice
- He has cleared the UPSC-2023 Prelims as well, but will not go for Mains
Like every other aspirant anxiously waiting for IFS result, so was Bhuvaneswar Babu. And it came in the most unexpected way. He got a PDF of the result on Telegram. First, he thought that it might be fake as it was Saturday and UPSC would be closed. However, with trembling hands, as he scrolled through, suddenly his name flashed before his eyes. He thought his eyes were tricking him, just like his fate had been deceiving him continuously since 2016. So he checked for the name of his close friend, Venkata Srikanth. He was shocked to see Srikanth’s name at AIR 1. He immediately called him up. Srikanth confirmed that, yes, it was indeed the genuine list of result.
At that moment, Bhuvaneswar heaved a sigh of relief and became a little emotional. The time has finally arrived, for which he had waited for eight long years!
The dream that he had carefully nurtured over the years was finally coming true! His story of grit is inspirational for everyone.
SUCCESS AT LAST
Aerospace engineer Nara Bhuvaneswar Babu from Andhra Pradesh cracked the IFS-2022 with AIR 31. It was his second attempt for IFS, and overall it was his 7th attempt for UPSC. He saw consistent failures for years, but never gave up. Though, there was no back-up plans and he faced mental tensions, he stood firm on his dream and continued with his efforts to make it come true. His entire UPSC journey is a testimony to why aspirants should have clear goals that should strive for come what may.
JOURNEY SO FAR
Bhuvaneswar started his preparation in 2015, soon after his graduation. Earlier, he was only preparing for UPSC CSE as his aim was to get into IAS. But in 2021, he moved towards IFS. He gave eight attempts in all, including the successful 2023 one. He had cleared all Prelims, but was able to clear only the 2021 Mains, in his past attempts.
He gave his first attempt in 2016, but could not clear the Mains. After that, till 2021, he cleared Prelims continuously, including the cut off for IFS. But, he had not filled the IFS option till 2021. Learning from his mistakes, in UPSC-2021, he completely skipped CSE and focussed only on IFS, as he understood that preparing for both the exams can be very stressful.
Interestingly, that year fate played a trick on him as he cleared the CSE Prelims cut off, but not the IFS. Speaking with Indian Masterminds, he said, “Before a month of UPSC-2021 Prelims, I had my marriage and that affected my cut off. I could not prepare for Current Affairs properly which impacted my result. But, finally in IFS-2022, I succeeded. It’s been a very long journey of almost 8 years.”
WHY CIVIL SERVICES AFTER SPACE SCIENCE
One would be curious to know why an aerospace engineer chose another career for himself. Bhuvaneswar has a simple reply: “After 12th I joined Aerospace Engineering and was eager to study that subject. But when i was doing my graduation, I came to know about civil services in detail. In those days, one of my cousins also got selected to IAS. That was the time I developed more interest towards civil services. And soon after completing my graduation, I started preparing for it.”
He further said that his love for forests also increased day by day. Now, he is happy with IFS because here, he will always get to work with greenery, be in the forest, and work towards its conservation.
He belongs to Madanapalle city in the Annamayya district of Andhra Pradesh. He is the only child of his parents who are teachers. He did his schooling in his home town till his 12th.
After that, he completed his B.Tech in Aerospace Engineering from the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram, in 2015. Soon after, he started preparing for the civil services exam.
His preparation was time bound. In the initial years, he never focussed much on answer writing. Perhaps, that is why even after clearing Prelims every year, he could not clear the Mains. He said, “The reason behind my continuous failures in Mains was, not paying much attention to answer writing. It was a big mistake that kept me away from success for many years.”
His optional in IFS were Geology and Forestry. For CSE, his optional was PSIR (Political Science and International Relations). He took coaching for his optionals, but prepared his GS paper by himself. For Geology, he studied Planet notes. For Forestry, he read Manikandan.
He said, “One needs very wide knowledge to clear the cut off for Prelims. For three months before Prelims, I continuously focussed on the exam and studied at least 10 hours per day. I studied current affairs, brushed up and revised static questions that I had read. While, for Mains, I practised answer writing a lot.”
His strategy was to first solve many test papers and PYQs with timely revision of GS and optional. So that he would have ample time to read current affairs later.
His Interview was DAF based and on his interests. There were many questions on his educational background.
He was asked why he switched from engineering to UPSC? Also, why he has more interest in IFS than IAS?
COPING WITH FAILURES
How did he cope with failure year after year? He replied: “I am lucky that my parents were always supportive.”
But, still, to wait for seven years for success is a long time. But, he kept going. He explained, “It was not an easy journey as I suffered mental tensions after I did not get selected. At the same time, I saw my friends going ahead in their career and I felt left behind. It is always good to have a backup option. I did not have it then, which was a big mistake. It took a toll on me as I constantly worried about my future and was not able to focus on my goal.”
Having gone through a difficult long journey, he has a message for aspirants, “Competition has gone up a lot. So aspirants seriously need to make a good effort and not waste their time like I did in the initial days of preparation. And it would be better if you practise answer writing beforehand.”
He also touched briefly on social media, saying that it is a distraction but also a good source if wisely used. One has to learn to balance, he concluded.
END OF THE ARTICLE