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Meet Another Topper from Bihar Who Made it to Top 10 Despite Getting The Virus

Satyam Gandhi from Bihar secured AIR 10 in UPSC CSE 2020. He contracted Covid 19 before his interview round. Planning well and regular study helped him crack all rounds with ease.
Indian Masterminds Stories

Satyam Gandhi still gets a little emotional when he talks about his UPSC CSE 2020 success. The reason: he managed to fulfill his grandfather’s dream by getting AIR 10, thereby ensuring for himself a place in IAS. His grandfather always wanted a ‘collector’ in the family. And now, Satyam is all set to become one. In conversation with Indian Masterminds, he talked about his journey to UPSC and how he had to face off Covid 19 on the way.

Satyam’s proud father, mother and his grandfather (In Centre) (Credits: Social Media)

FULFILLING GRANDFATHER’S DREAM

“My grandfather, who was government employee, always wanted someone from our family to become a collector. That was his only dream! It’s he who planted the seed of IAS in my mind. Gradually, this became my dream as well,” an emotional Satyam Gandhi revealed while talking about his journey from Bihar to civil services. Today, Satyam is a proud boy. At just 22 years of age, with AIR 10 in his cap, he has convincingly fulfilled his grandfather’s dream. A fitting tribute to the person who nurtured him as a child and fed him the right kind of motivation.

Satyam’s Home at Village Dighra in Pusa Block, Samstipur District, Bihar (Credit: Social Media)

FACING COVID ON THE WAY

Satyam’s path was far from easy. He had to slog his way to UPSC with hard work and discipline. With no contact with friends and totally cut off from social media for weeks on end, Satyam’s phone used to ring only when his mother called. The loner explains, “Once you start concentrating on your studies, people who you don’t need start turning away from you.”

Happy Family: Satyam’s family celebrating his success after UPSC-2020 result was out. (Credit: Social Media)

The Covid 19 outbreak made it even more difficult and lonely for him. To his horror, he contracted the virus before the interview round. It was a tough time for him, both mentally and physically. He had to first defeat the virus, to get to UPSC on time to crack the interview round.

FAMILY IS HIS ROCK

Satyam hails from Samastipur district of Bihar. His family still resides in Dighra village in Pusa block. His father works as a technical assistant in Dr. Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University and mother is a homemaker. A younger brother is doing his graduation.

Proud Parents: Satyam Gandhi’s Parents (Credit: Social Media)

The entire family stood by him like a rock during his Covid positive days. It’s only because of their support that he could come out of it unscathed and go on to trump the interview.

ALWAYS A TOPPER BUT NEVER A BOOKWORM

Satyam, who did his primary education in Bihar, was a topper in Kendriya Vidyalaya, Samastipur. He did his BA Honours in Political Science from Dyal Singh College, Delhi. He was a topper in his department. He started preparing for UPSC CSE as soon as he entered his final year. Yet, he says he was never a bookworm in his college days.

The place where the topper studied: Satyam’s room at Rajendra Nagar, Delhi (Credit: Social Media)

HOW HE PREPARED FOR CSE

Satyam adopted a very disciplined and focussed approach towards his CSE preparation. Although he took up coaching in Delhi, he had more faith in self-study and made it his major focus. His optional subject was Political Science and International Relations. “Every year, new topics get added to this subject and that is why it is lengthy. However, I had studied Political Science in college, so I didn’t face any difficulty with it,” he said. He also appeared for numerous mock tests, which made him know his weaknesses and correct them.

College Days: Satyam with his friends (In third row, second from the left) (Credit: Instagram)

GUIDE TO PRELIMS AND MAINS

For Prelims, Satyam advises on revising often and writing down whatever has been read. He lays emphasis on thorough studying of Economics, Political Science and History and being up to date on current affairs.

For mains, he advises making detailed notes and reading them again and again. According to him, the most important thing is practicing answer writing. “Read every question carefully and write the answer confidently on the exam day,” he said.

The man of the moment: Satyam Gandhi (Credit: Instagram)

ON THE INTERVIEW ROUND

Satyam revealed, “Honestly, after giving the interview, I had the feeling that I did well. My interview lasted for 18 minutes and most of the questions were about my background. Like, what is my native place famous for?”

ADVICE FOR ASPIRANTS

This is what he had to say: “Plan and study. You should have a plan for the day, for the week, and for the month. Read daily because consistency is the key to success.”

Success Smiles: Satyam Gandhi, UPSC Topper (Credit: Instagram)

FUTURE PLANS

Satyam said that he wants to work for rural development and increase self-employment avenues in the villages. “I want to put all my efforts into providing employment opportunities in the villages so that there is reduction in the migration of people from the villages to the cities,” he said, adding that he wants to opt for Bihar cadre, as he is well aware of the ground situation in his home state.

The man who inspired Satyam: Grandfather with family members (In Center)

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