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Meghalaya Gets a UPSC Topper After Seven Years, Thanks to Ankur Das

Ankur Das from Shillong cleared UPSC CSE 2021 in his fifth attempt. He bagged AIR-52 and Meghalaya got a UPSC topper after seven long years. He says being able to inspire the youth of his state to go for UPSC exams is his biggest achievement.

Bringing good cheer to Meghalaya after a seven-year dry spell in UPSC results, Ankur Das, a resident of Jail Road, Shillong, cleared CSE 2021 with AIR-52 and became the North East India topper. The last time Meghalaya was on the list of UPSC CSE was in 2014, making this a bigger achievement for him.

In an exclusive conversation with Indian Masterminds, Ankur shared his experiences and his journey into civil services.

EARLY LIFE

Born and brought up in Shillong, Meghalaya, Ankur completed his education at St Edmund’s, Shillong, and later went on to complete his higher education at Army Public School, Shillong. He was brilliant in academics and also secured second position in the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) in 2011.

After completing his schooling, he left for Delhi in 2013 to pursue his degree in B.Tech from Amity University, Noida. Clearing UPSC and entering Civil Services was Ankur’s childhood dream. His father, who is now retired as Assistant Commissioner of Customs and GST, was his biggest motivation in life.

“I graduated from college in 2017 and, thereafter, began preparing for UPSC CSE full time. I wanted to fulfill my father’s and my dream of becoming an IAS officer and, therefore, I decided to give it my all in the preparation,” Ankur told Indian Masterminds.

Ankur Das with his parents

VICTORY IN THE FIFTH ATTEMPT

He started preparing for UPSC in 2017 and gave his first attempt in 2018. Unfortunately, he could not clear the examination. This was followed by four more attempts. It was in his fifth attempt in UPSC CSE 2021 that Ankur was finally able to not only crack the civil services examination but also become the topper from Meghalaya in seven years, by bagging AIR-52.

Talking about his preparation, he said, “The biggest takeaway from my journey would be consistency. Everyone makes notes and studies from resources thoroughly, but I had a very dogged consistency and insistence to get through. This is something that I believe, sets the successful candidates apart from other aspirants.”

MEGHALAYA TOPPER

Talking about his North Eastern background and how his victory may bring about a change in the youth of the region, Ankur told Indian Masterminds, “The best part is that this success of mine has sparked conversations amongst the youth. Many young people are coming to me and telling me that seeing me clear the examination, they have now started believing that they can do it, too.”

Mentioning that being able to inspire the youth of North East is his biggest achievement, he said, “We are not resource-rich in this part of the country, which naturally disappointed youngsters and made them think that it is impossible for someone to crack UPSC while living here. This thought process has taken a 180-degree turn now and they have started believing in themselves and their capabilities. I believe this is my biggest achievement.”

FUTURE PLANS IN SERVICE

Ankur hopes to get allocated Meghalaya, his home cadre, and wishes to work in the state that he grew up in. He believes there is a lot of scope for improvement in the state, especially in terms of maternal health, education, and sustainable tourism, since it is an economically fragile region.

“I would want to work in these sectors specially and bring about a change for the better in my home state,” he said.

Ten years down the line, he wishes to see India as healthy, in terms of health and prosperity, and a strong nation, in terms of diplomatic code. “I want to witness a healthy and strong India ten years from now, both literally and metaphorically.” 

MESSAGE FOR ASPIRANTS

In his message for UPSC aspirants, Ankur says that it is a difficult exam to give, but even in terms of difficulty, one doesn’t require to put in 10-15 hours of studying every day. What they need to do is, maintain consistency in terms of studying. “Even if you are studying four hours a day, make sure to do it properly and without any distractions. Be true to yourself and you will surely make it through.”

Indian Masterminds wishes Ankur Das the very best in all his future endeavors.

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