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Never Lose Your Individuality While Preparing for CSE, Keep Your Passions with You, Says IRS-IT Officer Shruti Shejole

2016-batch IRS-IT officer Shruti Shejole cleared CSE in her fourth attempt with AIR 690 A dentist turned bureaucrat, she is also a Bharatanatyam dancer She is currently posted as Deputy Commissioner, Income Tax in Ahmedabad
Indian Masterminds Stories

It is natural to get stressed out, drained, and demotivated to the point of contemplating giving up on the dream to crack UPSC CSE, known to be India’s toughest competitive exam, especially after repeated failures. However, IRS-IT officer Shruti Shejole kept her morale and will power high even after failing thrice in this exam. Holding her head high, she did not deviate from the path of her goal and went on to crack the CSE 2015 in her fourth attempt and is now a civil servant, posted as Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax in Ahmedabad.

Speaking with Indian Masterminds, Ms. Shejole shared her long and difficult UPSC journey that ended on a high note.

DENTIST TURNED BUREAUCRAT

Born and brought up in Mumbai, IRS-IT Officer Shruti Shejole completed her education from the city of dreams only. It was here that she nurtured her dream to become a civil servant, while pursuing dentistry course (BDS) at Nair Hospital Dental College, Mumbai. Soon after her graduation, she went to Delhi to prepare for UPSC Civil Services exam. However, before clearing the prestigious CSE examination, she cleared CAPF Assistant Commandant Exam in 2013 with rank 53. Finally, in 2015, she cleared the UPSC CSE examination with rank 690 in her fourth attempt.

“It wasn’t really a childhood dream. While pursuing internship from Nair Hospital dental college, I decided to pursue civil services examination preparation as it gives bigger platform to administer various policies which affects the society directly.” Ms. Shejole said.

INSPIRATION FROM PARENTS

Her family always supported her decisions and has been the biggest motivating factor in her life. Also, the fact that the family kept itself abreast of current events happening around the world and general knowledge helped her a lot. Her mother has a very keen interest in reading newspapers and currents events and always inspired Ms. Shejole to read books and newspaper editorials. “She also motivated me always to participate in various extra-curricular events like elocution, essay writing and dance,” Ms. Shejole said.

Ms. Shejole with her husband Gunjan Mishra and Son Reyansh

Her father was Senior Inspector in State Excise Department in Maharashtra, posted in Mumbai. Ms. Shejole got the inspiration to get into a government job and work for the public from him. He is also a flute player with keen interest in music, and regularly attends concerts of masters like Hariprasad Chaurasia and others.

BHARATANATYAM DANCER

Following in the footsteps if her father, Ms. Shejole also started developing a keen interest in music and dance. She is a Bharatanatyam dancer. She started learning this classical dance from early childhood. However, she couldn’t complete Arangetram, which is a 6 years course, but only managed to do two years of the course. “Dancing is one of my passions. I have also done western contemporary dancing courses and have learned Salsa as well. I love dancing in all its form, be it classical, folk, contemporary, western or semi-classical,” she said.

Recently, she took part in a 2-day All India Cultural Festival ‘Aayakar Sanskritik Utsav’ at National Academy of Direct Taxes (NADT), Nagpur, wherein she tried semi-classical dancing after a gap of 4-5 years. 

Ms. Shejole (left) performing during ‘Aayakar Sanskritik Utsav’ on 26th November at NADT Nagpur along with 2016 batch IRS-IT officer Gayatri M

“Since the academy days, I had left all stage performances. Moreover, I had a ligament injury 6 months back. So, this was my attempt to see if I can get back to dancing. I’m surely thinking of pursuing it further now because one needs to hone their skills. Even if dancing is in my blood, then also, I have to sharpen my skills every time because body gets rigid over time,” she said. 

She also pursued painting as a hobby during the Covid lockdown period. “It’s all about juggling time. From going to office to looking after my one-and-a-half-year kid, Reyansh. But it’s totally manageable with support and help from my husband and family,” she said.  

Ms. Shejole’s Painting

OPTED OUT OF COACHING TO DO SELF-STUDY

She had joined coaching initially, but later quit it to do self-study. “I left the classes after 2 years to do self-study. Classes provide you with just a base, but, after that, you have to build up on your own,” she said.

She also said that she has been lucky enough to have met some excellent people and built some great friendships on the way. These friends have guided her and shaped her process of thinking. “In the same process, I found my husband, Gunjan Mishra, who is the Indian Post & Telecommunication Accounts and Finance Service (IP&TAFS) officer in Ahmedabad.”

One of Ms. Shejole’s stage performance in 2017

MESSAGE TO ASPIRANTS

According to Ms. Shejole, if aspirants are quite serious about UPSC CSE, then they should make a habit of reading newspapers. They should know what to read, how to read and how to co-relate to the subjects in which questions are asked. She also cautioned aspirants to not lose their individuality, hone their passions and keep their hobbies with them during the journey.

She said, “I would like to advice the aspirants to not take the preparation time too seriously. Even if someone is not able to clear the exam, then don’t take it to your heart. Life is much bigger than any exam and if you have talent, then it will shine in any other field. One can contribute towards nation via any field just we need to have the sense of giving back to society at large.”


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