Without YouTube, I wouldn’t have cracked UPPCS: Topper From Uttarakhand
- Ayodhya Prasad Singh
- Published on 18 Apr 2023, 9:06 am IST
- 5 minutes read
- Akanksha Gupta cracked UPPCS-2022 without any coaching
- She has ranked 4th in her 5th attempt
- She has appeared for Uttarakhand PCS-2022 Mains and awaiting the results
Paulo Coelho in his bestselling novel ‘Alchemist’, said, “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it”, that has since launched many a dream and inspired millions like Akanksha Gupta to achieve them as well.
Hailing from another state and cracking UPPCS with top rank is no mean feat and the girl from Dehradun achieved it only because she never gave up. She also is one of a kind for she did many a thing that others would not.
Continuous failures like hers would have daunted the toughest of souls. “Despite my best efforts and even with everything going well, I was not making the mark,” said Akanksha, who took six years to reach her coveted milestone.
She never took coaching classes and she did not shun social media. Speaking to Indian Masterminds, she could not stop appreciating enough the contribution her family had in her success.
Daughter of a businessman who deals in tiles and a mother who as a housewife toiled to give the best to their kids, Akanksha said: “In our society women need the support of their family to reach where I have today.”
Her experience over the past five-six years have made Akanksha a firm believer in destiny. Through many ups and downs she has now achieved a rank she never expected.
“After last year’s exam, I was hopeful that I will crack the UP PCS. It had gone so well that I was expecting a rank. But when it didn’t happen, I was heartbroken. And then, this time when I least expected, it all came together,” said Akanksha, adding, “That’s why always remember destiny has something better planned for you.”
AN UPHILL TASK
Akanksha had started off with her UPSC CSE preparation. She first appeared for UP PCS exams in 2018 but failed tp even pass the Prelims. By 2020, she had failed in three consecutive years.
In 2021, in her forth attempt, she cracked pre and mains both, but missed out in final selection.
She explained, “Due to one paper of Mains, my final marks dipped in 2021, even though I got the highest marks in the Interview.”
But it gave her the right motivation, exactly the push she needed to work harder.
NEVER GIVING UP
Akanksha has also had four go at UPSC. She has cracked UPSC prelims twice, unlike the complete duds in PCS prelims. In UPSC, she appeared for two mains, but could not get an interview call. Once missing by 13 and another time by 2.
“I still have two UPSC attempts left, which I will definitely try after a 100% preparation,” she said.
Akanksha, who did her B.Tech in Computer Science and Engineering from DIT University, Dehradun in 2017, has also given the mains exam for Uttarakhand PCS-2022, and is now waiting for the result.
She feels her being in a joint family has been a boon in disguise. She said, “When I was failing continuously, and had developed a sense of despair, my family took care of me and supported me every step of the way.
“My journey of over half a decade for this exam in a society like ours is not easy. There is a lot of
pressure on girls in our society. That’s why without the support of my family, I could not have gone through such a long-drawn preparation easily. My family never pressurised me for anything.”
DEVIL IN THE DETAIL
After clearing UPSC prelims, when Akanksha was not able to pass UP PCS, she did a SWOT- (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) -kind of analysis.
She found that more fact-based questions were being asked in UP PCS than the analytical ones in UPSC.
She said, “That’s when I started paying more attention to fact-based study. I was also facing difficulty in state-specific and science questions. But SWOT did the trick and I prepared according to my analysis and ‘Voila! I got selected.”
She chose Sociology as optional and decided to slog through preparation alone. “No coaching, I cracked this herculean exam with self-study,” said Akanksha.
She explained her method in the madness. “I solved a lot of different test series for pre and mains as per my need. Unlike others, I was never off social media and used to study a lot from Youtube.”
“Trust me, without Youtube my selection would not have probably happened,” she admits.
She says she only studied when she really felt like it, but that does not mean she bunked her studies. In fact, she was persistent and regular.
“There is no need to distance yourself socially, instead, study hard and regular,” that is her Guru-Mantra.
Talking about her interview, she said there were questions on current issues as well as social ones, like live-in relationships, marriage, caste, and international relations. She was asked about her opinion on girls getting married very late nowadays, and its social impact.
She said, “There was a question on Supreme Court’s decision on the Election Commission. There were many UP-specific questions, like on ‘one district one product’ scheme of the state government.”
She was also asked about the Shazar stone from Banda. Which river it comes from and its significance?
She also answered a situation on accountability, responsibility and corruption.
Giving suggestions to aspirants, she said, “In Mains, eight papers have to be written, you have to write continuously for 6 hours, so build your stamina accordingly. In the interview, try answering whatever is asked and if you don’t know, then say sorry, don’t bluff.”
The amazing journey of Deputy Collector Akanksha Gupta is just beginning, her real test will be on the field. It will be interesting to see her out-of-the-box approach in real-life situations.
END OF THE ARTICLE