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Quote deepak_ias Replybullet Topic: Words of advice from some toppers of IAS
    Posted: 13Jul2007 at 10:14pm
IQBAL DHALIWAL
ALL INDIA RANK - 1
CIVIL SERVICES EXAMINATION 1995.
Service : Indian Administrative Service
Cadre : Tamil Nadu
MY TRYST WITH THE CIVIL SERVICES
I was born in 1972 in Bangalore. My father was in the BSF, my mother runs her
own school and my sister is a Doctor. I did my schooling from the Mothers
International School with Sciences (Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and
Computers) in 1989. I completed my B.A.(Honours) in Economics from Sri
Venkateswara College, Delhi University in 1992 and my M.A. in Economics from
the Delhi School of Economics in 1994. I specialised in Developmental
Economics, Public Finance, Agricultural Economics, Money and Banking.
Since childhood itself, my parents wanted me to be an IAS officer - the main
reason being that this is one service which allows an individual to do a
tremendous amount of good work for the people and make a difference in the
lives of a few. As my interest in Economics, especially Developmental Economics
grew, I realised that the IAS gives an economist the best possible opportunity
to put into practice, all that we have learnt for the benefit of the people.
I took my first attempt in June 1994 itself when I sat for the CSE 1994. For
preliminaries, I just studied the NCERT text books for the various subjects and
luckily managed to clear it. But I totally ignored GS and Public Administration
(my 2nd optional) during the Mains. This was the reason that I got just 952 in
the written exam. The interview went exceptionally well (234) so I managed to
get a rank of 229 and was allotted to the Indian Civil Accounts Service Group
A.
I accepted the service but took a year's extension since my heart was on the
IAS. For Preliminaries (GS and Economics), NCERT text books were enough. But
for the Mains, the strategy changes to wide reading and very good understanding
of the issues involved in the subjects and in current affairs. I was a
voracious reader of Times of India and the Economic Times so that was
manageable. For Public Administration, I concentrated on just the books by
Maheshwari and read them thoroughly. Economics did not require any preparation
other than keeping abreast with current issues and revising the class notes of
the last 5 years of academics. General Studies required a lot of work -
especially for Science and Technology, Polity, History and
Geography/Environment. Most of this from original texts. My papers luckily
went quite well and I scored 1250 in the written.
The interview does not require any extraordinary preparation other than
developing a bit of confidence in yourself and in being totally abreast of
current issues, besides being versent with the nuances of your optionals.
Things went well in the interview again and I was awarded 226, making a total
of 1466 which allowed me to join IAS this year.
Being at LBSNAA is like a dream come true - a dream that my family and I
nourished for 24 years. Meeting friends from different services, interacting
with some of the best IAS and other service officers and taking part in a wide
variety of activities like Horse riding, tennis and Net surfing among others is
great fun - for which I cannot but again thank my Father, mother, sister and my
fiancee - all of whom have made me whatever little that I am today.



DHEERAJ SAHU
ALL INDIA RANK - 10
CIVIL SERVICES EXAMINATION 1995
Service : Indian Administrative Service
Cadre : Uttar Pradesh
MY TRYST WITH THE CIVIL SERVICES
Getting into IAS was like a dream coming true. Although I'd thought of joining
this service much earlier in my school days, my mind kept wavering till few
years back. It was in the third year of my engineering course that I firmly
decided to take up this examination.
Incidentally, I'm a graduate from IIT, Kanpur in Electrical Engineering and I
passed out in 1994. I started reading material on current affairs and on other
subjects in the general studies paper from that very time. As far as optionals
were concerned, I felt Physics and Electrical Engineering as the best bet for
me. For the Prelims, I chose Physics. I'd decided not to attempt the exam
unless I felt confident about my preparation. So I skipped the 1994 eaxm and
took it up next year. By God's grace I made into the service in the very first
attempt. I stood 10th in India. 18th June, the day I came to know about the
reasult, was the happiest in my life. By the way a funny part of this story was
that when I'd first inquired about my Prelims rsult, I was told that I'd
failed.
As regard my other personal details, I'm a 24 year old bachelor and hail from a
business family of Lucknow. I'm youngest among the four siblings of my family.
I'd my schooling in Lucknow in Colvin Taluqdars' College till 8th standard
after which I shifted to Mahanagar Boys' Inter College. My hobbies are
travelling, particularly to places of natural beauty, and light music. I enjoy
playing Billiards and am presently trying to pick up Tennis.
My suggestion to future aspirants of this service is that one should try to
take one's subject of speacialisation as an optional in the exam. This saves
lot of time and labour. The exam requires one year of full dedication provided
one has a good base in general studies and good backing of graduation. One
shouldn't rely solely on the optionals as G.S. and essay paper along with
interview form a substantial portion in the total marks. The syllabus of mains
should be finished before prelims so that one may get enough time for revision
and updating current affairs before mains.
As regards interview, one just needs to be natural and attentive before the
board. The board members are in general very cooperative.
Presently, I'm having great fun in the academy at Musoorie. Here the main
emphasis is on espirit de corp among various services. Although the routine
here is tightly packed, one gets enough time to learn new things and take up
new hobbies. We recieved our cadres few days back and I's fortunate enough to
get the home cadre.
My postal address is: 6, Bishop Rocky Street, Lucknow-226007 Ph:522-370633


R. RANJIT
ALL INDIA RANK - 2
CIVIL SERVICES EXAMINATION 1995.
Service : Indian Administrative Service
Cadre : West Bengal
MY TRYST WITH THE CIVIL SERVICES
I am male, 24 years old and an electronics engineer, B.Tech from IIT-Madras.
This time was my second attempt at the Civil Services Exam. In my first attempt
in 1994, I had got the 104 th rank.
While it must be very clear to anyone who is serious about this exam that luck
has a huge part to play in determining the result, it should be equally clear
that hard and intelligent work always pays. In my first attempt, the quantum of
work I put into subjects such as General Studies, Essay and the Interview was
inadequate. Further, having been in an engineering College were the academic
input was intense, my general awareness was practically frozen in time for four
years. In addition, during the first attempt I was based in Madras where there
is very little awareness and 'hawa' about the Civil Services.
My optional for the Preliminary Exam was Physics. My strategy for the Prelims
was to practically ignore the General Studies Part and concentrate all my
energies on Physics. My aim was to score over 110/120 in this paper. Any
average person should be able to score about 70/150 in the G.S. paper. These
two scores should suffice for the Prelims.
For the Mains, my optionals were Maths and Physics. I studied the standard
Indian books which most people read and I practised doing the previous year's
questions. For the essay I practised writing - which is not something engineers
are used to doing in the course of their graduation. I had to learn the hard
way the importance of effective writing, which is absolutely essential for
success in this exam or for that matter success in life.
As regards the interview, I can't say I enjoyed the experience. I think I was
too direct in my answers and spoke without due deliberation and thought.
I am relieved to find myself at last at LBSNAA , if only because I do not have
to under go the torture of writing these Civil Services Exam again. The life
here may be characterised as running from pillar to post from dawn to midnight.
One may, however, occasionally get to do interesting things in between such as
trekking and river rafting. Time here flies faster than light and before one
realises it, its all over.



NAVIN MITTAL
ALL INDIA RANK - 3
CIVIL SERVICES EXAMINATION 1995.
Service : Indian Administrative Service
Cadre : Andhra Pradesh
MY TRYST WITH THE CIVIL SERVICES
I am a 23 years old male & a B.Tech in Computer Science & Engineering from IIT
Delhi graduating in the year 1995. I have succeeded in getting the 3rd rank in
my first attempt in the civil services examination.
I had decided to go into civil services in spite of getting admissions to
various IIMs in India; a lucrative job with AT&T Bell Labs, USA and prospective
scholarships from various Universities abroad, basically because of the job
satisfaction one derives in this civil services. It provides not only unlimited
opportunities but also unparalleled capability to ameliorate the status of the
poor of this country who cannot afford two square meals, whose children have to
grow in ignorance and darkness, whose womenfolk are almost relegated to the
status of animals. In this service one may earn much less than what the private
companies offer but still this is enough to sustain a decent lifestyle for an
officer and in any case money was never a priority for me. One may earn more by
selling soaps or printers but can never get the kind of job satisfaction one
gets in this job.
My optionals for the civil services examination were Physics for the
Preliminary and Physics & Mathematics for the Mains. The criteria for choosing
these subjects was my deep interest in them and my confidence of doing well in
them. Mathematics is a very dicey subject - if you do well, you can score very
good marks (I had 453) but if you commit even a few mistakes then you have to
pay a very heavy penalty. Physics is all about `fundas' - if you have mastered
your basics well, then you will certainly do well.
I feel the interview board consists of very experienced and astute people who
relegate their personal biases and airs to insignificance to judge us
objectively and fairly and make the interview session feel like an extended
conversation.
The general feeling I have got after taking this examination is that it is
really a test of one's determination, confidence & luck apart from aptitude &
hard work considering the unpredictable nature of this examination. I would
give you an example. I got 115 marks out of 300 in GS II but this was the paper
in which I performed the best in my view. In fact I told my father after the
paper that this is almost a dream attempt but the marks gave me a shock of my
life. So I feel that belief in your luck & God is as important as belief in
oneself.
Now, in the LBSNAA, I am going through the best phase of my life. It is an
opportunity to really rediscover myself & find my latent talents, to which I
could give proper justice earlier because of my other preoccupations. But now I
can let them blossom fully. This phase is enriching my life with some of the
most varied & wonderful experiences ever like the Trekking to Roopkund, Rock
Climbing, Riding, River Rafting, Learning Guitar which has almost been a
passion for me. And above all I am back into my kind of Music- Classic Rock-
which I had to coldstore during my preparations. I am sure Led Zep, Black
Sabbath, Deep Purple, & Iron Maiden must be pleased to hear that.



RAHUL SINGH
ALL INDIA RANK - 4
CIVIL SERVICES EXAMINATION 1995.
Service : Indian Administrative Service
Cadre : Bihar
MY TRYST WITH THE CIVIL SERVICES
I have a B.Tech. in Computer Science & Engineering from IIT-Kanpur. I did a
11-month stint in S&T (a Software Multinational) during which I decided to go
for the Civil Services. I got through in my second attempt. In my first attempt
, I did not get any service (in fact not even an interview call). My failure
and the subsequent success tell me that though there is no substitute for real
hard work, you need tons of luck to finally make it. The accent is not on the
knowledge that you may possess, but probably more on the way it is presented.
My optional subject for the prelims was Mathematics. In the mains, I had
Physics in addition. For prelims, a very detailed preparation is not required.
For Maths, only the Brilliant Tutorial notes sufficed for me. For GS, I did
Unique (basically only the questions except in Polity and History). The stress
should be more on knowing where you stand, so taking lots of practice tests is
helpful.
The Mains is a different ball game altogether. In GS, you need quite a detailed
knowledge of Economics nowadays. In others also, depth of knowledge is probably
appreciated by the evaluators. But one must not get carried away. The theme of
the answers should be such that they can be appreciated by a generalist.
Finally, one should write a lot, especially in Paper 2. Physics is a subject
one should try to avoid nowadays. The UPSC, in its wisdom, has started a
crackdown on Physics students, so much so that they set questions from outside
the syllabus. Still, if one really wants to take it up, he/she has to study
very hard, very extensively and very intensively. Also, the style of answering
counts for a lot in Physics especially in Paper 1 which is the easier paper. So
scoring 350+ in Physics is now a lot tougher than getting the same score in
other subjects, even those belonging to the Humanities.
Maths is tough, but if one is good at it, one can really score in this subject.
Maths basically calls for selective study. One has to choose the portions of
the syllabus one can really do well in. This can be done by means of
consultations with seniors and also a self-evaluation about that subject. But
it is to be averred that one should take up this subject only if one is really
good at it and not because others are taking this.
My reasons for choosing this service were related primarily to a wish on my
part about not going abroad, which is probably the only option a Computer
Scientist has if he/she wants to succeed. Also in India, this is, in my
opinion, the only job which offers you a high degree of autonomy and
independence. So this had to be the job for me.

ANURAG GOEL
ALL INDIA RANK - 5
CIVIL SERVICES EXAMINATION 1995.
Service : Indian Administrative Service
Cadre : Assam - Meghalaya
MY TRYST WITH THE CIVIL SERVICES
Educational Background:
B.E. (Electronics and communication) from Thapar Institute of Engineering and
Technology, Patiala. Topper throughout.
No. of attempts : Three
My first attempt went in vain due to the floods in Punjab that year. In the
second attempt, I was unable to do well in the interview and this 3rd attempt
you know it already. From your previous attempt, you must learn from the
mistakes - never be too casual in your approach and maintain a proper schedule
for the revision of the course.
Hints for Prelims :
1.G.S. : Factual study plus practising as much objective questions as you can
2.Physics : Detailed study of whole syllabus plus practising problems,
numericals, objective questions of various types helps a lot.
Hints for Mains :
1.GS: Without going into the name of books (which you can get from various
sources), I will like to lay stress on only one point that it is not the
quantity but quality that matters. Your answer should have a cutting edge over
others to give you that vital decisive lead and try to stud your answers with
examples from current events.
2.Physics and Electrical Engineering : Standard textbooks of both foreign and
Indian authors can be referred to. In these papers, full details should be
given in your answer with diagrams, graphs etc.
Reasons for choosing IAS : Highest job stature in India, good promotional
avenues, variety in job content and above all, a sense of achievement.
It feels great to be in LBSNAA finally - like the moment of truth has finally
arrived and we are in our karambhoomi to serve our motherland.


Dr. SANJAY MUKHERJEE
ALL INDIA RANK - 6
CIVIL SERVICES EXAMINATION 1995.
Service : Indian Administrative Service
Cadre : Maharashtra
MY TRYST WITH THE CIVIL SERVICES
Hi ! I am originally a medical man, now an IAS. I am one of the lucky ones to
make it to the top 10.
People ask me time and again what I am doing in the IAS. That I should have
continued as a doctor. Fine. I loved and still love medicine as was and am good
at it. But perhaps no other branch of science is so directly related to the job
of an IAS than Social/community medicine - for instance Public Health,
literacy, sanitation, drinking water, gender issues, children's issues,
environment and many other such sectors in which the IAS is deeply involved are
what's taught in that subject. So obviously one interest led to another and
ultimately landed me up here.
I made it to the IAS in CSE 95 ; my earlier attempt landed me in the IPS when I
was 72nd. I had decided to take the exam in a very frivolous manner and was
quite unconcerned till the declaration of the mains result and intended to be a
paediatrician. I had chosen 2 new subjects as optionals - Public Administration
(in which I now hold a bachelor's degree) and History. But what proved to be my
nemesis then was the essay - my marks were quite pathetic. So I resolved to sit
again, this time with proper preparation and made it.
Here in the academy all Officer Trainees are generally kept very busy - and so
was I and I feel that most of us don't even have time to think. Otherwise, I
like the academy. I like the crowd here. I have learnt many new things and seen
many places. The Foundational course, I can positively say, shall be the best
part of the course.
What do I want of life ? Peace of mind. And happiness. And that comes through
doing good work, and I'm sure I will have plenty of opportunities. I think the
most important thing one has to learn is to do his job well and that's what I
am striving at here.
I like watching films. I like speaking in public. My other hobbies include
photography, music, esp. Hindi Kishor Kumar songs and exploring the unknown.
In the future as an administrator, I would like to explore hitherto untried
areas to find cures for the complex ailments of our society.



MONA KHANDHAR
ALL INDIA RANK - 7
CIVIL SERVICES EXAMINATION 1995.
Service : Indian Administrative Service
Cadre : Gujarat
MY TRYST WITH THE CIVIL SERVICES
I am a commerce graduate from Sydenham College with special papers of Financial
accounts and Computer programming. Later I did my post graduation in Sanskrit
grammar from University of Bombay.
I decided to go for Civil services exams when I was in MA II because I got
convinced that power, authority and status of a civil servant would help me in
fulfilling my desire of doing something for Indian society, besides providing a
dynamic career.
I succeeded in my second attempt. My first attempt was more of a trial kind. It
gave me an idea about where to focus and where my stronger and weaker points
were. In Preliminaries, I concentrated more on my optional Philosophy because
General studies is quite unpredictable.
In Mains, all the papers, excepting languages are equally important. However,
in GS I prepared Statistics, objective questions and current affairs of every
sort very well. In my optional papers, I paid more attention on short notes and
analytical questions. I was predetermined to write essay on philosophical topic
and made general preparations accordingly.
During my interview, I was cool, confident and natural. I was original and
honest in my answers.
Presently I am an Officer Trainee at LBSNAA under 62nd FC in the IAS. It is one
of the finest periods of my life. I am having a number of new experiences like
trekking, living in a cosmopolitan crowd etc. Though academic inputs and
compulsions are sometimes boring and irritating, overall training program is
interesting. Faculty and fellow OTs are very friendly and co-operating. It has
increased my confidence, ability and broadened my vision.


ANAND KISHOR
ALL INDIA RANK - 8
CIVIL SERVICES EXAMINATION 1995.
Service : Indian Administrative Service
Cadre : Bihar
MY TRYST WITH THE CIVIL SERVICES
Subjects:
Physics(for prelims.) and Physics, Maths for mains.
Qualifications:
B.Tech in Electrical Engg. (IIT KANPUR)
M.Tech in Electrical Engg. (IIT KANPUR)
I.Sc. from Science College , Patna.
Address:
Present (till May'97):-
Anand Kishor, IAS(P)
LBSNAA, Mussoorie.
Pin-248179.
Hobbies:
Yoga,Hindi Literature, Stock_Markets.
Suggestions for future aspirants:
1. General Studies should be paid greater attention (Science students have a
general tendency to neglect it)
2. Answers should be concise, precise and effective.
As far as possible, one should stick to the word limits.
3. No substitute to hard labour- should not believe in short-cuts.
4. Your preparation should be a judicious mix of exhaustive and selective
study(depending on the nature of the paper)- for example I adopted selective
intensive study for Mathematics but stuck to exhaustive approach in Physics.
5. Decide Your optionals carefully, chalk out a strategy and work hard .Never
lose faith in yourself. One must identify one's weaknesses and try to rectify
them.
For any further enquiries or correspondence , please contact me at above
address

Thank you


ALOK GUPTA
ALL INDIA RANK - 9
CIVIL SERVICES EXAMINATION 1995.
Service : Indian Administrative Service
Cadre : Rajasthan
MY TRYST WITH THE CIVIL SERVICES
Educational Qualifications :
1. B Tech in Electrical Engineering from IIT, Bombay, 1992
2. M Tech in Communications and Radar Engineering from IIT, Delhi, 1994
Job Experience :
1 1/2 year in Indian Telecommunication Service, Group A
Number of Attempts : 3
Optional Subjects :
Preliminaries : Electrical Engineering
Mains : Electrical Engineering, Mathematics
Mistakes during previous attempts :
I could not prepare for mains as I was busy with my thesis during my first
attempt. In the second attempt, I laid overemphasis on my optionals and ignored
General studies.
In the third attempt I laid equal emphasis on GS and optionals and lady luck
smiled and I was selected in the IAS.


SUNIL KUMAR BARNWAL
ALL INDIA RANK - 1
CIVIL SERVICES EXAMINATION 1996.
Service : Indian Administrative Service
Cadre : Bihar
MY TRYST WITH THE CIVIL SERVICES
I belong to a medium class family in Bihar. I did schooling from R.H.T.B. High
school, Barari, Bhagalpur and intermediate from Science college Patna. My
father is working in Bihar state government and my mother is simple housewife.
Just after schooling I left home and had to stay in hostel in intermediate.
During intermediate I prepared for Engineering entrance examination. But I
could not appear for IIT examination due to the minimum age requirement.
Therefore, I appeared only for entrance examinations of Indian School Of
Mine(ISM), Dhanbad, Roorkee engineering and Bihar state engineering. I
succeeded in all three and finally decided to join Petroleum Engineering at
ISM, Dhanbad.
Right from childhood I had ambition of becoming an IAS mainly because of the
importance of SDM and Collector in the Society. But I decided to take the route
to IAS though engineering as it could have assured me bread and butter in the
job market in case of failure. I really worked hard to excel in engineering
which was paid in form of three gold medals including the medal for the topper
of the batch.
During my vacation while doing engineering, I used to look the syllabus of
physics and mathematics for civil services, which were my favourite subjects
right from beginning. After enginnering I could have had good career oppotunity
before me like going abroad, doing MBA or joining a job in Petroleum sector. I
went for the third option as it was the best route towards achieving the final
goal of IAS. The route of sitting idle and preparing for civil services was
ruled out because of the financial condition of the family. Finally, I joined a
good job in Gas Authority of India Ltd.(GAIL) through campus in July 1993. I
could appear in this examination only in 1995 because of the minimum age
requirement. But I used the two year, while working, for completing the
syllabus thoroughly.
In my first attempt in 1995, I qualified preliminary and main examination but
could not get any service after interview. Main reason for failure were lack of
proper strategy and lack of confidence in interview. So, in this attempt I made
a strategy of concentrating on my weak points which I could very well identify
from the marksheet of last attempt and kept one month for revision. My mains
examination went well and I could score 1240 because of high score in the
optional subjects Maths(422) and Physics(403). This year my interview was
better than last year due to better confidence level and experience of last
year's interview.
I got 177 in interview which made a highest total of 1417 putting me first in
the list of successful condidates. The dream of becoming an IAS could become
true only after a great sacrifice of my parents, besides my hard work, patience
and God's grace. Now, really it is a moment of great satisfaction when I have
got my home cadre, Bihar, where I would get opportunity to bring positive
change in condition of our people, through some of which I myself passed in my
life. At last, I would like to suggest all civil service aspirants that hard
work never goes waste. Besides, this examination requires lot of patience and
luck.


SANJEEB KUMAR MISHRA
ALL INDIA RANK - 10
CIVIL SERVICES EXAMINATION 1996.
Service : Indian Administrative Service
Cadre : Orissa
MY TRYST WITH THE CIVIL SERVICES
Background :
Graduation - B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering in 1993 from Indian Institute of
Technology, Delhi. M. Tech in Industrial Engineering in 1996 from same
institute.
From 01-07-93 to 31-07-94, I worked with the Tata Iron and Steel Company, Ltd.
(TISCO) now commonly called Tata Steel.
After my graduation form IIT-Delhi in May, 93, I started working with TISCO. I
went with the good intention of excelling myself as a mechanical engineer. The
training programme was very good. I had to pass around 8 subjects like Iron
making, steel making, power engg., plant metallurgy etc. But when the real job
in the works began, it was very demotivating. Though Tatas provide good pay,
perks, other facilities, the job was not challenging enough. Further, the
promotions, recognition is not solely based on work but on other things. This
led to total demotivation.
In January of 1994 I decided to go for Civil Services. I did not want to go for
MBA as I knew that I shall again work in a private sector such as Tatas, Birlas
or in foreign banks like citi bank or standard and chartered. I rather believed
that I shall fit more into working for the poor people at large and be involved
in decision-making of the country. The job at Tata Steel was very hard. I
hardly have any time to read properly. By that time I was also married (1st
December, 1993). My wife was at IIT and is still now as well. The preparation
did not go as I expected. Finally I resigned on 31st July, 94 and joined for
M.Tech at IIT Delhi. The earlier idea that I had that I can study for Civil
Service along with M.Tech was not true. The M.Tech in Industrial Engg.
Programme did not give much time. Further I stayed in a hostel and my wife was
staying at girls hostel.
We god "married hostel accommodation" only on 24th Feb. 1995. In the meantime,
one big jerk occurred in my life. Though, I qualified in prelims, I could not
write the main exam that year. I just appeared my G.S. paper and was very happy
about it. Uptil 8 o'clock I was with my other friends. But unfortunately by 9
p.m. I had very high fever. I still stayed in my room and my friend Sanjeev
Jain helped me in reading essay paper besides my bed. I believed that I shall
be able to go for 3 hours and finish essay paper. But on the fateful morning, I
failed, I was totally shattered. One wrong notion or my past thought came to my
mind. I had met an astrologer earlier who had said to me that I shall never
make into IAS or IPS. I started believing in the prediction. I had the option
of giving abroad to top grade universities in USA. So I started thinking that I
should do well in M.Tech and go to USA. That would have fitted for both me and
my wife. Infact I stopped studying till April as I wanted to do well in M.Tech.
I did very well. At this time my wife motivated me to appear exam again. She
understood that I was not really happy with the decision that I had made. I was
interested in my heart of hearts to appear again, but was worried about the
predictions and events which occurred which reinforced that. The prelims' 95
was around at June 26. I had gone home from June 2nd to June 15th. Around June
12th, I started suffering from another illness. I again got frustrated as I
could not study. Before 5-6 days I was O.K. I almost told my friends that I am
not going to appear. But finally, I again went to appear. The Physics paper was
tough and since I was not fully prepared to face the exam. I believed I shall
fail. But, as luck would have it I passed. I could write the main exam, But I
could not study the way I wanted. After interview I failed. It was very
difficult decision for me at that time as to what should I do. By the time the
result was out I had already appeared the prelim exam for 1996. My father asked
me to give the exam properly. My wife also asked me to sit down and appear the
exam properly, means doing one thing at a time. That time only she was getting
scholarship money. With that it was difficult to arrange. She also had to take
up tuitions. Finally I appeared the main exam. This time it went o.k. except
mathematics paper. I feared UPSC results. Anyway all is well that ends well.
With God's grace I secured 10th rank. I attribute it to encouragement provided
by my wife, father and father-in-law. It was sincere hard work that finally saw
me through this examination.
I believe Civil Service is not just a job but strictly a service. One gets lot
of opportunity to make positive impact on lives of people directly. One deals
with lot of challenges. I am very happy with this, though I know I would have
been better had I been a professor may be abroad or at IIT. But, I don't repent
for that. I think I can utilise my knowledge for the betterment of people and
country at large.


RAHUL BHANDARI
ALL INDIA RANK - 3
CIVIL SERVICES EXAMINATION 1996.
Service : Indian Administrative Service
Cadre : Punjab
MY TRYST WITH THE CIVIL SERVICES
I was born in the land of the Golden Temple - Amritsar on 13th September, 1973.
I've lived on this earth for 24 years. I hail from an intellectual background,
my father is Asstt. Registrar in GND University, Amritsar and my mother is a
senior lecturer in Botany. I started and ended my schooling at Kendriya
Vidyalaya, Amritsar Cantt and then went on to acquire a B.Tech degree in
Electronics and Electrical Communication. This was the only time I stood 2nd in
my life, but coming 3rd in the Civil Service Examination gave me the maximum
amount of pleasure for which I shall always remain greatful to God. Prior to
joining the academy as a probationer I was working in Punjab Communications
Limited, Chandigarh as Engineer (R&D) and subsequently joined DOT through
Engineering Service Examination.
My interests pertain to reading, listening to music, watching movies and
exploring new places.
As regards my physical characteristics. I am 5 feet 11 inches tall, am a
typically Punjabi young man - well built and robust (Gabroo Jawan! as they say
in Punjabi) and enjoy trekking (especially if it's the Pindari Glacier).
I fell in love and got married on 20th February, 1998 to a batchmate of mine
Rakhee Gupta who is
also an IAS Officer. So it was a logical conclusion to our relationship.


BINOD KUMAR
ALL INDIA RANK - 4
CIVIL SERVICES EXAMINATION 1996.
Service : Indian Police Service
Cadre : Not yet allotted
MY TRYST WITH THE CIVIL SERVICES
I was born in 1969 in Patna. I did my schooling from Patna and B.Tech from IIT,
Delhi.
Ever since I was born, I wanted to be an IPS Officer, mainly because this is
the most challenging, adventurefulled service in India. I have always been
fascinated by the outdoors and the charm of a uniformed service. The
maintenance of law and order in the primary role of the state and I want to
contribute to this. As the role of the state is curtailed in future, law and
order will still remain the core function of the state.
Coming to the mitty gritty of the examination :
For preliminary examination, my subject was Physics. I prepared the mains
syllabus and that was sufficient. General Studies needed no preparation
whatsoever. For the main examination, my subjects were Physics and Maths -
mainly due to aptitude for both. These papers are getting tougher and
unpredictable and should not be chosen unless one has aptitude and is willing
to work twice as hard. Very extensive reading is required in both subjects,
with lots of practice.
General studies is potentially a very scoring paper. Due care should be taken
for this paper. For the essay, the fact to remember is to write good english
(or any language you have chosen), essay should not be confused with general
studies!
The interview is largely a matter of work. The extent of arbitrariness can be
ganged from the fact that I had scored 60 marks last year and this year managed
180. I doubt if my personality has altered that much!
Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Adminitration is a nice place - I have
made plenty of new friends, and shall cherish them throughout my career.



MAHENDRA PRASAD AGRAWAL
ALL INDIA RANK - 2
CIVIL SERVICES EXAMINATION 1996.
Service : Indian Administrative Service
Cadre : Uttar Pradesh
MY TRYST WITH THE CIVIL SERVICES
I was born in 1972 in Gorakhpur (UP) in a middle class business family. Most of
my relatives are involved in business. My parents did not want that I should
join the business and so they paid special emphasis on my studies. They had a
desire that I should join the Civil Services. My schooling was done in
Gorakhpur. I did my ICSE from St. Paul's School and AISSCE from N.E. Rly.
Senior Secondary School.
After my schooling I appeared for the JEE examination and was able to clear it.
I landed up in IIT Kanpur in Chemical Branch. After one year I changed to
Mechanical. I finished off my B. Tech with a C.P.I of 9.2. All the four years I
had Civil Services at the back of my mind. The load in my B. Tech years was so
much that I was not able to prepare for Civil Services. So after my B. Tech I
joined M. Tech program at IIT Kanpur in Mechanical Department with
specialisation in Fluid Mechanics and Thermal Sciences.
I gave my first attempt soon after completing my B. Tech. I was not well
prepared for the exam. I took Mechanical as my option in Prelims. I anyhow
managed to clear the Prelims. Soon after the prelims result, I started
preparing for the mains. I took Mathematics as my second option. I could not
devote much time for the preparation as I was doing my M.Tech too. I did not
get the interview call in this attempt.
Soon after the Mains exam I decided to replace Mechanical with Physics. This
decision was necessary to score good marks in Mains exam. Mechanical is
considered to be a very low scoring subject. In the next attempt I started the
preparation very soon. I covered the whole Physics course before the Prelims.
Since the performance in the prelims was good, I started my preparation for the
mains just after the prelims exam. My performance in the mains was satisfactory
and hence I expected an interview call in this attempt. I got the interview
call and finally got a rank of 86 and I was allocated Indian Customs and
Central Excise Services. I accepted the offer but applied for an extension of
one year to reappear in the exam to improve the rank.
In my final attempt I was much more confident. I devoted a lot of time in the
preparation for Mathematics as this was a subject in which one can think of
getting marks over 400. I also laid emphasis on my preparation for the Physics
subject. The performance in mains was up to my satisfaction. I started
preparation for the interview. I read two newspapers daily. Main emphasis was
given on topics which were related to me like my home state, my hobbies,
academic qualifications etc. After I got the interview call, I formed a group
with my other friends at IIT Kanpur and organised regular Mock Interview
Sessions which proved to be too helpful. The Chairman of my interview board was
Mr. K.K. Madan. I was satisfied with my interview. Finally I was able to make
it to Indian Administrative Services. I was allotted UP cadre.
I thank my parents for there constant support and also to my friends and
seniors at IIT Kanpur without whom it would have been difficult for me to come
out successful in the exam.
Finally a word or two for the aspirants. This exam is not just a test of
knowledge and intelligence but also of patience. One should not be demoralized
by temporary setbacks. Also one should have faith in God as this exam also
requires a bit of luck.


PAMU SAMPATH KUMAR
ALL INDIA RANK - 5
CIVIL SERVICES EXAMINATION 1996.
Service : Indian Administrative Service
Cadre : Assam-Meghalaya
MY TRYST WITH THE CIVIL SERVICES
I hailed from Bhima Krosu Palem, a small village in East Godavari district of
Andhra Pradesh. My parents were teachers in a primary school.
I got my schooling at A.P. Residential School, Upper Sileru. Later, I have
studied special Diploma in Electronics at Govt. Institute of Electronics,
Secunderabad. After that, I have completed B.E. (Electronics & Communications)
in 1993 from C.B.I.T. (Osmania University).
I started preparing for the Civil Service Examination immediately after my
graduation. I got I.R.T.S. (rank-472) in my first attempt (1994 CSE). Central
Secretariat Service (rank-593) in the second attempt and finally I.A.S. in the
third attempt.
My optionals for the examination are Geography and Telugu Literature. I have
chosen these subjects because of interest and availability of guidence and
material.
I was lucky to get very good friend circle in Hyderabad. We have all studied in
a cooperative manner. My success is a direct result of my friends constant
support and guidence.
My suggestions for the future aspirants - be confident on yourself and put
sincere efforts to reach the goal.



RITA SINGH
ALL INDIA RANK - 6
CIVIL SERVICES EXAMINATION 1996.
Service : Indian Administrative Service
Cadre : Uttar Pradesh
MY TRYST WITH THE CIVIL SERVICES
Born in Canada, I spent my childhood in Saskatchewan, and received my primary
education there. My family is an academic oriented one. After completing their
Ph.D's from Michigan State University my parents moved to Canada to teach.
Graduating from Ghaziabad, I then joined the M.Sc. program in Maths at IIT,
Kanpur. Academic excellence was a quality always promoted at home - I owe my
own accomplishments in this field to this fact. I topped the University during
graduation, and was the topper of my batch at IIT, Kanpur, receiving the
General Proficiency Prize for the best outgoing student in Maths.
In 1992, I renounced my Canadian citizenship - this was a resolution of an
identity crisis I had undergone ever since returning from Canada, since one of
the best ways to establish a dialogue with the country's socio-cultural ethos
in a constructive manner seemed to me to be a career in the Civil Services,
that is what I decided to work towards.
My subjects for the UPSC exam. were Psychology & English Literature - both were
subjects I had always wanted to learn. I was strongly advised to take Maths,
but I would have been repeating most of the UPSC syllabus - the idea was not an
attractive one.
My first move was to gain a level of understanding of my subjects - a wide
reading was required. Later, the attempt was to apply theoretical principles to
the contemporary Indian scene. For General Studies my reading list included
newspapers like the Time of India, Economic Times Magazines included Outlook,
Mainstream, India Today and Newsweek. I also joined Vajiram & Rao, Delhi, for
interview & Psychology coaching. This was helpful in so far as it acquainted me
with the orientation of the exam.
Selected for the Indian Information Service (238th rank) in 1996, I took an
extension and tried again.
What I found important about the process of preparation is maintaining a
balanced perspective - My extra-curricular interests & hobbies were not ignored
- Judo, playing the violin & readingg were interests I continually followed.
Above all, one must provide for career alternatives since the whole process can
be unpredictable. I had received admission from a number of US Universities to
their MBA programs. If I hadn't passed, I would have gone back. Luckily, I did
not have to make that decision.


NEELESH KUMAR
ALL INDIA RANK - 7
CIVIL SERVICES EXAMINATION 1996.
Service : Indian Police Service
Cadre : Not yet allotted
MY TRYST WITH THE CIVIL SERVICES
Educational Background :
Till XII, Kendriya Vidyalaya at Rae Bareli, Srinagar (J&K), Bangalore and
Allahabad.
Passed out from XII in 1990. Jointed SCRA, Jamalpur in 1991, did Mach. Engg.
and passed out in 1995.
Work Experience :
Trained for 1 1/2 years in various railway units and workshops and took up
assignment as Assistant Mechanical Engineer in Diesel Locomotive Shed,
Bangalore.
Regarding Civil Service :
Subjects : Maths & Anthropology
Attempts : 3
Mode of Preparation : Prelims subject was Maths, didnot require much
preparation same with General Studies continued preparation for mains subjects.
Mains : Prepared maths question were 70 in paper 1 and 7 in Paper II.
Anthropology : Did coaching at Vaid's and practised by writing sample answers.
General Studies : Had gone thru notes of Vajiram and Rao and used standard
books.
Interview : did coaching at Vajiram and Rao's
Message : Work Hard




MANISH KUMAR SINGH
ALL INDIA RANK - 8
CIVIL SERVICES EXAMINATION 1996.
Service : Indian Administrative Service
Cadre : Madhya Pradesh
MY TRYST WITH THE CIVIL SERVICES
I was born in a well to do family in village - Jarha in Rewa District of M.P.
My father was an engineer in M.P. Government and my mother a house wife. I
received my preparatory education in my village, where my mother stayed with my
grand parents. My elder brother, who was then studying in Raipur Engineering
college persuaded me father to send my to Raj Kumar College, a public school in
Raipur.
This had a tremendous influence over me and in my career. I excelled in studies
and sports at the school. I topped my board exam. and was a member of school
football, cricket and hockey team from class IX onwards. I was made a set
leader in school and was also the school captain for Hockey.
In the meantime my brother qualified for Indian Forest Service in 1985 which
made me think in terms of a career in Civil Services for myself. My father's
untimely death in 1984 was a shock. Then I learnt that he always wanted one of
us to be in the IAS or IPS. This made my resolution for taking civil service
exam. strong. My cousin - Sanjay Singh introduced me to the competitive
magzines and I developed a keen interest in General Knowledge.
I took my class XII-ISC board and secured good marks to qualify for admission
to BITS, Pilani, Engineering was to be a platform for me to try a shot at this
exam. I did my B.E.(hons.) Instrumentation from Pilani and graduated in 1993. I
was not interested in going abroad or do a software job because I had already
made up my mind for civil services.
UPSC does not offer instrumentation as an option so I decided on Electrical and
Electronics along with Geography. Geography use to be my pet subject in school.
To stay in Delhi University, where I felt UPSC atmosphere existed. I took
admission in Law and secured a hostel seat.
As geography was a new subject for me I joined a coaching institute. I started
working on electrical and electronics on my own, but I did not feel confident
about it. So, after my prelims result I choose Anthropology as my second
option. For General Studies apart from the basic books, I retied on newspapers
- The Hindu. My first attempt took me too the interview stage.
During my second attempt in 1995, the syllabus for Anthropology was revised
drastically. Due to lack of preparation here I could not make it to the
interview even.
In 1996 I worked hard and consulted D.U. teachers for Anthropology. Also for
Geography my teacher guided me very well. Due to the effort of these teachers,
my hard work and by the grace of god. I got through this time.


PEEYUSH KUMAR
ALL INDIA RANK - 9
CIVIL SERVICES EXAMINATION 1996.
Service : Indian Administrative Service
Cadre : Andhra Pradesh
MY TRYST WITH THE CIVIL SERVICES
Hi friends!.

As I pen down this brief resume one thought that comes to me is that my life
has been a strange mix of successes and failures. Another thing that I realise,
particularly after coming to academy is that I have been quite an introvert
with very limited interests and hobbies.

I was born in Allahabad on 19th September, 1973. My father is genius in
mathematics. He topped in Master of Mathematics at a tender age of 19 from
Allahabad University and became lecturar in Mathematics at Gorakhpur
University. Later, he joined the Indian Police Service, 1978 batch, UT Cadre.
My mother is a house wife. I have one brother and sister, both younger to me.
My brother is doing his MBA and my sister is doing fashion designing from NIFT.

Having seen the Indian bureaucracy from close quaters both my brother and
sister decided to join private sector. However, the same fact influenced my
quite differently. From very early, I wanted to join the IPS following my
father's line, who has always been my role model. It was on his insistence,
however, that I opted for IAS.

My early education was very irregular, on account of my father's transferrable
job. Infact, before joining DPS Mathural Road, in 7th Class I had already
changed as many as 11 schools. Thus, it is not difficult to guess that I was
mediocre student, finding it diffcult to manage 1st division. Only subject that
I loved was mathematics (following father's line, perhaps) however, I did
manage 1st class distinction in both X & XII after school I appeared in most of
the prestigious engineering college but could not clear any.

I, than, took up B.Sc. (Hons.) Statistics in Hindu College, DU in 1991. It was
infact accidental that I cam up with Statistics. I was interested in
mathematics. I was advised that Statistics is applied in nature and as such has
greater scope. That was the turning point in my life with my deback in
Engineering Entrance Examinations. I was very desperate and devoted myself
completely to Statistics. Three years of hard work and my apptitude for the
subject paid dividends. I topped DU Statistics with record marks of 92%.

After graduation I took up M. Stat at Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi. This
was the time when I started serious preparations for Civil Service Exam. with
optionals Anthropology and Statistics. This was the tought period of life,
since itself was quite demanding. In my first attempt CSE-95 I got 143rd rank
(IRTS). I also topped Indian Statistical Services - 1995, without interview
(since I got IRTS, I decided to forego ISS interview).

I took one year exemption, by this time my M.Stat was over so I could devote
myself completely to CSE-96. This time things worked and I got 9th rank. I
scored 450 in Statistics paper, which to my knowledge, is all time record. The
CSE can be simple examination provided you ar very comfortable in atleast one
paper.

My hobbies are playing Chess and Vedic Mathematics.



Mr. Sorabh Babu Maheshwari (23) achieved 1st position among the successful
candidates of the Civil Services Examination, 1999-2000. He has done B.E.
(Mech.)
" Planned Studies, Hard Work and INNER motivation are the Keys to Success "
We publish below an exclusive interview he gave to Competition Success
Review.CSR: What is the secret of your success in the Civil Services
Examination?
Sorabh Babu Maheshwari : There are myriad of factors responsible; to sum up
God's grace, family's support and encouragement, planned studies, hard work,
inner motivation can be cited as the main factors.
Q. How much time do you think one requires for serious preparation for this
examination ?
A. Atleast one year of serious dedicated preparation.
Q. Which journals and newspapers have you been reading for the General
Knowledge and other papers ?
A. Competition Success Review, General Knowledge Today, The Hindu, The
Hindustan Times, Frontline and a regular reader of India Today
Q.What is your impression of the Interview Board ?
A, Questions posed before a candidate are very well framed and answers to them
should be made taking into consideration all possible views and a balanced
approach is expected from a candidate.
Q. What is your advice to the future aspirants ?
A. The path towards this coveted service passes through many ups and downs. To
carry oneself along these pulls and pushes requires strong inner motivation and
decision to aspire for Civil Services should come from within.
Q . Competition Success Review, the largest selling youth magazine in English,
has been extremely helpful because...
A. ...it helped in providing ready, easy-to-use material thus saving time.
Topics, which are unique to this magazine e.g.,IAS Topper Talks To You, Essays,
Personality. Tests proved extremely helpful while preparing as they give good
insight into these issues.
Q. What prompted you to choose Civil Services as your career?
A. the unique blend of service opportunities which Civil Services offers.
Diversity of job, being a party in policy implementation, bigger
responsi­bilities, social esteem and to do good to common masses were some
factors which made me to go in for Civil Services.
Q. How did your parents, family and friends contribute to your success ?
A. A larger part of success is attributable to them. Without the constant
support, encouragement and boost up by family members and friends at times,
this day was not possible.
Q. Had you not been selected in the Civil Services Examination, what would have
been your reaction ? Which other service career would you have gone in-opted
for?
A.This year. I did well in Written Exam ,and Interview and was confident of
getting good rank. In adverse situation of not getting selected, though sad I
would have gone for another attempt after finding out my lacunae.
Q. How would you visualise your success ?
A. Combined effort of everything went in my favour. I dedicate my success to my
parents and elder brother and now find myself at a platform with even bigger
responsibilities and challenges as never before.
Q Whom do you attribute your success to ?
A. To my eldest brother especially who has been a constant source of motivation
throughout my life span. Without whose support, I could not have achieved this.
Q. What Were your Optionals for the Civil Services Examination ?
A. Mathematics for Prelims; Mathematics and Mechanical Engineering for Mains.
Q. What was your criterion for the selection of Optional subjects ?
A. Having studied Mechanical Engg. in my graduation for 4 years, I found it a
natural choice and I felt quite comfortable with Mathematics.
Q. How did you prepare for your Compulsory papers?
A. I made a list of topics to be read, then gave them a priority based on their
importance and started from the top giving due time to each of them. This
approach was mandatorv for me as I am already in job and did not have ample
time.
Q. Competition Success Review is the largest read youth magazine in English.
How do you visualise the role of this magazine in moulding the careers of the
youth ?
A. Since my childhood, Civil Services ,specific issues particularly the column
of 'IAS Toppers Talk To You' inspired me a lot to go for Civil Services as my
career.
Q. How did Competition Succeess Review help you in your preparation for the
interview?
A. Supplements like 'My Personality Test', 'Facing The Interview Board',
'Improve Your Personality' and 'Group Discussion' give quite an original view
of the personality test and help us in assessing our deficiencies beforehand
and taking corrective measures.
Q. What is your opinion about Competition Success Review?
A. Competition Success Review is indispensable for aspirants to Civil Services
and other competitive exams. It is helping, candidates a lot. It is a part of
study material.
Q. What is your opinion about General Knowledge Today?
A. More information ' i less space is the buzzword for General Know1cdgr Today.
It provides quite handy, ready-to-use facts, database and information and as
such is quite useful during revision hours.
Q. What do you think is the better way of preparation between selective,
intensive study and wide, extensive study ?
A. Wide extensive study should be followed by selective intensive study.
Q. Is the pattern of the examination appropriate for selection ? Would you
recommend any improvement?
A. By and large, the pattern of examination is good. Efforts, however, should
be made to reduce the shell time of the whole process in line with other exams.
Q. Do you feel that there should be no restriction on the number of attempts ?
A. Current policy of restricting attempts checks non-serious candidates and
prevents flooding up of the exam. This should continue. ,
Q. With the resumption of Essay paper in UPSC examinations, we are giving four
senior essays every month. Is this focus­oriented, analytical, feature helpful
for the TAS aspirants ?
A. Definitely yes. Best way to prepare for Essay paper is through careful
reading of these well-crafted essays by top slot authors. It sharpens the
writing ability and boosts confidence.
Q. How do you think Competition Success Review could be more useful to the
candidates appearing in the Civil Services and various other competitive
examinations ?
A. At present, it focusses only on General Studies aspects. Recent trends and
practices in various Optionals should be published to make candidates more
aware. Some more model question papers should also be given.
( Courtesy: Competition Success Review. )
For a better score in the General studies paper, you need to prepare at least
five of the sections listed below very thoroughly:

1. The Indian Polity (Including the Constitution of India)
2. Indian Economics (Including a brief on all the five year plans since
independence)
3. Science & Technology in India (Including newer developments worldwide)
4. The History of Modern India (Including social reforms prior to independence)
5. Statistical data evaluation
6. Current events (Including awards, books, authors, places in news since last
year)
7. Thoughts of Gandhi, Nehru and Tagore

As the exams are due next month itself, we will not advise you to change your
strategies now. However, following is the area we would suggest you to read at
least once before the D-day.

Indian Polity:
· Q: Briefly mention why and how the Chapter on Directive Principles gained
precedence over the chapter on Fundamental Rights in the Indian Constitution.
(about 250 words)
· Q: How the President of India can be impeached? (about 250 words)
· Q: Both the Governor and the President derive their authority from the
Constitution. Who in your view has been empowered with more constitutional
powers? Site relevant articles and areas (about 250 words)
· Q: The emphasis in modern India should be on a collective federation rather
than division and separation. Discuss this statement in the context of Indian
Polity.
· Q: In 1956 the states Reorganisation Act was passed. After nearly four
decades, how far has the linguistic basis of reorganisation contributed to
national integration?

Indian Economics:
· To accelerate the reform and modernisation process of the tax system, what
are the new proposals, which the government has introduced since last 5 years?
· Critically analyse the government's policies on disinvestment of the Public
Sector Enterprise shares?
· Give a brief description of the inflation scenario during the past financial
year? Suggest measures to control the escalating inflation?
· What new approach has been adopted by the government in the Telecommunication
Sector?
· Task ahead is tougher than what it looks. Discuss with reference to the
economic reforms?

Science & Technology:
· Discuss the impact of gene mapping success on human lives? Or
Discuss in brief the "Human Genome Project?"
· What do you understand by the WAP technology in terms of telecommunication?
· After the string of recent successes, India's missile programme has added a
new dimension to the nation's capability. Briefly assess the missile programme
in the country?
· What are wetlands? What is their significance? What are the major drawbacks
confronting the wetlands in India and suggest measures for their remedy?
· What are Jet streams and El Nino?
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