“Honest effort is the corner stone of virtues”
Ms. Ruchi Srivastava who attained 3rd Rank in her 2nd attempt in Uttar Pradesh Judicial Services Examination, 2015; in an important, exclusive, thought-provoking and highly inspiring interview; attributes concentrated hard work and matchless guidance, motivation and inspiration of well wishers to the secrets of her success. Extracts of the interview:
On confidence of success in this examination and reaction to this news of success:
I was pretty sure about the selection and also I was anticipating a good rank. So, Rank 3 in UP Judicial Services Examination is not less than the dream coming true. Truly speaking I didn’t get time to react as within minutes of declaration of result my phone started ringing continuously and I was overwhelmed by the wishes of near and dear ones. I felt as nothing in life can be so wonderful. I was on the top of the world.
On the number of attempts in achieving success:
This was my second attempt in UP PCS (J). Earlier I had appeared in MP Judicial Services Examination where I managed to secure 20th rank.
On having read toppers interviews in newspapers and magazines, one that inspired the most; and particular success story which influenced your journey to this result:
I definitely read various interviews of toppers, but didn’t exactly remember any in particular. I always tried to adapt their idea of being motivated, composed and contented during the preparations.
On approach towards Paper I (General Studies) and Paper II (Law) during Preliminary Examination preparation and division of time and effort for each:
The prelims of UP PCS (J) consist of two papers i.e., Paper I (General Studies) and Paper II (Law). My strategy for prelims was entirely different from that of mains. After several failed attempts when I analyzed my lacunae, I realised that the current exam pattern requires smart study along with the hard work.
Preliminary Exam is all about accuracy, the more accurate you are, the higher is the chances of getting through. Law Paper in prelims requires only and only Bare Act reading as many times as possible, along with objective solving with any standard book.
On tackling ‘Negative Marking’ in Prelims:
There is no negative marking in prelims of UP PCS (J), so it didn’t require any extra effort. But, yes. I always tried to be as accurate as possible. None of my answers were without any reasoning and logic.
On the first step being the most difficult to prepare & getting the right advice:
No doubt “The toughest thing in this world is to start.” But I was more than sure in my career choices so I didn’t face any such problem as to how and from where to start. The next big thing is regarding the selection and compilation of study material. There are unlimited materials and books available in the market and each one of them consists of more or less the same content with different patterns.
So it becomes most important to shortlist the books and materials instead of every time switching from one book to another. In case of doubt as to what to read and what not I always had the guidance of my elder brother Rishabh Srivastava. For preparing for the mains, no doubt coaching helped me a lot. Rahul Sir of Rahul’s IAS always guided and motivated me during my stay in Delhi and following his advice religiously is one of the key factors in my success.
On achieving the desired success in the attempt and visualizing previous attempts:
Learning is a continuous process; it never stops either with success or with failures. From my previous attempts I tried to evaluate my weaknesses and tried to work upon the weaker areas with improvised strategy to hit the bull’s eye.
On adopting a shift in strategy for Main Examination (Written):
According to me, self-made notes are the best material to read and revise upon. Since the beginning of my preparations, I started making subject wise notes which contained all the issues, cases and recent developments with respect to any particular topic. I have never read books for the law paper as I find class notes of coaching along with my summarized notes were more than sufficient.
|Name: Ruchi Srivastava
Father’s Name: Shri Rajendra Kumar Srivastava
Mother’s Name: Smt. Reeta Srivastava
Date of Birth: May 6, 1988
10th: 2003, UP Board, Govt. Inter College (67%)
12th: 2005, UP Board Govt. Inter College (69%)
B.A. (Hons.): 2008, Banaras Hindu University Mahila Mahavidyalaya (64%)
LL.B.: 2011, Banaras Hindu University, Faculty of Law (72%) (Gold Medalist)
LL.M.: 2015, Kurukshetra University, Faculty of Law (61%).
(1) Civil Judge, MP Judicial Services Examination.
(2) Law Officer in IDBI Bank selected through IBPS.
On special effort for effective preparation for ESSAY Paper:
Essays in this kind of competitive exams come generally on the current topics which were in the issue within two-three months before exam. I tried to read and summarize the points and factual data based on any topic. My target during preparation was to cover one topic per day.
The topic which I chose to write in exam was ‘Global Warming’ as I had read this topic several times before and I had collected the facts, data and efforts done globally and at national level to curb the menaces of global warning.
On ‘Time Management’ being a key factor in preparations, facing problems during preparations and managing things:
Time management plays an important role, and this is the factor upon which the crux of the game lies. I have divided separate time for first phase study, second phase study and also for revision. Revision should not be overlooked.
By this strategy I never felt short of time. Similarly, in mains examination, I divided time for each question and tried to strictly stick to it.
On preparations for Interview:
As interview is clearly a personality test, I have not done any specific preparation. The only thing which I was clear in my mind is that I have to be confident during the interview but not over-confident. I tried to answer questions in a calm way which I knew, and said sorry for those which I was not sure about. My interview was on 26th of May and it went pretty well. It lasted for around 20 minutes. Firstly, I was asked some questions on my previous job and then it confined strictly to law questions.
On preparing for other career opportunities as well while preparing for ultimate goal i.e. Career in ‘Judicial Services’:
Initially I tried to explore other career opportunities along with Judicial Services preparation and got job as Law Officer.
On Motivation towards ‘Judicial Services’ despite other lucrative opportunities in changing economic environment:
I always wanted to be a Judicial Officer, so any other career option does not look as lucrative as this. This is not only the dream of childhood; rather I feel that the respect and honour which this service provides is second to none.
On impact of educational, financial and demographic status of the family of an aspirant on preparation:
One should start preparation during their LL.B, which is the best time to understand law and clear the concepts.
|Favourite Person: My mother. Because she is the only person who taught me to see dreams and motivated that I could do anything which I wanted.
Strong Point: Positive attitude towards life, strong-willed
Weak Point: Short-tempered
Hobbies: Gardening and Cooking.
On importance of medium of examination for exams like ‘Judicial Services”:
The medium of examination doesn’t play an important role. It is merely a mode of expression and one should choose that language in which they are fluent.
On exact moment of realizing importance of ‘Judicial Services’:
I wanted to be a Judicial Officer since the time I was not aware as to how to become a Judicial Officer and what course I needed to pursue.
On the point of time of making up mind to make career in ‘Judicial Services’:
I have not thought of becoming anything other than a Judicial Officer, so, I cannot exactly point out any particular time.
On time-frame for the examination preparations and number of attempts:
Yes, obviously time frame was there, and also attempts are limited in UP Judicial Services so unlike other state’s exam, proper planning and its compliance within the required time frame is required.
On UP PCS (J) being a planned decision or your parent’s wish:
It was the wish of entire family to see me as a Judicial Officer.
On impact of educational, financial and demographic status of the family of an aspirant on preparation:
To be true, yes it does have an impact. But, if you are clear with your goals and you are determinate in your ambition, nothing can stop you. It is just a matter of some extra effort.
On role the Competition Magazines play in preparing for an examination like ‘Judicial Services’:
It helps in checking the level of preparation, gives an idea of the pattern of examination, and keeps you updated with current issues.
On finding “Pratiyogita Darpan” close to expectations;
PD is a magazine which every aspirant should read. It can be said to be the Bible for current affairs and daily updates. It is exploring its reach in the interior most areas of the country being the most loved magazine. Not only does it fulfil the expectation of its readers but also provides with knowledge in diverse fields, and is informative w.r.t. each and every minute details of the day-to-day happening of India and world.
On being a reader of “Pratiyogita Darpan” opinion on the constructiveness & relevance in other competitive exams of articles related to IAS preparation:
Yes, I daily have a glance on the articles published in PD. They are very helpful in constructing our ideas and develop a new vision to look at simple things in different possible and best ways.
On comments on the “Pratiyogita Darpan” Extra Issues Series on ‘General Studies’ and few other optional subjects:
I have referred to some extra issue series of PD, in which Polity is my favourite. The way it is compiled, it fulfills the requirement of exams in which I was appearing and it never required to refer to any other book on that particular subject. I have also read Extra Issue of History, Geography and Economics, all are equally good.
On the Secret of Success:
The secret of my success lies in the faith and hope of people who trusted me and kept on motivating me even when I felt low. I was always told that I can do this and it was the biggest inspiration I could get.
On giving Credit for success:
There are so many people who are my support system. The strongest pillar of my life is my parents who trusts me blindly, my elder brother Rishabh Srivastava kept on guiding me during my preparations, my younger brother Rishant Srivastava, always reminded me how to be focussed towards my goal. Every effort could go in vein if it lacks proper guidance, that guidance and the light to move in right direction was given by my mentor cum guide Rahul Sir of Rahul’s IAS.
On suggestions/advice to future aspirants:
Never ever get disappointed at any point of life. To stay positive and motivated are the key factors which keep life going. If you have chosen to flare in this field, consistent effort is required. Never get distracted from whatever life throws at you. Every aspirant works hard, the only factor which creates difference among them is ‘consis-tency’ in their hard work. Have faith in God, there is some invisible force which keeps us going and assures that nothing wrong can happen, if we are honest in our effort.
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