“Hard Work, patience, emotional and psychological support from family, friends and teachers are the secrets of my success”
‘Pratiyogita Darpan’ arranged an exclusive interview with Shri Sachin Gupta who has been selected in Civil Services Examination 2017, conducted by Union Public Service Commission. He deserves high admiration and our heartiest congratulations on his splendid success. This important, thought-provoking and highly inspiring interview is being presented here in its original form.
PD—Achieving top slot in the coveted Civil Services Examination is no small feat; accept our heartiest congratulations on your splendid success.
Shri Sachin—Thank you so much.
PD—In how many attempts have you achieved this success ?
Shri Sachin—Overall I have given 3 attempts. In the first I missed interview call by 12 marks and in the second attempt, secured 575 Rank and in the 3rd I got 3rd rank.
PD—You achieved the desired success in this attempt; how do you visualize your previous attempts ?
Shri Sachin—I believe each attempt has its important role and taught me number of lessons that not only enriched my orientation for civil services but also for becoming a better human being.
PD—What was your optional subject ?
Shri Sachin—Optional Subject : Anthropology .
PD—The basis of selecting the optional subject.
Shri Sachin—Three things : (1) Whether you like the contents of the overall syllabus
(2) Marking pattern in recent years.
(3) Appropriate guidance, not necessarily coaching but it could be seniors, previous years’ toppers or others as well to build perspectives in the subject.
PD—What preference in services have you opted for ?
Shri Sachin—Top 3 preferances are : (1) IAS, (2) IPS and (3) IFS .
PD—‘Success is sweet’ – Were you confident of your success with top ranks and how did you react to this news ?
Shri Sachin—This year I have changed lots of things while preparing and I was hoping I will be doing exceedingly well in each sphere and it happened as well.
I almost cried when I saw my results, it’s like dream come true but I also realized it’s not just a job or position but service for those who everyday see administration with expectation, for building a better future.
PD—Today, IAS Toppers are icons and lots of media coverage makes them popular. The top rankers are admired by all for their accomplishment and are a source of inspiration and motivation for future aspirants. Before your success, what was your opinion about these toppers ?
Shri Sachin—Toppers of any competitive remains are role models for the aspirants. I believe each one of the toppers needs to be a mentor for all those who may not be able to crack the examination and let build the structure where all those who may not able to afford expensive coaching institute will be able to make it.
PD—Can you recall the exact moment when you realized the importance of Civil Services ?
Shri Sachin—Pointing out any particular one moment would be difficult but when I was in college there was a society named Pratigya which used to teach students from unprivileged background and there I was shocked to see that some of the students of 5th standard were not able to do the simple addition of 2+2 and I didn’t know how to explain it as well.
That day I realized there is something bigger waiting for all of us. And I discussed these things with my parents, friends, teachers. I realized civil services is the way to be the change to correct these small things that can actually transform India to an inclusive and equitable society and from there on journey started towards civil services.
PD—Was CSE a planned decision or your parents’ wish ?
Shri Sachin—It was a planned decision and here I would request all the parents as well let your children explore the world, let them find their goals & excel in it.
PD—Did you keep in mind some time-frame for the examination preparation and number of attempts ?
Shri Sachin—I believe most of us come up with 1 year strategy only but sometimes things didn’t go the way we wished and made us give more attempts.
PD—’Time Management’ is a key factor. How did you manage things ?
Shri Sachin—Here I believe scheduling is a critical factor in this. Although I believe it should be based upon individual strengths and weakness yet here I would share mine.
I used to make broad targets for 3 months and then break it to each month and then to a week and then to a day. That way one is able to keep motivated as well as accountable at the end of the day.
Father’s Name—Shri Sudarshan Pal.
Mother’s Name—Sushma Gupta
10th—2007-09, CBSE (89·8)
12th—2008-09, CBSE (82·8)
B.E.—2009-13, Thapar University (84·8%)
PD—The first step is the most difficult; from where did you get the right advice?
Shri Sachin—Discussion with friends, parents, teachers can shape out the way and in today’s age of internet we have many good websites which helped in answering initial doubts.
PD—What was your approach towards ?
Shri Sachin—For GS PAPER I (General Studies) Three things :
(1) Choosing the right resources: NCERTs, Standard books by renowned authors and Self short notes.
(2) Revise –Revise–Revise.
(3) Solve last 10 years’ question papers and one good test series For GS Paper II (Aptitude Test) Solve last 5 years’ previous year papers.
PD—How did you manage to tackle the ‘Negative Marking’ in Prelims ?
Shri Sachin—I tried to solve papers in 3 stages: in the first I tried to mark only those that I was confident about and in the second I tried to solve with elimination method. That one can learn with extensive practice of solving papers after completing the basics.
PD—What shift did you adopt in your strategy for Main Examination (Written) ?
Shri Sachin—Overall Strategy was to cover each and every topic of syllabus (we often leave many). And then making charts for each keyword and subtopic along with facts and current events. Second important phase is doing the writing practices because at the end of the day we have to convince the examiner who will be judging through those 150-200 words. So those words should show best of us. For my optional subject Vaid sir (Vaid’s ICS, Delhi) extended the support for covering Anthropology effectively. Vajirao and Reddy Institute helped me a lot for the final preparation.
PD—Was there any special effort for effective preparation for ESSAY Paper ?
Shri Sachin—I would not say that I had any special efforts for essay but here we need to find out our strengths and weakness. If one feels good in articulating things and choose philosophical topics otherwise one can choose straight forward essays.
PD—How did you prepare yourself for Interview (Personality Test) ?
Shri Sachin—Personality is a stage where one should be utmost clear about oneself right from family to the important events happened in the life.
Further I would say take this as a stage of discussion rather than question answering session. And don’t fall into to the trap of showing that one is not.
My interview Board was Smita Nagraj Ma’am. It lasted for 30-35 minutes. Most of the questions asked were about my present service, Indian Coporate Law Service.
PD—Were you preparing for other career opportunities as well while preparing for your ultimate goal i.e., Career in Civil Services ?
Shri Sachin—I haven’t prepared for other competitive examinations.
PD—While the changing economic environment offers immense lucrative career opportunities in various sectors, still what kept you motivated towards Civil Services ?
Shri Sachin—I believe civil service brings the opportunity to be the change and fulfils all those aspirations that we all have about our country as well as our society, and the sense of satisfaction at the end of the day should be the ultimate criterion for choosing career.
PD—In your opinion at which Educational Level should one start preparing for Civil Services and what should be the minimum period of time required to prepare for Civil Services Examinations ?
Shri Sachin—Whenever he or she feels it’s the career that they want to aspire for. If they are not sure just ask a simple question “Why do you want to be a civil servant”. Answer it honestly; if one can satisfy oneself, time has come to start preparing.
|Favourite Person—Many in different fields ranging from Mahatama Gandhi to Nelson Mandela to Sachin Tendulkar to E Sreedharan
Strong Point—Hardwork + Persistence.
Weak Point—Want to work over emotional stability.
Hobbies—Playing & watching Cricket and watching documentaries.
PD—Does the educational, financial and demographic status of the family of an aspirant have any impact on the preparation ?
Shri Sachin—I think this year’s result shows that more than individual’s background hard work pays. A girl from Sonipat, who is mother of a child clears it, myself a son of a farmer from one of the backward districts of state came 2nd and 3rd in the examination. It busts this myth of a lucrative background for civil services.
PD—In your opinion what role do the Competition Magazines play when you are preparing for an examination like Civil Services ?
Shri Sachin—Keeping oneself updated about current affairs and updating notes for the same.
PD—How do you find Pratiyogita Darpan ? Do you find it close to your expectations ?
Shri Sachin—It is good.
PD—What is the secret of your success ?
Shri Sachin—Hard work + Patience + Emotional & Pschological support from family, friends and teachers.
PD—To whom would you like to give the credit for your success ?
Shri Sachin—My Parents, my family and all my teachers who taught me right from my childhood.
PD—Any suggestion/advice you would like to give to the future aspirants.
Shri Sachin—Take this as a journey to transform oneself or at least prepare oneself to be a change agent. Just keep hard working and don’t lose out patience.
PD—Thank you very much and wishing you all the best for your future endeavours.
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