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Shri Ravi Mittal, attained 61st Rank in 1st attempt in Civil Services Examination, 2015

“Sustained commitment excellent strategy and hard work are the secrets of my success

                                                                                                 -Ravi Mittal

‘Pratiyogita Darpan’ arranged an exclusive interview with Shri Ravi Mittal who has been selected in Civil Services Examination 2015. He deserves all appreciation and our heartiest congratula-tions on his splendid achievement. 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 Ravi—Thank you very much.

PD—What preference in services have you opted for and any particular reason for that priority ?

Shri Ravi—I have preferred for the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) because IAS as a service provides me the larger platform to create value in the lives of the people.

PD—‘Success is sweet’ were you confident of your success with top ranks and how did you react to this news?

Shri Ravi—I was reasonably confident of my success and I was filled with the ‘sense of relief’ on receiving the news.

PD—Today, IAS Toppers are icons and lots of media coverage makes them popular. Before your success, what was your opinion about these toppers ?

Shri Ravi—I used to learn a lot from the interviews of previous years’ toppers. They were extremely helpful when I used to chart out the preparation strategy for myself.

There are lots of success stories which influenced my journey to this result but the story of one of my seniors, Dr. Aditya Prakash (IAS Batch-2014) was particularly inspirational for me.

PD—Can you recall the exact moment when you realized the importance of Civil Services ?

Shri Ravi—While watching a show on TV, I realised how a doctor-turned-civil servant Dr. Samit Sharma in Rajasthan promoted the use and availability of ‘generic drugs’. As a result, the importance of ‘generic drugs’ is being realised all over India and government is opening up new stores.

It is one of the moments when I realised the importance of Civil Services.

PD—Finally, at what point of time did you make up your mind to make career in ‘Civil Services’ ?

Shri Ravi—Towards the end of my MBBS (medical under graduation).

PD—Was CSE a planned decision or your parents’ wish ?

Shri Ravi—It was undoubtedly a planned decision.

PD—Did you keep in mind some time-frame for the examination preparation and number of attempts ?

Shri Ravi—Once I made the decision to appear for this exam, I decided to go for an attempt as soon as I am eligible for it i.e., internship period in MBBS. Moreover, I always used to see my first attempt as being my last attempt.

PD—‘Time Management’ is a key factor while making preparations as well as in writing examination papers, be it Prelims or Main Examination. How did you manage things ?

Shri Ravi—Absolutely, ‘Time Management’ is extremely crucial for any aspect of life including the Civil Services examination.

PD—While making final choice for optional subject, what’s important and what’s not ?

Shri Ravi—It is important that one absolutely loves the subject and should be able to live with it.

PD—What was your optional subject ?

Shri RaviOptional Subject : Medical Sciences.

PD—Give the basis of selecting the optional subject ?

Shri Ravi—Medical Sciences was a natural choice for me as I had been studying the subject for last 5 years.

 PD—In how many attempts have you achieved this success?

Shri Ravi—First.

PD—The first step is the most difficult; from where did you get the right advice ?

Shri Ravi—This is the most important part of the preparation. Reading the competition magazines, various websites on the internet, talking to people who have cleared as well as ‘not cleared’ the exam goes a long way in making a ‘tailor-made’ strategy for oneself. Thorough research of the syllabus given by the UPSC and the last years’ papers imparts better understanding of the examination process and thus aids in making choices at all levels.


Name—Dr. Ravi Mittal

Father’s Name—Dr. K. C. Mittal

Mother’s Name—Dr. Manju Mittal

Date of Birth—June 13, 1993

Educational Qualifications :

10th—2008, Fatherson Public School, Chandpur Siao, Bijnor, UP (94%)

12th—2010, Delhi Public School, R.K.Puram, New Delhi (94·8)

 MBBS—2014, Maulana Azad Medical College, Delhi (61·8)


PD—What was your approach towards Paper I (General Studies) during Preliminary Examination preparation ?

Shri Ravi—I downloaded the UPSC syllabus and the last year’s Prelims papers. Subsequently, I analysed the last year’s papers and made a list of around 50-60 important topics which are repeated every year and worked hard on them first followed by the rest of the syllabus.

PD—Was there any change in plan for General Studies Paper II (Aptitude Test) being qualifying in Preliminary Examination ?

Shri Ravi—Yes, I spent less time on practicing the questions and revising the concepts of Paper-2.

PD—How did you manage to tackle the ‘Negative Marking’ in Prelims ?

Shri Ravi—Various methods like elimination method, reading the question multiple times helped me to tackle the ‘Negative Marking’ in Prelims.

PD—What shift did you adopt in your strategy for Main Examination (Written) ?

Shri Ravi—While Prelims required ‘Fact-based’ approach, Main Examination entails ‘Understanding-based’ approach. ‘Basic Knowledge with Deeper Understanding’ with adequate writing practice was my strategy for the Main Examination.

PD—How did you prepare yourself for Interview (Personality Test) ?

Shri Ravi—I worked on my ‘Detailed Application Form’, current affairs and the health related topics. At the same time, I worked on the ‘intangible’ aspects of my personality. I faced Prof. H.C. Gupta Board on 9th March, 2016.

The interview lasted for 30-35 minutes and I was mainly asked the DAF and health related questions.

PD—Were you preparing for other career opportunities as well while preparing for your ultimate goal i.e., Career in Civil Services ?

Shri Ravi—Civil Services was the only focus for me right now.

Personal Qualities

Favourite Person—My father.

Strong Point—Diagnosing complex issues and finding solutions to them, working closely with the people and the ability to go deeper into the things while being aware of the larger perspective.

Weak Point—It gets difficult to motivate myself towards mundane work and also, I pay attention towards my health.

Hobbies—Photography, Travelling and Meeting People, Baking Cakes.

PD—While the changing economic environment offers immense lucrative career opportunities in various sectors, still what kept you motivated towards Civil Services ?

Shri Ravi—Money can give you comfort but it cannot give you the happiness. It is the joy of service which kept me motivated towards Civil Services.

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 Ravi—The best time to start the preparation is after completing the graduation. One year before the Prelims is the sufficient time to start preparing for the examination.

PD—What is your opinion regarding the general view that Science subjects have better chance to score than Humanities ?

Shri Ravi—I believe every subject has an equal chance. It is the passion towards a particular subject which decides the score.

PD—What is the importance of medium of examination for exams like CSE ?

Shri Ravi—Medium is just a way to express one’s thoughts.

PD—Does the educational, financial and demographic status of the family of an aspirant have any impact on the preparation?

Shri Ravi—Digital era through the technology has reduced the gap, if it exists, and thus reducing the impact on the preparation.

PD—In your opinion what role do the Competition Magazines play when you are preparing for an examination like Civil Services ?

Shri Ravi—Competition Magazines are like a breeze giving fresh air of information and other dynamic contents. When read selectively, they are a source of vital information and boosts the confidence.

PD—How do you find Pratiyogita Darpan ? Do you find it close to your expectations ?

Shri Ravi—I found Pratiyogita Darpan an excellent competition magazine which gives insights into the various aspects of the preparation. In some cases, it even goes beyond the expectations.

PD—Being a reader of Pratiyogita Darpan, how did you find the articles written by Atul Kapoor specifically for Civil Services Examination preparation ?

Shri Ravi—The articles are insightful and talk about those aspects of the preparation which goes beyond the content. They help to understand the concept of the examination, its various aspects and acts as a moral booster.

PD—What is the secret of your success ?

Shri Ravi—Following the 3 ’S’ which are Sustained Commitment, Strategy and Support System and at the same time, avoiding the 3 ‘C’ which are Complain, Condemn and Criticise is the secret of my success.

PD—To whom would you like to give the credit for your success ?

Shri Ravi—I would like to give the credit of my success to my parents, sisters, teachers, friends, seniors and all the people with whom I have been associated with.

PD—Any suggestion/advice you would like to give to the future aspirants.

Shri Ravi—‘Khud hi ko kar buland Itna,

Ki Har Takdeer se pehle,

Khuda Bande se Khud Pooche,

Ki bata teri Raza Kya Hai’ and ‘Arise, Awake and Do not Stop till the goal is reached.’

PD—Thank you very much and wishing you all the best for your future endeavours.

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