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Keep these in mind while preparing for UPSC

Written by The Optimist

India being a young aspirational country is a land of dreams. Many aspire to be an IAS or IPS officer to make a difference. Though lakhs of candidates choose to apply for the Civil Service Examination conducted by the UPSC only a handful get selected and are able to fulfill their dreams.

The Optimist team gets in touch with some IAS and IPS officers to understand the core values one must have to make it into the Service.

Listen to the SDM of Ballabgarh, Faridabad, Haryana

Aparajita IAS, a 2018 batch IAS officer of Haryana cadre said, “I have never been of the mindset from the beginning of my academic career that anything cannot be achieved.” 

Aparajita IAS, SDM Ballabgarh, Faridabad

“When you set your mind on something and you are determined to reach that goal you have to work towards it systematically,” she advised.  

While talking about the qualities that helped her achieve her dream she said, “I think patience, hard work, a very strong willpower and determination coupled with a positive mindset helped me achieve my goal. I think these strengths have helped me not just in UPSC but in other things as well, in whatever I set my mind to.”

Aparajita IAS is presently posted as the SDM of Ballabgarh at Faridabad district, Haryana.

An advice from the ACP of Barrackpore Police, West Bengal

Soumyadip Bhattacharya IPS believes that ‘hardwork’ coupled with patience and dedication helped him crack the Civil Service exam and stepping into the shoes of an IPS officer. 

Soumyadip Bhattacharya IPS, ACP Barrackpore Police Commissionerate

For the aspirants preparing for the UPSC his message is, “You should first have the vision and set your goal. At first you need to see yourself as an IAS or IPS officer and then work towards achieving your dream.” Soumyadip is a 2017 batch IPS officer from the West Bengal cadre presently posted as the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Barrackpore Police Commissionerate.

Learn from the Deputy Commissioner of Anjaw, Arunachal Pradesh

“Humility is very important for an aspirant,” said Ayushi Sudan, a 2017 batch IAS officer. “It helps even in the later parts of your career. You need to have good demeanour, otherwise you will face issues with some person or the other which will in turn affect your work as well,” she explained.

Ayushi Sudan IAS, DC Anjaw

Ayushi Sudan acknowledges that the exam is difficult and one faces many struggles or ups and downs during preparation. However she says, “The key is that you should never give up. You need to continue, persist and persevere.” 

Sudan also laid stress about having a balance in life while preparing. “Do not make your whole life about cracking this exam. You need to balance your personal and professional life at every step of your journey, as an aspirant and later on in life as well,” she added. 

Ayushi Sudan IAS is from the AGMUT cadre. She is presently posted as the Deputy Commissioner of Anjaw district in Arunachal Pradesh. 

A revelation from the Collector of Banaskantha, Gujarat

When asked about what quality every civil service aspirant should have, Anand Patel IAS, the Collector of Banaskantha district, shared, “I think samvedanshilta or sensitivity is the key factor that should be present in every officer and I believe this quality helped me achieve my goal.”

Anand Patel IAS, Collector Banaskantha

“I think a person who wants to be a good officer should be sensitive enough towards what is happening around him and the needs of the poor and desperate,” he said. “If you are passing through some place where a deprived individual is present and your heart is not moved, it is not a good sign. You should have the feelings and try to find his requirements and then help him out of the crisis,” he explained.

Incidentally Anand Patel IAS was asked the same question in his UPSC interview.  “This was one of the last questions I was asked during my interview and I replied the same. I believe the panel liked my answer,” he mentioned. Patel is a 2010 batch IAS officer of Gujarat cadre.

A tip from the SP CID, Gandhinagar, Gujarat

Saurabh Tolumbia who is a 2007 batch IPS officer from Gujarat cadre said ‘willpower’ is the most important attribute of a civil service aspirant. “Whatever the circumstances or whatever are the odds, if you have the never-say-die attitude then no one can stop you,” he explains. 

Saurabh Tolumbia IPS, SP CID Crime, Gandhinagar

Tolumbia IPS also laid stress on being ‘doubly-sure’ of oneself before pursuing the goal of being a civil servant. “Once you are sure, you should give your 100 percent and not 99.99 percent. If you give your 100% to any goal you can achieve anything,” he said. Tolumbia is presently posted as the SP CID Crime, Gandhinagar. 

It is well known that students preparing for the UPSC should study hard, practice writing answers regularly and revise diligently. Apart from knowing which books to read, how to strategize your study or how many test series one should solve, it is important to understand what qualities are expected from you as a civil servant and the values the Service entails. This would help not only to contribute to the glory of the ‘steel frame of India’ but also help strive to be a better version of yourselves. 

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