[Topper’s Interview] Anshul Kumar (Rank-293/CSE-2015) Public Administration, SSC Excise Inspector, IFS Rank 97, Ghaziabad

UPSC Topper Anshul Kumar

[Topper’s Interview] Anshul Kumar (Rank-293/CSE-2015) Public Administration, SSC Excise Inspector, IFS Rank 97, Ghaziabad

  1. Candidate Profile
  2. Education
  3. Introduction
  4. Electronic Vs Paper material
  5. Tempo and style
  6. Struggle of a Senior player
  7. Prelims (CSAT) General studies
  8. Prelims (CSAT) Aptitude
  9. Prelim accuracy
  10. Mains: Compulsory language paper
  11. Mains: Essay
  12. General Studies (Mains) paper 1
  13. General studies (Mains) paper 2
  14. General studies (Mains) Paper 3
  15. General Studies 4: Ethics, Integrity, aptitude
  16. Mains answer-writing?
  17. Mains Optional Subject & NOTES
  18. Before the interview
  19. During the interview
  20. CSE-2015 Marksheet
  21. Career Backup
  22. Views on UPSC reforms
  23. Insecurity about profile
  24. Wisdom
  25. Credit: Friends/family
  26. BOGUS Marketing Propaganda

Candidate Profile

Q. Details
Name Anshul Kumar
Rank in CSE-2015 293
Roll No. 0135145
Age 25 years
Total attempts in CSE (including this one) 4
Optional Subject Public Administration
Schooling Medium English
College medium English
Medium chosen for Mains answers English
Medium chosen for Interview English
Home town/city Ghaziabad
Work-experience if any NA
Details of other competitive exams, including success/failures Selected in Indian Forest Service 2015 – AIR 97, SSC Excise Inspector 2015, KRIBHCO(2012)
Details of coaching, mock tests, postal material for any competitive exam (if used) Vajiram and KSG for GS ; Synegry and Lukmaan for Public Administration
Service preferences (Top-5) IAS >IPS>IFS>IRS(IT)>IRS(Customs)
state cadre preference (Top-5) UP>MP>RAJ>HAR>BIHAR

Education

% in class 10 85.3
% in class 12 84.8
Graduation course and % 83.6
Name of college, city, passing out year MNNIT ALLAHABAD,2012
Post-graduation NA
Any other professional courses NA
Hobbies & Extracurricular achievements Teaching kids, Playing Basketball, Writing movie reviews

Introduction

Q. Tell us something about yourself, your family, when and why did you enter in this field of competitive exams?
UPSC Topper Anshul Kumar

I am a native of Kanpur (UP), but my upbringing has been in Ghaziabad . I did my B.Tech (Electrical Engg) in 2012 from MNNIT. The dream to become an IAS officer was of my father , and as I completed my B.Tech I got mesmerized by the coveted “Civil Services”- the avenues it provide to help poor and marginalized (your single stroke of pen will bring revolutionary changes on ground ) , the status and respect society attaches to it  motivated me to crack this exam . My father is in UP Govt (Labor Dept, Ghaziabad) . This exam is less like a sprint and more a marathon , so In those weak moments , you need family and friends which believe in you , even when you start questioning yourself and here I feel blessed to have a family who had unwavered faith in me and continued to encourage me to crack this exam.

Electronic Vs Paper material

Q. In recent times, there is spur in electronic material- blogs, sites, pdfs, RSS-feeds. Many aspirants feel bogged down by this information overload. So, how much do you rely on electronic material and how much on the paper material (Books, newspapers)? If possible, narrate a typical day in your studylife. What is your style of preparation (e.g. I continue making notes no matter what I’m reading, I just read multiple times but don’t maintain notes, I make mindmaps on computer …or xyz style).
“Keep it simple”- You will find large no. of sources to refer to both on web and in the market .But you have to be very selective in choosing these. I read the basic  Ncerts and other recommended books first .After that when I was preparing a topic , I researched on it  from different sources (including web)…scribbling down the important points on my core notes . In this way while my notes had real juice , I didn’t have to worry that I may be missing on some points on the subject.  Once you have made notes on a topic , resist the urge to read it from a new source again. Because your time of preparation is limited, so instead of trying to gain finesse on one topic, use it productively on other areas of study .For eg –Inclusive growth(IG) topic : Generate some questions by yourself- What is IG, What are components of IG ,How to achieve it , 12FYP on IG, Amartaya sen’s view , PM’s view etc….Once you have exhaustively prepared the notes on this topic , just revise it again and again and don’t get impatient every time you see a new article on IG. Just tell yourself I have covered all dimensions, I don’t need to read this  . In this way you will cover more in less time.
Also from the core notes , I prepared Synoptical notes. In this , I wrote just keywords related to a topic on some A4 sheets .My last moment Revision was limited to these sheets only. I have my synoptical notes on World History , Post Independence History and Public Admin. Hope it will be of help to you .

Tempo and style

Q. People know what books and syllabus points are to be prepared. But most of them lack consistency in their preparation. So, how do you keep study momentum going on? How do you fight against the mood swings and distractions?
Some aspirants believe that you have to atleast score 10-12 hours of studies daily. Yes some may do it daily , but I wasn’t .Yes on my good days , I would go even beyond 12 hours, but this is not regular. You will have those days also when you feel depressed , lost (“bas yar bahut  ho gaya , kya laga rakha hai”).So in these days I ensured that I read the newspaper , make its notes and than chill – do whatever you feel like- Your one hour on concentrated study will be more productive than day dreaming in front of a book for 10 hours. But you have to be sincere – once you have taken a day off , promise yourself that I’ll make up for it , in the next 3 days and work hard. Some of my friends followed another strategy –They studied hard for the week and took Sunday off as a reward and the cycle continues.

Struggle of a Senior player

Q1. How did you survive through this mental prison and what’re your words of wisdom to other senior players? If any specific inspirational incident(s), please share.
I was very optimistic that I will clear the exam. So at no point of time I was worried, even after 3 failures 2012-2014 I never had a feeling that it is a tough exam and out of league for me . The reason for this is , inspiration from my fellow friends who were not brilliant  -or IIT IIM passout- and I saw them clear the exam with Top 100 ranks only by their resolve ,will and passion to be an IAS officer. Also never allow negative feelings to get to you .For this always be in  company of optimists , talk to your family and close friends regularly , watch motivating videos , go  for running /do yoga/meditation. Don’t allow others to tell you , you cant do it .Just have faith in yourself -”I am the captain of my fate, I am the captain of my soul “.

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