Conversation with the IAS Toppers 2016 Part-1

Roman: Civil service examination is considered one of the hardest examinations in the country Every year 8-10 Lakh people apply and fill the form, but only 1000 of them get selected Today we have 3 of the toppers of the IAS 2016 batch to discuss why do they want to become an IAS Officer their preparation journey & the role of Civil Services in India. Dr. Artika Shukla Shashank Tripathi Gazal Bhardwaj So, thank you all for joining us & congratulations on cracking the Civil Services Examination so-called the mother of all examinations I know it has been more than 2 months, but still, I’ll ask What is the feeling, what did you feel after cracking this exam, Artika? Artika: I felt great, it was unbelievable, and truly speaking, anyone sitting for this exam, wouldn’t expect something like this to happen I had in fact filled this year’s form too.

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I was that skeptical & scared But….. I had not eaten the entire day, the exam result came at 4’o clock I was totally flat on my bed; hoping, praying that something happens expecting that somehow I get my name on the list when you see it….when you see that you are in the top ranks it’s unbelievable… I can’t tell you I feel luckier, I would confess that I felt more lucky than happy. I feel very blessed. That’s the feeling right now Gazal, many toppers start to see their name from the bottom onwards What was your take on this?

Gazal: I was at that time, I just finished a Shimla trip And came to Chandigarh, and I was again…waiting for the result to come But then, that feeling you know is very difficult to explain When it flashes, and your name is there And, you’re so much at peace, that peace maybe, I will never be able to explain to anyone As of now, after so many days, now… yes… the feeling has started to sink in And, I’m also feeling excited about the foundation course which is about to begin And, the best part is, the satisfaction that you see on your parent’s faces is, again, beyond words. Shashank, you have cracked this before also, did you find anything different this time? Shashank: Actually, more than being happy, I was disturbed how I got such a high rank I wasn’t expecting it, at all For a few days, we were awaiting the results.

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I was in a session, in academy So what happened there was, I just got out, and I got a call from inside from my friend you got rank 5 I told him to check properly Then he asked me, whether I am only Shashank Tripathi… And I said yes, it’s me. Then after that, I told him it could be someone else too….And then I told him my roll number Then I believed it was me. I was shocked, and people started congratulating me and then I finally accepted it. Roman: For my next question, I want you guys to be really and brutally honest. Why do you want to join IAS, like, for many people, it is social status, prestige, some do it for power, fame, glory, dowry…. So, what is your reason, Shashank? Shashank: Many of my relatives told me that I am good at studies and I should go for IAS But I wasn’t interested until my final year of college But then I had a huge fat break-up… during my final year of college So…. I was thinking of this small issue and revolving it around my life So after that, I decided I would go for something substantial So I thought what could be more substantial?

Then I thought of preparing for IAS Because you can do a lot of things… The changes you notice on the ground level, like, While walking around, you will identify a lot of mistakes that need improvement or correction But you can only give it a thought…. And IAS actually gives you an opportunity to implement it. So that is the motive behind it. Roman: So, Artika why IAS? Artika: I was well on my way to becoming a doctor I was doing MBBS very religiously, I was a nerd in my college days. After that, I gave a PG exam, I got into my subject of choice But somehow down the lane, I realized, these were manufactured interests When I used to work there… I would really say that the reason to go for anything in life, should be something that moves you, something that makes you sit up. Or something that can get your blood running. And after I went there, I realized, this is something where you can work for the issues that move you. Let it be anything. Big or small, you can work for education, for a girlchild, for dogs, I love dogs!

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I have thought about it a lot, I want to do something for stray dogs. So I think IAS is a platform where you can work for anything that motivates or moves you. This is the USP that no other service can provide. This is the reason why I left a place where I had invested 7-8 years of my life So yes, this was the motive. Gazal: I needed a field where I could get knowledge about all the fields I wanted to know about everything, which was existing. So one, this quest for knowledge…. The other was the kind of work or diversity in which I wanted to work for the kind of personality I have, where I see myself after 10 years So this is how I got interested in this field. Roman Saini: So I’ll continue this question that, You belong to Uttarakhand, UP.. that kind of area where most of the people prepare for social status prestige, fame, power, parents will be happy, get a good dowry… or whatever might be the reason Do you think if it is sustainable when they prepare for long years like these are the reasons that can motivate them down the line, Shashank?

You have read the newspapers every day, of course, you are intelligent now. But, you should not give up. That is the trait that people should implement. Roman: So, Gazal, everything under the sun is asked in the prelim examination. How can one prepare for this exam? Gazal: See, for prelims, I would say rather than going for a secluded strategy, we must plan instead. We must plan how we are supposed to integrate… prelims preparation with our mains preparation as well as the interview.

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