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Toppers Talk

Toppers Talk – Sachin Gupta | UPSC Topper AIR-3

Sachin has topped in UPSC exam 2017  with all India rank of 3. Sachin’s father Mr. Sudharshan Gupta has a business in agriculture. Sachin’s mom Mrs. Sushma Gupta is a teacher in a primary school.

Sachin did his Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering from Thapar University (Patiala) in 2013.

In his first attempt in 2015 he couldn’t clear the Mains.

In  the second attempt (2016) of UPSC, Sachin scored 575th rank and secured himself in the India Corporate Law Service.

In 2017 Sachin secured 3rd rank in his third attempt.

Question– From where the inspiration came to prepare for UPSC and there is a story from your parents that you were very motivated by Lal Bahadur Shastri. You appeared in the CAPF exam, but you couldn’t clear it, had you got frustrated that time?

Sachin: Frustration is part of the whole process, and this phase comes to everyone, I also feltlike this thousand times and sometimes I used to think whether I will ever be able to come out of this vicious cycle or not.

In 2016, I appeared in CAPF and I had this belief that I will get through it. But, unfortunately I was not able to clear the physical round of  it and I went into depression because of it.

Don’t let this depression phase become your stumbling part.

I had studied in DAV School and studied about  Swami Vivekanand and many other  leaders.

I think it is important to learn ethics and morality as their level is decreasing day by day.

Teachers in our school used to give us motivational messages on a daily basis based on these legendary leaders.

Question– From where this inspiration of getting into Civil Services came to you?

Sachin– I appeared in IIT-JEE, cracked it, but not able to a get a good rank, so my father said that you just need to get a good college, and you can clear UPSC afterwards, that was the first time I heard about UPSC.

Question– I have heard that you have taught weaker sections and underprivileged sections.

Sachin-When I was in the final year of my college and was done with placements, I had a lot of free time. One of my friends called me to the college organization Pratigya. As I like maths a lot, I taught mathematics to the underprivileged students. I was shocked to see that student of 5th standard was not able to get simple concepts of maths like subtraction and addition. I think government schools indispensably need to be rectified.

Question-From where you started your preparation of the study and what to study?

Sachin– I had worked for Maruti for two years (2013-2015). When I first landed to Old Rajindra Nagar for books, I was appalled, as everywhere you look you can find books and students.

I did the course in  Ethics, cause I used to find it tough.

I started my preparation for UPSC from the internet. I used to follow Mrunal’s YouTube channel in the beginning and completed Economics and Geography from Mrunal. Hence, I completed my basics for NCERT.

I watched your video (Ravi Agrahari) in Science and Technology.

One advice that I would like to give is to leave your preparation of Mains Answers’ writing before 2 months of prelims.

Scheduling  your time is very important with defined targets.

Question-How to develop writing answers for the Mains?

Sachin – Grammar and Spellings should be correct. I went to Insight IAS, Bangalore for answer writing practice. There was an elevation of 80 marks in my third attempt.

My advice to the aspirants is to go to Insights (Banglore) only when you are completely done with your preparations. You will not get time to study there by self, cause you have to give 3 tests in a week.

Question – Can you brief about Indian Corporate Law Service?

Sachin – This is a new service, started in 2010 through UPSC. Earlier it was through lateral hiring. Work content of this job is very good. The balance sheets of companies are being opened and  we have to  analyze whether the annual reports are correct or not, whether the money of shareholders is utilized properly or not.

I put the preference of these 6 services as follows:

  • IAS
  • IPS
  • IFS
  • IRS
  • Auditor account
  • IRTS

Question – How did you prepare your notes?

Sachin – I didn’t make any notes. In the beginning I used to prepare  PPT’s for my topics and used to revise the same later.

What I found similar to the strategy of the top 25 rankers is that they picked a singular topic and covered it completely. Suppose, I pick a topic NGO. Now covering everything about it, from facts, important case studies, controversies, all  the technical terms related to it.

Question– What are your choices for the  Cadre.

Sachin – I have kept

  • Haryana in Zone 1
  • Maharashtra in Zone 2
  • Jharkhand in Zone 3
  • Telangana in Zone 4
  • Assam, Meghalaya in Zone 5

Question– How many of your questions in interview were related to Indian Corporate Law Service?

Sachin – 50% of my interview questions were related to Indian Corporate Law Service,  one of the panel members was amazed by listening about  Indian Corporate Law Service  and wanted to know more about it.

The questions asked were mainly opinion based. Some questions were from banking reforms, artificial intelligence, international relations and agriculture.

Question – Was there any more inspiration in the meanwhile?

Sachin – One of my seniors from the school had cleared NDA and joined the Indian Army. He gave me a very clear idea about the army that the job is very nice and has a ‘work-life balance’ thing.

I appeared in eight SSBs in the past but couldn’t clear.

Question – I have heard that you are very much inspired by your father, what would you like to say on this.

Sachin-If I become 10% of my father, I think I will make a dent in life and the world.

My father used to reimburse the fees of the workers’ children who used to work for my father. My father have always supported a lot to me.

My hobby is playing cricket. I have taken my inspiration from Sachin Tendulkar, I have read a lot about him in his books. I have read his biographies and autobiography and they are very inspirational to me. One thing that I have learned that It is very important that you rise after every fall.

Question– What preparation tips  would you like to give to students?

Sachin – I gave UPSC prelims thrice and cleared prelims every time.

I used to  get nervous and uneasy one day before the exam and this is a normal thing. Plan out everything. What you have to do  is believe in yourself and perform your best in the exam. Don’t worry, just relax.

After giving mains for the first time, I thought that there might be some problem with my optional and I should change it.

  • First time appearing in UPSC, I had public administration as optional and could not clear the Mains by 10 marks.
  • In second attempt I changed my optional to anthropology and secured 311 marks.
  • In the third attempt having anthropology as an optional I got 339 marks (the highest marks was 350).

I had an average score in General Studies and my score in Essay was not up to the mark, it was 118.

I went to Banglore(Insight IAS) and used to write answers daily and  gave the tests on alternative days.

In the second attempt I got 406 in General studies  and in the third attempt I got 456.

In the second attempt I got 118 in Essay and in the third attempt I got 141.

Majorly 80 marks elevation was there in the results.

Now, the biggest hurdle that came into my way was of the personality test.  The personality test motive is to see how much you know yourself, e.g. why are you coming into the system, you should have the clarity of what you are doing, you should have a clear picture of everything with whatever you have done in your life.

If you have cleared the Mains (UPSC), you must have knowledge of giving answers to opinion based questions. Some channels like, Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, All India Radio will help you a lot in it.

Question – What would you like say to the  Hindi medium students? I have seen, out of 1200 students in a coaching of UPSC (in Hindi) in an institute only 3 were selected. What is your opinion on this?

Sachin – I would like to say that, take this fact out of your mind that it is difficult for Hindi medium students to crack  UPSC.

You have to do the preparation for yourself. It’s all about you, don’t copy. Everyone is unique.

I would like to share an example of 424th UPSC ranker  Ankurjeet SA (Specially Abled Person) category he has prepared from the Audiobooks.

Women’s play a very important part of our lives, equality should be maintained with everyone, whether it is a boy or girl. Girls bring positiveness in our lives.

Thank You Sachin and all the best for your future from Study IQ family.

Moving towards Sachin’s parents

Mother – He was very quiet and innocent, her sister helped him a lot. They all were very bonded to each other.

Father– He was always  very confident and diligent in his preparation.

We are very happy with this news.

There should be no differentiation between girls and boys.