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Toppers Talk

Toppers Talk – Shubham Gupta | AIR-6 , CSE 2018

Shubham Gupta cleared IAS Exam in his 4th attempt and got the 6th Rank (AIR). He gave his first attempt in 2015 but wasn’t able to clear the IAS Prelims Exam.

In 2016, he gave his 2nd attempt and cleared all the phases – Prelims, Mains & Interview and achieved 366th rank which helped him in getting placed under Indian Audit and Accounts Service.

 In 2017, he couldn’t clear the IAS Prelims Exam which was his 3rd attempt.

  • What motivated you to become an IAS officer?

I was in 5th Standard and my father came to me and said that he wants me to become collector one day.

So, I asked him ‘Who is a Collector?’. That incident made an impression in my mind and when I was in 11th standard then I realized that this aspiration of becoming an IAS Officer would help me in achieving my goals.

I completed  my schooling from  different parts of India. I completed my  elementary education till 7th standard from Jaipur, Rajasthan. Then due to financial crunch, my  family shifted to Dahanu Road, a small village in Maharashtra. 

I always wanted a life where I could work for the betterment of people and after exploring choices available, I believed this (UPSC) is the easiest and direct way in which I can do that in the most efficient manner.

  • How did you start your preparation for IAS prelims exam?

I began my IAS preparation in 2015 and I started reading the newspaper first. For the first two months, I only read the newspaper.  It helped me in gaining knowledge of what is happening around me  like Environment, National & International Affairs or Indian Economy.

Then I started doing subject-specific preparation. I chose one subject and then read the NCERT Book related to that subject. I divided the syllabus and completed the subjects one by one.

I started with The Hindu newspaper and later in middle, I also  read The Indian Express Newspaper.

  • What was your strategy for clearing IAS Mains Exam?

I started preparing for the Mains Exam along with Prelims Exam preparation. I used to give at least 2 mock tests of GS 1, 2 3, 4 papers, Optional 1 & 2 subject paper, and Essay writing paper.

I did not have enough time to study as my training was going on in Shimla. I used to get free at 5 in the evening and then I used to play for some time.

 I only studied for 2-3 hours a day. So, the thing which helped me the most was past experience and probably, I was able to analyze my mistakes.

I was able to maintain a balance between extra-curricular activities and study-plan.

  • Which questions were asked from you in your IAS Interview Round?

My interview was mainly based on the subject ‘Economics’ and out of 5 interviewers, 4 of them asked Economics and Banking based questions only.

They asked me basic concepts like Bail-in and Bail out the concept, Banking structure, Unemployment, Audit of Public Sector Banks and more questions related to the Banking sector.

The fifth female panel member asked me about my hobbies. My hobbies are to read nonfiction books and basis on that she asked me about some books.

I have heard the name of the first three books which the interviewer asked but never read them.

Fortunately, I had read the fourth book mentioned by the interviewer. So then she asked me to tell something about that book and I think I gave a good answer to that question.

  • What will be your advice for Hindi medium aspirants?

Since I chose English as the medium of Language for my interview round, so Interviewer was asking me questions in English and I also gave answers in English only.

But if you want to choose Hindi as your medium of language during interview round then it is possible.

UPSC has started giving you the option to choose the different medium of language for IAS Prelims, Mains and Interview Rounds.

Which means you can choose a different language for GS paper, different language for your optional paper and a different language for Interview round. It can be the same or different for all the three phases.

  • Your last words of wisdom for UPSC aspirants?

First of all find out what you want to do in life, and question yourself why you want that particular thing .

If you enter into the journey of UPSC, then you have to be highly dedicated towards it, you have to give your 100% into it.

I always use three words for achieving the success which is ‘Dedication, Commitment and Perseverance’. Have faith in your hard work and give the commitment to achieve your goals.