I ALWAYS USED TO TELL YOUNG MINDS FROM MY AREA, “WE BELONG TO INDIA, A DEVELOPING NATION, FROM BIHAR, 2ND MOST POOREST STATE OF INDIA, FROM PURNEA, ONE OF THE MOST BACKWARD REGION OF BIHAR”. SO WE DON’T HAVE ANY OPTION, IF WE WANT TO IMPROVE YOUR LIFE THEN GO FOR EDUCATION, THE ONLY AND THE EASIEST TOOL THROUGH WHICH WE CAN CHANGE OUR LIVES.
IT STARTED IN THE MOSQUE. Fortunately, the Moulvi Sahab Moulvi Mushtaq was a learned man. Apart from basic Islamic education, he taught me Persian, Hindi and English. My father’s wish was that I should continue Islamic education and mine also but it was not the destiny. A change of heart and I was admitted to a school in a remote town, Forbesganj, in class 3 at the age of 12. Just after 2 years, I was in class 9. By the grace of Allah passed 10th just with 1st division. Even for clearing AMU’s +2, I prepared for few months and cleared it. Later, I took admission in Diploma Engineering (Architecture) and completed it in 4 years.
In 2006 I moved to Delhi and started my job in a call centre, a move I am still regretting. The aspiration to join civil services which started when I was in 10th class, took me to IGNOU for a Graduation Degree in History, my favourite subject and an optional paper for UPSC. After completion of my graduation in 2011, I gave my first attempt without any preparation. In 2012, I left my job and seriously started preparation and got selected in Jamia Millia Islamia’s government funded coaching programme. That was a great boost for me and truly the reason that I am writing this.
Marks I scored in UPSC
ESSAY (PAPER-I) 106
GENRAL STUDIES -I (PAPER-II) 105
GENRAL STUDIES -II (PAPER-III) 099
GENRAL STUDIES -III (PAPER-IV) 074
GENRAL STUDIES -IV (PAPER-V) 094
OPTIONAL-I (LIT.OF URDU LANG) (PAPER-VI) 110
OPTIONAL-II (LIT.OF URDU LANG) (PAPER-VII) 133
WRITTEN TOTAL 721
PERSONALITY TEST 162
FINAL TOTAL 883
RANK – 744, SERVICE – IRS – IT
PRELIMS OR PT:
Although I didn’t qualify in my first attempt but I think it is the easiest part. Just concentrate on NCERT books with previous year UPSC papers. Try to mark which questions were asked from which topic. Vishal publications questions help immensely as they are providing questions subject wise. Read a book many times with microscopic eye and concentration like a chess player or Rahul Dravid.
BOOKS I REFERRED:
- Indian Polity-Laxmikanth as many times as you can.
- Modern History-Bipin Chandara India’s struggle for independence I have read it more than 10 times. After 3 times it took me only 3 days to revise it.
- Ancient history and culture-R. S Sharma
- Geography – 6-12th NCERT with notes. I will upload it shortly.
- Economy – Zulfiqar Sir’s notes available in delhi. Economic Survey without datas.
- Environment – Ncert+Mrunal.org + newspaper and internet.
- Current Affairs – The Hindu & All India Radio, a simple mantra “ newspaper is as important as your daily Namaz”.
With the change in syllabus, I dropped history and went with Urdu. The single reason is – I was more comfortable in it. Don’t choose it due to any myth. It requires the same labour and time as any other subject.
Books I referred:
- Urdu ki lisaani tashkeel- Mirza Khaleel Beg.
- Urdu nasr ka tanqeedi mutala – Sumbul Nigar
- Urdu shayri ka tanqidi mutala – Sumbul Nigar
- Jamia Millia Islamia’s Urdu material for UPSC available in library.
- AMU’s urdu material for same purpose.
- Gaudan – Premchand
- Apne dukh mujhe de do – bedi
- Ghubar e khatir – Moulana Azad
- Intakhab e khutoot e ghalib.
For other books in syllabus like Bagh o Bahar—Mir Amman, one doesn’t need to read the book, just refer the story from any commentary on this. Many are available in the market.
- Baal e Jibreel – Allama Iqbal.
- Intekhab-e-Kalam-e-Mir — Abdul Haq
- Sahrul Bayan —Mir hasan
- Sharah-e-Diwan-e-Ghalib —- yusuf salim chishti
- Bal-e-Jibrail (Iqbal) Sharah—yusuf salim chishti
- Gul-e-Naghma — Firaq
- Dast-e-Saba—- Faiz
- Bint-e-lamhat— Akhtarul Iman
Just read the selected ghazals or nazm. Refer UPSC paper and search on internet about the important poems in these books. I took help of my colleague, Modassir Shafi bhai, my senior.
Also, Keep it simple and simple. Instead of reading a lot of books, read one book many times. Prepare your own notes as per the UPSC questions and write it many times.
- Culture – NCERT Ancient, murnal.org, Roman Saini’s notes available in delhi.
- World History – Old NCERT of Arjun Dev. Just read it, don’t try to mug up.
- Modern History – Bipin Chandra
- History after Independence – Bipin Chandra
- Society – NCERT and newspaper, IGNOU material for MA course. Vision website has demarcated it chapter wise.
- Geography- NCERT.
- Indian Polity-Laxmikanth
- IR –from Newspaper with proper notes. Make separate notes for separate countries like India-China, India-Nepal relation, India and G 20, its consequences. India and other forums’ relation and impact on India.
- Newspaper & All India Radio
- Indian Economy – Zulfiqar sir’s notes and economic survey, murnal.org
- Newspaper & All India Radio..most important.
- Science and Technology – newspaper and government policies and programmes.
- Internal Security – newspaper, idsa website and internet on topics like internal security, naxal issues and cyber security.
- IGNOU MA materials. Consult vision website for book and chapters.
- Administrative Reform Commissions report, selected chapters on ethics and corruption.
- Internet for thinkers like Buddha, Mahavir, Ambedkar and other important thinkers.
- For case study CL case study materials.
In your answer try to quote Indian constitution as much as possible. Give frequent relevant examples.
Practice as much as you can. Previous year questions are best available materials for practice. Get evaluated it by any senior or faculty. Try to compare your first and other essay on same topic – best tool for improvisation.
My score was not good in interview. So no deep suggestions. Prepare your background details and current affairs. Questions asked to me:
- About home districts, my high school
- Why low percentages and gaps in education?
- A lot of technical questions from architecture – reason for low mark
- About girls entry in AMU library. What do you think?
- Coalition politics. Bad or good?
- Fodder scam, coal tar scam, why coal mafia in Bihar?
- Urdu is a Muslim language? Urdu is dying? Names of non Muslim Urdu writers.
- On my hobby table tennis
- Money bill. How it differ from other bills?
- Land acquisition bill.
My interview lasted around 40 minutes. Questions were opinion based. They wanted to know my opinion on these issues. Environment was very cordial and simple.
Keep the preparation simple and basic. Read only relevant topics and chapters.
Would like to take few names:
- GOPI NATH CHAUBE: (IRS – IT) More than 40 years of age. His daughter is in graduation 1st Don’t think how he was eligible in that age. Just think how much concentration he has to pay in that age that too with a private job as a sales manager in a garment store.
- REEBHA JOHN: only 23 year old, first attempt, IAS MP cadre,
- Venu: The first completely visually challanged IFS officer of India, 32 rank
- AMIT KUMAR SHAHNI (IRTS): 35 year old, has sells from crackers to chowmin on the street of Kolkata, get selected for clerk in DVC, later as inspector in income tax.
The list goes on and will always goes on. Nothing can stop you if you want it. Allama Iqbal has said:
Zameen o aasmaan o arsh o kursi
Khudi ki zad me hai saari khudaai.
All the best.
Do you want to know more about how to qualify IAS IPS? know this on YouTube channel “freecademy”