Raja Yaqoob Farooq, AIR 274, CSE 2013 (IRS)


I belong to a remote village in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir. After completing my 10th from local school, I joined Aligarh Muslim University in 2004.I completed civil engineering in 2011 with CPI of just little above 7. Though got recruited in some company during campus placements, I didn’t join and instead pursued M Tech in Hydraulic engineering at AMU only. After completing 3 semsters (Dec 2012). I took permission from my guide Prof. Muzzammil and went to delhi for preparations and after giving my mains came back and completed my dissertation but unfortunately couldn’t give external viva as I cleared UPSC.

Preparation of CSE

By the blessings of Almighty Allah I cleared civil services exam(CSE 2013) in my first attempt with AIR of 274, though I was expecting IPS, I got IRS(IT). Initially, I was not that much motivated towards CSE but my family especially my mother as well as uncle motivated me and I decided to prepare for this exam. Civil services provides ample opportunities to impact the life of so many people in a meaningful way which is difficult in most of the jobs. Moreover social recognition is very high one becomes hero overnight and you get aware of direct working of government.

Message to youth and Civil Service Aspirants-

Believe in yourself, have faith on your ability. Remember those who clear this exam are very much like us but what is needed to clear this exam is dedication, hard work and perseverance. Trust me if you really work hard, make better strategy you will clear this exam. There are no shortcuts to clear this exam but right approach can save lot of time and energy.

Prelims strategy

List of books/study material:

  1. Indian Polity- Laxmikanth (read it as many times as you can) and also newspaper
  2. Modern History- NCERT class 12 (Bipin Chandra) + A brief history of modern India (Spectrum )
  3. Ancient history and culture :I didn’t study this portion but NCERT class 11 is good and also you can go through ccrt.gov.in
  4. Geography- I have personally read only NCERT books but my friends also recommend Gou Cheng Leong
  5. Economy – Sriram coaching notes and newspaper
  6. Environment – Shankar IAS Environment book + Independent Googling
  7. Science and Technology – I didn’t study this portion but can be covered From newspapers and vision ias coaching material
  8. Current Affairs – The Hindu/The Indian Express+ Yojana magazine + Mrunal website+ vision ias current affairs notes.

Mains Exam

 Optional Strategy (URDU)

For Urdu, I relied mostly on standard text books prescribed in syllabus. I didn’t join any coaching for urdu. I gave quite lot of time on writing practice.

Paper 1 (124 marks)

  1. Mirza khalil Beg (Urdu ki lisani tashkeel)
  2. Sumbul Nigar (Urdu Nasr(prose) ka Tankidi Mutala)
  3. Sumbul Nigar (Urdu Shayri (poetry) ka Tankidi Mutala)
  4. Shouri Fun
  5. Israr sir coaching notes
  6. Jamia millia islamia coaching notes

Paper 2 (73marks)

For paper 2 one needs to read all the books prescribed in syllabus.

For poetry one should develop interest and study some good translation of Ghalib and iqbal.

Test Series

I didn’t attend any test series but I believe one should write enough tests before the real exam. Jamia Millia as well as hamdard study circle conducts lot of tests in urdu.

GS strategy-

Long term reading these days is the single most important way of achieving good results in GS papers. One should read widely from various sources like newspapers (The hindu, The Indian Express), magazines (Yojana and Kurukshetra ).

GS Paper 1

  1. Culture – I skipped most of the culture here too
  2. World Hitory – arjun dev
  3. Modern History-spectrum
  4. History after Independence – India since independence by Bipin Chandra
  5. Society – Newspapers and NCERT class 12 sociology
  6. Geography – NCERT class 11 and also Gou Che Leong+ ALS physical geography GS notes

GS Paper 2

  1. Indian Polity-Laxmikanth
  2. IR – From Newspapers + Mrunal
  3. Newspapers

For paper 2, newspaper is key as paper 2 is mostly based on current affairs

GS Paper 3

  1. Internal Security – vajiram coaching material
  2. Economy –Sriram coaching material + mrunal(newspaper must)
  3. Environment and science tech again newpaper is must
  4. Vision ias current affairs notes

GS Paper 4

  1. Read vajiram and vision ias material plus take few tests. Focus on your analyzing and reasoning part


Write at least 4-5 essays before exam. Try to be simple as well as a logical. Paragraphs in essay should be well connected. Write a good introduction and conclusion, bring as many dimensions as you can, do not contradict yourself while writing.


Interview in my view is usually a reflection of oneself. To perform well, one should know about:

  1. Oneself – Place to where one belongs, Family Background, school, college, job, current place of stay etc
  2. Subject studied in College
  3. Subject taken as optional
  4. One’s own job if working or ever worked
  5. Current Affairs specially in the fields of economy, international relations, current social happenings, recent laws etc

Moreover luck does play a great role in this exam so keep praying to Almighty and certainly he does answer the prayers when you need them.

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December 4, 2019

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