Cassian Baliarsingh

There are a lot of UPSC success stories, but some of them are truly inspiring and special. One such success story is of IAS Saumya Sharma who cracked the coveted Civil Services exam in her very first attempt despite hearing loss at the age of 16.

Her story is an inspiration for aspirants who are disheartened and on the verge of giving up. Battling all odds, IAS Saumya secured an impressive AIR-9 in the 2017 UPSC Civil Services Exam (CSE).

A native of Delhi, Saumya completed her higher education and went on to graduate from the prestigious National Law School (NLU). Unfortunately, she was only 16 when she started to lose her hearing ability. Her doctor parents tried their best to help her but to no avail.

Eventually, Saumya had to use hearing aids. However, a determined Saumya decided to become an IAS officer after she graduated from NLU. Her commitment and dedication were so great that they yielded fruit in her first attempt itself.

She was only 23 when she secured AIR-09 in the 2017 UPSC CSE, just after one year of preparation in 2016. Interestingly, Saumya opted out of the special provisions for differently-abled individuals and instead competed in the general category.

Unlike other aspirants, Saumya adopted her unique preparation strategy for the exam. She invested quality time and studied for a maximum of 6 hours per day, a major chunk of her study materials came from internet sources, focused on current affairs daily, and took mock tests of CSAT papers, read daily newspapers to keep track of the happenings in the country and around the world.

On the personal front, IAS Saumya is married to IPS Archit Chandak, the Deputy Commissioner of Police in Nagpur City.