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Rashmi Ranjan

It's failure that gives you the proper perspective on success. Going by the term, Shubham Kumar from Bihar’s Katihar district topped the civil services examination 2020 with 52.04 per cent marks.

“My dream to become an IAS officer and serve the underprivileged has been realised,” he said after securing top position in the civil services examination in his third attempt.

Sharing his success mantra, the 24-year-old Kumar said, “Staying focused and persistent are the key to success.”

“My dream was to get into the IAS as it gives a wider platform to work for the betterment of the people. It has been realised and I would like to work for the underprivileged people, especially in rural areas,” Kumar added, who is currently undergoing training at the National Academy of Defence Financial Management (NADFM), Pune.

Sharing details of his preparations for the exam, Kumar said, “I rented a flat in the Rajendra Nagar locality of central Delhi and prepared for the examination with the resources available on the internet.”

“I never stepped into a movie theatre since 2017. Moreover, I used to step out of the flat only twice during the four months of his preparation for the main examination. Apart from discipline, methodical planning too helped me to stay focused. I made daily and weekly goals, and slotted dates to assess my preparations. Before retiring at night, I would write my goals for the next day. I used to study 8-10 hours a day,” India Today reported quoting Kumar.

Soon after finishing his Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from IIT Bombay, Kumar started preparation for civil services examination conducted by the UPSC (Union Public Services Commission) and appeared for the test in 2018, but could not clear it. 

Proficient in Physics and Mathematics, Kumar made a strong come back in the prestigious examination in 2019 and secured 290th position in the second attempt, securing the Indian Defence Accounts Service.

Not satisfied with his performance, Kumar appeared in the examination again in 2020 with Anthropology as his optional subject and secured the top position in the UPSC examination, results of which were declared on last Friday.

A total of 761 candidates, 545 men and 216 women, have cleared the examination conducted by the UPSC in three stages- preliminary, main and interview to select officers for the Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service and Indian Police Service among others.

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