At the age of 22, IAS officer Ankur Garg did not just crack his UPSC exams but topped them. Now, he has been awarded 171 out of 170 in the final exam of the macroeconomics course, which is a part of the two-year Masters programme that he is pursuing at Harvard University.
No, this is not a mistake. Ankur has indeed scored one mark above the total marks, and the best part is that Jeffrey Frankel, a renowned international macroeconomist, signed on this report card, validating this outstanding result.
“When I was in school, my father used to say—10 out of 10 isn’t good enough in any exam. Always strive for 11 out of 10. I hardly understood how that’s done. In the last phase (possibly!) of student life now, I end up getting this score (171 out of 170) in the final exam of the macroeconomics course.
The icing on the cake—it comes at Harvard and is signed by Jeffrey Frankel himself!” he wrote on his Facebook wall.
Speaking to The Better India about how he scored a mark above the total, Garg said, “The final exam in which I scored 171 out of 170 was for the course—’Advanced Macroeconomics for Open Economies.’ It basically deals with fiscal policy, monetary policy, financial crises, international trade, exchange rates and aggregate demand and supply models. This course is taught by Professor Jeffrey Frankel, a leading international macro-economist. He gives extra credit point for answers which he feels are better than what is required for a full score. I got these extra points for some of my answers, and consequently, my overall score crossed the maximum marks for the exam.”
An IIT-Delhi graduate, Garg had always dreamed of becoming an IAS officer.
“Since Class 3 and later during my college days as well, I had been contemplating no career option other than the Civil Services,” he told the Press Reader, adding that,
“I recall when I joined the IIT, Delhi, to do electrical engineering in 1998, the faculty coordinator asked my batchmates as to how many of us wanted to join the civil services after graduation.
Almost half of them put their hand up.”
Explaining how studying in IIT was a way for him to polish his personality and to start thinking unconventionally, Garg had said to the Hindustan Times that, “Engineering was only a stepping stone to achieving that goal.”
“I am pursuing a 2-years Masters in International Development course at Harvard. The course concentrates on rigorous training in economic and financial models to prepare the students for addressing the leading challenges in the field of development. The end goal of the programme is to create a cadre of professionals who can design technically optimal and administratively implementable policy solutions in sectors such as health, education, poverty alleviation and national monetary and economic policies,” Garg informed TBI.
In his tenure as a civil servant, Garg has been instrumental in starting a campaign against open defecation. He is also an office bearer of the Central IAS Officers’ Association and has been working to ensure that ensure that initiatives started by IAS officers are in no way deterred by the government.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)