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Uttarakhand Boy Cracks GATE in 1st Attempt While Working at Pakora Shop!

Uttarakhand Boy Cracks GATE in 1st Attempt While Working at Pakora Shop!

In a place like Pipalkoti which lacks coaching centres or an atmosphere conducive to exam preparation, the student cracked the competitive Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) exam in his maiden attempt!

Success comes to those who persevere. And Sagar Shah, from the village of Pipalkoti in Chamoli district in Uttarakhand, is a testament to that. Shah, who completed his class 12 from a government school and moved onto pursue a diploma in civil engineering from Dehradun, hails from a simple middle-class rural family that owns a small yet renowned Shahji’s Pakora Shop in Pipalkoti’s main market.

Like many rural youth around him, Sagar Shah could have opted to take up a job that sustained him and his family.

But his eyes had bigger dreams.

Uttarakhand boy works pakora shop cracks GATE exam rules india
Sagar Shah. Photo Credit: TBI Hindi/Sanjay Chauhan

Currently pursuing his engineering degree in Kotiyalsen, Chamoli, the youngster became a source of inspiration for the aspiring, hardworking and meritorious students in the small town.


In a place like Pipalkoti which lacks coaching centres or an atmosphere conducive to exam preparation, the student cracked the competitive Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) exam in his maiden attempt!

No mean feat, considering that he achieved it while attending college and helping out in his family’s ancestral store. The youngster attributes his success to the unwavering support of his paternal uncle, Lalit Shah, father, Mohit Shah, his mother and his teachers.

Speaking to Sanjay Chauhan, for The Better India, Hindi, Sagar adds how the hills have untapped potential and talented students. All that is required is more self-belief and a lot of hard work.

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What is the GATE exam?

GATE is an examination that primarily tests the comprehensive understanding of various undergraduate subjects in engineering and science. It is conducted jointly by the Indian Institute of Science and seven IITs at Roorkee, Delhi, Guwahati, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Chennai (Madras) and Mumbai (Bombay) on behalf of the National Coordination Board-GATE, and Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD), Government of India.

The GATE score of a candidate reflects her/his relative performance level. The score is used for admissions to various post-graduate education programs (e.g. Master of Engineering, Master of Technology, Doctor of Philosophy) in higher education institutes with financial assistance provided by MHRD and other government agencies.

Recently, GATE scores are also being used by several Indian public sector undertakings for recruiting graduate engineers in entry-level positions. It is one of the most competitive examinations in India.

  • Who can apply?
  • Bachelor’s degree holders in Engineering / Technology / Architecture (4 years after 10+2/ Post-B.Sc./ Post-Diploma).
  • Final year students of graduate courses in STEM disciplines can also appear in GATE 2020 exam.
  • Master’s degree holders in any branch of Science/Mathematics/Statistics/Computer Applications or equivalent and those who are in the final year of such programs.
  • Candidates in the second or higher year of the four-year integrated Master’s degree programs (Post-B.Sc.) in Engineering / Technology.
  • Candidates in the fourth or higher year of the five-year integrated Master’s degree programs or Dual Degree programs in Engineering / Technology.
  • Candidates with qualifications obtained through examinations conducted by professional societies recognised by UGC/AICTE (e.g. AMIE by iE(i), AMICE(i) by the Institute of Civil Engineers (India)-iCE(i)) as equivalent to B.E./B.Tech.)
  • The exam duration is of 3 hours, and contains a total of 65 questions for 100 marks.

From 2014 onwards, the examination for all the papers is carried out in online Computer Based Test (CBT) mode where the candidates are shown the questions in a random sequence. The questions consist of both Multiple Choice Questions or MCQs (four answer options out of which the correct one has to be chosen) and Numerical Answer Type questions or NATs (answer is a real number, to be entered via an on-screen keypad and computer mouse).

Candidates are provided with scribble pads for rough work and these have to be returned after the examination. At the end of the three-hour window, the computer automatically closes the screen.

What skills are tested?

  • Verbal Ability: English grammar, sentence completion, verbal analogies, word groups, instructions, critical reasoning and verbal deduction.
  • Numerical Ability: Numerical computation, numerical estimation, numerical reasoning and data interpretation.
  • Engineering Mathematics (not for all Papers)
  • Technical Ability: Technical questions related to the Paper chosen

The examination gives negative marks for incorrect MCQ answers, while there is no negative marks for NATs.

GATE results are usually declared about one month after the examination is over. The results show the total marks scored by a candidate, the GATE score, the All-India Rank (AIR) and the cut-off marks for various categories in the candidate’s paper. The score is valid for three years from the date of announcement of the GATE results. The score cards are issued only to qualified candidates.

Know more here.

Originally published by contributer Sanjay Chauhan, for The Better India Hindi. Click here to read the original.

(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)

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