Five Civil Service Officers from different batches share their experience of life after clearing the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)'s Civil Service Examination (CSE).
Most aspirants who chose to appear for the Union Public Service Commission’s (UPSC) Civil Service Examination (CSE) spend at least one year, if not more, on preparing for it. During that period, it is but natural for aspirants to often dream about what life after cracking the UPSC will look like.
While for some aspirants the dream was as simple as being heard, for others it was to invoke a sense of pride in their parents. We compile a few snippets shared on Quora that capture some moments that changed their life after the UPSC CSE results.
‘Do not let your self-respect deplete because of others’ taunts.’
– Minal Karanwal – All India Rank (AIR) 35, CSE 2018
Answering a question on Quora, Minal Karanwal shared a post about her father and said, “He retired after 35 years of service in State Bank of India (SBI). Because of some health issues, he could never get a promotion. But given the fighter he is, he never let his self-respect be lessened by people’s constant taunts that he is merely a ‘clerk’.”
Her father put in a lot of effort to make his kids successful. She added, “My elder brother turned out to be a very successful lawyer and I ranked 35 in the 2018 CSE.”
At the retirement party, there were several people who spoke to Minal about her father’s hard work and dedication. Some even mentioned how they saw a glimpse of her father in her.
She shared, “That was the best thing that could have happened to me. Being the reason the world respects my father.”
“This was the biggest change I saw in my life, where suddenly people address the obvious because they see a direct example of it. Because of this one reason, I’ll do whatever it takes, even further in my career, to make my parents proud. In retrospect, my hard work doesn’t seem like a burden anymore, but a privilege,” she concluded.
‘Clearing the UPSC and getting your dream job is not an end in itself.’
– Rahul Shrivastava – currently Ambassador of India to Romania, Moldova & Albania
Rahul Shrivastava wrote, “Before I sat for UPSC CSE, I had a dream and when I had cleared it, I had achieved that dream. But I soon learnt that clearing the UPSC and getting your dream job is not an end in itself.”
He added, “I had thought that the foundation course in Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA), Mussoorie, would be a cake-walk. It was not. We would get up early in the morning for our physical training and then attend a series of lectures every day from Economics to Law. After LBSNAA, the training at the Foreign Service Institute was equally gruelling. Thereafter, a six-month attachment at the Ministry, followed by foreign language training abroad. The complete training took about three years.”
“I had hoped to have some respite when I started full-time work at the Embassy. But I was again mistaken. You had to always be on your toes. This has continued posting after posting. I learnt soon enough that when one represents one’s country abroad, no issue can be taken lightly. Over the years, my service has taught me to be more responsive, sensitive to others’ problems, pay attention to details and never take anything for granted. And because we stay at a place for about two to four years, I have learnt to adjust,” he wrote.
‘It gave me a new sort of confidence.’
– Abinash Mishra – AIR 65, CSE 2017
In his post, Abinash Mishra shared how everything changed after his results. He wrote, “Clearing this exam gave me new confidence for my social startup — Sunday classes. Many volunteers are coming up to work for this startup and to promote quality education. After clearing this exam your opinion is heard and valued.”
He continued, “It feels good and I am humbled that people now listen carefully to my ideas and opinions on nation building. Finally, I feel the real journey will begin when I will work at the grassroots level — dealing with challenges that people are facing. All these years I have prepared myself for that and I feel quite excited to begin this journey of service and spreading joy.”
‘A certificate to call yourself intelligent.’
– Agam Jain – IPS Officer
Agam Jain wrote about how upon clearing the UPSC CSE the burden of appearing for such competitive examinations went away. “I was satisfied, my family was satisfied and relatives too (big achievement),” he shared.
People around him started reaching out to him for advice, often ranging from matrimonial to tips on how to clear the UPSC CSE. He shared, “Clearing the exam gives you a certificate to call yourself intelligent (which you may not be).”
In his post, he shared, “I got the chance to meet so many new people. First through social platforms, then in Mussoorie and now in Hyderabad. I got the chance to pursue other hobbies. I started reading other books, started writing satire in Hindi and even started playing tennis.”
“So, considerable things have changed but to bring to your notice, all these changes are the external changes. I don’t know how much I have succeeded, but I try to keep the internal depth as intact as it was earlier. At the end of the day, what matters is our character and not the rank/post,” he wrote.
‘Once you reach this platform, do not mimic the behaviour that you once despised.’
-Nikhil Srivas – AIR 1016, CSE 2016
Nikhil Srivas described himself as a middle-class, small town guy who spent his infancy in a rented single room. He wrote, “My story is of a lower middle class student whom no-one knows and cares about, other than his family.”
Despite his humble beginning, he was lucky to have a father who provided him with everything that he needed.
From never stepping foot in an airport until he cleared the UPSC CSE, Nikhil shared his experience of travelling by air to Canada, Shimla, Chennai, Coimbatore and Hyderabad. “This might not seem to be a big thing for a quarter of Indians, but for the rest like me, it surely is. That is exactly how my life has changed,” he shared.
Clearing the exam also instilled a sense of confidence in Nikhil. He added, “There are many things that changed and many that didn’t. I am still a person who realises what hunger is. What feeling left out feels like, and how your needs and demands change just because of a price tag.”
He asserted, “Once you reach this platform, do not mimic the behaviour that you once despised. Do not aim to become a good officer alone, but grow as a good person. Be someone whom a 15-year-younger YOU can think of as an icon.”
(Edited by Yoshita Rao)