Saurabh Bhawania from Jharkhand stunned everyone when he cleared the UPSC in 2018 in his second attempt with an AIR of 113.

The reason: he did this while being a parent and working in the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Here is his inspiring story.

Following an MBA from the University of Delhi, he worked at Capgemini for 1.5 years before joining RBI Kolkata in December 2016.

During the preparations for the RBI tests and interviews, he realised his interests lay in more than just banking.

“I always wanted my work to benefit people,” he says. So, when he was 29, he decided to take a risk and start preparing for UPSC.

Two months into the preparations, Saurabh received the happy news that he and his wife Parul were expecting.

With limited time on hand, he relied entirely on self-study and would use his coffee and lunch breaks to read the news.

Just a week before prelims in June 2017, Saurabh and Parul were blessed with a baby boy.

Still, Saurabh managed to clear the prelims with 117 marks. But, unfortunately, he did not clear the mains. “But something told me to give it another try,” he says.

So, he began preparing for UPSC 2018, with a more organised and practical plan that allowed him to spend time with his family.

“I had no expectations, and I knew I had my job to fall back on.”

On 9 April 2019, he received a piece of news that changed his life — he had cleared the UPSC exams!

“It was overwhelming and unbelievable,” he says.

To all those who are preparing for the UPSC exams, Saurabh says — It does not matter if you are a parent or a working professional. —Willpower and discipline are two of your biggest strengths, exploit them wisely.

—Always keep a backup option. —Maintain the continuity, and you are halfway there.