Twenty-five-year-old Ajay Prakash who secured the ninth all-India rank in the Civil Services examination, the results of which were declared on Wednesday, labelled his impressive ranking as “a bolt from the blue”.
Ajay, who is currently studying M. Phil in English from Jawaharlal Nehru University, is also an alumnus of Hindu College, Delhi University, where he studied B.A. (Honours) English, cleared the prestigious examination on the first attempt. He hails from Bihar.
Giving an account of the various examinations he appeared for as part of the UPSC, Ajay said: “The preliminary examination is like a lottery, the main examination is a test of writing skills while in the interview round, it is just best to be yourself.”
Consistency is the key to cracking the exam, according to Ajay, who tried to study for four-five hours each day. “I was still pursuing M. Phil and also did not want to compromise on my social life. Still, I would have been glad even if I featured in the first 400 or 500 students. I was in fact earnestly preparing for the CSAT, the new format.”
“I greatly credit The Hindu for my success. It is certainly a must read for all Civil Services aspirants. I also credit my coaching institute,” he added.
Roughly 10 students who have cleared the examination are from JNU. According to Shuchita Kishore, who notched an all-India rank of 39 and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. from JNU, the atmosphere of the university which encourages awareness about society, independent thinking and the efforts by the student fraternity to drive social change, is conducive for IAS aspirants.
Shuchita cleared the examination on her third attempt. “Perseverance, hard work and the right guidance helped,” she said.
Meanwhile 23-year-old Aditya Dahiya from Haryana who also cracked the examination on his first attempt secured an all-India rank of 21. Aditya not only topped the All-India Pre-Medical Test, but was also the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences topper in 2010.
A junior resident doctor in neuro-radiology, Aditya, recommends studying regularly, writing well and keeping in touch with general happenings to stand a chance in cracking the examination.