Budding bureaucrats in our neighbourhood

Three neighbours have qualified for the Union Public Service Commission exam, the results of which came out on Sunday

By Sudeshna Banerjee in Calcutta
  • Published 12.04.19, 7:26 PM
  • Updated 12.04.19, 7:26 PM
  • 3 mins read
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Sourabh Kumar Bhuwania The Telegraph picture

Sourabh Kumar Bhuwania

Rank: 113

Age: 32

Resident of: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) quarters, Ultadanga

I have cleared the UPSC exam in my second attempt. And frankly speaking, this would have been my last. I was finding the combined pressure of work, raising a child and academics too much.

I took a decision to go for the civil services quite late in life, on seeing colleagues at RBI study for it. I was 29 then. A week before my prelims in 2017, I became a father. I could not clear the Mains. I knew if I could not clear UPSC this time I would have to stick to my RBI job so I could not compromise there. I took just a week’s leave before Prelims, 20 days’ leave before the Mains and a week off before the interview. Other than that, for 21 months, I studied for four-five hours every day. I believe success in UPSC exams is more about strategy and consistency than slogging. The first time I had sat for the exam, I was about 10 marks short in every paper. I realised there was something missing. So this time I worked hard on my writing skills. I read less, and wrote more. That gave me mental preparation as in the exam hall there is hardly any time to think before one has to start writing.

I am a commerce student and a chartered accountant by qualification. I had no idea where to seek help. I found the Institute of Civil Service Aspirants in DB Block by browsing the net. Once Jyotirmoy (Pal Chaudhuri) sir took a few classes and five-six mock interviews, I felt so much more confident. I must have got good marks in the interview round.

With my rank, I am quite sure of getting Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and I want to opt for Jharkhand as my cadre. That’s where I hail from and I want to give back to my state. Oh yes, I am a Mahendra Singh Dhoni fan. I am a regular player in the RBI cricket team.

Sushant Singh
Sushant Singh The Telegraph picture

Sushant Singh

Rank: 189

Age: 27

Resident of: Uniworld City, New Town

My father was in the Indian Forest Service and West Bengal was his cadre. So I spent my childhood in the forests of Siliguri and Alipurduar. After completing college in Delhi, I was confused whether to go for MBA or civil services. Once I took the decision in 2012, I put my heart and soul in the preparation. The first few attempts I could not clear the exam. This was my sixth attempt. The last two times, I made it till the interview round.

Whether I get West Bengal as my cadre will depend on permutations and combinations made by the department of personnel and training as well as the number of vacancies in the state.

I am currently with the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation. I was learning with each failure. I realised strategy is more important than hard work. Once I figured out what books to read and how the answers should be presented, I was better prepared. Though the scores have not come out I know my interview went really well this time. The chairman of the interview board recognised me from my last appearance.

I took leave of two months before my Mains exam and enrolled in an institute in Delhi. I revised and got my answers evaluated. I also needed local help as I had put West Bengal as my native state. I got good study material on the state from Civil Services Study Centre (run by the state government at the Administrative Training Institute in FD Block) to train for the interview. My subject of choice in the exam was public administration. The questions in UPSC are very dynamic. You can’t read a book and expect things to come from there. With my rank, I should get Indian Foreign Service or Indian Police Service. 

Sayantan Ghosh
Sayantan Ghosh The Telegraph picture

Sayantan Ghosh

Rank: 539

Age: 32

Resident of: AG Block, New Town

I am an eye specialist working in a hospital but I believe I can serve people better in the civil services. It will also allow me to bring all other facets of my capabilities into play. Though doctors appearing for UPSC is not so much of a trend in Bengal, it is more common in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. This is the second time that I have appeared for UPSC and I am not too happy with my rank. The final service allocation will take place in July or August but I am unlikely to be offered IAS, IFS or IPS. The vacancies are not that high in these cadres. So I plan to try again but I will take a break for now. Appearing for the UPSC exam is a journey and each attempt is part of the journey, which I must admit, can be an addictive one. It took me two attempts to figure what all is ‘must know’ and what is ‘good to know’ and what is ‘better to know’. The civil services coaching hub is in Delhi and much can be done online. A lot of videos and materials are available free on the Net. I also took mock tests at Trademark IAS and gave mock interviews at the Institute of Civil Service Aspirants.