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GSS PRAVEENCHAND AIR-64 | UPSC TOPPER'S JOURNEY | JOURNEY OF IAS-UPSC TOPPER

CANDIDATE PROFILE-

NAME- GSS PRAVEENCHAND
RANK IN CSE-2018 AIR-64
CLASS 10 90.88 %
CLASS-12 95.8 %
GRADUATION (ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING FROM IIT PATNA) 92.3%
NO OF ATTEMPTS IN CSE 3
OPTIONAL SUBJECT MATHEMATICS
MEDIUM OF MAINS WRITING ENGLISH
MEDIUM OF INTERVIEW ENGLISH
AGE 26 YEARS
HOME TOWN/CITY AMLAPURAM,EAST GODAVARI, ANDHRA PRADESH
WORK EXPERIENCE YES. WORKED AT A SOFTWARE COMPANY, WAS SELECTED IN INDIAN INFORMATION SERVICES IN UPSC CSE 2016.
WORKING WHILE PREPARATION YES

FAMILY AND EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND

Praveenchand is a resident of Andhra Pradesh.His father was a ration shop dealer and his mother was a housewife. Unfortunately, his mother and father both are no more.

He was a very intelligent student from his childhood as we can see from the percentage of marks scored by him in 10th and 12th standard. He is an Electrical Engineering graduate from IIT Patna.

WHY CIVIL SERVICES

The main source of inspiration for Pravenchand was his mother. His mother always used to tell him that family is not only those people with whom we live but entire society is our family. Also, during his college time as a student leader Praveenchand realised that doing public service gives him real satisfaction. And hence, he decided to become a civil servant.

NUMBER OF ATTEMPTS

This was third attempt for Praveenchand in which he secured AIR 64. Before this he gave two attempts earlier. In his first attempt due to improper planning and less revision, he could not clear the mains examination. Again, in his second attempt though he cleared the exam but he made so many calculation mistakes due to which he could score only 263 marks in optional paper and had to contend himself with rank 512. He worked on his mistakes and was able to score 324 marks in optional in his third attempt. He cleared the UPSC CSE examination with AIR 64 in his third attempt.

STUDY PLAN AND SCHEDULE

Since, he was in a full-time job while giving his third attempt, he used to study mostly on weekends. He kept his study materials limited and did not indulge into social media or with too many online study groups. He used to spend 2 to 3 hours online for preparation daily for only important source.

On managing work and studies together he suggests aspirants to-

  • Find time during breaks and read newspaper
  • Try to make notes online as its easy to revise during office hours and during commutation
  • During weekdays wake up early and utilise the time to study as it is hard to study after office hours due to tiredness.
  • During weekends utilise his full time for studies.

PRELIMS STRATEGY & BOOKLIST

• STRATEGY

Praveenchand asks aspirants to keep their strategy simple


BOOKLIST-

Ancient and Medieval History Old NCERT
Modern History BIPIN CHANDRA – India’s struggle for Independence,Old NCERT
Culture Fine arts NCERT, CCRT website
Geography NCERT Class XI and XII
Polity DD BASU, Class XI NCERT – Indian Constitution at Work
Economy NCERT – Indian Economic Development, SRIRAM BOOK
Environment Class XII BIOLOGY (Last 4 Chapters), THE HINDU current affairs
General science 6-9 NCERT, THE HINDU current affairs
Government schemes & others THE HINDU and Big Picture Debate on RajyaSabha TV
Current Affairs THE HINDU

MAINS STRATEGY & BOOKLIST

• STRATEGY


BOOKLIST-

GS-1 Art and Culture- Fine arts NCERT
Modern History Old NCERT for ancient and medical, India’s struggle for independence by Bipin Chandra from modern India
Post-Independence Post-independence India NCERT
World History Vision IAS world history booklet
Indian Society NCERT – Indian Society
Geography- NCERT + Mrunal Geography lectures by Rajtanil Solanki Ma’am
GS-2 Polity, Constitution (static) D.D. Basu introduction to the constitution of India
Governance Vision IAS test series questions
International Relations The Hindu and MEA Website
GS-3 Economy- NCERT & SRIRAM IAS Indian Economy, Economic Survey & Budget
Environment and Ecology- Vision IAS Test series questions
Science and Tech The Hindu and Google, Ministry of Science & Technology Website
Disaster Management The Hindu + NCERT Indian physical environment book last chapter on disaster management,
National Security Sriram IAS notes on security + The Hindu
GS-4 Theory Ethics Integrity & Aptitude by Arihant Experts
Moral Thinkers Ethics Integrity & Aptitude by Arihant Experts
Disaster Management Ethics Integrity & Aptitude by Arihant Experts
Case studies- Ethics Integrity & Aptitude by Arihant Experts

ANSWER WRITING APPROACH-

Praveenchand givesvery much emphasis on practicing answer writing and developing own writing skill. For answer writing he suggests aspirants to-

  • Write answer in Introduction-Body-Conclusion format. It helps examiner to check answer easily.
  • Write your answer as it is expected from a civil servant
  • Present your answers in diverse manner
  • Use bullet points and paragraphs as and when required in your answer
  • However, you must keep in mind that the most important factor in your answer is your content
  • Use diagrams in answers wherever it demands
  • Use the fixed space given to answer the question very aptly
  • Lastly, don’t fill your answer sheet with rubbish, it gives creates a bad impression about you in examiner’s eyes.

Links to his online notes

  • https://www.evernote.com/pub/saipraveenchand/gs1
  • https://www.evernote.com/pub/saipraveenchand/gs2
  • https://www.evernote.com/pub/saipraveenchand/gs3
  • https://1drv.ms/u/s!AhpLpE_G660ukFuwupwngA7Yvhpm (OneNote, he made some of these notes with his iPad and Apple Pencil)

ESSAY –

Majority of the content for essay comes from general studies itself. So, if one is thorough with general studies papers, they will be able to write decent essay. Apart from knowledge, writing skills also matters in the essay. Praveenchad says he was not very good in writing skills so he could not score very good marks in essay. He mainly prepared essays category wise like health, education, economy, women, society, philosophy etc. For this he picked up categorised topics from previous year’s question paper from Mrunal’s website. On every topic he prepared a rough draft and kept revising from there. While writing essays in mains exam he picked one factual and another philosophical topic to write on. His basic strategy while writing essay was to follow an Introduction, Body and Conclusion approach. He sticked to this approach for both of the essays. He tried to end the essays on a positive note or with a solution. This also helps you present yourself as a solution-oriented person in front of the examiner.

OPTIONAL PAPERS STRATEGY & BOOKLIST-

STRATEGY


BOOKLIST

INTERVIEW STAGE-

For interview he went through all the key words used by him in his DAF. He prepared a note on all those key words and prepared answers of all possible questions from there. He used to practice in front of mirror and also used to record his practice and watch it later to improve himself.

He prepared current affairs from The Hindu and Indian Express. Beside this he also followed Big Picture Debate on RajyaSabha TV and on You Tube.

He had also attended a couple of mock interviews to get himself comfortable with the process. As per him the only purpose of mock interview is practice. As the official interview question, environment and level of anxiety is totally different. He also suggests aspirants to not to take mock interview feedback too seriously and keep preparing themselves at their best.

His interview continued for 30 minutes. He was asked question on his home town, Patna, corruption, cryptocurrency, darknet, Saudi-Pakistan relation and from his optional subject.

OVERALL JOURNEY

Praveenchand says he enjoyed the whole UPSC journey, beginning from preparation for prelims to the phase of interview. He says the whole process was full of learning and hard work. It helped him know himself better and become a better person at personal level.

ADVICE FOR FUTURE ASPIRANTS-

He says all the aspirations must be very clear with their priorities in life. “If civil services are your passion, then try as hard as possible. Don’t get demotivated at any point. If you work hard definitely success will be yours.”