Prince Dhawan UPSC 2011 3rd Rank

Optionals: Electrical-Engineering & Public Administration

22-year-old Prince Dhawan, who aced this year's Civil Services by finishing third among says “I never had a second plan because if you do then that makes you comfortable with failure,” he says matter-of-factly. Price has never let failure happen to him, ever. “I was a topper all my life, I topped the Central Board of Secondary Education, I got a gold medal in IIT for being an all-rounder,” he says.

From Chandigarh has made Delhi his home for years now, IIT-Delhi being the place where he first thought he might actually make a good IAS officer. “When I was in third year, I first started thinking about it,” he says. Two of his best friends were his study companions. Combined studies more often than not result in a party of sorts but not for this serious trio. “We had, you know, certain rules,” he says cryptically.

Their “Code of Conduct in study hall” proclaimed: “Less talk, more study, no teasing remarks on each other's study habits and daily schedules, no use of laptop in study hall without headphones, no use of laptop during dinner” are only some of the commandments. The last one reads: “Maintain silence and peace of mind.” The most important for this exam.

On a sadder note he says that “The only thing marring my happiness is that these friends have not made it this year. We were together since school, then we went to IIT, and then we started this also together,” he discloses.

So what really clicked for Price? “The personality test was the toughest. It is not something that can be learnt from a textbook, it is based on who you are and how you present yourself.” So how did Price, who so carefully planned his study schedule, manage? “Well, reading newspapers like The Hindu everyday. I did not read it, I studied it thoroughly. I made notes and hated to miss even one page,” he says.

With newer sections like periscope and The Hindu's presentation having become more creative, its indispensability has again been underlined in this exam.

Courtesy: Civil Services Chronicle