IAS Topper Tips-Alok Ranjan Ghosh, 2010 Batch

“Perseverance, strong resolve and sincere efforts are the secrets of my success.”

‘Pratiyogita Darpan’ arranged an exclusive interview with Alok Ranjan Ghosh who has been selected in Civil Services Exam. 2010. He has achieved 10th rank. He deserves all admiration and our heartiest congratulations on his splendid success. This important, thought provoking and highly inspiring interview is being presented here in its original form.

Name: Alok Ranjan Ghosh

Father's Name: Prakash Chandra Ghosh

Mother's Name: Smt. Shovna Ghosh

Date of Birth: 03 − 12 − 1980

Educational Qualification:

10th: 1996, CBSE, KV Chennai (88.4%),

12th: 1998, CBSE, KV Jalpaiguri (75.2%),

BVSc: 1999 − 2005, Tanuvas, University, MVC, Chennai (85.0%)

PGDM: 2005 − 2007, SIU University, SIMS, Pune (74.0%).

Previous Selection: IFS 2010 Rank-23.

Personal Qualities:

Favourite Person: It is difficult to point anyone in particular. Everyone had his or her share in my success.

Strong Point: My self-belief

Weak Point: I am a bit perfectionist which does pull me back at times.

Hobbies: Waste crafting, Painting, Collage making.

PD: Achieving top slot in the CS Examination is no small feat; accept our heartiest congratulations on your splendid success.

Alok: Thanks a lot for the compliments.

PD: Can you recall the exact moment when you realized the importance of Civil Services?

Alok: I never thought I would ever write this exam though somewhere deep down inside I did have an instinct to serve the society in a better way. The day I got the conviction I left a well paying private job to take on the exam. Though the realization cam very late when a close friend of mine got selected in to IFos. When I started I was left with just two attempts at hand. Now when I reflect back I realize it was a tough decision to take.

PD: Finally, at what point of time did you make up your mind to make career in ‘Civil Services’

Alok: Refer above:

PD: You must have read IAS Toppers'interviews in newspapers/magazines; what inspired you the most? Any particular success story which influenced your journey to this result?

Alok: Success story of my friend was enough to activate me. Yes of course reading about other successful students did give me some confidence.

PD: Was CSE a planned decision or your parent's wish? Did you keep in mind some time frame, for the examination preparation and number of attempts?

Alok: I was lucky in the sense my family gave me great support. My parents wanted me to write the exam but never forced me for it. I started only when I was convinced enough to take it. I wanted to clear the exam in one year and in the very first attempt itself. Unfortunately for me I scored just 25 marks in Essay paper and I missed the interview call by 38 marks.

PD: The first step is the most difficult; how to prepare? Which optional subjects to pick? What to read? How much to read? Many such questions come to your mind when you really get serious about Civil Services Examination?

From where did you get the right advice?

Alok: Generally the peers helped me out with this. But it is always better to choose a subject one has interest in and one which is scoring.

PD: Were you confident of your success in this examination and how did you react to this news of your success?

Alok: As I had been selected to IFoS 2010 already I was a bit relaxed. My mains wasn't as impressive as I had done in my first attempt. So the results came as a big surprise to me. I simply could not believe that it was me who had cracked the toughest nut.

PD: In how many attempts have you achieved this success? How do you visualize your preparation/previous attempts?

Alok: It was my second attempt. But I had done fairly well in my first attempt but as I had low score in Essay and Zoology papers I was out of the race. In my second and last attempt I slogged a lot for the exam and cracked it.

PD: Were you preparing for other career opportunities as well while preparing for your ultimate goal i.e.. Career in Civil Services?

Alok: Yes, I had written IFos exam as well in which I secured 23rd rank as well.

PD: While the changing economic environment offers immense lucrative career opportunities in various sectors, still what kept you motivated towards Civil Services?

Alok: Sheer diversity and impact of the job.

Pd: While making final choice for optional subject/s, what's important and what's not? Share your thoughts and opinions.

Alok: One's interest, Scoring pattern, ease of availability of study materials and Syllabus matter a lot. Background in the subject isn't that important.

PD: What were your optional subjects? Give the basis of selecting them.

Alok: Prelims: Zoology.

Mains: Zoology As it had similarity in syllabus with Veterinary Science

Veterinary Science and AH-My graduation.

PD: Did you keep the same optional subjects in all your attempts?

Alok: Yes.

PD: In your opinion at which Educational Level should one start preparing for Civil Services and what should be the minimum period of time required to prepare for Civil Services Examinations?

Alok: One should ideally start as early as possible to be on safer side preferably in the first year of graduation itself. A year of serious focussed approach should see one through:

PD: What is your opinion regarding the general view that Science subjects have better chance to score than Humanities?

Alok: Even though both my optional were science subjects I would still say humanities subjects are easier and high scoring ones. But at the end of the day it is about how you write the paper.

PD: What is the importance of medium of examination for exams like CSE?

Alok: Not much.

PD: Does the educational, financial and demographic status of the family of an aspirant have any impact on the preparation?

Alok: It does have an impact limited to supporting the aspirant and pressure of performance. Otherwise no obstacle is high enough to stop a meritorious aspirant not to achieve the much desired success.

PD: In your opinion what role do the Competition Magazines play when you are preparing for an examination like Civil Services?

Alok: They show the direction and make one's job a bit easier by putting things at one place and motivating you by way of success stories…But at the end of the day it is the aspirant who works hard and sails through:

PD: According to a recent report published by reputed survey agency, PRATIYOGITA DARPAN (Hindi) is the largest read Career and Competition magazine. It has overall 2nd spot among all magazines published in India. How do you find Pratiyogita Darpan?

Alok: Though I haven't read it myself yet yes many other successful friends of mine who have read it do appreciate the content of PD.

Courtesy: Pratiyogita Darpan

Sail through IAS Mains and Prelims: Fully-explained Prelims (Both GS & Aptitude) problems with detailed solutions. Notes & detailed answers for Mains GS, Essay, Complulsory (Hindi and English) papers and optionals.