Perseverance pays in Civil Services examination but, for Johny Tom Varghese (8th rank) more than anything else, it is his way of life that has contributed the most for success in Civil Services Examination 2013. Most of the knowledge he has accumulated has come not just by reading; but, with practical experience and through discussions with people around.
Johny Tom Varghese from Kerala has secured 8th rank in Civil Services Examination 2013. This was his third attempt and he has kept Sociology as optional subject in this attempt.
Johny Tom Varghese is the youngest of the three children of Fr. George Varghese, the parish priest at a Church in Thiruvalla, Kerala. His sister is a dentist and brother is with Oracle.
When I met Johny Tom Varghese over a cup of coffee, Johny described his journey to the top that he has thoroughly enjoyed. He narrated the specific reasons for picking Civil Services as career and how perseverance helped him succeed.
Candid in his talks, johny said, “With an aim to make people’s life better, I am in search of career that gives me satisfaction. As such, I have been associated with social work and kept myself busy in learning about life.
I was not satisfied with corporate culture; after my post-graduation, some of my friends who knew me well, gave me orientation towards making ‘Civil Services’ as my career destination.
Actually, some of my friends used to study in Tata Institute of Social Sciences; at the same time, I was doing internship with Pfizer Pharmaceuticals in Mumbai.
If you go to Tata institute, there is a very different environment; they talk about labour issues, child issues, women safety, empowerment etc. I attended few seminars there that broadened my viewpoint and gave me opportunity to understand society better.
One of my friends suggested why not I try in civil services as government is the biggest player in social development of the country that struck me deep inside and I decided about it. Then, I realized that probably there is more human interface to efforts related to social work; so, I decided to appear in Civil Services Examination.
I came to Delhi. Also, my uncle guided me he told me about Zakat Foundation in Jungpura, New Delhi. It is an organization that supports candidates from minorities who wish to take this examination. It is following the Sachchar Committee Report brought out in 2007. Then, I took some coaching for sociology and General Studies. Coaching institutes gave me orientation towards this examination for first time.
In first attempt, I wrote Main Examination; second attempt was awful as I could not clear even Preliminary Examination. Now, in third attempt, I have achieved this success.
New pattern for Main Examination has created new opportunities for a person like me where there were little before as there was much dependence on optional subject.
As I was able to make correct judgment of things where I lacked, I impoverished my preparation-plan in more ways than one. The secret of my success is that I didn’t stay with people who were preparing for this examination; I was staying with working people in different field.
I didn’t work hard for this; I can’t read 16-18 hours. I spent 4 hours every day and that too was not very specific or fixed schedule.
More than anything else I learnt many things with experience and by adopting practical approach. I did not get time to read much but, by interacting with people from diverse fields, listening to people of repute in conferences/seminars and conversing with experts across disciplines made me well aware of things around.
I was working in a research institute and as a part of my assignments, I wrote papers, article, made reports, edited documents; so, my writing skills were being taken care with job.”
Being a little philosophical in talks, Johny says, “Most of the candidates remain motivated particularly for this Examination only; but, leave many other important things in life. Motivate yourself for life and take out pressure from life; that is more important.”On Sunday 20th July 2014