“Ensure that the motivation and drive to join Civil Service should emanate from self” says 52nd Rank Richie Pandey

Richie Pandey, B.E. from NSIT, Delhi University (2010), MBA from FMS, Delhi University (2013) focused his attention on making career in ‘Civil services’ immediately after completing MBA. After all, he had the most valuable source of advice for examination strategy first, his father and second, his friend, Munish Sharma (AIR 2, CSE 2013).

He secured 52nd rank in Civil Services Examination and accomplished his mission.


Although Richie Pandey had the latent desire to become an IAS officer since childhood; but, initially without clarity about future direction, he never thought that he could excel in such a competitive examination.

Reasons for such apprehensions were his very ordinary hand-writing that he thought could jeopardize chances of success and there was a feeling of uncertainty as he was overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the task.

Revealing the career progression path he took Richie said, “After completing my engineering from NSIT in 2010 and MBA from FMS in 2013, Delhi, I joined the Corporate Banking team at Axis Bank."

"During the course of my professional career, I recognized that the private sector would not provide the platform of serving the entire society and would narrow my loyalties to a limited set of stakeholders. I realized that the immense responsibilities and scope of work of a civil servant could enable me to become a change agent and bring positive transformation in our country.”

Candidly he acknowledged, “Although the public services do not provide remuneration at par with the private sector, they are undoubtedly ahead in terms of job satisfaction and societal respect. The diversity and scope of work is also much wider in the civil service. Even in this era of liberalization, the government has a paramount role as a facilitator and coordinator.”RICHIE -PANDEY-ias-topper-upsc-cse-2015-52nd-rank-public-administration

His father, Dr. Subhash Chandra Pandey is in the Indian Audit & Accounts Service (1983 batch) and presently posted as Additional Secretary in Ministry of Commerce and Industry; mother, Veena Pandey is a home-maker and younger brother, Avi Pandey is pursuing LLM in Faculty of Law (Delhi University) and is working as research assistant in Supreme Court.

Showing gratitude towards his parents Richie said, “I knew, my parents have high expectations of me; but, they never let me feel burdened. My parents gave me a relaxed atmosphere and they ensured that I did not have to worry about any minor household or personal work. My brother and father also helped me to make short notes of different subjects for final revision.”

The most important quality that helped me to achieve success was my unwavering determination and perseverance. In CSE 2013 and CSE 2014, I had reached the interview stage but missed out on making it to the final merit list only due to low score in my optional exam (Public Administration).

Although I was tempted to switch my optional subject for CSE 2015, I finally decided to persist with the same subject. Instead of blaming bad luck or other extraneous reasons such as inter-subject disparity, I chose to work hard and cover my deficiencies in Public Administration which resulted in significantly improved performance in CSE 2015.

While he had committed himself to one explicit path, things didn’t work for him in first two attempts. Introspection hinted towards scope of improvement in optional subject Public Administration. Due to paucity of time (as I was working alongside exam preparation), I had not practiced much for CSE 2013 and CSE 2014.

Pointing out this significant change Richie said, “I had realized that my optional subject held the key to obtaining top rank in the Civil service Examination. At the insistence of my mother, I took test series for ‘Public Administration’ for CSE 2015. These tests had a profound transformation in my approach to the optional examination and helped me to assess my strong and weak points.

Moreover, the tests helped me to simulate the actual exam pressure and relieved the anxiety of the impending exams. I did a thorough analysis of my solved answer sheets which included selection of questions to be solved, apportionment of time to questions of different marks, number of words written in each answer and my overall presentation.

My efforts bore fruit as I was able to significantly improve my score in the optional subject and the writing practice definitely helped to write the other exams in a more focused way too.

Analyzing factors that really contribute in success Richie said, ”My main advice to the candidates would be to ensure that the motivation and drive to join civil service should emanate from self rather than due to any external compulsions.

I would request all aspirants to enjoy the preparation journey and not get adversely affected by the pressure of expectations. When I started preparing for CSE in 2013 after completing MBA, my only motivation to appear for the exam was that the entire process would enable me to gain knowledge about our beautiful country and the world which would hold me in good stead lifelong, even if I do not succeed in this exam.

The most important aspect of preparation is to remain happy and cheerful throughout. It is important to remain in touch with family/friends and always get sufficient sleep.

One should also reserve some time daily for a hobby/pastime (music, gym, sports). One should never lose hope as this exam is as much about patience, perseverance and exam temperament as it is about knowledge.

Last Update Thursday 18th July 2019     

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