“I just kept moving on my path and focussed all attention on the goal” says first attempt achiever Kumar Harsh (AIR 43; CSE 2015)

‘Beginner’s Mindset’ encapsulates all the aspirations and enthusiasm and if one remains focussed, it is not difficult to understand the intricacies involved in Civil Services Examination preparation.

Success in first attempt is motivating and as Kumar Harsh got inspired by some previous year’s toppers; now with his scintillating success he has also joined the bandwagon and his success will motivate thousands of future aspirants to take a plunge and come out victorious in first attempt.


Kumar Harsh, a B. Tech in Mechanical Engineering from Delhi Technological University (DTU) has been fascinated by a career in ‘Civil Services’ that offers an active part in the process for the betterment of the society.

By learning new ideas and refining old ones, Harsh was clear about the influence it can create and how it affects the lives of thousands of people directly.

Illustrating his approach for career choice Harsh said, “Any other job has limited motivation but ‘Civil Services’ has lifelong motivation in seeing our work helping in the building of a better society.”

“For many years, I have been reading about toppers and the intellectual exchanges completely changed the way I looked at my future”, said Harsh. “In the final year, my ideas crystallized and by December 2014, I commenced preparation and set my eyes on coming Civil Services Examination 2015. Seriousness came in June 2015 after completing B.Tech examinations and the Prelims was in August.”

Candid in talks Harsh elaborated his approach and accepted he was not at all sure about his success. Craze for this examination fascinated him and as he took it as learning experience, with open mind he focused all attention on the task.

Harsh said, “I knew this is the first time I have ever encountered such exam-plan; but, I have seen many accomplishing the goal. With no overhang of ‘hits and misses’ that keeps a many perplexed about chances of success; I was immersed into my study-plan. The success in Prelims boosted confidence a little, but the fact is that I never thought that I could clear Mains. Determination and being absorbed in the process of studying rather than thinking about the results delivered and I found myself among a few qualifying for interview.”

“And when I saw my result and my rank AIR 43, my first reaction was being numb. I couldn’t realise what had happened suddenly”, he added.Kumar-Harsh-ias-topper-upsc-cse-2015-43rd-rank

For a simple middle-class family such decisions are touch and with limited resources, invariably, priority to have a job in hand first, causes procrastination. Acknowledging the role of family Harsh said, “My family was very supportive when I decided to pursue preparation full time and didn't try for a job.”

I did not have neither any mentor helping me; nor anyone close who had anything like this before. But, I have been relentlessly following some of the IAS toppers and was to a great extent influenced by their effort.

When I asked his to pinpoint the secret of his success Harsh said, “I never recognized; but, what worked wonders for me was my reading habits and helped me perform well in General Studies and eventually, became basis of my top performance.”

I have seen people talking big about their success; but, I want to put it straight – “This examination is not a riddle; with dedication and whole-heartedly if you prepare, success is within your reach.”

Sharing his experience Harsh said, “I don’t consider myself a gifted child and I feel everything is temporary and so is this phase of preparation. When you are surrounded by so many people to encourage, you should do your part with positive mind-set, you will surely accomplish the goal you have set for yourself.”

Last Update Thursday 18th July 2019     

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