“My not-so-educated parents' staunch belief in role of education to bring change in lives has been the greatest factor in my Success” says 41st Rank Shailesh Kumar

Shailesh Kumar, B. Tech. (Mechanical Engineering from HBTI, Kanpur 2009) has secured 41st Rank in Civil Services Examination 2015.

It was his third attempt that got his the desired post. Earlier, in both occasions, Shailesh cleared the examination; CSE 2013 he got 808th rank that got him Indian Revenue Services (C&CE) and in CSE 2014 he got 854th Rank.

In all these attempts, Shailesh has kept Sociology as optional subject.


To be appropriate, dreaming about making career in ‘Civil Services’ is just a pipe-dream for majority of the educated youth in villages where the gap between a few 'haves' and large number of 'have-nots' is tremendous.

Resources are almost at subsistence level for these 'have-nots' due to heavy dependence on farming and a general lack of education and employment opportunities.

This is further compounded by the archaic socio-economic prejudices.

Defying all myths Shailesh Kumar coming from a sleepy village of backward Hardoi district in eastern UP and belonging to this 'have-nots' section of the society has made it to coveted ‘Indian Administrative Services’ with well-deserved 41st rank in Civil Services Examination 2015.

Why career in civil service? 

Coming straight to the point Shailesh said, “I found civil services to be a great avenue to do something about my own position and the people at large. Moreover, civil service provided immense diversity of work, challenges and opportunities for personal development throughout the career. Having no background of business or politics, civil service was a natural choice for gaining a voice and social leadership.”

After completing my B.Tech, I was working for a PSU in Delhi. There I was fortunate enough to find myself amongst many friends and seniors who had either qualified for one or the other service or were in the process of doing so. The valuable guidance received from them proved to be catalyst and contributed a lot in my success.

It is a big accomplishment for me as I come from a very simple family said Shailesh. Bring together the reminiscences & recalling the family’s contribution he said, “My not-so-educated parents' staunch belief in role of education to bring change in lives has been the greatest factor. This contributed to my motivation and self-belief.”

“My parents are not very well educated. My father has passed only matriculation while mother hasn't received any formal education. Despite this they were determined to get their children educated as they thought that education is their only chance to come out of penury and deprivation of all kinds. My father was a marginal farmer while mother looked after the home and children's well-being. I being the eldest was the beacon of their hopes and aspirations. This kept me motivated all the time.”   SHAILESH-KUMAR-ias-topper-41st-rank-cse-2015-upsc-sociology

Recounting the sequence of events for this attempt, Shailesh said, “I made to the final list twice in the two previous years; so, it was just sort of a sequel and I distinguished the areas where I need improvement.”

“As I got allotted to IRS (C&CE) in my first chance, I was under training while preparing for this attempt. The training involved lot of travelling; obviously I didn't get as much time this year as I used to get earlier. However, this actually seemed to have gone in my favour. I got time to think and strategies outside the text books and notes. So, despite studying less I seemed better prepared which wouldn't have been possible otherwise as I would have just studied without giving it a fresh thought.”

“Fodder material I did already have from my previous two attempts' preparation- whatever little I could study this time, I was able to utilise it while writing my answers.  This, I believe, matter the most this year in getting me a good rank”, he added.

Motivating future aspirants Shailesh said, I would say that a serious aspirant should always believe in his/her methods as there is no perfect method to crack this exam. I always prepared while in a job without taking much leave. I could get only 4-6 hours on an average. This is against commonly held belief that this exam requires hard toil of 16-18 hours a day. Despite this, I qualified it thrice in a row with Rank-41 being the latest.

Perseverance and self-belief is the key to Success. 

Last Update Thursday 18th July 2019     

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