Before saying ‘YES’ to making career in Civil Services, I just asked myself - what I want to do and where my interest lies” says Saurabh Jassal (AIR 404; CSE 2017)

Saurabh Jassal had decided to go for a job in private sector; but, a small incidence changed his mind and his preference changed. With the resolve to pursue career in Civil Services, he searched for a weekend Coachiing to get right guidance and that proved to be a turning point.

With right guidance, discipline and positive attitude Saurabh achieved desired success in his third attempt.

He had picked up Law as Optional Subject.


In his third attempt, Saurabh Jassal (AIR 404; CSE 2017) achieved desired success in Civil Services Examination 2017 with Law as optional subject.

Citing the reason for choosing ‘Civil Services’ as career, Saurav said, “No doubt changing economic environment offers immense lucrative career opportunities in various sectors; however the right answer lies in the fact that money has never been a priority for me. I believe we must pursue what we are passionate about; the money will automatically flow with the par excellence which one would show.

Other than this, all reasons why I want to get into civil services are strong enough to sideline such lucrative career opportunities.”Saurabh-Jassal-404th-Rank-ias-upsc-topper-cse-2017-law

While commencing the conversation Saurabh Jassal said, “I would like to describe and summarize my endeavor in two quotes that are close to me:

“Hope is a good thing, may be the best thing, and no good thing ever die”. – Shawshank Redemption.

How it all begun ?

My uncle (dad’s elder brother), is in Himachal Pradesh Government and he suggested me to consider career in ‘Civil Services. While suggesting this, he gave rationale behind it and henceforth I realized the importance of Civil Services.

It was way back during last semester of my college, I decided for it. I was sitting for placements; in one of the companies for which I gave interview, I was asked certain questions which were turning point for me.

They asked me what do you really want to do in your life and where do you see yourself 10 years down the line. I wasn’t prepared for the answer and was blank.

After this episode, I introspected a lot, what I want to do and where my interest lies. This is then, I decided to make career in civil services.


I got placed in MNC Sapient Consulting and have been working there. While I started my job, I started search for weekend coaching, where I will get right guidance (the most important part of preparation).

When I said ‘Yes’ to making career in ‘Civil services’ my mind was surrounded with many issues and queries such as how to prepare, what to read, what all is needed, which institute should I join; and so on.

All these questions have come to my mind while I took first step in this pursuit; my exclusive source of advice has been only one place - Nirvana.

I stumbled on advertisement of Nirvana IAS Academy where some of my friends had joined. I decide to attend seminar and to my surprise, without asking my all these queries were answered with satisfaction by Karam Sir.

Its impact - along with General Studies, an engineering background Saurabh ended up preparing an optional subject that was completely new – Law.

A little about the 3 encounters with Civil Services Exam

In the FIRST attempt, I started preparation late alongside job, I could not clear Prelims. 

I missed cut-off by some marks. I introspected and worked on gaps for the next attempt.

In SECOND attempt, learning from last attempt aced Prelims with 35 more marks.

I reached till interview; but, missed final list by 12 marks. I introspected again and looked at areas that needed attention.

In THIRD attempt, I finally achieved success in this examination and scored 91 marks more than last year.

Each attempt has had a role to play for this success; and to me, it was learning from mistakes and not repeating them.

Saurabh said, in the beginning, I talked about 2 quotes that transformed my life; one I mentioned and the other one that supplements it:

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue, is what matters”. – Winston Churchill.

Last Update Thursday 2nd April 2020     

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