A sense of purpose came at very early stage and aim was clearly defined; so, all I needed was an effective strategy, says Rishi Raj (AIR 27; CSE 2017)

For Rishi Raj, a perfect family set-up, conducive environment, encouraging surroundings, brilliance that was reflecting in school results; graduating from premier institution like IIT ISM, Dhanbad, and subsequent success in GATE – all these contributed a bit in his splendid success.

All seemed rosy; but, the success in GATE was turning point as in medical Rishi was declared medically unfit due to colour blindness. That didn’t break him rather; he changed his track and appeared in Civil Services Examination that was also on his target.

This success came to him in second attempt and he has shown faith in his own subject – Electrical Engineering by choosing it as optional subject.


While completing B.Tech (Electrical Engineering) in 2015 from IIT ISM, Dhanbad, Rishi Raj simultaneously appeared in GATE also and secured AIR 5.

But, during medical, he was diagnosed colour blind that made him unfit for engineering services. So, he just shifted his focus from technical jobs to non-technical services in shape of ‘Civil Services’.

As such, career in Civil Services was back of mind because during graduation he found that cases of molestation with female students of his college were very frequent and being unaware about how to reach the competent authorities for help, Rishi understood the significance of ‘Civil Services’ and got attracted towards it.

As his aim was clear, Rishi focussed his attention on Civil Services Examination as he could clearly visualize his end GOAL. In order to achieve it, all he needed to do was to create an effective strategy and to take steps towards his goal.Rishi-Raj-ias-topper-27th-rank-upsc-cse-2017-electrical-engineering

Born and brought up in an environment of power generation/distribution and even his schooling had been in the same vicinity. Even influence of surroundings is visible in his academics as he graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering. This connection doesn’t end here, his own subject Electrical Engineering as optional subject helped him realize his dreams. As such, he has been a Gold-medallist in Electrical engineering from IIT.

Expanding a little on his family and their role in success Rishi said, “My father Mr. Dilip Kumar Shahi is a mechanical engineer and is posted as manager at NTPC, Dadri and my mother Mrs. Gayatri Shahi is housewife and my younger brother is also an electrical engineer. My family has been the source of constant motivation and support.”

Imparting confidence Rishi said, “A sense of purpose came at very early stage and my aim was clearly defined; so, I was left with one thing – how to achieve it.”

And when asked why career in ‘Civil Services’; Rishi straightaway came back on point, “I chose ‘Civil Services’ to act as a bridge between the voiceless masses and the policy makers.”

Rishi took his first attempt in Civil Services Examination 2016 and reached interview stage. Facing a negative outcome was depressing; but, with my performance I could make out that I am moving in the right direction and clearly heading towards my goal.

I visualise my previous unsuccessful attempt as a stepping stone to this year's successful attempt.

So, this time in my second attempt I was confident that I should be able to clear it as all I needed was to care for areas that needed attention and lot of answer writing practice did wonders. The impact is clearly visible in my General Studies marks.

Acknowledging the significance of correct guidance Rishi said, “Getting right guidance is a rarity in this age of information explosion. So, I heavily relied upon Dr. Khan and KSG for constant guidance and feedback to fine-tune my preparation.

Rishi gives credit for this success to his parents, friends, college teachers and KSG.

Sharing the secret of his success Rishi said, “My motivation came from the shloka from Bhagwat Geeta: कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन (Your duty is just to do your job, you are not entitled to fruits of your labour, so why worry about outcome, just study hard).”

Know Rishi Raj's Preparation-Plan: Optional Subject selection is very crucial; it could make or break your shot; says Rishi Raj (AIR 27; CSE 2017)

Last Update Tuesday 16th July 2019     

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