“Dreams are an Insight to your Destiny; You must Protect and Nurture your Dreams at all cost”; says Anupama Anjali (AIR 386; CSE 2017)

Just by following her dreams Anupama Anjali, B.E. Mechanical Engineering from R.G.P.V. Bhopal, has realised her goal and grabbed 386th rank in Civil Services Examination 2017.

It was her childhood desire to be an IAS Officer. Anupama’s role models were her father and grandfather; both civil servants and she was just trying to emulate their life. Moreover, it was her mother’s wish too.

She achieved this success in her second attempt. In this attempt, she picked up Anthropology as optional subject leaving her own subject Mechanical Engineering.


 By:      On Monday 16th July 2018     

Multi-talented Anupama Anjali has worthy linguistic command (had been senior editor of University magazine), is a prolific orator (won debating competitions) and having good inter-personal skills, planning and organizational skills (even compared University seminars); she had a mix of all important ingredients apt for pursuing her dream.

Talking about how her small step ultimately delivered big rewards Anupama said, “I was always driven by the desire to work in service of our nation. This made me pursue social work and I co-founded an N.G.O. to educate slum children.”

“Soon, I realised that structural transformation can be brought about effectively by working from within the government. I felt Civil Services will also give me a platform to bring about a larger fundamental change. I was also inspired by my father and grandfather who are both civil servants. I grew up seeing them help people and work for the welfare of many.”Anupama-Anjali-IAS-Topper-CSE-2017-386th-rank

The seeds of this success were hidden deep inside; but, as the luck would have been she had some moments of self-doubt that impacted her preparation in the beginning.

Miracle happens when you don’t give up, even though circumstances compel you to do so

Revealing her story Anupama said, “Few years ago no one would have thought I will come on the final list of Civil Services Examination. I have always been only an above average student. I never came first in anything! I never made it to the IITs. I was never any teacher's favourite. In fact, a teacher I really respected once told me that IAS is too big a dream for me and I should leave it. In short, not many believed in me or took me seriously.”

In our country, impressions are based on past results and not on future possibilities.

So, it was difficult for me to believe in myself as well. There were moments when I also tagged myself as a 'Loser'. Coming out of such negative mind-set was not easy; but, by opening to right values made all the difference. I quickly realised that I must stop seeing myself from other people's eyes. I knew deep inside how badly I wanted to be an IAS. I knew my desire was pure.

She is fortunate to inherit a value system that helped her to bounce back

By overlooking people’s opinion she decided to pursue it at all cost and not give up. With some right decisions, correct actions and by showing her manoeuvring skills Anupama emerged successful in Civil Services Examination 2017.

When ‘Purpose’ comes in to play, you sharpen commitments. You find the right direction to move on. So, I decided to protect my dream from all the detractors. I stopped sharing my big dreams with small minded people. I surrounded myself with my family and closed ones who always believed in me. I worked very hard and focused on raising myself, so that I am good enough to be an officer one day. I always asked god to help me to become better and help me realise my truest potential.

 “Things started falling in place when I felt, I really deserve it. To bring this change the credit goes to my family that contributed the most in this success”, she acknowledged.

The encouragement she got from her family really worked wonders

My mother moved in with me to Rajendra Nagar (Central Delhi) and was a constant support to me. She kept me motivated even in the darkest of times. My mother and my sister are the real heroes of my story. The made sure I was comforted in every possible way during my preparation years. I am deeply grateful to them for bringing me this far. 

In the beginning of my preparation, I was blessed to know a few selected candidates who guided me. I was also guided by my father, grandfather and Mausa ji who are civil servants.  

The Journey

It took me two years to come on the merit-list. There is no such thing as a perfect attempt.

I am pretty sure that even the best of candidates go wrong at certain areas, after all they are humans. I myself made a number of blunders. I did the wrong stuff, failed, took my time, learnt from others, corrected my mistakes and got right back up.

In UPSC, one learns from experience. Looking back at my experience I could point out at the following mistakes :

    • Choice of optional: In my first attempt right out of college, I decided to choose Mechanical Engineering as my optional. I was a fresh engineering graduate and felt that I already knew the subject. However, eventually I found it to be too bulky and tough to revise. So I switched to Anthropology and really enjoyed studying it.
    • Understanding what the exam demands: All three stages require different kind of effort. You cannot study for mains just like you did for pre. I have answered this aspect in one of my previous questions.
    • Studying from multiple sources: Since I had couple of years, I somehow ended up studying too many things. In the end the bulky books became almost impossible to revise. So, I made notes of most important things to have all the information at one place.
    • Your company can either raise you up or pull you down: I was very conscious of this. I didn't make many friends due to this fact. I was truly blessed to have one or two really good friends. I hope like me all other candidates will also try to not make the mistake of having a bad company.

I really want all aspirants to look at their "mistakes" as learning experiences. As they say - fall down seven times, get up eight! 

Secret of success: Believing in self; and working hard to improve yourself every day. 

Credit for success: I will give full credit to my mother and my family. It was my mother's dream to see me as an IAS one day. I feel god has answered her prayers and I am deeply grateful for the opportunity I have today. 

To motivate future aspirants Anupama said, “Dreams are an insight to your destiny. You must protect and nurture your dreams at all cost.”

“Today I feel truly fortunate for being where I am. Please believe in miracles, I believed in them and it happened to me. You are really lucky to know what your ultimate aim in life is. The truth is most of the people don't. “

“So, listen to your Inner calling! If God has given you big dreams, he has also given you the strength to make them come true.”

Last Update Monday 16th July 2018

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