Appearing in UPSC was Plan ‘A’ and I was ready with Plan ‘B’ as well; Luckily my Plan ‘A’ Worked; says Shubham Gupta (AIR 6; CSE 2018)

An Economics graduate from Delhi College of Arts & Commerce (University of Delhi) Shubham Gupta commenced preparation for Civil Services Examination in 2015 and his second attempt helped him crack CSE 2016 and Rank 366 got him Indian Audit and Accounts Service.

In this fourth attempt Shubham has accomplished his goal and has achieved 6th rank that ensures post of IAS.

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For a fresh graduate vision of becoming IAS is so strong that it’s hard to resist the excitement of appearing in Civil Services Examination immediately after being eligible.

Shubham Gupta (AIR 6; CSE 2018) is no exception. Moreover, it was his childhood dream. When he was small, probably when he was in 5th standard, his father told him that he wanted me to be an IAS Officer.

For him, there was another reasons for choosing career in ‘Civil Services’ as he always wanted a life where he could work for the betterment of people and after exploring choices available, he believed this is the easiest and direct way in which he can do that in the most efficient manner.

But, appearing in Civil Services Examination was a well-planned move. Elaborating about his plans Shubham said, “Being the most unpredictable examination, before I decided to take a plunge, I needed to secure my things.”


Firstly, I was always having a back up in mind.

After graduation, I immediately started preparing and at the same time, I joined Delhi School of Economics. In fact in the second attempt, when I got through, I had two placement offers in my hand; one, from PWC and the other, from Deloitte.

So, I did not want to leave anything to the fate. This thing helped me immensely. Feeling of insecurity that commonly candidates may have when they do not have back up in their hand, sometime has its adverse effect on prospects.

Lack of anything like this helped me immensely and I just concentrated on my plan.

With backup plan; I did not depend fully on UPSC. But, my urge was so strong that I always had this thing in mind that if in any case I had to go for Plan B; then yes, I will come back to Plan A at some point of time.

With blessings of parents, my Plan A worked out well.

Likewise, when I commenced preparation, I planned my endeavor and worked a little on picking optional subject even.

I was always interested in studying Law; that made me choose it as optional subject. For a non-Law student, understanding Law is difficult; but, in recent years I had seen many such instances where non-Law candidates performed brilliantly with Law as optional subject and achieved top ranks. Fortunately, the guidance I got for preparation from Nirvana IAS helped me understand the necessities in a nice way that helped me crack CSE 2016 in my second attempt.

I was happy that I was able to achieve something, though I was not satisfied with the rank; so, my efforts were on.

Candidly talking about his previous success Shubham said, “I belong to a long extended business family, so not many people knew about Indian Audit and Accounts Service.Shubham-Gupta-UPSC-Topper-CSE-2018-6th-rank

In that respect, my accomplishment lacked what I wanted to see in the eyes of my family. It was not at all visible there; so, the feeling of something missing was there inside me as well and this prompted me to give another try.

Even after CSE 2017 disappointment I kept preparing for my 4th attempt.

Let me be very honest that I did not have enough time to study this time as my training is going on in Shimla.

I used to get free at 5 in the evening and then, I used to play for some time. In only studied for 2-3 hours a day. So, the thing which helped me the most was past experience and probably, I was able to analyze my mistakes.

I was able to maintain balance between extra-curricular activities and study-plan. Other factor is that my writing skills are okay that helped me a lot.

So, these entire things combined gave me a little confidence and structured a balanced approach to move on. And finally, this fourth attempt helped me reach my destination.

For this attempt, my preparation was based on newspapers and I depended upon a lot of compilations I had made during my earlier attempts. Paucity of time forced me to rely upon something that was arranged for me in my previous attempts. But, newspaper has always been the key in all my attempts.

Revealing the factor that would have worked this time Shubham said, “In my previous success, I got just 124 marks in interview. That impacted my rank that time; but, gave me valuable insights about Personality Test.

I got a sense about what to do and what not. I corrected myself – how to express yourself, having a good judgment where to say ‘No’, what not to say, how to handle these 20-25 minutes and stay calm during this time.

A little bit of analysis was done by me and when I knew that I have cleared Main Examination and I have to face interview board again, I was sincere about it.

I hope my marks would reveal how much I could improve in Interview.

Disclosing his secret of success Shubham said, “It’s my parents.”

We are a closely knit family; my father is in real-estate. He is a builder. My mother is a homemaker and my brother is a Civil Engineer and is in to real estate business with my father. My sister-in-law is again a homemaker. My sister is a Chartered Accountant and brother-in-law is in business of salt.”Shubham-Gupta-UPSC-Topper-CSE-2018-6th-rank

My parents have always been supportive and if I have to give the credit for this success, my parents and family deserves the most.

Last Update Thursday 8th August 2019     

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