Make this Journey a Defining Moment of your Life; says Suvendhu Kumar Patra (AIR 456; CSE 2018)

A powerful transformation led Suvendhu Kumar Patra to success as he showed courage to continue his exertion even after repeated failures and finally accomplishing the Goal in fourth attempt.

Though, the first attempt was casual; but, to seriously prepare for Civil Services Examination he left job and sincerely focused on his preparation.

Suvendhu had chosen Political Science and International Relations as Optional Subject.


There is a saying “Learn to enjoy the Process itself; regardless of the results” and just by following this a youngster from Odisha has succeeded in Civil Services Examination 2018 and found his name sticking to AIR 456.

Suvendhu Kumar Patra was born in Kuhudi, a village near the lake Chilika and was raised up in Charbatia, Odisha. His schooling years were in KPS Choudwar, GHVM Puri and KV Charbatia. He graduated as a Mechanical Engineer from NIT Rourkela in 2013 and worked with Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) till the end of 2015.

Thereafter he quit the job to prepare for Civil Services.

He likes reading nonfiction and playing basketball.

Candidly communicating his interpretation of career-choice Suvendhu said, “I have always believed in Plato’s dictum that “the punishment suffered by the wise who refuse to take part in government, is to suffer under the government of bad men.”

Thus, Civil Services is first and foremost a responsibility. To me it is the best platform to fulfill this duty while personally one can build an excellent career encompassing diversity and faith in human values.

I always think of myself as a repository of good ideas and want to see them implemented at the ground level and hopefully I will. Ordinarily we don’t get to know our country well, preparing for this examination taught me a lot and made me humble.”

Shape of my preparation plan emerged by reading mostly blogs and interviews of previous toppers.

The Journey

While I was employed with BPCL, I appeared for the first time in CSE 2015 without preparation. As expected, I failed.

My next attempt CSE 2016 was no better as I lacked correct strategy and took this attempt that took me to Main Examination; but, failed to cross it.

CSE 2017 was a much better attempt with preparation enough to take me till last and I missed final merit-list just by 2 marks.

Finally, with CSE 2018 I am able to find my name in the merit-list.


My family and their contribution

My mother is a homemaker while my father works for the Special Armed Police (SAP), Odisha. I have two younger sisters; the eldest is a graduate of IHM Kolkata and the younger one from NIT Rourkela. Both my father and younger sisters helped me financially. My mother was the pillar of emotional support while father was the source of inspiration.

Anything special that contributed to success

Though I prepared for this examination, my style of reading is to “know your country well, its history, its geography, the myriad colours and flavours.”

Even after failing multiple times this attitude kept me interested in knowing and reading more.

I may get tired, but my spirit doesn’t. However, there’s nothing wrong in preparing for this exam with a localized focus i.e. to just clear the exam.

Besides, standard books for Prelims and Main Examination followed by all; for the interview I read the book “The Path Ahead: Transformative Ideas for India” edited by Amitabh Kant.

What contributed the most in getting top ranks in this attempt - I had mental fatigue going into this attempt; Perseverance and support of friends (Mayank & Phanisai) were key contributors that give me courage to carry on.

Secret of Success

There is no such secret. But, I believe this exam is 70% Attitude, 20% Hard Work and 10% Luck. This is my take.

Credit for Success

My family and friends supported me a lot; but I would rather dedicate this success to all aspirants who constantly push themselves and make this journey a defining moment of their lives, irrespective of whether they clear this exam or not.

Word of Advice to Motivate Future Aspirants

At times this exam can be a Sisyphean process. You need to have a little patience and faith in your abilities.

It’s okay to have doubts on some days; but, on the other days believe in ‘Nishkama Karma’ and keep doing your duty.

Last Update Wednesday 14th August 2019     

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