Are you a collector? – the villagers asked. Guess what was her reply ? The story of Ms R. Shangeetha IAS Topper 2005 goes something like this. I am from a village where girls are married at an early age. Whenever I came to know of such an incident I used to tell the villagers that what they were doing was wrong. They used to retaliate and ask me, ‘Are you a collector?’ This attitude of the villagers prompted me to become a Civil Servant one day.
Interview With Ms. R. Shangeetha IAS Topper 2005 (32nd Position).
Q. What is the secret of your success in the Civil Services Examination?
A. Persistent hard work, proper planning and strategy, self-confidence, cordial support of parents and friends and above all, God’s grace.
Q. How much time do you think one requires for serious preparations for this examination?
A. Two Years of hard work.
Q. Which newspapers, magazines and journals have you been reading for the General Studies and other papers?
A. Newspaper : The Hindu, Magazines : Competition Success Review, General Knowledge Today, CSR Year Book, etc.
Q. Do you remember any remarkable incident of your life that motivated or prompted you to go for a career in the Civil Services?
A. I am from a village where girls are married at an early age. Whenever I came to know of such an incident I used to tell the villagers that what they were doing was wrong. They used to retaliate and ask me, ‘Are you a collector?’ This attitude of the villagers prompted me to become a Civil Servant one day.
Q. What prompted you to choose Civil Services as your career?
A. When I was in my school, my uncle motivated me to become as IAS officer. Later I learnt how instrumental the bureaucrats are in the development of a country. This power of bureaucracy to bring change drove me to achieve my goal.
Q. How did your parents, family and friends contribute to your success?
A. Though we belong to the middle class, my parents gave all necessary support, without which y success would have been impossible. My friends also motivated me.
Q. Had you not been selected in the Civil Services Examination, what would have been your reaction? Which other service / career would you have gone in / opted for?
A. I was confident of clearing the UPSC Civil Services Exam, but if I would have been unsuccessful, I would have started practicing as an advocate and would have become a judge.
Q. How do you visualize your success?
A. I believe in hard work as it never fails. God has given me an opportunity to serve the needy and I see my success as an instrument to bring a change in the society.
Q. What were your optional at the Civil Services Examination?
A. Prelims: Law, Mains: Law, Tamil Literature
Q. How many attempts had you made earlier before you got selected?
A. Three attempts.
Q. What was your criterion for the selection of the optional subjects?
A. Basic understanding of the subject, one’s interest in the subject, availability of necessary study material and proper guidance.
Q. How did you prepare for compulsory papers?
A. I did not prepare separately for these papers. Just the knowledge gained at the school level was sufficient.
Q. What is your impression about the Interview Board?
A. The Interview Board is very cordial. Within the stipulated time, they try to bring out one’s individuality and it is an opportunity to show one’s personality.
Q. What do you think is a better way of preparation, between selective intensive study and wide extensive study?
A. For Preliminary Examination, one has to do extensive study and for Mains, selective intensive study will help.
Q. Is this pattern of the examination appropriate for selection? Would you recommend any other improvement?
A. The present pattern for selection is most appropriate.
Q. Do you feel that there should be no restriction on the number of attempts?
A. There should be restriction for the number of attempts.
Q. To what extent, you think, Model Test Papers can be useful for the aspirants of Civil Services?
A. The Model Test Papers help the aspirants to improve their performance and to practice time management.
Q. What is your advice to the future aspirants?
A. Do proper planning, work hard, do not lose heart, be confident, dream as a civil servant and one day you will certainly fulfill your dream.
Submitted to RB by Himanshu