Topper Story - HARKEERAT SINGH RANDHAWA Background
A Gurugram boy (Gurgaon), Harkeerat Singh Randhawa, cleared the UPSC exam in his 6th attempt when the commission declared the result for Civil Service 2021 on 30th May 2022. Before getting ranked on the top merit list, Mr. Randhawa failed five times in the UPSC exam. Mr. Randhawa asked you should have the courage to accept failure if you want to fulfill your dreams. As per Randhawa, selecting in UPSC is not just about an elite job or good career, but it is about Public service and the expectation of the public to fulfill their aspirations. Civil Servants means to work for common people and country development without any selfish ambition but as part of institutions for people's welfare.
Mr. Randhawa failed five times before clearing the UPSC exam, but his will and strong commitment caused him to get success, he didn't demotivate in spite of continuous failures, but this success healed all previous wounds of unsuccess.
Even though Harkeerat Singh got 10th rank and could easily join IAS (Indian Administrative Service), he wanted to join IFS (Indian Foreign Service) and wanted to become a diplomat when he was in his teenage life. Mr. Harkeerat wanted to serve the country as a diplomat, and IFS offered a great platform and provided an opportunity to represent the country in an international forum. Harkeerat always imagines himself as a diplomat in a dream, and this dream does not sleep him, and there is always a cry from his inner - stand up and work to achieve your dream. He said that his family and god's blessing helped him to get success, like other aspirants who studied more than Randhwa and put their effort into more than 10th ranker, but his blessing and support of his family helped him to tide over repetitive failures.
Compare UPSC Exam to Everest
Mr. Harkeerat asked UPSC aspirants that clearing the UPSC exam is just like a reach on the pinnacle of Mount Everest. As mountaineers faced a lot of obstacles and harsh weather on Everest, journey same UPSC aspirant faced a lot of problems and struggles before cracking the UPSC exam. Mr. Harkeerat contemplated after every failure what still needed to be done to clear the exam and work on his weakness; every failure taught him some useful lesson. But his dream alive hope not to live in the middle but put more effort. Finally, crossing all failures and obstacles, he was able to reach the peak of Mount Everest, i.e., clear UPSC with 10th rank.
Don't Follow Topper strategy and Tips Blindly
For UPSC aspirants, Mr. Harkeerat's message is that you should read topper experience and get motivation from them. But it is not in the best interest of you to follow Toppers instead of forgetting your strength. Every Topper, before clearing the exam, was a UPSC aspirant and had its planning and strategy. It might be possible what works for them may not suitable for you because he has strengths in one subject and weaknesses in another. So it is better for aspirants first to be self-confident and work on their weak points to improve them. Read books and make short notes, regular reading newspaper helps you for current affairs. Even if I didn't create notes and resources, study materials available on the internet helped me a lot. After my failure, I don't distract or change my strategy as per other toppers but analyze what's wrong with me and work to correct that. Nowadays internet can supplement your study material; for example, if any topic you are unable to understand from books or there is very little information in books, then you can use the internet to understand that topic better; even youtube videos can also help. Mr. Harkeerat's optional subject was "Political Science and International Relations," and even though he read newspapers like The Hindu and Indian Express but he also read New York Times, Washington Post, and International Affairs magazine on the internet.
Message and Tips to UPSC aspirants
As per Mr. Harkeerat, students should be emotionally intelligent; it is not about reading about emotional intelligence in Ethics subject but implementing it in your life, most important when preparing for the UPSC exam. This helps give you peace and maintain balance in different phases of life, whether it is an excellent or challenging time. It might be possible you will face the worst phase of life when you are not selected for the UPSC exam. Voice uttering in your mind to give up and look for other career options then this give up attitude shows you do not deserve this covetous exam because you have to be mentally strong to face such kind of problems when you work as a civil servant. So face the problems instead show your back when the time comes to prove yourself.