Year : 2021
Rank : 9th
UPSC declared the result of the Civil Service exam 2021 on 30th May 2022, and Preetam Kumar of Rajasthan secured 9th rank. It is Preetam Kumar's 3rd attempt, and he failed twice earlier to secure his place on the merit list of UPSC. Preetam Kumar is very down-to-earth, and he wants to make changes in ordinary people's lives and wants to work at the grassroots level. Preetam Kumar was born in the small village Kotra in the Sikar district of Rajasthan. Preetam Kumar's UPSC journey was full of struggle and problems before he cracked the UPSC exam on his 3rd attempt. Preetam Kumar's father was in the Indian military and fought the Kargil war in 1999 when Pakistani forces encroached on Indian territory. To join Civil Service was the wish of Mr. Kumar, and he was also an inspiration.
Even though Preetam's choice was not Civil Service but his father's dream and later, during college study, he was thinking about preparing UPSC exam and started to gain knowledge about Civil servants and how they hold power to transform common people's life. Preetam started UPSC preparation in 2018 and made 1st attempt in 2019. He went to Delhi to join coaching classes but later decided to give more focus to self-study. Preetam's way of study is different, as he considers instead of completing courses in a short time frame, it is better to study slowly but learn thoroughly with deep knowledge of any topic, which helps to retain what you read. Preetam believes in limited sources of study material but reading them in-depth with revision, at the same time making notes whatever you study. This approach of note-making help in the last time of the exam. Preetam's optional subject was Mathematics.
Preetam Kumar cleared IAS on the 3rd attempt, and in his previous two attempts, he appeared on Personality Test but failed to get ranked by a small margin; in his last interview (in 2020), he got only 132 marks, and he was very disappointed at that time. But his family and friends encourage him to attend UPSC with more solid preparation. It is natural you will face such a tough time because you are preparing for such a huge exam. Even if you are failed, it doesn't mean that you don't have capabilities, but you have to further work on your weakness. I was expecting to clear UPSC in this attempt, but I never imagined getting ranked in the top 10; it was a really joyous moment for me.
Preetam Kumar talks about his role as a civil servant to work for development and public welfare. There will be real challenges now on the grass-root level, and we have to work for the common good, especially for women and poor people.
Message from Preetam to UPSC aspirants that if you are not successful in getting clear this time, not to demoralize or demotivate and stand again and start preparation, you will definitely get success. Believe in yourself, focus on your study, and ask the question of why UPSC and if you put efforts in the right direction, success is not far from you. Hard work is the key, but you have to be smart as well, don't get diverted but remain focused on your IAS TARGET. It doesn't matter your background, and even if I come from a rural background, you take some time for sports or entertainment, it will help to relax you.