UPSC topper Shubham Kumar says ambition and potential must match to get success

  • Shubham Kumar, 24, of Katihar district in Bihar became global overnight by topping UPSC civil services examination, 2020.
UPSC topper Shubham Kumar from Katihar. (ANI)
UPSC topper Shubham Kumar from Katihar. (ANI)
Published on Sep 29, 2021 04:44 PM IST
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ByAditya Nath Jha

Shubham Kumar, 24, a local boy of Kumhari village village under Kadwa block of Katihar district in Bihar became global overnight by topping in the most coveted UPSC examination, 2020. He has a resolve to address all those issues which are related to people. He believes every public servant should be 'people connect' as he/she is expected to serve the grassroots people.

Kumar who switched to UPSC after doing civil engineering from IIT Bombay frankly admits that his study at IIT has played a pivotal role in shaping his personality. Here are the excerpts of the interview with Shubham Kumar

When did you first think about UPSC?

When I was a child living in my village, I saw people facing a lot of problems and at that very time I decided to become an IAS officer so that I could lessen their sufferings at least to some extent. And I am really happy that my childhood dream has been translated into reality and I have got a chance to serve them.

What are the problems especially in rural areas that needs to be addressed

Every rural area has its own problems. For example Katihar is badly affected by floods and I will focus on mitigating the sufferings of the people by doing something to check recurrent floods. Wherever I am posted, I will try to take up 'people connect' issues, such as education, health services etc. In addressing every problem people’s participation is imperative and I will never miss taking their suggestions and also their feedback on the implementation of the schemes while discharging my duty as a public servant.

What do you think about education in Bihar?

Government is doing better but there is a need to do much better in both quality education and infrastructure development. Education plays an extremely important role in our society and hence you can’t take it lightly. It has the power to fight every odd that comes into our way. This is my first visit to my native village after my success in the UPSC and frankly speaking I love to interact with school children and hence go to schools.

Any question that children asked you during your interaction with school children?

Yes, I saw them very enthusiastic and they all want to do big things. One of the little children asked me if he wanted to be an IAS officer, and his question took me back to my school days as I too was to think in a similar way. But children must focus on their studies at school.

It is seen that the students get distracted while opting their career, what do you want to say to those students?

Life is full of distractions and everybody has to face them. By analyzing the situation, distractions can be kept at the bay. Power of self assessment and self analysis may bring a student out of such distractions.

Share your UPSC cracking strategy with those who want to make their career in it

Self analysis is at the root of every strategy you plan in your life. Your ambition and your potential must match to get through.

I started preparing for UPSC from IIT Bombay but it received momentum in 2018 and I cleared UPSC in 2019 and joined defence accounts service. IIT Bombay made me think objectively which helped me a lot. But I kept on preparing and finally success came to me. But very truly I was not expecting this; it finally came to me in 2020.

What were the questions in your interview?

Questions were from diverse fields from rural background to civil engineering and then from defence accounts service in which I was selected in 2019. I answered them without getting distracted. UPSC or any competitive examinations expect you to be direct, objective and simple.

You are fortunate having received support from your parents

Yes, I must give credit to my parents for what I am today. They never discouraged me and stood by me through thick and thin. I appeal to all the parents to keep faith in their children and children too must not do anything to discredit their parents. Mutual trust must lead to success.


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Wednesday, December 08, 2021