Maharashtra’s UPSC toppers recall their journey to success
It took four attempts before 28-year-old Girish Dilip Badole cleared the civil services examination. The Maharashtra topper of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examination secured an All India Rank (AIR) of 20, but according to him, he has achieved only the first stage of his dream.
The son of a farmer in Osmanabad, Badole said that his experiences through poverty, his education at Sainik School, Tuljapur and his outreach work as a doctor, inspired him to sit for the examination.
“My childhood years at school shaped my outlook towards discipline and service. This matured after I started to work as a doctor in health camps in rural parts of the state. My life and the economic difficulties that my family has faced has taught me a lot, but the exposure to many more such families suffering in poverty pushed me to achieve this goal and give back to the community,” he said. Badole completed his MBBS from JJ Hospital and Grant Medical College, Mumbai in 2014. In order to support his education, he had also worked part time at Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC).
“Every single failure in the past three years bolstered my aim to crack the exam. Patience and perseverance through the years helped me succeed. This is just a beginning, the actual work begins now,” said Badole.
Twenty-five-year-old Digvijay Bodke, who secured an AIR of 54 and came second in Maharashtra, found his inspiration from his father who is also in the Indian Administrative Service (IAS). “The civil services allows the youth of the nation to make a positive impact and that is what drove me to attempt the UPSC exams,” said Bodke. He graduated in 2014 with a civil engineering degree from MIT Pune. This was his third attempt at cracking the examination.
Piyush Salunke, a 24-year-old from Pune secured an AIR of 63 and secured the fifth highest rank from the state.
“It is one of the most competitive exams in the country, and I took up the challenge and achieved it in the second attempt. You cannot let the fire extinguish if you really want to succeed,” he said.
Salunkhe graduated with a degree in electronics and telecommunication engineering from AISSMS, Pune and completed his LLB from DES Navalmal Firodia Law College.
“I had an inter-disciplinary approach to the exam, which is why I studied law. Aspirants should always look to expand the horizon of their knowledge through interdisciplinary education. This way, they can offer something new to the existing discourse,” he added.
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- Yerawada Central Jail had been home to freedom fighters like Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, among others.