HAVING CRACKED the elite UPSC exam, the 23-year-old Harsh Bansal is besides himself with joy. For Bansal’s family, the rank of 1070 is unbelievable though he is not in the top hundred. His left arm disabled at birth, Harsh passed out of Government High School in Tapa with 85 per cent marks before taking up computer engineering at Thapar Engineering College with education loan.
“I cleared engineering in 2014 and then got a job offer from BPCL, income tax department. But I did not join and instead decided to prepare for UPSC exams. It was self-study and I prepared for two years before sitting for IAS prelims. As I couldn’t afford coaching classes, I used to take online notes, read newspapers, take notes from few friends. This is how I prepared and cleared the exam. I have no idea in which stream I will be enrolled based on my all-India rank,” said Harsh, who had sociology as an optional subject.
Harsh lives in a 70-square yard house in Tapa, Barnala district of Punjab. It has one bedroom and a small kirana shop in the front which his father Tarsem Lal Bansal runs. The latter buys kirana items from big stores on credit and returns them the money after selling the products. This is how his cycle works. “No doubt we were short of money and we wanted Harsh to work and earn for the family. However, he wanted to live his dreams, so I didn’t stop him. I am glad that he cleared the exam in his first attempt.”
Harsh’s mother Neeraj Bansal, a housewife, said, “People used to laugh at us thinking what could our boy do with limited means. But I thank the almighty that he cleared UPSC in his first attempt. So, all questions have been answered.”
Sahil, Harsh’s younger brother, who is studying BCom, has also started preparing for UPSC as he, too, aspires to become an IAS officer. “With a zeal to bring a change in the system, we opted for this stream,” said Harsh and Sahil.
Ludhiana boy gets 70th rank
Taranjot Singh, an alumnus of DAV School, BRS Nagar, Ludhiana, ranked 70th on the merit list. The school as well as his family celebrated the occasion.