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AIR 18 Radhika Gupta left corporate job to prepare for UPSC civil services, cracks exam in second attempt

Radhika studied for 9-10 hours every day and followed a set timetable to prepare for the exam. Although she gave enough time to her hobbies in order to balance the day, she largely kept herself away from social media. 

Written by Sakshi Saroha | New Delhi I |
Updated: September 27, 2021 5:29:14 pm
UPSC results, upsc 2020 results, upsc toppersRadhika had first appeared in the Civil Service exam in 2019 and was wait-listed (Image credits: Radhika Gupta)

In the UPSC Civil Service 2020 results declared on Friday, Madhya Pradesh’s Radhika Gupta has secured AIR 18. A native of Alirajpur, a tribal district of MP, Radhika wants to work for the upliftment of tribals and women’s education. 

Radhika completed school education from her hometown and pursued BTech Mechanical Engineering from GSITS Indore. After graduation, she worked with Honda Motors for a year before calling quits to appear for the UPSC civil service examination.

“Until my graduation years, I wasn’t much aware of the civil services. It is when I shifted to Delhi for work, I came to know about the exam and the entire coaching ecosystem in Rajendra Nagar. For the first few months, I decided to prepare for the exam while working, but once I understood the dynamic syllabus, I decided to quit my job,” Radhika told Indianexpress.com.

While most UPSC aspirants come to Delhi for the civil services exam preparation, Radhika shifted back to Indore after quitting her well-paid corporate job. 

“I have studied in Kota for JEE preparation. And it didn’t bear any bright results as I found the environment aggressively competitive. Such an ecosystem personally triggers anxiety for me. Hence, I learned from that experience and didn’t indulge myself in the charm of Rajendra Nagar,” the topper said. 

Radhika studied for 9-10 hours every day and followed a set timetable to prepare for the exam. Although she gave enough time to her hobbies in order to balance the day, she largely kept herself away from social media. 

“If we rigorously study for 8 to 10 hours each day, that preparation is as fruitful as spending 14-15 hours. I have an interest in sports, hence I shell out a fixed amount of time to play table tennis every day. It helped me keep my mind rejuvenated during the preparation and also killed the monotony,” she explained.

Talking about her preparation, Radhika followed the general books — Laxmikant for Indian Polity, Spectrum for Indian History, NCERTs for all subjects, and some online platforms like Insights on India, IAS Baba, KSG for her prelims preparation. 

Gupta only took coaching for the general studies part and prepared the other mains subjects and optional through self-study. She opted for Anthropology as her optional subject. 

Talking about her Plan B, she said, “I had decided to only appear twice in the Civil Service exam. If I had not qualified in any of the attempts, I would have gone back to a corporate job. Hence, I did not registered in any other government exams,” Gupta told Indianexpress.com.

Radhika had first appeared in the Civil Service exam in 2019 and was wait-listed but later selected in the IRPS services. This was her second attempt where she managed to secure a position in the top 20. 

She dedicates her success to her parents — Prahlad Gupta, a businessman and Chanda Gupta, a homemaker. As quoted by Radhika, ‘It was there support and belief in my capabilities that I resigned a well-paid job to prepare for an exam that has no predictable results.’

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