As the results of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) entrance exams were announced on Tuesday, some civil services aspirants from the city made it to the top 150.
Among them, with all-India rank 22, was Mandar Patki whose father is a government employee. Patki was in Class VIII when he decided to prepare for civil services. He studied in Beed for his primary education, and while he was still in school, he started gathering information on UPSC entrance exams. It wasn’t until he moved to Pune to study mechanical engineering that he started to prepare for them seriously.
Patki, who cleared IAS exams in his first attempt, says he spent nearly 10-12 hours every day on preparations. “It is about setting your goals and seriously preparing to achieve them, I believe nothing is impossible,” he said.
Ranked 44, Ashutosh Kulkarni, a former student of Muktangan School and a 2015-batch mechanical engineer from Pune Vidyarthi Gruha, has attempted UPSC four times. In the first three years, he recalls spending an average of 10 hours on studies.
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Kulkarni, whose father works with C-DAC and mother is a bank manager, recommends that aspirants should study full time till age 25 and attempt the exams. If they fail to crack it, they should take up a job while continuing to attempt UPSC exams, he said. While he started preparing for the exams along with his engineering studies, and even reached the interview stage twice, he didn’t get selected. He also took up a job at mygov.in in the interim period while continuing to prepare for civil services.
Neha Desai, who ranked 131st, hails from Sindhudurg district. She had come to Pune to study law at ILS, and has been preparing for civil services since 2016. Her father is a consultant and mother a BSNL employee. Desai has a tip for those preparing for the exams: “Keep a weekly or monthly target before you and then study, it will help achieve your target better,” she said.