Ortho Doctor clears UPSC in first attempt. What is his success mantra?
Dr Srikanth, has achieved what many would have taken years to achieve. Hailing from the fort town of Chitradurga, Karnataka, Dr Srikanth cracked UPSC exam in his very first attempt. Here is an insight into his success mantra….
Tell us a bit about yourself
I am a from Chitradurga district of Karnataka. I did my schooling from Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya. Completed my MBBS from BLDEAs Shri B.M Patil Medical college, Bijapur, Karnataka. After that I joined Mysore Medical college for my Post graduation in orthopaedics. Before deciding to prepare for civil services, I had the opportunity to work in PHCs and Taluka government hospitals under the NRHM program. I am also a national level basket ball player.
Why did you want to enter into civil services?
There has been many events in my life that has influenced me to enter civil services. While growing up, I used to read about the good deeds of a District collectors in my district. The changes that an individual can bring to the society is sheer mesmerising. I was fortunate that my hard-work payed off when I got an MBBS seat. Through out my journey as a doctor I happened to interact with patients from all walks of life. However problems faced by the poor, marginalised section of our society really pained me. I had sleepless nights thinking of their pain…. I wanted to do much more… and not just treat them as patients…This rekindled my passion of civil services. This when I decided that I should do civil services…
How long have you been preparing for this examination?
I initially decided to prepare for Karnataka Public services examinations. I started preparing for the same from May 2017 after completing my PG in Orthopaedics. I cleared my Prelims & Mains exams (currently awaiting for interview). In the mean time my mentor Dr Arjun sir motivated me to give UPSC. Taking his advice I started preparing for UPSC exams from April 2018. This was my first serious attempt and happy that I got 680 rank in the first attempt itself.
Did you take any guidance?
Yes, Dr.Arjun Bopanna, Director of Bangalore IAS academy and founder of NammaKPSC.com mentored me. He took personal care & even helped me with awesome notes. The entire team of the academy were very helpful. Special thanks to Gangadhar sir, Hemanth sir, Dr Sahana madam, Ponnappa sir, Adarsh and Sudarshan for all their help. I started with Prelims classes at Bangalore IAS academy & then continued with my Mains & Optional (Anthropology) under Dr.Arjun sir guidance.
Another advantage was that I made a group of like minded aspirants from the institute and started studying with them. This also helped me a lot. I am thankful to all my friends too..
What strategy did you apply to clear prelims. What are the essential book you referred?
Prelims for me was very easy. I blindly believed in “Mission Prelims” programme conducted at Bangalore IAS Academy and followed the same. This is a target oriented session. Little hectic I must say, but at the end Prelims becomes a cake walk. But for those who are doing self study, I would recommend you to have a plan. Set a targeted timetable at least a 100 days ahead of prelims. Give test, at least 1 every week. Make sure you analyse your result and correct your mistakes. Make small incremental progress, at the end you will see that big change.
For prelims, NCERT books are must. I read Laxmikanth for Indian Polity. For Geography, Environment – Ecology & Economy I read the books provided by the institute. History – Bipin Chandra, Science & technology referred current affairs and online sources. For Current affairs – The HIndu newspaper, Mahithi monthly magazine, Yojana & vision magazine.
What is your optional and how did you prepare for it?
I took up Anthropology as my Optional subject. I din’t do much research on which optional to choose. Since Anthropology classes were handled by Arjun sir, I decided to take it. I Completely relied on sir’s class & the notes he provided me. Also very important is to write answers every day. This habit which I developed in class, I continued till my main.
Anthropology is very easy, as a subject and questions are often direct. Due to this, we tend to neglect answer writing. But writing the right points requires the right practice and guidance. So I recommend all of those who choose anthropology optional to practice answer writing. I also had a list of case studies, diagrams and studies done by anthropologists. This probably made my answers different. I would recommend even those who are doing self study to write answers and get them evaluated by seniors or teachers.
Ethics and essay are said to be scoring subjects. What was your strategy for it?
I referred to Arjun sir’s study materials & classes for Ethics. I dint have time to read anything more for Ethics. I was confident about Essay writing as I have an habit of reading books/novel from my childhood. I dint have any strategy for Essay as such. I wrote few essay and got feedbacks from my teachers. I however recommend that one should write attest 10-15 essay before mains.
How important is answer writing for mains and how did you approach it?
Finishing the syllabus is herculean job indeed. So I preferred writing answers after finishing each topic. It’s better to start practicing answer writing from the initial stage. It also gets challenging when there is a time constraint. You have to write 100-150 words in 7 minutes, which is difficult. So practice well in advance. I used to write answers and discuss with my friends, which also helped me a lot.
How did you prepare for the interview?
It’s a test of your personality rather than the knowledge, so relax & be yourself & honest.
As per the preparation part, you don’t have to read complete current affairs, concentrate on issues & start building opinions & discuss with your friends & teachers. Focus on your DAF and know yourself!!!!
P.S: Have valuable inputs from Dr.Arjun sir before filling your DAF (carries substantial weight-age )
What are the priority areas you would focus on first as an officer?
Two major issues India is Facing is Health & education. Being a health professional would help me address these issues better. I want to make the primary care more effective. This is where majority of the health related problems can be solved. I also had the opportunity to study at Navodaya Vidyalay. Having seen the quality what a government institute can provide, and its role in social equality, such institutes should be promoted across districts.
What are your passions and interests
I’m passionate about exploring new places & absolutely love food. I wanna try new cuisines and travel. I also like to read books when I am free.
Message/Tip for current aspirants
Work hard, Work smart… be good… be happy with whatever you do…
A quote from Rocky Balboa :
It ain’t about how hard you’re hit, it is about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward, how much can you take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!