New Delhi/ 16 May 2016. Namaskar. I am Manoj Tibrewal Aakash. Today I am with UPSC topper of 2016 batch Athar Aamir-ul-Shafi Khan, who bagged second position.
Athar is an inspiration to the younger generation. Like him, lots of young people want to achieve a big position in the top Administrative service of the country in order to serve the nation.
In Dynamite News’ Special talk show ‘Ek Mulaqat’ we will talk to Athar Aamir about his strategy to crack the UPSC exam and fulfill his dream.
Welcome Athar to our talk show ‘Ek Mulaqat’
Manoj: Athar, we warmly welcome you on Dynamite News’ special show ‘Ek Mulaqat’.
Athar: Thank you so much.
Manoj: First of all, we want to know about your academic background and also about your home town in Jammu & Kashmir?
Athar: I hail from Anantnag district of South Kashmir. My village is Devipura. I did my initial schooling till 5th standard in Evergreen Public School, which is close to my village. I did my high school from Iqbal Memorial Institute, Anantnag and for higher secondary I went to Tyndale Biscoe School in Srinagar. After 12th I appeared in many entrance tests. But finally I took admission in IIT Mandi and chose B.Tech electronics engineering. After I completed my B.Tech in 2014, I wrote my UPSC exams for the first time and I secured 560th rank. So, with this rank they allotted me IRTS (Indian Railway Traffic Services). Then, I again attempted the exams and this time by the grace of God I stood 2nd.
Manoj: What about your family?
Athar: I have my grandparents, parents, two younger sisters and a younger brother. My father is a lecturer in Government Girls Higher Secondary School in Anantnag. He teaches economics. My mother is a housewife.
Manoj: When did you think about making it to IAS? I am asking this since you were doing engineering from IIT. Then you made it to IRTS but you remained focused and determined to crack proper IAS. So, when did you seriously think about this?
Athar: From the beginning, I had an interest in IAS but I never took it seriously. But when I started pursuing my graduation I started taking interest in IAS. In fact I had a chance to meet various people and visited many places. By doing this, you compare your state to the other states. Each state has its own problems. So, I was thinking how I can serve my nation. Which profession would provide me an opportunity to serve people better? So I thought of going for IAS as it has a wide arena.
Manoj: How did you prepare for UPSC exams? Didn’t you face difficulties by changing your subjects?
Athar: First of all, I would like to say how I changed my subjects. Generally in any stream there are some additional subjects we choose as per our interest. This is because if you study according to your interest you will find it easy to do hard work. Moreover, you will also look for the subject in which your track record is good. You will also look for a subject where the study materials are easily available. I chose some subjects during my graduation days like philosophy, sociology, physiology. Somehow I found these subjects interesting since childhood. So, when I was pursuing for UPSC exams, then I figured out that this subject will be beneficial so I chose philosophy.
Manoj: Can you please tell us how many hours did you devote to UPSC exam preparation?
Athar: On an average, I spent 7 to 8 hours in studies daily. But, the key to success is time management. I prepared a time table on daily as well as weekly basis and stuck to it. I always took care that I get enough time for revision too. Further I also took tests to check whether I am preparing well or not. So my comprehensive strategy worked for me.
Manoj: Now, viewers of Dynamite News as well as of other social media are watching you. Could you give us some tips to crack the UPSC exams? It may guide many aspirants who are following this show?
Athar: According to me first of all they should bear in mind why they are appearing for these exams? Why they want to be a part of civil services? If they ask themselves these questions, they might clear their doubts. This will help them to convince themselves. Moreover it will bring motivation which helps them to overcome all the hurdles. Secondly, don’t be a bookworm and try to socialize too and spend quality time with your family and friends. But, when you study, do it with all your concentration. Keep a time balance between general subjects and optional ones. But, first motivate yourself, convince yourself why you want to be a part of the civil services.
Manoj: A very important question is lakhs of people appear in the UPSC exams. Many crack them but there are many others who don’t. Those unsuccessful get surrounded by negative vibes. So, how can they come out from the negative feelings? What would you suggest to them?
Athar: It is a competitive exam and we have limited seats. So a large number of people are not able to succeed. But, they should not be depressed. There is a word perseverance, which means if you want anything you must chase that incessantly. Sometimes you may fail to achieve it but don’t quit. Don’t abandon your dream, live for it. If you think you have the capability, do it again. If not let it go because this is not the end of the world. There are so many ways you can serve the nation. What I mean is that this is not the only door; there are many others where you can enter in and fulfil your dream.
Manoj: I completely agree with you that we should not be depressed. If one door shuts then another opens. Now, we talk about your state Jammu & Kashmir. Dynamite News is honored to have you with us in our Headquarter in New Delhi within 24 hours of UPSC results announcement. From here you are going back to your hometown. Within few hours, you will be there. There your people must be very excited. So when you meet them, how would you react?
Athar: Till now, what I have heard is that my place is full of Joy--whoever, they are, my relatives, my friends. Even I got lots of wishes through messages, phone calls and I got lots of love from social media and news. I am equally excited. I wish that I could make them proud and become a good civil servant and work for my nation.
Manoj: After a few days you will get training and the cadre will be allotted to you. So what cadre would you opt for?
Athar: This is an honor for an IAS to serve any state. But my choice is my home state Jammu & Kashmir. If I get it, it will be a privilege for me.
Manoj: Now, we will talk about some social issues. We have observed that the level of aggressiveness specially in youths is increasing. They easily get angry. How can youths control their anger?
Athar: Youths are a store house of enthusiasm. That is why they are called the engines of a nation. Therefore, it is necessary to utilize their energy in a positive manner. For this it is important to have good education so that they have enough opportunities. I mean we can teach them skill education. This way we can increase the skill development or entrepreneurship. We can also increase the employment to increase the GDP. If we take these steps it will help them to make their mind set in a positive direction. About 68 % of the population in our country is below the age of 35 years. Therefore it is quite important to channelize this young energy properly.
Manoj: According to you what are the three major challenges our nation is facing today?
Athar: The biggest problem is general deficiency in administration, second might be corruption and third is unskilled youth. So our government should find a way to make youth productive and constructive.