An Exclusive Interview with UPSC 2020 Topper

Shubham Kumar (UPSC 2020 AIR 1)
Shubham Kumar (UPSC 2020 AIR 1)

History was created by a common but not-so-common boy from Katihar district, Bihar when he made his family proud by securing AIR 1 in the civil services examination 2020, which is considered one of the toughest exams to crack. Shubham Kumar is a role model for lakhs of children in rural India, who will find inspiration from him. 

Founder & Editor in Chief of Krishi Jagran & Agriculture World, MC Dominic had an interaction with Shubham Kumar (UPSC 2020 – AIR1) and discussed his strategy, and daily routine that helped him fetch the All India Rank 1 in UPSC 2020 examination. 

MC Dominic: As the child’s first learning starts from home and parents play an important role in their child’s success. Tell us something about your parents and family. 

Shubham: First of all Thank you so much for inviting me here! Talking about my family, I have a joint family & they definitely have been the strongest support throughout my journey of cracking UPSC. My father is a bank manager at Uttar Bihar Grameen Bank, Uncle is an acupressure doctor and I have an elder sister, is a scientific officer at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and is posted in Indore. We also have a small family farm where we grow basic vegetables for our own use. I spent the starting 4 years of his school studies in my village and then moved to Patna for further studies. 

MC Dominic: How and when did you decide that you want to pursue civil services? 

Shubham:  As a child, I was very decisive, determined and a very active student at the same time. Although that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy at all. I used to play table tennis and volleyball basically I enjoyed all outdoor activities like trekking and camping.  Becoming an IAS had always been at the back of my mind. In my village, I saw a lot of people facing problems and I always wanted to help such people. In the final year of my graduation, I decided that I want to become an IAS so that I could lessen the sufferings to some extent but to pursue civil services also, one needs to be a graduate and since I was good at physics, chemistry and maths, I decided to go for engineering. In the final semester of my college, I started my preparation for IAS. 

MC Dominic: What was your daily routine when you were preparing for the UPSC exam? 

Shubham: I am a morning person. I used start my day at 6.30 am or 7 am in the morning. I used to take frequent breaks between studies and used to sleep at around 11.30pm – 12.00 am. My optional subject was anthropology. Further, I was very focused with a dream of becoming an IAS Officer, so I decided to continue my preparation even when I got a rank of 290 in the previous year’s UPSC examination. 

MC Dominic: Students often get distracted while opting for their career, Do you have any message for any of those? 

I would say, life is full of distractions and it is very common for children to feel that. By analyzing the situation, distractions can be kept at the bay. The power of self-assessment and self-analysis may bring them out of such distractions. 

MC Dominic: What is your message to the students from rural background, who want to achieve big in life? 

Shubham: I believe “where there’s a will, there’s a way”. Anyone from anywhere can achieve success irrespective of their financial or social status. In today’s age, one can easily get access to the study material from any corner of the country. I took help of the notes from “Kumar Book Centre” in Delhi. Apart from this most of the material is available online. 

I would also like to urge aspirants to maintain a good friend’s circle, which would work as a great center for support & motivation. 

MC Dominic: Now that you have become an IAS officer, what will be your focus area, how will you help the people from rural India? 

Shubham: I want to work for the holistic upliftment of Rural India, improve the overall education & financial level of the people from such areas. Since I am from Bihar, I have seen how my state suffers from floods every year, therefore, I want to come up with a solution to manage the flood situation in Bihar. 

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