Success Story - Debasweta Banik - IAS TOPPER 2012, AIR-14
When Debasweta Banik applied to take one of the toughest exams in the
country, she didn’t reach for textbooks or attend coaching classes. Instead, she
turned to her favorite pastime – reading newspapers.
“I quoted out of editorials in my answers,” said 22-year-old Ms. Banik. “They
were my Bible.”
And her preparation method paid off. This month she became one of the
youngest to pass the exams for the Indian civil service.
For decades, aspiring diplomats have pondered ways to ace the civil service
exams – a set of nine papers which determine eligibility for coveted government
jobs, including the foreign and the administrative services.
The exams – widely believed to be India’s toughest – grill applicants on
topics ranging from current affairs to critical reasoning. Many revise for them
for several years.
Haritha V. Kumar, the highest achieving candidate in this year’s exam, had
failed in three previous attempts.
Shena Aggarwal, last year’s highest scorer, tried to pass the exam three
Still, there is no guarantee the brightest minds will make the cut even after
years of grueling practice. An estimated 400,000 applicants sign up for the exam
each year but only between 600 and 1,000 make the grade.
Ms. Banik, who passed first time, believes the rush to enroll in coaching
classes or to study from paid-for preparatory material, is where most aspirants
“Following the textbook can make you rigid,” she said. Round-the-clock
coaching classes leave little room for self-study, according to Ms. Banik.
So, when the Delhi University economics graduate began to
make a timetable 10 months ago, she opted to break free from the monotony of
studying from readymade notes and, instead, turned to newspapers to brush up on
current affairs and learn to frame her essays better.
Courtesy: India Real Time