Candidates who cleared UPSC-CSE beating all odds


21 Sep 2019

6 UPSC rank-holders who cleared CSE despite failures, other challenges

The UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE) is one of the most challenging competitive exams.

Cracking the exam is very difficult, and many candidates tend to give up on their Civil Services dream after a few attempts.

However, some UPSC rank holders have cleared CSE despite repeated failures, physical challenges, and all odds against them.

Here are such UPSC rank holders to know about.


This IAS officer cleared CSE in seventh and final attempt

This IAS officer cleared CSE in seventh and final attempt

2008-batch IAS officer K Jayaganesh cracked the CSE in his seventh attempt and final attempt.

Hailing from a poverty-stricken family in Vinavamangalam of Tamil Nadu's Vellore, he didn't give up despite failing six times. He pursued engineering and even worked as a waiter later.

However, despite repeated failures, he didn't lose hope and cleared the CSE in 2008 with AIR-156 in his seventh attempt.


Anju Arun Kumar got into IAS in her 6th attempt

Kerala's Anju Arun Kumar, a 2017-batch IAS officer of the Tamil Nadu cadre, cleared the CSE-2016 with AIR-90 in 2017.

What's inspiring about her story is that she got selected into IAS in her sixth and final attempt.

Though she previously got selected to IAAS and IRS, she was determined to get into IAS and didn't give up until she got the selection.

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IRS officer Vivek Chauhan failed to crack CSE five times

IRS officer Vivek Chauhan failed to crack CSE five times

Vivek Chauhan, a 2016 batch IRS officer, cracked the UPSC CSE 2015 with an all-India rank of 300 in his sixth and final attempt.

Despite failing to crack CSE five times, he didn't give up, proving that with hard work and determination, anything is possible. With each failure, he only got better as he analyzed his mistakes and ensured not to repeat them again.


This IAS officer battled visual impairment, poverty to crack CSE

Krishna Gopal Tiwari not only battled his visual impairment but also extreme economic hardships to clear the UPSC CSE in 2008.

The son of a farmer, Krishna of Uttar Pradesh's Ambedkar Nagar district, cracked the coveted exam in his third attempt, securing AIR-142 and topping the physical disability category.

He also became the first ever visually-challenged District Collector in the country in 2014.


Ira Singhal cleared UPSC CSE not once, but twice

Ira Singhal cleared UPSC CSE not once, but twice

Ira Singhal, a 2015-batch IAS officer, is the first differently-abled woman to top UPSC CSE.

Despite clearing CSE-2010, her candidature was canceled because of her spine-related disorder scoliosis; but she didn't give up and topped CSE-2014 with AIR-1.

She's currently the Deputy Commissioner of Keshavpuram Zone (North MCD), Delhi. Singhal is also working to bring more differently-abled and transgender candidates into the Civil Services.

#6: This 2017 topper appeared for CSE-Mains with dengue, typhoid

In 2018, Koya Sree Harsha bagged AIR-6 in his very first attempt by clearing CSE-2017. While cracking CSE is no small feat, what's extraordinary about his achievement is, he not only attempted but cleared the Mains with flying colors despite suffering from dengue and typhoid.

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