“Curiosity, patience, and perseverance are the secret mantras for any UPSC aspirant”, says Abishek Sekar, who secured an AIR of 490. He graduated from CEG with a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering in 2016. Read the following excerpt from an interview with Abishek Sekar to know about his strategies, probation period, and reference materials used.
Interviewer: S.M. Shvani (GT)
Interviewee: Abishek Sekar
GT: Can you elucidate the journey of IPS Abishek Sekar?
Abishek Sekar: My penchant for civil services since my childhood was a driving force for my success. My college life simply added a spur to it. I did not accept the job offered to me during campus placements and started preparing during my final year as I was very determined that civil services was my goal. The first few unsuccessful attempts did not undermine my enthusiasm. In the last attempt, however, I managed to ace all the rounds. I’m happy with what I’ve achieved and will be looking forward to my service to the country.
GT: Could you share with us your strategies and tips to crack each round?
Abishek Sekar: Preliminary exam tests your curiosity. The key is to keep the quest for knowledge and information perpetual. Newspapers play a primary role in this round. The second round, MAINS, is the adventurous part and is all about time and stress management, which you will develop gradually. The final round is meant to be enjoyed, for it brings out the real you. It is essential to perform exceptionally well in this round as it may determine your rank, which in turn paves way for the most preferred services like IAS, IFS, and IPS. In this round, you get to meet and interact with accomplished individuals in their respective fields.
Reference materials used:
Polity - Laxmikant
Economy – Shankar Class notes
Geography - NCERT, Goh Cheng Leong
History - Spectrum, Bipan Chandra
Environment - Shankar study material
Science and Technology - Current Affairs, The Internet
Others - 2nd ARC reports, PIB, PRS Monthly Policy Review, NITI Aayog reports, Vision Monthly
Current affairs (only for reference)
Newspapers - The Hindu, The Indian Express
You can also watch motivational videos of UPSC toppers on YouTube for their strategies.
GT: Can you run us through your probation period and domains in which you will be trained?
Abishek Sekar: It started with a common foundational course at LBSNAA, Mussoorie. Next, I was directed to the National Police Academy, Hyderabad for both indoor and outdoor training.
Indoor subjects encompass subjects based on law, management, leadership, investigation, forensic medicine, and forensic sciences. Especially for IPS officers, outdoor training is the most exciting part. This includes running, swimming, drilling, firing, and horse riding. This covers the Phase-1 training. Before getting into Phase-2 training, we go to the allotted district’s cadres and gain field-level training, followed by a state tour. And then we head to police headquarters to gain knowledge on its functionalities. We acquire independent postings at the end of Phase-2 training.
I’ve been posted in Indora, Himachal Pradesh as a station house officer for 3 months.
GT: How did your life in CEG and interaction with your faculty members contribute to your success?
Abishek Sekar: I’d been a part of various clubs since my first year of college. I was also the president of the Students’ Association of CEG during my final year. These opportunities gave me a chance to work with several other multitalented counterparts, and to experience life outside the classroom, which is indeed worthwhile. My faculty members inspire me all the time. I often adore Mr. Rajmohan sir for his humility. It is never a hyperbole to say that the position I’m holding now, is because of CEG.
GT: What’s your piece of advice for UPSC aspirants?
Abishek Sekar: Absolute interest in civil services is quintessential; don’t take it as a choice, or out of compulsion. Revise consistently. Having said this, don’t lose out on your social life in the process.
The Guindy Times thanks Mr. Abishek Sekar for sharing his experience with us and wishes him all the best for his future endeavors.