Suyash yeswantrao Chavan, attained 56th Rank in 1st attempt Civil Services Examination,-2017

“Planning, being innovative in my strategies and deep study are the secrets of my success.”

                                                                                            -Suyash yeswantrao Chavan

“Pratiyogita Darpan” arranged an exclusive interview with Shri Suyash Yeshwantrao Chavan, who has been selected in Civil Services Examination-2017. He deserves high appreciation and our heartiest congratulations on his splended success. This important, thought-provoking and highly inspiring interview is being presented here in its original form.

PD—Achieving top slot in the coveted Civil Services Examination is no small feat; accept our heartiest congratulations on your splendid success.

Shri Suyash—Thank you.

PD—Medium for writing in the examination.

Shri Suyash—English.

PD—Medium for Personality Test

Shri Suyash—English.

PD—In how many attempts have you achieved this success?

Shri Suyash—First Attempt

PD—You achieved the desired success in this attempt; how do you visualize your previous attempts?

Shri Suyash—This was my first attempt. By God’s grace, I could achieve this success in one attempt itself. I firmly believe that “first attempt should be the rule and not an exception !” It’s definitely possible.

PD—What was your optional subject?

Shri SuyashOptional Subject : Medical Science

PD—While making final choice for optional subject, what’s important and what’s not ?

Shri Suyash—I think 5 Factors are important :

  1. Most important – Whether it is a scoring optional ? Average scores in previous 3 years if it is possible to score 300/500 marks in the optional, go for it…
  2. Do you have interest in that optional ? Can you read it for months ?
  3. Have you read that optional in your graduation ? Even if you have not and if the above 2 questions are satis-fied, go for it. It doesn’t matter if you have to start from scratch.
  4. Does the optional help in GS and Essay ? Prefer an optional that does.
  5. Do you have enough resources—books, classes available for that optional ? Can you cover the optional using these resources in the given period of time ?

PD—What preference in services have you opted for and any particular reason for that priority ?

Shri Suyash—I had given only IFS, IAS and IRS in my service preference. I opted only those services which would suit me. In order to serve the nation better, it’s important to choose a service as per one’s aptitude.

I had started my UPSC journey with IAS in mind, but later I realized that IFS is an equally good opportunity to serve the country and it suits me better. Do not choose a service just because everyone else does it. Do your own research and then decide.

PD—‘Success is sweet’—were you confident of your success with top rank and how did you react to this news ?

Shri Suyash—I was confident to give a tough fight. However, there were times when I had doubts, I felt as if I won’t be able to succeed. During such times, it’s our self-belief and the people that inspire us that keep us going.

On the day of the result, I was very anxious. My friend called me and said that I have made it to the top list. I couldn’t believe it, I fell on my knees before Almighty God and thanked him. I called my mother and her reaction to the news was the moment that made all the pains worth it.

PD—Today, IAS Toppers are icons and lots of media coverage makes them popular. Before your success, what was your opinion about these toppers ? Any particular success story which influenced your journey to this result ?

Shri Suyash—UPSC toppers are an inspiration for students across the country. What makes them special  is their diverse backgrounds. Rural, urban, rich, poor, married, unmarried, graduates, postgraduates all types of people crack this exam. Everyone has a different study technique, a different strategy, a different success story to inspire.

Dr. Shrikar Pardeshi, the dynamic District Magistrate of my hometown, Nanded inspired me by his dedication. He is still fondly remembered in my district and across my state for his sincerity and efficiency.

PD—Can you recall the exact moment when you realized the importance of Civil Services ?

Shri Suyash—I was working as a Resident Doctor (MD) at Mumbai where the appalling condition of the patients made me realize that the system is neither patient-friendly nor doctor-friendly. Instead of blaming the country, it was time to take responsibility. I quit MD at Mumbai and came to Delhi with this aim in mind. It was only 3 years later that I gathered the confidence to give my best shot at UPSC because I realized that no other profession would allow me to serve my country better.

PD—Was CSE your planned decision or your parents’ wish ?

Shri Suyash—Neither ! Every-one wishes that there should be a civil servant from their family. Even my parents wished the same for me. But we weren’t serious about it. I rather focused on clearing national medical entrance examinations. But when I left a coveted degree for achieving something better, my parents supported me fully. If it were planned, I would have started preparation much earlier without spending too long time and energy over other degrees.

Name—Dr. Suyash Yeshwantrao Chavan

Father’s Name—Dr. Yeshwantrao Sidhojirao Chavan

Mother’s Name—Dr. Savita Yeshwantrao Chavan

Date of Birth—24 December, 1987

Educational Qualifications——

10th—2003, Maharashtra Univer-sity of Secondary Education–GMVV High School (90·53%)

12th—2005, Maharashtra Univer-sity of Higher Secondary Education–Rajarshi Shahu Mahavidyalaya, Latur, Maharashtra (95·5%)

MBBS—Government Medical College, Aurangabad, Maharashtra–2005-2011 Distinction holder

MD—Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi–2013-2016

PD—Did you keep in mind some time-frame for the examination preparation and number of attempts ?

Shri Suyash—Yes, 1 year and 1 attempt. As I have mentioned I never had the intention of taking the exam again, so I gave my 100 per cent and even more in this attempt itself.

PD—’Time Management’ – is a key factor while making preparations as well as in writing examination papers, be it Prelims or Main Examination. How did you manage things ?

Shri Suyash—What I should be doing this day, this week, this month. The daily time was divided in 3 parts – Optional, GS and Current Affairs. Everyone has the same amount of time; Smart study is the skill to utilize this precious resource smartly.

PD—The first step is the most difficult; how to prepare ? Which optional subjects to pick ? What to read ? How much to read ? Many such questions come to your mind when you really get serious about Civil Services Examination? From where did you get the right advice ?

Shri Suyash—I did not have much guidance. I saw videos of toppers on YouTube and observed other aspirants for a considerable length of time. I learnt from their mistakes, noted down good points from their strategy and then devised my own preparation strategy.

PD—What was your approach towards Paper-I (General Studies) and Paper-II (Aptitude Test) during Preliminary Examination preparation ? How long time and how much effort did you divide for each ?

Shri SuyashFor GS Paper-I (General Studies) : I studied for Prelims along with Mains for the initial 8-9 months and then I gave dedicated time for Prelims GS preparation in the last 3 months. Prelims, Mains and Interview preparation should be done together in the initial months.

For GS Paper-II (Aptitude Test) : I gave only 2-3 days for CSAT preparation. I only read the previous years’ question papers, attempted those questions in a time bound manner and read the topics that I found difficult.

PD—Was there any change in plan for General Studies Paper II (Aptitude Test) being qualifying in Preliminary Examination ?

Shri Suyash—I did not give it much time because I had to save time for Prelims, Optional and GS preparation.

PD—How did you manage to tackle the ‘Negative Marking’ in Prelims?

Shri Suyash—I was cautious about it in the initial part of the exam but when I realized that the questions were tough and it was a ‘do or die’ situation, I had to attempt more questions based on my gut instincts in order to give my luck some chance. I have always believed in marking more questions – at least 85 – 90 out of 100.

PD—What shift did you adopt in your strategy for Main Examiantion (Written) ?

Shri Suyash—I did GS1, GS4 initially along with current affairs and optional which gave me confidence. I gave Essays one full day every week, on Sundays. At the end I focused on GS2,GS3. In each of the GS papers, I selected areas that are extremely important and which are less focused. e.g., International Relations in GS2, Internal security & Disaster management in GS3. I practiced diagrams, quotations, numericals extensively

PD—Was there any special effort for effective preparation for Essay Paper ?

Shri Suyash—Yes, I gave special attention to Essay. I prepared one commonly asked topic every Sunday. I collected quotes, anecdotes, examples from current affairs etc for Essay preparation.

PD—How did you prepare yourself for Interview (Personality Test) ? When and which Board did you face ? How did your interview go on, how long did it last and what were the questions asked during the Interview ?

Shri Suyash—I studied my DAF in detail. I attended 3-4 mock interviews and improved my performance. It helped me in understanding my mistakes. It was P.K. Joshi Sir’s Board. Interview lasted for 35 minutes. Some of the questions that were asked :

Do you like traveling ? So tell me, if you are traveling from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, which states would you cross ?

Name the famous travellers who visited India since ancient time. Where did they visit ? What were their findings about India ? Should blind/deaf/persons with disability be appointed as DM ? Suppose a blind person is appointed as a DM, will he be able to perform his duty efficiently ? Have you heard of the Ayushman Bharat Scheme ? Suppose you are in the administration, how will you rollout the scheme ? Dont you think orphanages are mismanaged, what were your findings at the orphanage ? Are they managed properly ? Indian Pharmaceutical industry is huge. There are many top Indian Pharma industries. But we do not find many new products from the Indian Pharmaceutical industry. What is the reason ?

PD—Were you preparing for other career opportunities as well while preparing for your ultimate goal i.e., Career in Civil Services ?

Shri Suyash—Had I not succeeded in my first attempt, I would have continued my career as a doctor.

PD—While the changing economic environment offers immense lucrative career opportunities in various sectors, still what kept you motivated towards Civil Services ?

Shri Suyash—I wanted to join the Indian Foreign Service in order to represent our glorious country on a global platform. No other career provides this golden opportunity of representing the rising Indian Empire.

Personal Qualities
Favourite Person—My inspira-tion—King Shivaji

Strong Point—Creativity, tendency to experiment and do things differentlyand the fact that I don’t give up easily.

Weak Point—Lack of consis-tency—I continuously changed my plans & my strategy…which tends to be counter productive at times.

Hobbies—Painting, Photography, Travelling, Music, Movies, TV series

PD—In your opinion at which educational level should one start preparing for Civil Services and what should be the minimum period of time required to prepare for Civil Services Examinations ­?

Shri Suyash—One can start at any Educational level, earlier the better. However that doesn’t mean that those in their late twenties cannot start preparing now. I decided to take my first attempt when I was 27.

Minimum 1 year before prelims is needed for a thorough preparation.

PD—What is your opinion regarding the general view that Science subjects have better chance to score than Humanities ?

Shri Suyash—I think it’s a myth. Science students have the experience of facing competitive exams, studying long hours, managing exam stress and reading more books efficiently. I guess that improves their success rate.

PD—What is the importance of medium of examination for exams like CSE ?

Shri Suyash—UPSC allows students to take the exam in the medium of their choice. English has the advantage of availability of more resources. But if students are more comfortable in other medium, they should take the examination in that medium.

PD—Does the educational, financial and demographic status of the family of an aspirant have any impact on the preparation ?

Shri Suyash—Yes, it does, it can affect the preparation of an aspirant. These factors can either make the UPSC journey easy or difficult for an aspirant. If an aspirant is hardworking, dedicated and sincere, he can overcome these obstacles and definiely succeed.

PD—In your opinion what role do the Competition Magazines play when you are preparing for an examination like Civil Services ?       

Shri Suyash—Magazines form an important part of the preparation. They help in Current affairs preparation

PD—How do you find Pratiyogita Darpan ? Do you find it close to your expectations ?

Shri Suyash—Pratiyogita Darpan is one of the reliable magazines available for UPSC CSE preparation. The dedicated sections on current affairs help in quick reading and revision. Also, the interviews of toppers keep students motivated.

PD—What is the secret of your success ?

Shri Suyash—Planning, Being innovative in my strategies, Understanding the competition and playing to my strengths.

PD—To whom would you like to give the credit for your success ?

Shri Suyash—My parents who always believed in my potential.

PD—Any suggestion/advice you would like to give to the future aspirants.

Shri Suyash—Focus on GS4, GS1 and Essay. Revise daily for one hour.

Think like a soldier fighting for his country on the battlefield, it is going to be difficult, but don’t think of attempts, give your best, survive and succeed.

PD—Thank you very much and wishing you all the best for your future endeavours.

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