Abhinav J Jain, I have secured AIR 14 in this year’s CSE 2021.
I was born and brought up in Delhi. I did my schooling from Delhi and then graduated from Chemical Engineering, IIT Kharagpur. I joined the private sector straight away from IIT and worked for about 3 years. Initially, I was with ITC Limited for about 2 years and then for a year with OYO Rooms. It was while working with OYO Rooms I got inclined towards Civil Services.
Studying the “Everything Under The Sun”
I started with seeing the Mains syllabus and preparing the booklist. NCERTs, Laxmikant (Polity), DD Basu, Spectrum (Modern History), Lexicon (Ethics), Ramesh Singh (Economy), GC Leong (Geography) etc. Seeing the long list of books and then stack of books on the study table was itself overwhelming.
I read them one by one. I could understand but cannot remember. It seemed like haphazard reading without any structured approach. I questioned myself – “What Am I Doing?” “Am I just reading for the namesake to put a tick on the booklist?”
I realized the importance of limiting my resources. Books were again re-read, important points were jot down separately as notes. Don’t underestimate the power of NCERTs – They are beautifully written and in a lucid manner. As a candidate, one is also expected to write in a simple yet convincing manner.