UPSC Success Story - Ansar Shaikh: Youngest IAS Officer

The UPSC civil service exam is considered one of the toughest exams in the country. Lakhs of people take the exam and only a few hundred make the cut in the end.

Only a proper combination of hard work, guidance and tenacity can help UPSC aspirants crack the IAS exam.

Many candidates, despite having all the comforts and coaching that money can buy, fail to clear the IAS exam. But some determined and zealously diligent candidates achieve success despite all odds stacked against them.

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One such inspiring person is IAS Topper Ansar Ahmad Shaikh, who cleared the UPSC 2016 in his very first attempt.

He secured AIR 361 and he was just 21; beating Roman Saini who was 22 when he became an IAS officer. He is currently serving as Sub-Divisional Officer (SDO) at Dinhata, Cooch Beharat, West Bengal.

Youngest IAS Officer

  • Ansar is the son of Yonus Shaikh Ahmad, an autorickshaw driver from Jalna’s Shelgaon village in the Marathwada region of Maharashtra.
  • His mother worked in fields.
  • His younger brother, Anees dropped out of school in standard VII. Anees worked in a garage to support the family and help his brother prepare for the IAS exam.

If you want to know how to become the youngest IAS officer of India, check the linked article.

IAS Preparation

  • Ansar worked 12 hours a day for three years to achieve his IAS dream.
  • His success is especially commendable counting the fact that education wasn’t a priority in his family.
  • In his own words Ansar describes his domestic situation, “Education has never been a watchword in my family. My father, a rickshaw driver, has three wives. My mother is the second wife. My younger brother dropped out of school and my two sisters were married off at an early age. When I told them that I had cleared the UPSC and in all likelihood will be an IAS officer, they were stunned shocked.”
  • Even though Ansar’s large family struggled to make ends meet, he remained a bright student throughout.
  • He had secured 91% in his X board exams (SSC Board).
  • He has a degree in political science from Fergusson College, Pune. He secured 73 percent in his graduation.
  • Ansar had attended a private IAS coaching class for his UPSC civil services preparation.
  • His family had to bear great expenses in this regard but were more than delighted when they got the result they all had awaited.
  • He thanked Rahul Pandve, his 30-year-old teacher for giving him guidance and support. (Pandve had also cleared the UPSC civil services exam that year with AIR 200).

UPSC Topper Ansar has said, “I was marginalized by three different categories. I am from a backward undeveloped region, I hail from a poor economic background and I belong to a minority community. I will tackle all these issues as an administrator since I have witnessed these issues at close quarters.”

Ansar Ahmed Shaikh IAS said on his success “There is no alternative to hard work. During my struggle, my friends helped me a lot mentally and financially and even my coaching academy waived a portion of fees due to my poor financial condition”.

Hard work, family and friends – played their part in leading Ansar to his dream job.

But more than anything, it is the attitude that sets him apart from others – the attitude to never back down and be steadfast in trying to achieve your dream.

Ansar Shaikh Facts

Rank: 361

CSE: 2016

Age when cleared the exam: 21

Ansar Shaikh IAS posting: West Bengal cadre

Ansar Shaikh IAS date of birth: June 1, 1995

Medium of Mains and Interview: Marathi

Native place: Jalna, Maharashtra

Optional Subject: Political Science

Ansar Shaikh Preparation Strategy

  • In the first six months of preparation, Shaikh concentrated on his optional subject preparation which was political science. It helped that it was also his graduation subject. For more on political science optional, click on the linked article.
  • In the second six months, he focussed on the general studies papers. Stay updated with current affairs with our daily current affairs segment.
  • In the next three months, he completed his revision and also the remaining portions of the UPSC mains papers.
  • In the next 9 months, Shaikh did his prelims exam preparation. After the prelims exam, he studied for his mains in the next 100 days. Finally, he prepared for his UPSC personality test in the last 40 days.
  • Shaikh normally studied for 10 – 12 hours per day. For the mains exam, the hard worker that he is, Shaikh put in 14 – 15 hours on a daily basis.

Click the linked article to check UPSC previous year question paper.

You may also like to read another IAS success story, which is equally inspiring, that of Govind Jaiswal, the son of a rickshaw-puller who secured rank 46 in his first attempt.

Related Links:

UPSC Prelims UPSC Books
UPSC Calendar 2022 UPSC 2022
UPSC Syllabus Current Affairs Quiz
NCERT Notes for UPSC Exam Monthly Magazine for UPSC Current Affairs
IPS UPSC Exam Pattern


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  1. My date of birth is 12-06-2001,kindly tell me in which year i can apply for upsc cse. My graduation will be compl
    eted till 2021.

  2. Now I am in degree 2nd year how can I apply for the upsc

  3. My DOB is 2 july 2003, kindly tell me in which year I can apply for upsc cse

  4. My date of birth is 12 August 2004.
    At which year can i give for CSE upsc.
    Please tell me.

  5. My dob is nov 2002 in which year I can apply for upsc cse

  6. My DOB is 11 February 2005 . At Which year I can appear for UPSC CSE?

  7. Hii,
    I am 18 now (03/03/2002) and in the 1st year of my graduation . So, I complete my graduation at the age of 20 but the minimum eligibilty for appearing in this exam is 21 , so I just want to ask“ is it good to drop my 1 year for preparing this exam ??” I am sure you get my point me in solving this issue😊

  8. respected sir/madam
    my birthdate is 3 january 2001.
    And i’ll complete my graduation in march 2021.
    i want to know if i’m elligible to appear in upsec CSE 2021.

  9. For personality test we can use the tamil language. Is it possible?

  10. My Dob is 22nd Sept 2000. Accordind to UPSC 2021 minimum age eligibility criteria candidate shoul not born after Aug 1st 2000. Am I eligible or not ?

  11. My date of birth 10 April 2002.. when can I appear in this exam?

  12. My date of birth 13 feb 2000 when can I appear in this exam?

  13. My date of birth is 2-12- 2001 when can I appear civil services.

  14. Hi, My date of birth 22 sep 2002 when can I appear in cse exam?

  15. Hello , my date of birth is 4th Nov 2003.
    In which year I can appear this exam?

  16. My date of birth is 29 june2002 . which year I can give upsc

  17. Hi, my date of birth is jan11 ,2001.
    When can I which year attempt upsc cse exam

  18. My DOB is 12-04-2000(DD-MM-YYYY), can i attempt in 2021?

    • Yes, a minimum of 21 years is required to sit for UPSC examination. You can sit given you are a graduate or are in your final year in college (govt-recognized.)

  19. My DOB is 28-05-2006 (DD-MM-YYYY), When can I which year attempt upsc cse exam ?

  20. My age is 16 ( i will turn 17 in july ) can i give upsc exam after my btech 3rd year