Anshu Priya (AIR 16)- IAS Toppers 2021

Every year, many candidates from Bihar qualify for the prestigious IAS Exam, this year Anshu Priya from Munger kept this tradition alive by securing an AIR 16 in the UPSC CSE 2021. Anshu also came out on top in another category. Among the top 50 candidates who got selected for CSE 2021, she emerged as the topper in the interview scores. The results of the exam were declared by UPSC on 30th May 2022.

In this post, we will discuss Anshu Priya’s background, preparation strategy, number of attempts, UPSC optional subject and more.

Check IAS AIR 16 Anshu Priya’s Mock Interview with BYJU’S:

Anshu Priya: Bio and Background

Family Background- 

Anshu Priya belongs to a family of teachers. Her father Shailendra Kumar is the headmaster of the Sandalpur Girls’ Middle School in Munger and her mother is a housewife. Her grandfather and grandmother were also teachers. Anshu Priya’s two uncles are government public servants. She lives in a joint family. The family hails from Munger district, Bihar. 

Educational Background- 

  • Anshu completed her initial studies in Munger, Bihar at Munger Netrodem Academy.
  • She then pursued her higher secondary school in the Darbhanga district. She also went to Kota for the preparation of her medical entrance exams.
  • After completing her schooling, she took admission in MBBS at AIIMS Patna. 
  • She graduated in the year January 2019 and has worked at AIIMS Patna as a Resident Doctor.
  • She started preparing for the UPSC CSE after completing her residency. Anshu gave a total of 3 attempts for the Civil Services Exam. In her third attempt, she emerged as a UPSC topper.

Optional Subject-

Being a biology student Anshu Priya chose Medical Science as her optional subject. Check out the list of UPSC optional subjects by visiting the link attached.


Anshu Priya chose civil services over the medical field to broaden the canvas of helping common people, which she could not fulfil by being a doctor. She has chosen IAS and wants to work in the health sector being an IAS officer.

“My motivation for joining the service is many folds. During our MBBS period, we have certain rural postings in which we have to go to the ground level and address people’s issues. I remember that there was a case of breast cancer where the patient, who was in the last stage, wasn’t even aware of cancer despite it being so preventive and detectable these days. We sent her to the hospital, but it was too late. This is when, I thought that there are so many things which can be done at the ground level, but it won’t be possible by only being a doctor.”

The success stories of various IAS toppers in 2021 are provided in the links given below. Aspirants can go through them to assist their CSE preparation-

AIR 2 – Ankita Agrawal AIR 3 – Gamini Singla
AIR 25 Shruti Raj Lakshmi AIR 20 Arpit Chauhan
AIR 30 Naman Goyal AIR 19 Diksha Joshi

Anshu Priya’s Preparation Strategy

In the first two attempts, Anshu failed to clear the Prelims but emerged as one of the toppers this year after putting in a lot of effort. After her first failure at Prelims, she moved to Delhi to get an idea of how the ecosystem works for the preparation of the exam. Anshu kept preparing for the exam while working at various jobs. Finally, for her third attempt, she left the jobs and focussed only on the exam and qualified for the exam with flying colours. Some of the tips she followed for the exam, which helped her being an IAS Topper are:

  • She focussed on the current affairs and made her own notes from the newspaper and complemented with the current affairs magazines. 
  • She studied basic books like NCERTs, Laxmikant, Ramesh Singh and Spectrum.
  • Like all other toppers she also focussed more on the Mock tests, both for the Prelims and Mains stage of the exam. 
  • She took a lot of mock tests and analysed her performance. After appearing for the prelims, she dedicated half of the time to revising and the rest to appearing for mock tests. 
  • Since she failed at Prelims in her second attempt because of the CSAT paper, she focussed more on solving maths questions and attempted 8-10 mocks for the CSAT paper also.
  • She advises candidates to solve the previous year’s papers, to get an idea of the type of the questions.
  • She said since her optional subject was not much scoring she focussed more on the interview stage after taking Mains. She is the highest scorer in the Interview round this year. 
“As my optional subject was not that scoring, I wanted to give the best in the interview round. I started preparing right after the Mains exam and prepared for it for the next two months.”

Must-Follow Tips for CSE Preparation 

  • Comprehensively understand UPSC syllabus and work accordingly to each subject step by step.
  • Create a preparation strategy and rigorously follow it. The preparation strategy for the UPSC Exam would vary from level to level. Get to know the exam pattern better and understand the needs and expectations of the UPSC exam at three different levels.
  • Having a Time table will let you know whether you are heading in the right direction and with the right speed. Your timetable must have short term and long term goals.
  • Emphasise on newspaper reading and give particular emphasis on editorials from where you can gather good opinions and multiple views on a single topic. Also, indulge yourself in reading a good magazine like Yojana and Kurukshetra.
  • Develop the knowledge base from the basics. Reading the fundamental books of the General Studies papers is important and the sources for the basics are the NCERT Books. 
  • Refer to credible sources of study materials and make notes with the right analyses. Without easily accessible simplified notes, the battle is long lost even before it has begun. At the very end of the preparation, one cannot go through an ocean of material and make accurate analyses of all the topics.
Note: UPSC Mains 2023 is approaching closer, supplement your preparation with the following articles: 

UPSC Topper 2021 Background
Name Anshu Priya
Civil Service Exam  2021
All India Rank  16
Number of Attempts 3
Optional Subject  Medical Science
Native  Munger, Bihar
Education MBBS, AIIMS Patna

Note: You can make your current affairs revision robust using Free Monthly Magazines by BYJU’S.

All it takes is determination, unwavering focus and of course, a smart and guided approach to the IAS exam. Aspirants of UPSC 2023 can go through the following links for assistance in their preparation.

UPSC Books Current Affairs UPSC Mains Syllabus
UPSC Question Paper NCERT books for UPSC exam Medical Science Optional Booklist For UPSC Exam
IAS General Studies Notes Links
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Psc Result UPSC Topper
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