Ansar Shaikh, the son of an autorickshaw driver from Jalna’s Shedgaon village, cleared the IAS in his first attempt, scoring a high All-India Rank of 361, and his story is definitely a story to be told. He is a political science graduate from Pune’s Fergusson College, and has always been an exemplary student having secured 91% in his class Xth board examination. At an age when all the kids his age are busy with parties and movies, this extraordinary boy took it in his stride to deal with whatever hardships came his way, never bowing down and never backing out.
He worked 12 hours a day straight for three consecutive years to achieve what he has achieved. Not only that, he has also faced the stigma of social discrimination and a not-so-pleasant family life which he totally took in his stride. It sure needs a lot of character to go through all that and emerge victorious. When Shaikh was hunting for a PG accommodation he was often denied one on the basis of his religion. This however did not deter him from his goal of becoming an IAS Officer. Today, he is not not only an IAS Officer but the youngest IAS Officer in our country. Isn’t that a great achievement? Yes it is! and I am sure a lot of you can achieve the same. All that it needs is perseverance and hard work. So, let’s take a look at what he did right:
- Finding the right mentor: Ansar took admission in the Unique Academy of Pune where he found a teacher named Rahul Tukaram, who was an IIM Calcutta alumnus and also preparing for UPSC. Rahul was a faculty member at Unique Academy. Rahul ensured that Ansar’s preparation was proper. Incidentally, Rahul also cracked UPSC Civil Services with a rank of 200.
- Determination: Ansar’s mother worked in the fields while his brother worked in a grocery shop. Their house did not even have a lamp, but nothing could stop Ansar from marching towards his goal as he was determined.
- Will Power: This is the most important ingredient of success. During his long and odious period of struggle when he even had to go without food for 2-3days at a stretch he chose to stick to his goal.
- Self Confidence: Ansar always believed in himself, and his teachers, mentors, family and friends indeed had a great role to play there as they reaffirming his faith in himself.
- Positive Mindset: It is quite easy to fall into the vicious cycle of negative thinking when there is uncertainty and you have experienced a few setbacks. Success in UPSC exams has always been and will always be unpredictable just like the exam itself but the aspirants need to have a positive mindset to be successful.
- Focus: Ansar has mentioned in many of his interviews that he had a study group of 7-8 students with whom he used to prepare during his college days. All these students as he mentions were also very focused in their preparation and helped each other which was again a huge advantage for any aspirant.
- Hard Work: Their is no substitute for hardwork as he says he sat to study for a thousand hours and has faced many troubles along his way but it was not in his nature to take ‘no’ for an answer.
So, this is how this extraordinary little boy became the youngest IAS Officer in India. He is quite a humble and jovial young man who aims to improve the system and work towards religious discrimination in our country.