IAS Topper with Botany Optional/Botany optional IAS topper
Botany as an optional subject for the UPSC civil services is not highly popular unlike subjects like geography, public administration or political science. This is because it is a science subject, one that is specific in nature. Only candidates with a background in botany or biotechnology are recommended to take up botany optional. Nevertheless, there are quite a few IAS toppers with botany optional. There are many advantages of taking botany as the optional such as less subjectivity and room for interpretation in the written answers, static portions, direct and straight-forward questions and the ample scope to score marks with diagrams. Dibya Jyoti Parida had opted for this optional subject when he bagged an impressive rank of 26 in the 2015 UPSC CSE.
Check the Botany optional syllabus here.
Dibya Jyoti Parida Profile
Hailing from Cuttack, Odisha, Parida did his post-graduation in botany with specialisation in genetics. His father Prasanna Kumar Parida works as an engineer while his mother Dr. Mayabini Jena is a scientist in the entomology division with the Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI), Cuttack. This was his third attempt at the IAS exam.
Parida credits his parents for his success. He says, “They are a source of inspiration for me. Their work ethics, integrity and honesty as Government servants have inspired me. I was determined to crack the civil services examination in this attempt.”
You can check the optional success rate in the UPSC civil services exam here.
There have been other candidates with botany optional who secured under 100 rank in the IAS exam. Ashish Kumar Srivastava (AIR 61) and Arvind Mallapa Bangari (AIR 83) both had taken botany as one of the optional subjects in the 2010 CSE. In the 2011 IAS exam, Gopala Sundara Raj bagged an impressive rank of 5 with botany as his optional subject.