IAS Success Stories of Gopala Sundara Raj and R.V. Karnan

The UPSC civil services exam is considered one of the toughest exams in India and people who clear it find well-deserved fame and honour. In this article, we talk about two such people who cleared the exam despite odds stacked against them. One is Gopala Sundara Raj and the other person is R V Karnan, both coincidentally hailing from Tamil Nadu.

Clearing the IAS exam is tough enough by itself, but clearing it when circumstances are not conducive to studying with societal pressure, and the thought that a failed attempt would be a severe blow to one’s own family’s financial standing and indeed survival, is genuinely an amazing feat. While Sundara Raj has shown that destitution is no hurdle to achieving success in life, Karnan has proven that coaching is not necessarily a requirement to cracking this mother of all exams.

R.V. Karnan

Hailing from Karaikudi in Sivaganga district of TN, Karnan bagged the 158th rank in the 2012 civil services exam. He was also the topper in the Indian Forest Services exam (2007). He shunned coaching and put his faith in understanding methods and patterns. His father works as a librarian and mother as a sub-registrar. He has proved that even without coaching, candidates can find success in the IAS exam.

Gopala Sundara Raj

Gopala Sundara Raj secured an amazing AIR 5 in the 2012 CSE. He is a native of Mavila Thoppu, a small village in Ramanathapuram, TN. Both his parents’ education did not go beyond primary school. Sundara Raj studied in a Tamil medium school because his parents could not afford to put him in an English medium school. The family never owned any land or house and were staying in a portions of their relative’s house. Sundara Raj was working as an agricultural scientist in Rajasthan when he took the IAS exam and produced this stellar performance. He also acknowledges his sister’s moral support.

For more such amazing IAS success stories, click on the links given in the table below.



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