IAS success stories are truly inspiring. Reading such stories of grit and determination can motivate us to push forward in our pursuit of success in our chosen field. One such remarkable story is that of Dr. Renu Raj. Dr. Renu bagged the second rank in the 2014 civil services exam. This is her story.
Dr. Renu Raj IAS Bio
Renu hails from Kottayam in Kerala. Daughter of a retired government servant father and a housewife mother, Renu studied at the St. Teresa’s Higher Secondary School in Changanassery (Kottayam) and later pursued her medical degree at the Government Medical College at Kottayam. Both her sister and her husband are doctors.
Becoming an IAS officer was a childhood dream for Renu. This dream became stronger during her house surgency days when she met people from different strata of society. She says she was privy to the harsh realities of life during this period.
Renu was one of the lucky aspirants who could crack the IAS exam in the maiden attempt. She was 27 years old at that time and working as a doctor at ASI Hospital in Kalluvathukkal, Kollam district in Kerala.
Dr. Renu Raj’s IAS Preparation Strategy
Renu says she studied for anywhere between 3 to 6 hours per day from December 2013 onwards. She was always particular about following the right regimen and slept for 7 hours and had food at the correct time always. Perhaps her medical knowledge guided her in this matter.
Renu followed a prelims + mains approach. She preferred to cover the UPSC syllabus sooner rather than spending days on any one topic of the syllabus. She avoided group study since she found it difficult. She took UPSC coaching for the prelims and for a few topics and the optional subject. Her optional subject was Malayalam Literature.
For current affairs, Renu prescribes reading ‘The Hindu’ newspaper, Yojana and Kurukshetra magazines. The most important thing which can help one in clearing the IAS exam is taking mock exams. She practiced a lot of answer writing and this she says worked wonders for her.
Dr. Renu Raj Recommended Book List for Prelims
- History: Bipan Chandra, NCERT books
- Geography: NCERT books
- Polity: Lakshmikanth, current affairs material
- Science and technology: Online content
- Current affairs: Newspapers and magazines
Finally, Dr. Renu acknowledges the support her family gave her during the course of her preparation. She advises candidates to remain focused on the goal and to learn by analysing and correlating. Steadfast dedication and the right strategy helped this married working doctor to clear the IAS exam in her very first attempt.
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