Unbelievable UPSC story: he failed 40 times in his life, finally becomes IRS officer

The Civil Services Examination (CSE) is considered one of the toughest exams in India conducted by the Union Public Service Commission. Everyone dreams to clear the Civil Services Exam, but very few are fortunate to crack the exam. Today, we are talking about such a man named Avadh Kishor Pawar who finally cracked the hardest exam after being failed four times in the UPSC exam, while many people hesitate to appear for the second attempt if they fail the civil services exam.

The man who secured an All India Rank of 657 in the UPSC Civil Services exam in the year 2015 failed nearly 40 examinations including banking and state administration services before touching the pinnacle of success.

This is an inspiring story that needs to be told to all those who have failed in an examination and after reading this, it will certainly give you the much-needed boost to perform well even after failures.

Avadh’s story teaches us grit, determination and to not give up no matter how hard the situation is. Well, it took him a long time to crack the UPSC Civil Services examination.

“I was on a night shift when I saw an interview of a rickshaw puller’s son clearing the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) exams with very few resources at his disposal. I felt so inspired and motivated that I decided to quit my job and pursue my dream of joining the civil services,” says Avadh Kishor Pawar, an Indian Revenue Service officer, and Assistant Commissioner, Income Tax Department in Bhopal.

Avadh was working in Godrej in Mumbai where he was getting a good salary. Later, he realized that he could do more better. And at the same time, an idea of becoming an IAS officer came to his mind for the first time and he left his well-paying job and moved to Delhi to start preparing for the UPSC exam. He had to get by on his savings, and it was very challenging for him to find study material, as he came from a Hindi-medium background. He doubled his efforts and started learning English along with his other subjects. Despite coming from a Hindi medium background, he still managed to crack India’s toughest exam.

“The UPSC criteria allows the candidates to appear for the exams only once a year so if one does not clear, the entire year is wasted. Appearing for other exams also strengthened my writing practice and improved my overall knowledge,” says Avadh.

You will be perplexed to know that he failed nearly 40 examinations including banking and state administration services and also could not clear UPSC in the first four attempts. Despite all the hardships and failures, Avadh did not let the negativity get the better of him, rather he continued working hard. 

“I come from a rural area in Madhya’s Pradesh’s Chhindwara district where going outside the village for a job is considered to be far fetched,  so joining the civil services was a huge deal. Culture shock aside, had I not done my engineering from Bhopal I would have never realised the huge educational gap between rural and urban areas. So, from the very beginning, I had to work harder. Hence, failing so many examinations did not demotivate me,” he says. 

So, What Helped Avadh Crack The UPSC exam?

Avadh had left his job but he had enough savings or backup jobs which helped him to get away with the worry of earning money while preparing for the exams. Another aspect was that he had good friends who always motivated him.

“Avadh was always ready to help during preparations and we would often assist each other to prepare answers. It was from him I learnt how to be patient and control my anger while facing hurdles. He is an inspiration to many of us and even today he does not hesitate to guide Hindi medium aspirants,” says IPS Pramod Kumar Yadav, ASP Purnea and Avadh’s batchmate. 

“I took public administration as my optional subject instead of a subject that I had mastery over. Choosing a subject that you have already studied or like can reduce your study pressure. I finally switched to Hindi literature and managed to get all India rank 2 in my fifth attempt,” says Avadh. 

Another mistake was not joining any coaching centres for general studies until his fourth attempt, “I relied on self-studied instead of trusting someone who has decades of teaching experience. Having an experienced person guide you can make a lot of difference,” he adds.

His journey doesn’t really talk only about UPSC Civil Services examinations. He had failed 40 times in his life before touching the pinnacle of success. He has now become a source of inspiration for many youths who dream to crack the UPSC exam. He has achieved what others dream of. Many people read his inspirational story and get motivated. Let’s praise him for great achievement.

Writer, historian, and activist Dharam Sikarwar is a very active author The Youth. He writes on national and international issues, environment, politics. He is an avid book reader as well.