Hailing from Khargone (M.P.), Garima Agrawal has hobby of writing Hindi poetry, teaching underprivileged children; she is a prolific orator who had represented India in USA Minnesota as part of Rotary Youth Exchange and member of placement committee at IIIT, Hyderabad. During B. Tech. presented Best Student award in 2014. She published research paper on Multi Agent System at AAMAS 2016, Singapore.
With a professional degree in hand Garima had choices wide open; still she decided in favour of career in ‘Civil Services’. Elaborating on her choice, Garima said, “I wanted to join Civil Services because of the work diversity, prestige and opportunity it offers to directly contribute to the society. Moreover here our education and skill set can be used in a much broader and multidimensional way.”
Showing gratitude to her sister she said, “my sister Preeti Agrawal always gave the right advice and very subtly ensured that my planning and preparation moved in right direction without giving explicit instructions.
Briefing about her family and their contribution Garima said, “My family is based in Khargone (M.P.) and is primarily into business; but, their contribution is immense in my success. Actually, my mother stayed with me in Delhi during exams and it would not have been possible without her.
I always maintain – Garima can be Rank #241; but, Mummy Papa are Rank #1.
Talking about the exam-plan and the way she looked at it Garima said, “I think, the vastness of the syllabus is the most difficult part of this examination. A proper planning and time management helps you cover the entire syllabus and pace your preparation with time.”
Candidly talking about her journey, Garima said, “My first attempt was not a sincere attempt, I wrote Prelims along with final year of college. This gave me a lesson that UPSC CSE requires at least one full year of sincere and concentrated preparation.
I visualize my second attempt as my first sincere attempt and honestly, I didn’t expect to clear it in this attempt. Planning contributed the most in my success in this attempt.
It is only due to proper planning, detailed time tables and regular practice (both Prelims and Mains) that helped me secure a rank.
Secret of Success: Hard work, planning and perseverance combined can give you success in any walks of life.
Words of Advice to motivate future aspirants: All of us start preparing for this exam with some excitement as well as some fears and apprehensions.
I too was a victim of the same but this result has answered them well.
Here are a few lessons that I learnt that can motivate future aspirants
- I have done my entire schooling from Khargone – a remote town of Madhya Pradesh. And still, I could clear the exam in one and half year of preparation. A remote background is not a hindrance to your success.
- I have done my entire schooling in HINDI MEDIUM, but still I wrote the UPSC exam in English. It is a bit challenging but language is not a barrier but just a medium of expression.
- I am an engineer and it was a tough decision to take up civil services instead of lucrative job/Ph.D offers. But having belief in the decision taken, helps you surpass any insecurity.
- I am a woman and still had opted for IPS as my second preference, because I genuinely feel that more representation of women in police will go a long way in women security.
So, if I can do it, anybody can!