Anudeep Durishetty (UPSC 2017, AIR 1) - IAS Topper Success Story

The Union Public Service Commission, abbreviated as UPSC is India’s leading central recruiting agency. The CSE or Civil Service Examination is a competitive exam conducted by UPSC for recruitment to various Civil Services under the Govt. of India. The Civil Services of the Govt. of India include the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and the Indian Foreign Service (IFS). The UPSC AIR 1 2017, Anudeep Durishetty was working at the Indian Revenue Service (IRS) as Assistant Commissioner, Govt. of India before becoming 2017 IAS topper in his fifth attempt at UPSC.

Success Story of IAS Topper 2017 - Anudeep Durishetty

The UPSC AIR 1 2017 Topper, Anudeep Durishetty was a civil servant working as the Assistant Commissioner at the Indian Revenue System, Govt. of India. He became the IAS topper of 2017 in his fifth attempt at the Civil Service Exam. Durishetty is from Hyderabad and had topped the UPSC Exam in the year 2017 when more than 9.75 lakh candidates had applied to appear for the exam. Anu Kumari, who ranked 2nd in the Civil Services Exam, came close behind with just two marks less than him.

Humble Beginnings of Anudeep Durishetty

Durishetty had completed his engineering from BITS Pilani in Rajasthan in the year 2011. His father works as an Assistant Engineer at the TS Transco and his mother is a home-maker. He had secured a rank of 790 in UPSC Civil Services Exam 2013. Though his marks were not up to the mark, yet the marks he acquired at the interview were excellent (204/275). He worked with Google as a Product Quality Analyst for a year before he got into IRS.

Fourth Attempt: Devastating but an opportunity to begin again

In February 2016, Durishetty found out that he had not qualified in the Civil Services Exam despite all the hard work. In that year, he had failed in the UPSC exams in his fourth attempt. He had got a total of 565, way behind the UPSC cut-off marks. According to Durishetty, he had got the worst result in his fourth attempt in which he had worked the most. He thought he was nowhere even near the competition and the failure had shaken him to the core.

Most of the people begin their Civil Exam preparation by treating it as only an exam. But gradually as they face hurdles and endure all the experiences, the exam takes centre stage and nailing the exam becomes their only objective. Because of this reason, for many of the aspirants, the first failure comes across as the biggest shock. The second failure seems to become more of a humbling shock and the third failure is devastating.

For Anudeep, at that point in the year 2016, giving another attempt meant risking another failure and he could not afford it. He did not have the courage and confidence to carry on and decided to quit. He packed all of his papers, books and cleaned the shelves and dumped them in an obscure corner. So, he would not have to see the things which represented proof of his incompetency and collapse.

It took a few months for Durishetty, to recover from that phase. From that point onwards, he focussed more on work, he learnt the taxation laws, pursued all his other interests and took up meditation as a hobby. After a certain amount of time, he realized that he was so absorbed in the exam cycle of blaming the UPSC, the examiner, his optional paper, everything barring himself.

Last Attempt: Rising from the ashes

Blaming everything other than himself gave him a false sense of satisfaction, which was absolutely nothing to help him in his cause. Once, he decided to accept that he failed because he did not deserve and owned up to his failure, he began to see things in a whole new light. In December 2016, after eight months of his debacle, he sat down to think and analyze what went wrong.

The prelims could not be of any issue since he had always got a good score. In the personality test, he had got a whopping 204/275. Therefore, the personality test or the interview could not be the issue as well. He concluded that he had to prepare better for the Mains. He downloaded the topper’s answer booklets and dug through it for endless hours for going through them. It became evident to him, where his mistakes lay.

Apart from that, his optional scores were a problem too. He had always felt that his optional Public Administration was treated poorly. So, in January 2017, he took up Anthropology and it was a bold decision on his part. He hardly had only nine months to prepare for an entirely new subject. He had begun to love Anthropology and it ignited new spirit into his otherwise dull preparation cycle.

The challenge was daunting, but he kept reminding himself of a quote from the movie, Shawshank Redemption, “Time and pressure. That’s all it really takes.” He prepared for the Civil Services Exam in 2017 without any major assistance from any of the coaching institutions. He scored 950/1750 in UPSC Main Exam and also scored 176/275 in the interview or Personality Test (UPSC). Therefore, he scored a total of 1126 marks out of 2025. In terms of percentage, his total marks were 55.60 per cent.

Anudeep’s Insights on UPSC Preparation Starategy

While shedding some light on his preparation strategy, he said, that apart from reading newspapers, he relied on mock tests. When told to sum up his journey to success, he said, “The drive to serve the country, constant hard work and patience, fulfilled my dream.” One of the primary methods to crack the UPSC Civil Services Exam is to update himself/herself with current facts, constantly practice and also have in-depth knowledge. Durishetty’s tireless effort and relentless determination to see himself become the bureaucrat finally paid off as the most fruitful last attempt.

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