This is an interview with Ravi Pattanshetti, who came 47th in the recently declared UPSC exams
In September 2008, Ravi realised that he wanted to become part of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), a job with endless opportunities and challenges.
And, so he quit his job at Infosys and joined the Dnyanprabodhini's civil services coaching center. Mentored by Vivek and Savita Kulkarni and I P Singh, he gave his first shot at cracking the UPSC exam in 2010.
Ravi cleared it, but did not score enough to be selected for the IAS. He joined the supplementary services – Indian Corporate Law Service attached to Ministry of Corporate Affairs – in 2011.
A little disillusioned with the result of his first attempt, Ravi again sat for the exams and failed. Ravi, who is an Electronics and Telecommunication Engineer, says that “all work and no play” affected his second chance.
He decided to take a crack for the third time, with a more relaxed approach.
“There were weeks when I wouldn't touch my books. I watched films, went swimming and read a lot,” he says, adding, “I could take time-off because I had already put in three years of hard work.”
Being a part of the service had also changed the 28-year-old's psyche.
“I had a job and being a part of the service changed my perspective. I realised that the UPSC panel was looking for decision-making skills and if that was reflected in your answers in the written and the interview round, then you can have some hope,” explains Ravi.
Hold on. All the advice and suggestions and mantras that are thrown at civil services aspirants come in retrospective. There's no clear-cut path or a predictable formula for entering the services.
“Success is a combination of several factors like hard work, consistency, and luck. Everyone is intelligent, hard working and consistent, but what you do on that particular day clinches the dream job,” says Ravi.
And, what was it that Ravi said or did that worked in his favour?
“I was honest in the interview round. The panel wanted to know why I had opted for Anthropology instead of Public Administration, which was my optional in the first two attempts. I told them that Anthropology is a scoring subject and also because I had
developed an aptitude for it,” he adds.
Ravi, who expects the order to join IAS by September, will till then exercise his duties as Assistant Official Liquidator attached to High Court of Karanataka. In his service, Ravi wants to focus on health and education sectors.
His primary objective, as Ravi puts it, “Is to ensure efficient delivery of services to the people. There are many good policies in place; all we need is an efficient system and I want to be a part of it.”
Quiz him about the cynicism prevalent in the minds of citizens when it comes to implementation of polices and Ravi retorts with, “If you are cynical, things won't move. Good things take time. But they do happen.”
On that note we take our leave of the man, whose clear thinking is what we need.