An average student can never dream of cracking the toughest exam in the country. But this very thought did not stop Himangshu Kaushik from living up to his dreams of cracking UPSC Civil Services and securing 77th rank in 2017 in his first attempt. He can be rightly said as an inspiration to those students who may not have achieved something big in life, but certainly, wish to do so.
Himanshu Kaushik’s Wiki of Facts
- Rank: AIR 77
- Year: 2017
- Mains Score: 894
- Interview Score: 162
- Total Score: 1056
- Optional Subject: Political Science and International Relations
Also Read: Check-out IAS Annies Kanmani Joy Biography
Early Life and How was Himanshu Kaushik in School?
Himanshu Kaushik who hails from Delhi pursued his engineering degree from a private college in Ghaziabad. Soon after completion of his degree in 2013, Himanshu worked as a Software Developer for almost 3 years before quitting it and preparing himself for UPSC Civil Services. His family is a middle-class family. His father was an Engineer and his mother was a Sanskrit Teacher. His younger brother is an Architect.
The biggest encouragement that he got was when they all supported his decision of quitting the job after 3 years. They fully trusted his choice and kept on telling him – keep preparing and work hard; he will make it to the list. Whenever he used to feel uninspired or stressed, my family stood by him even in those difficult times and reminded him to stay honest with the preparation-plan and remain passionate about the task at hand.
Himanshu’s Struggles During the Preparation Time
His initial months of preparing was like the toughest for him. For the first two months, Himanshu was completely clueless about how to start with the preparation. Did Himanshu Kaushik join coaching classes? Yes, he did. In fact, joining coaching classes shaped his preparation. Slowly and steadily he gained the confidence to make it till the last. As per Himanshu, preparing for UPSC is not easy. Having two back papers in engineering did not stop him from accomplishing his dream.
According to him, “this exam requires dedication and patience. You need to be very focused and be honest to yourself while preparing for it.” Aspirants need to make some sacrifices in life to prepare for the exam. For Himanshu deactivating all the social media profiles for that time was one of them. Stopping himself from attending any party, meeting with friends, chilling out was another one.
Himanshu Kaushik’s Book List of Recommended Study Material for Prelims
- Ancient History: Ncert Ancient India (Class VI), Ncert Rs Sharma (Class XI), Jain Sir Notes (Vajiram)
- Art And Culture: CCRT Book, Vajiram Yellow Book, Unacademy Videos, Vision Pt 365 on Culture for Current Events
- Medieval History: Vajiram Yellow Book / Medieval History Ncert
- Modern History: Ncert Bipin Chandra (Class XII), Pratik Nayak Sir Videos (Mrunal Youtube), Parmar Sir Notes (Vajiram)
- Polity: XI and XII Ncerts (4 Books), Indian Polity by Lakshmikanth, Objective Lakshmikanth for Practice, Vajiram Class Notes, Constitution Handbook by PM Bakshi
- Policies And Acts: PRS, Vision Material on Government Schemes
- Economics: Ncert XI, Ncert XII (Macro Economics), Vajiram Class Notes, Vajiram Yellow Book, Budget Speech, Budget Material (Vajiram/GSscore), Economic Survey (Vajiram/GSscore)
- Geography: Ncert VIII (Resources and Dev), Ncert X (Contemporary India Ii), Ncert XI and XII (4 Books), GC Leong, Vajiram Class Notes, Atlas (Orient Black Swan)
- Environment: Ncert VII Class (Our Environment), Vision Material on Environment, NCERT XI (Natural Hazards)
- Science And Tech: Vajiram Notes, Current Events Through Various Sources
- India Year Book: Any Coaching Material
Himanshu Kaushik’s Book List of Recommended Study Material for Mains
- Hindi (Language Paper): Samanya Hindi (Unique Publication), 5 Previous years papers
- English (Language Paper): Solved 2 previous years papers
- Essay Paper: Any coaching material, Quotes from newspapers and the internet, Vajiram’s Yojana Summary for relevant topics like women, environment, etc
- Ethics (GS Paper 4): 110+ Ethics Book (Golden Peacock Publication), Vajiram Yellow Book on Case Studies, GSScore material on terminologies, Ethics portion from 2nd ARC
- World History: Story of civilization NCERT (Vol 1 and Vol 2), Pratik Nayak Sir Videos (Mrunal channel on YouTube), Vajiram Class Notes (Ojha Sir)
- Society: Vajiram Class Notes, Government Schemes from Vision Material and Current Events
- Governance: Vajiram Class Notes, Vajiram Yellow Book, 2nd ARC Summary, PRS, Vision Material on Schemes
- International Relations: Vajiram Class Notes (Pavneet Sir), Current Events from GKToday, and other online sources
- Answer Writing Practice: Insights Secure
Besides studies, giving attention to what matters the most is your health; physical exercises and a little bit of meditation will certainly help you in bringing up better results. To motivate future aspirants, Himanshu said, “I am from an average academic background, and I am not from any IIT or IIM. I worked for 3 years; then, resigned from the job. If I can do it in my first effort, then anyone can crack the exam on the first attempt. Just need to focus on learning, avoiding all the negativity.”