Aspirants preparing for the UPSC Civil Service Exam often believe that you need to give multiple attempts to secure a good All India Rank in the UPSC exams. But it’s certainly not the case nowadays. Students with their determination and motivation are securing a good rank in their first attempt just by sheer hard work! Just with her sincerity and determination, she was able to clear the UPSC exam in her first attempt and became the youngest IPS officer. Continue reading this article to read about IPS Aishwarya Dongre’s UPSC rank, preparation strategy, optional subject and current posting.

IPS Aishwarya Dongre Wiki

IPS Aishwarya Dongre cleared the UPSC examination in 2016 and belongs to the IPS batch of 2017. She belongs to the Kerala Cadre and was first posted as the Assistant Commissioner of Police at Trivandrum City, and was later promoted to Deputy Commissioner of Kochi. IPS Aishwarya Dongre was born and brought up in Bombay. She completed her Bachelors of Arts in Economics and Political Science from St. Xaviers College, Mumbai. That’s when IPS Aishwarya Dongre’s IPS journey began.

Her Goals

Aishwarya’s goals were clear ever since she was in school. She decided to join the civil services when she was in 10th. In her 11th standard, she chose to pursue humanities instead of Maths or Science. She was also clear that she wanted to enjoy her college years. Hence she didn’t begin her preparation until she completed her graduation. Once she graduated she decided to move to Delhi to begin her preparation and get herself into the groove.

Aishwarya Dongre Controversies

IPS Aishwarya Dongre also has been part of a lot of controversies and is known to be insensitive towards police personnel. In March 2021 she suspended a civil police officer after he took the initiative of installing a coffee machine at the police station. Earlier she had suspended a women constable after she wasn’t able to recognize IPS Aishwarya in civilian clothing.

Also Read: Interview with Sujith Shankar: UPSC Preparation Journey of the 122nd All India Rank Holder

How Was Aishwarya able to Clear the UPSC Exam in Her First Attempt?

When Aishwarya began her UPSC preparation, multiple people around her demotivated her and said that it isn’t possible to clear the examination in her first attempt. That’s when she took this as a challenge and decided to show those individuals what she was capable of.

She believes that anyone can clear the examination on the first attempt, and there is nothing special about her. She yet cannot answer why she was able to clear the exam in her first attempt, and according to her it is no big feat and does not require so much information.

There is only one thing that one must keep in mind, and that is to give your complete focus to exam preparation. She was determined to clear the exam, and you have to believe in yourself. You also have to believe that hard work is the key to success and there can be no shortcuts. You have to be honest in your preparation.

UPSC Preparation Tips by IPS Aishwarya Dongre

1 – Reading Newspaper Daily

The most important step while preparing for the UPSC Civil Service Examinations is to read the newspaper. Aishwarya focussed on reading the Hindu itself. A lot of aspirants believe in reading multiple newspapers and to gather a lot of information, but according to her, that isn’t necessary. Candidates must understand the importance of newspapers. UPSC is looking to select candidates from all over the country and newspapers are the common source of information available to all.

Aishwarya used to spend a significant amount of time reading the newspaper. Candidates should make notes and maintain different registers on different sections. She believes that by making notes one tends to remember for a longer duration of time.

Also Read: IPS Agam Jain Strategy: His Story, Strategy for UPSC CAPF, and IPS Journey 

2 – Choose A Single Source for Each Subject

The UPSC is not checking the learning ability of the candidate. Instead, they check whether you can analyze what you have learnt. That’s where a single source comes in. She believes that one book on history can teach you more about it than ten books. If you study from a single source you can revise again and again. IPS Aishwarya believes that one should know something of everything and everything of something. By restricting herself to one source she gave herself a lot of time to revise again and again.

3 – Solve a Lot of Questions

Aishwarya solved a lot of questions and mock papers while preparing for the UPSC examination. Close to the prelims, she solved around 100 questions daily. It is fine if you do not know the answers but you must solve these questions. The more you practice the more your confidence will increase. When she began this practice she used to score 5 to 10 marks, but her score increased day by day. You don’t have to feel low about yourself. If you practice regularly your marks are bound to improve.

4 – You Must Keep Calm

There will be days when you have not scored as expected and your peers have scored more than you. But you don’t have to feel bad about yourself or even demotivated. You shouldn’t compare yourself with others. UPSC is not only testing your answer writing skills but also as a person. There is going to be a lot of pressure, anxiety, multitasking, some of the aspirants will be working, some of them will have families, some of them will be studying, and you will have to juggle between work and studies, and you will have to remain calm as well.

IPS Aishwarya Dongre Optional Subject

Aishwarya Dongre’s UPSC optional subject was Political Science and International Relations. She had studied Political Science for 5 years, 2 years while completing her higher education and for three years while completing her graduation. You should choose an optional subject with the utmost care and consider factors such as your interest, availability of resources, satisfaction after studying the subject, and the course structure.

There is no single strategy to prepare for the paper. You must try different combinations and permutations to create your strategy. You must practice previous year papers to understand the type of questions asked to candidates. You must also understand that this is a syllabus with a lot of questions asked from current affairs.

Creating notes is an important part of UPSC preparation. You must also create mind maps for each topic so that your revision becomes easier. Try to understand the topics with contemporary examples and remember notable articles, theories and scholars.

By following these points you will be able to secure a good rank just like Aishwarya did. These tips helped her secure an All India Rank of 196.

Also Read: Interview with Sizal Agarwal: UPSC Preparation Journey of the 112th All India Rank Holder

IPS Aishwarya Dongre Marksheet

Aishwarya Dongre’s mark sheet of UPSC Civil Service Examination is mentioned below. Students can go through it to get a better idea of the scoring process.

Subjects  Marks
Essay 124
General Studies I 113
General Studies II 98
General Studies III 94
General Studies IV 110
Optional – I 175
Optional -II 152
Personality Test 157
Final Total 1023


IPS Aishwarya Dongre’s journey might have inspired you to perform well in the UPSC examinations. Students should continue reading success stories of individuals who have cleared the examinations in the past to keep themselves motivated. You can read more such articles at UPSC Pathshala.

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