"My work boosted my preparation for Civil Service "stated Anmol Singh" ,APCS RANK 1 (APPSCCE 2020 ) in a short interview with The SPACE
By Jon Pebi Tato
STATE: The SPACE had another short interview with one of the candidates who managed to crack the APPSCCE-2020 examination. He is Mr.Anmol Singh, son of Mr. Arun Kumar Singh who is a Retired Chief Cane Officer, and Mrs. Kusum Lata (Home Maker), from Village Kedarpur, Dhampur, Dist. Bijnor Uttar Pradesh. He is a married individual with his doting wife Mrs. Nisha Azad, Executive Magistrate, Himachal Pradesh. This has been the most awaited interview and The SPACE is equally elated and overwhelmed with the presence of the APPSCCE-2020 topper Mr.Anmol Singh, APCS Ranked 1.
Singh had secured 1069 in the written exam, 181.25 in the Personality test, and with a grand total of 1250.25 securing himself in a prestigious post of APCS Entry Grade.
Interview with Anmol Singh, APCS, 1st Rank 2020-21
Hello Anmol! First of all a very big congratulations from the entire team of THE SPACE Media and welcome to The SPACE.
(Anmol: Hello and Thank you for inviting me on your interview, and it is really a pleasure to be invited by the renowned media house of the state)
THE SPACE: So! Anmol! You being a Non-Residence of this state yet managed to secure the 1st rank in one of the most prestigious examinations, tell us How do you feel right now?
Anmol Singh: It feels good to get the first Rank, But I think all those aspirants who are selected I think it's a matter of a few numbers, 1st 2nd or 10th everyone deserves the same appreciation. It's not like am superior if I had secured the 1st Rank.
THE SPACE: So what was the reaction of your Parents?
Anmol Singh: My parents were celebrating, I called them up late at night and expressed my happiness after having passed the exam, they were like "wow!" after so many years of struggle I could finally crack a civil service exam, especially my grandmother , she always wanted me to be in this service so finally she is very happy.
THE SPACE:Can you tell us about your Journey of preparation for Civil Service Exam?
Anmol Singh: I started in 2014 with UPSC examination, in the year 2016 I gave two interviews of UPSC and I gave APCS with the 2020 batch which started from 2017. In the APCS 2020 batch, I scored 1031 marks having failed to secure my position in the final list, so at that time it was very disappointing. I had also cracked EPFO and also cracked CDS four times conducted by UPSC, by that, I was already in a competitive environment. Even my father was already serving in a government sector job so he motivated me.
I am a very ordinary person," Thora bohot mehnat karleta hoon", on my 10th I had low marks and then improved a bit on my 12th, and graduated in Bsc but couldn't clearly continue my Masters due to uncertain circumstances.
But I was very clear about my goal, I wanted to go for Civil service, therefore after seven years of struggle, I could finally achieve it. My wife works as an Executive Magistrate in Himachal Pradesh, the Surrounding is very good and I could study there very nicely. This is all I can say.
THE SPACE: Ok !Anmol that's very nice of you to have a soulful environment of preparation, so can you tell us when did you come to Arunachal Pradesh?
Anmol Singh: First time I came in the year 2014 with my friends, and then I just wanted to see the culture of Arunachal, at that time I was already in preparation for UPSC and I came here to just experience the culture and tradition, I had a friend in Delhi who was originally from ziro, so I visited ziro, where we talked about the problem in society, infrastructure, tourism, etc, So I came to know that there are lots of scope for development, and so I thought about trying for civil service in the state, as I was encouraged.
Having said that I finally came back to the state for appearing for the APCS in 2017.
THE SPACE: Ok! so mentioned UPSC have you ever cracked it?
Anmol Singh: Not yet but I have exhausted all 6 attempts in UPSC for the General Candidate. For the first two times, I Couldn't clear the Prelim but on the third, I did but couldn't clear in the final list that is the Viva-Voce.
THE SPACE: Whoa! you must be very experienced by now! so What difference did you find between the UPSC and APPSCCE?
Anmol Singh: I really wanted to say on this, see on social media there is a hue and cry over the syllabus pattern, many here are bellowing that if the commission comes up with UPSC pattern then the candidate from outside will come and grab away the seat, but if we see in a longer duration, the pattern is rather a boon for the candidate of the state, They can prepare simultaneously for UPSC as well as the state PSC, one cannot crack UPSC if he/she concentrate in the state itself. Therefore in the future, the state will definitely witness lots of IAS from the indigenous community because the syllabus will be the same.
THE SPACE: So Anmol, What made you think that you should prepare for state PSC in Arunachal Pradesh?
Anmol Singh: I was motivated and encouraged by everyone around me.
THE SPACE: Have you travelled around Arunachal Pradesh?
Anmol Singh: Not much! But I would love to
THE SPACE: Since you are new to the state, you must understand that the region is totally mountainous and you must be acquainted with it, so how a person coming from a plain area be able to sustain in such topography?
Anmol Singh: My wife is posted in Himachal, she had also been in the Zanskar range, Garhwal Himalayas, hence I think I have experienced well enough of the mountainous region.
THE SPACE: The west Himalaya in India has a gentle slope, even though the peaks are high, but one can easily be able to sustain there unlike the Eastern Himalayas of Arunachal Pradesh which has a steep slope mountain with undulating heights. How are you going to cope up with that?
Anmol Singh: Humans in Arunachal have stayed since time immemorial, hence they have got adapted to it, so as a human I shall get adapted to it, moreover Challenges are there everywhere in life, be it plain or mountain, hence I think I will get into it
THE SPACE: let's get back to the preparation part, How did you start preparing for APCS?
Anmol Singh: In GS-I For Ancient and medieval Indian History, I used NCERT, for Modern Indian History I used Alka Mehta, and BL Grover, it is really a wonderful book and that's sufficient. For world history, I saw youtube videos.
Coming to Geography I have 45 books, I read every book, for Indian society, I made my own notes, about society and all, current affairs helped me a lot.
In GS-II, For Polity, I studied LaxmiKant, especially for pre similarly for mains, I often watched Rajya sabha tv, because in this paper current affairs nature of the question was there, and for internal security, it wasn’t difficult as I was already working in a society, sp I wrote out of my all practical knowledge.
For Paper 1 I had no strategy for the Essay and it's the same thing with the English paper, I didn't prepare at all, I just wrote it.
In GS-III, For economy and Environment, Geography helped me a lot, but for Economy I had lots of notes, starting with Ramesh but that was just for a basic foundation, later on, I merged my economic study with the Economic Survey, Niti-Aayog documents and apart from that the Local Newspaper.
Coming to the GS-IV, The Ethics, it was very scoring, you need to include the current event, there are lot of things that you need to get it from the daily newspaper, I don’t think any book can help you, one has to think out of the box, read current affairs, the state newspaper.
Like what is morality, a bookish definition won't fetch you a good mark but your additional thought out of experience can be helpful, you can add from the recent societal trend and its applications on the paper would be fruitful.
Like Gandhi or Mahatma is an application but one has to imagine how Gandhi would have thought, how buddha would have thought about if they had been writing the exams, hence an aspirant has to think a lot by applying their thoughts with current scenarios.
THE SPACE: Whoa! there's a lot of things to take up I guess! aspirants need to work a lot, so tell me what was your Optional?
Anmol Singh: My Optional was Geography.
THE SPACE: What made you think you should take Geography as an optional?
Anmol Singh: See, everyone has their own personal taste on which subject they fit in and on which they can do well in exams, so Geography is application-based paper and I am very fond of such subject, so I took geography.
THE SPACE: You mentioned that you appeared for APPSC in the year 2017 so at that time the state PSC had the old syllabus, what was the optional back then?
Anmol Singh: Back then we were supposed to take two optional, Geography was there and along with that I opted for History, which I really loved it.
THE SPACE: What makes you think that if an aspirant who takes History as an Optional, it would be difficult for them to crack the exam since you selected Geo over His?
Anmol Singh: See that again I like application-based subjects, so I took Geography, It was happy for me to draw maps, and study, everything was scientific and application-based, and Since I belong to a science background I prefer Geography and coming History, that I love it too, but I have difficulty in remembering all the dates, years, events, here apart from the understanding of theory in the perspective of some personality, it is not easy to remember all the dates.
THE SPACE: well! that's quite interesting, so did you cover all the NCERTs? or How much time did it take you to cover the optional?
Anmol Singh: No! I didn't much go for NCERTs, and about the books, while working in the NGO, I was funded and from that, I bought all the sources of books I needed, and about coverage time, I feel like I still have not yet completed the whole Geography like there is a topic viz Population geography which I really need to look at it.
But for the examination Purpose, I guess 5 to 6 months is enough to cover the whole paper.
THE SPACE: Alright so did you take any Coaching?
Anmol Singh: No, I didn't go for any coaching rather I had good mentors who were already in the job.
THE SPACE: Ok! So can you tell us your daily routine, like how did you start your day while preparing?
Anmol Singh: I am basically a night guy, I mostly studied from the evening 6 to 8 pm and after that, I used to take civil service classes for my brothers and his friends, so basically I used to teach them. After I prepared dinner, basically my every morning was different however the evening was fixed.
THE SPACE: Working and Studying, How did you manage?
Anmol Singh: Working gave me a glimpse of issues and much practical knowledge, My work boosted my preparation as it was in line with the civil service preparation.
THE SPACE: How did you manage to cover Current Affairs Section?
Anmol Singh: I didn't buy any magazine because pdfs were available, and sometimes for one month I opted for Bajiram, a one-month vision IAS. Hindu I used to read earlier for 3-4 years, But I went for Indian express later on.
THE SPACE: What is the difference between the Hindu and Indian Express?
Anmol Singh: Hindu is good especially the Editorials, but Indian Express is much simpler, and on civil service mains examination, you need to be as simple as possible.
THE SPACE: So did you make Notes?
Anmol Singh: No, my book was my notes, wherever I went I took my books with me, most importantly online books, it was friendly.
But I can say that I made a simpler version for notes, by drawing diagrams of events for all papers.
THE SPACE: What message would you like to give the aspirants who want to pursue this examination? Any motivational words.
Anmol Singh: Perseverance is one thing that an aspirant should adhere to it, even if you fail, keep on trying, keep on trying, and success will be yours, so there's a Hindi quote "girte hain shahsawar hi maidan-e-Jung mein" one must keep on fighting then only they will win, "no I can't do if that's the criteria, you can never get the success.
For serving in civil service one must have a love for society, love for the people, if someone is doing wrong, you must be ready to correct it and help mentor them.
For future days, We are planning to organize free coaching for the people of Arunachal Pradesh.
THE SPACE: So nice of you Anmol! ok so finally are you excited to go for your first Posting in the state of Arunachal Pradesh?
Anmol Singh: I am so so excited, and I can't wait to go and serve the state.
THE SPACE: Remember that the roads might be perilous and the network might be acute, are you still ready?
Anmol Singh: The Internet is so addictive, I would rather be happy and go to those remote areas, close to nature and no road that's fine more me.
THE SPACE: So best wishes for your future endeavor and We hope that you serve our people in a better way, Thank you for your valuable time.
Anmol Singh: It was my honour to be part of The SPACE Media, Thank you for inviting me, and good day.
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Jon Pebi Tato, Managing Editor, The SPACE, Itanagar.