In service of society

In service of society

As Civils aspirants prepare themselves for the UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) Main examination to be held in December this year, here is the...

As Civils aspirants prepare themselves for the UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) Main examination to be held in December this year, here is the success story of Sadhu Narasimha Reddy, a self-educated Telugu Civil Servant, and his advice for them

sadhuSuhani Dewra

This is the story of grit and determination. Of self study and self confidence. Of a now IRS (Indian Revenue Service) officer who taught himself for the longest period of nine years, failing each time due to lack of guidance and knowledge in English language.

As Civils aspirants prepare themselves for the UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) Main, tentatively to be held in December this year; here is an inspiring journey- during Civils preparation and post posting, of the Khammam-born Sadhu Narasimha Reddy, IRS. "Till my PG, I studied in Telugu medium government schools and colleges of the remotest parts of Andhra Pradesh. But that didn't deter me from not landing in metros like Hyderabad for preparation and Delhi for giving interview for the test," he says.

What's interesting about Reddy is that he self-educated himself for UPSC exams and didn't attend coaching or study circles to crack the country's one of the toughest exams. "Initially I did join a coaching centre, RC Reddy, but my Anthropology (an elective subject in the Mains) teacher used to come too late. And more than education, the management spent time on asking money from us. Seeing the lackluster atmosphere, I left the centre and never looked to join any tuition classes," he recalls.

For preparation, Reddy studied leading English newspapers, Civils Services Chronicle, books by Dr BR Ambedkar Open University, NCERT material and other standard books recommended for various subjects. Succeeding only in the fourth attempt, Reddy during preparation worked as a proof reader, drafted a book on India economy in Telugu and donned the hat of a journalist for Vijetha Competition magazine and later worked as a lecturer in a government college in Hyderabad to stay financially independent.

The two things that helped him crack the test were useful advice from a few people to rehearse for the interview in front of a video camera and strong desire to serve the people. "Throughout my struggle to clear the UPSC entrance tests, none came forward to offer me any kind of guidance. The experts in the concerned field were busy showing off their own knowledge and in turn discouraging me. But when I went to Delhi for interview, two people advised me that I prepare for the interview round by recording the audio and video of my answers. That helped me improve on my answers and body posture to boost my confidence."

sadhu3Advice to aspirants "Have confidence in yourself. Cracking UPSC is no rocket science. Medicine students have to study harder and longer. Also, don't restrict to one particular beat. A civil servant has to work in all the branches of the government. Most importantly, opt for Civils only if serving the people is your prime motive. As a civil servant, your salary will be less than a degree lecturer's salary."

ITCSA (Indian Telugu Civil Servants Association) Since lack of guidance added to the years for Reddy to reach his goal, he created a platform for UPSC aspirants, especially for students from remote parts, to seek help. Initially started as an Orkut group, the community is now converted into a blog with the name ITCSA (Indian Telugu Civil Servants Association). The blog has relevant UPSC study materials. For questions related to UPSC or any kind of help, students can register at or mail at There are nearly 200 civil servants are available to answer queries of the candidates. The team has also created nearly hundred UPSC awareness sessions in Andhra Pradesh. "None was there to guide me, I do not want other students to go through what I went" reasons Reddy.

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