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COVID-19 lockdown created obstacle, but could not stop me: UPSC woman topper Jagrati Awasthi

Jagrati Awasthi, who secured the second rank in UPSC CSE 2020, revealed her secret success mantra for making it to the top position.

Kajari Goswami Kajari Goswami
New Delhi Updated on: September 25, 2021 23:58 IST
UPSC CSE
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Jagrati Awasthi shares her story of becoming the woman topper in UPSC CSE 2020. 

Jagrati Awasthi, who secured the second rank in UPSC CSE 2020, revealed her secret success mantra for making it to the top position. The 24-year-old also emerged as the woman topper of the Civil Services Examination 2020, results of which were declared by the Union Public Service Commission on Friday (September 24). 

Jagrati pursued B.Tech from Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, MANIT. Following her graduation, she joined Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL). 

UPSC CSE 2020: Childhood dream to become a Collector

Jagrati's childhood dream was to become a Collector and work for social welfare. Jagrati said, “I wanted to be an engineer initially and started my career as an electrical engineer, but then I realised I wanted to do something more meaningful so that I can contribute in little ways for society. I realised that Civil Services was best suited for this and took the plunge."

While working in BHEL, she could understand a sense of responsibility, value for money, professionalism, etc. She said, "working at BHEL was the biggest inspiration for me. It gave me the drive to achieve my goals."

UPSC CSE 2020: Difficulties 

When asked about the difficulties Jagrati faced during the UPSC CSE preparations, the woman topper said-- “Covid 19 and lockdown created an obstacle for me but it could not stop me. I joined online classes and continued with the CSE preparations." 

UPSC CSE 2020: Strategy to study

Jagrati adopted a strategy to gradually increase her hours of study. “Initially, I studied for 8 to 10 hours. Eventually, I increased it to 10 to 12 hours, and about two months before the exam, I further pushed it to 12 to 14 hours,” she added.

For aspirants who are also working professionals, the woman topper advises - "it is a risk to quit a job, but, sometimes it is required to shift complete dedication towards preparation, otherwise, it takes longer to succeed." 

Jagrati was so determined to crack the examination that quitting the job became essential to her. Her advice to all the aspirants was to understand the demands of the exam, question pattern. 

The UPSC second rank holder said, "I took a month to do my research and understand the examination properly, after that, just practice and appear for mock tests and collect feedback. Work on the weaknesses."

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