Lucknow: Ajay Kumar Gautam studied from a local government school and continued his graduate studies from one of India’s best institutions, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). He didn’t stop at that and went on to write UPSC exams. He fulfilled his family’s expectations of him and cleared the exams in his very first attempt and became an IPS. To give a testament to his educational prowess, he appeared for the exams a second time, cleared them and was appointed as an IAS. Presently, Ajay Kumar is working as an SDM in Bilariganj.  

No primary school in village

Ajay Kumar Gautam is a resident of Kasganj; he grew up in a rural environment. His village did not have a primary school until two years ago. As a kid, he used to study at Gram Panchayat Devkali. He completed his class 12th from Baba Kadhera Singh Vidyalaya, Mathura. Meanwhile, he was also preparing for the entrance examination and with hard work, got an admission in IIT Kanpur.

Preparation for UPSC

Ajay Kumar completed his graduation from IIT in the year 2017 and moved to Delhi for UPSC preparation. He shares that he was the only one from his village to take admission in IIT. He believes that he is capable of doing so much more and must contribute his bit in the betterment of the village. He considers it his responsibility to provide village students with better educational opportunities. 

Being influenced

Ajay Kumar grew up in an environment where preference is given to a government job. The villagers consider these jobs more competitive and harder to crack. Ajay realized that he could only accomplish his dreams by getting a job that would enable him to work in the service of his village. 

IPS in first and IAS in second attempt

Ajay Kumar gave his first attempt at the UPSC examination in the year 2018 and passed with flying colours. In June 2019, he appeared for the exams a second time. Due to the pandemic, the interviews and the results were delayed. Finally, after the results were announced, he learned that he cleared the exams with a 415th rank. He was then appointed as an IAS.

Interview jitters

Ajay Kumar shares that the first time he ever stayed in a hotel was for the UPSC interview. At the same time, a terrible fire broke out in the hotel, and everyone was evacuated. Still reeling from the experience, Ajay stayed at a friend’s place. 

Ajay shares that when in the beginning he had rented a place for his UPSC preparation, the room was cramped and had no windows from where the sunlight would enter; it felt all dark and bleak. He believes that we must not get disheartened by these situations as they prepare us for something better in our future. 

Help from social media?

Ajay shares that during his preparation, he maintained a distance from social media. He says that students trying to look for motivational videos and posts online must stop doing that. Inspiration comes from within and cannot be sought from these platforms.

It is vital to devote your time to studies without getting distracted. Students must think of it as an opportunity that not many people get. Things will become easier if one realizes their responsibility towards their families and nation.