After failing the UPSC test three times, a 28-year-old civil service aspirant committed himself here in Maharashtra, police said on Tuesday, June 7 2022. They said Blesson Puddu Chako, a resident of Nagpur's Jaripatka neighborhood, hung himself from a ceiling fan with a bed sheet when he was alone at home on Sunday.
Another tragic event occurred this March, in Noida, when a former bank employee allegedly committed suicide by jumping from the 26th story of a highrise building. According to police, the 31-year-old former banker had apparently failed the UPSC exam despite taking it twice and was suffering from depression.
In Pune, a candidate called Amar Mohite, a native of Sangli, preparing for the MPSC exam committed suicide in January.
UPSC candidates believe cracking these exams gets them one step closer to some of the most prestigious positions in the Indian establishment, however, uncertainty and struggles in achieving the coveted positions can be troubling for them. But for some the formulas of success exist despite the challenges.
The Free Press Journal spoke to UPSC CSE rankers in February 2022, to understand their formulas of success exist despite the challenges.
Omkar Madhukar Pawar of Sanapane, from a small village near Mahabaleshwar, attempted the CSE multiple times was selected for three posts in the past. In the 2022, he ranked 194th in the UPSC Civil Services exam. "I had attempted UPSC six times," said Pawar.
“I am overjoyed that this is the year I have a good ranking and have surpassed my previous year's ranking. I was selected for the IPS last year and secured AIR 454,” he continued.
He added that most of the time, candidates lack an exit plan which can help them transition easily to other career opportunities. "My advice would be to have an exit plan wherein you have an idea of what you want to do in the next four years if things don't pan out accordingly. You can pursue MA, Public Policy, and MBA or put your thinking skills to form startups, the options are endless," added Pawar who believes career counseling is important too especially for candidates from rural areas.
For candidates like Vinayak Mahamuni, who gained an All India Rank of 95 in the UPSC examinations, individuals losing their late stages of teen years to limiting their social interactions to pursue UPSC examinations day in and day out is not worth it.
"You should not shape your entire life based on civil service examinations. I think spending time with friends, family members, making memories, etc. are important rather than just sitting 24 hours inside a library to clear an exam that has a more than 99% chance of not being successful but at the same time if you are dedicated to it, you should not take any shortcuts and have backup career choices at the same time," said Vinayak who hails from Latur and did his Btech in petrochemical engineering followed by a two-year stint at IBM.
"Be confident about yourself, know your strengths and weaknesses, have backup options, don't rely on toppers for answers as they can be wrong too, keep checking out the syllabus and previous papers and remember that at the end of the day it is just an exam," said Vinayak, who achieved AIR 95 in his fifth attempt of UPSC.