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From Obstacles to Opportunity: IAS Nishant Jain's UPSC Journey to AIR 13

February 11, 2024

date

4 Minutes

Table of Contents

Introduction

Nishant Jain’s story is like a movie about a young boy from Meerut who dreamed big. He saw wrong things happening around him and decided he wanted to fix them by becoming an IAS officer. But this dream wasn’t easy, especially because he studied in Hindi medium, and some people didn’t believe in him. He went against all odds and secured an All India Rank 13 in UPSC 2016. His journey is about overcoming doubts and turning weaknesses into strengths. 

The Dream Begins

He dreamed of becoming an IAS officer to show that students who study in Hindi can also be successful. He remembers a time when he used to got to get ration, he saw the shopkeeper scamming people by giving them less quantity grocery or sometimes not even opening the shop for many days. This made him think that if he became an officer, he could stop such wrongdoings. Later on, he found out he had to pass a special exam to become an officer. 

Overcoming Doubts

Nishant faced a big challenge: he studied in Hindi, and many people thought Hindi medium students could not succeed in UPSC exams. He also did not know what career to choose after his 10th grade. But he found inspiration in the poem ‘Madhushala’ by Harivansh Rai Bachchan, which encouraged him to keep moving forward. It was like a light in the dark times. The poem reads as follows: 

“मदिरालय जाने को घर से चलता है पीनेवाला,
'किस पथ से जाऊँ?' असमंजस में है वह भोलाभाला,
अलग-अलग पथ बतलाते सब पर मैं यह बतलाता हूँ -
'राह पकड़ तू एक चला चल, पा जाएगा मधुशाला।”

Turning Challenges into Opportunities

After finishing his 10th grade, Nishant was unsure about what he wanted to do next. He didn’t know which subjects to pick for further studies. At the same time, he needed to find a way to make money to pay for his school because of some challenges at home. Then, he saw a newspaper ad for a part-time job as a proofreader, a job he knew nothing about until a friend explained it to him. He decided to apply and got the job, earning 1 rupee for every page he read and corrected. Over one summer, he read 1700 pages and earned 1700 rupees. He kept working this job while he went to school, and it helped him pay for his education until he finished 12th grade. With hard work, he also did really well on his 12th board exams. 

Turning Point

Nishant had a big dream to study at Delhi University, but he was worried about how he could afford it. So, he stayed in Meerut for college instead. After finishing college, Nishant started looking for a steady job and ended up working in a post office. Even while working, he never forgot his dream of passing the UPSC exam to become an IAS officer. But the job took up so much time, he couldn’t study for the exam. Then, someone he looked up to gave him a piece of advice. They said, “A lamp on the ground only lights up a small area, but if you put it higher, it can light up the whole place.” This made Nishant think. Deciding to aim higher, Nishant left his job to focus on studying. He pursued his master’s and even cleared the NET exam on his first attempt. 

IAS Nishant Jain on Josh Talks

The Fellowship and M.Phil Joueney

Once Nishant started studying for his master’s, he got a fellowship that gave him 20,000 rupees every month. This helped him to study for an M.Phil at Delhi University, where he also began preparing for the IAS exam. But the road was not smooth. In his first try, he missed passing the prelims exam by just a few marks. It was a tough time, the first time he faced failure. This brought self doubts. But Nishant wasn’t alone; his family and friends stood by him, offering encouragement and support.

His brother gave him a piece of advice that stuck with him: always have a backup plan. Taking this to heart, Nishant applied for a translator job in the Parliament and got it. This job didn’t stop him from chasing his dream; he worked during the day and studied for the UPSC exams at night.

Victory in the Second Attempt

His hard work paid off on his second attempt. Not only did he pass, but he also secured All India Rank 13 and was the top candidate among those who took the exam in Hindi. His achievement was so notable that he was praised in the Lok Sabha, where he worked as a translator, by Sumitra Mahajan, the Lok Sabha speaker at the time.

Strength in Roots: Embracing Hindi at LBSNAA

During his training at LBSNAA, Nishant thought he might struggle because he chose to use Hindi, his mother tongue. But instead of it being a hurdle, it became his strength. He actively participated in activities in Hindi and was praised for his efforts. Nishant’s story is a shining example of how staying true to your roots and hard work can lead to extraordinary achievements.


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Table of Content

Introduction

The Dream Begins

Overcoming Doubts

Turning Challenges into Opportunities

Turning Point

The Fellowship and M.Phil Joueney

Victory in the Second Attempt

Strength in Roots: Embracing Hindi at LBSNAA

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