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Chasing Dreams: IAS Shubham Gupta’s Rise from Humble Beginnings to UPSC Success 

April 1, 2024


4 Minutes

Table of Contents

“Life is like a boxing ring. You don’t fail when you get down but you fail when you don’t get up.” 


In the quaint border town of Dahanu Road, where Maharashtra meets Gujarat, a young boy’s dream took root amidst the trials of everyday life. Born into a family with a modest background, Shubham Gupta’s aspirations were fueled by his father’s experiences with bureaucracy. His father, a small-time businessperson, often faced challenges dealing with bureaucrats, which left a lasting impression on young Shubham. He vowed to become a collector who would genuinely listen to people’s problems. This early exposure, coupled with the challenges his family faced, laid the foundation for a journey marked by perseverance and an unwavering commitment to making a difference. This is the story of how a young boy from a small town, with dreams as vast as the sky, embarked on a journey to become one of India’s finest civil servants, proving that with determination and hard work, no goal is too lofty, and no aspiration too ambitious. 

The Struggling Days

Life threw a curveball at the Gupta family when they faced financial difficulties and had to relocate to Dahanu Road, a small town on the border of Maharashtra and Gujarat. This move brought its own set of challenges. His mother was suffering from depression due to the recent events in their lives. The only available government school required students to study in Marathi, a language unknown to Shubham and his sister. To continue their education in the CBSE board, they had to travel 80 km each day to Vapi, Gujarat. This arduous journey involved catching a train at 5:00 am and returning home at 3:30 pm, a routine they followed for four years.

During this time, Shubham’s father opened another shop in Vapi to support the family. Shubham, showing maturity beyond his years, offered to manage the Dahanu shop after school, balancing his studies with work responsibilities.

Pursuing Higher Education

Shubham’s dedication to his studies and family business continued through his school years. While most of his peers opted for science, he chose humanities, aiming to build a foundation for a career in civil services. He aspired to study economics at Delhi University but faced a setback when his 12th-grade marks fell short of expectations. Undeterred, he enrolled in B.Com (Hons.) at Delhi College of Arts and Economics.

A twist of fate occurred when he was selected to study economics at Delhi University but missed the opportunity due to a miscommunication. However, his persistence paid off when he convinced the Head of the Department to give him a chance, promising to excel in the subject.

IAS Shubham Gupta on Josh Talks

The UPSC Journey

Shubham’s journey to becoming an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer was fraught with challenges. He started preparing for the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) exam during his third year of college. His first attempt in 2015 was a near miss, falling short by just 0.4 marks. Undaunted, he continued his preparation and secured an All India Rank of 366 in his next attempt, qualifying him to become an Indian Audit and Account Officer. However, his family’s aspirations for him to become an IAS, IPS, or IRS officer pushed him to aim higher.

After a failed attempt and a brief period of training as an Audit and Account Officer in Shimla, he decided to give the UPSC exam one last try. Balancing his training with rigorous preparation, he cleared the prelims and mains exams. His hard work culminated in a remarkable interview score of 184, earning him an All India Rank of 6 in the 2019 UPSC examination.

A Symbol of Hope

Today, Shubham Gupta serves as an assistant collector in Etapalli and a Project Officer in Gadchiroli District of Maharashtra. His journey from a small town in Maharashtra to the prestigious ranks of the IAS is evidence of his hard work and unwavering determination. His story is a source of inspiration for many aspiring civil servants, proving that no dream is too big to achieve. In his own words,

“Life is like a boxing ring. You don’t fail when you get down but you fail when you don’t get up.”

Shubham Gupta’s journey exemplifies this spirit of never giving up, no matter the odds.

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Table of Content


The Struggling Days

Pursuing Higher Education

The UPSC Journey

A Symbol of Hope

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