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From Dreams of Acting to IAS Glory: The Inspiring UPSC Success Story of Taskeen Khan

February 12, 2024


4 Minutes

Table of Contents


Many aspire to be engineers, doctors, and IAS, but Taskeen, in the first place, wanted to become an actress. However, when she saw her dream of being an actress shattered in front of her eyes, she decided to pursue UPSC. This is the story of Taskeen Khan, who secured rank 736 in the UPSC CSE 2022. Her journey was dotted with hardships like anxiety, depression, financial problems, etc., but nothing could stop her from achieving her dream.

Background and School Life

Taskeen’s father got selected for Group-D services in 1980 in Dehradun. In 1996, he got married. Till 9th grade, Taskeen was an average student; her math was weak, and teachers used to ignore her. She was a very lonely child, and she used to think she would not be able to do anything in her life. However, in 9th grade, she was asked to read aloud a thought on the stage. The thought was:

“Koshish karne walon ki kabhi haar nahin hoti.”

Before going on the stage, she practiced this thought by looking in the mirror 100 times. She wanted to give her best so that the whole college would know her. This is what exactly happened.

Along with this, her teacher, Shashi Kapoor, supported her and motivated her a lot. Due to this, she started studying, and she was one of the toppers in 10th grade. Somewhere in all this, she wanted to do acting, but there was huge pressure to secure good marks. For this purpose, despite not liking science, she chose science as a subject and topped the 12th grade exams as well. As a result, she and her family were called to hoist the national flag at their school on August 15. This was a very proud moment for her parents.

College Life and the Biggest Rejection

In college, Taskeen was a part of NSS and Scout. As a part of these clubs or schemes, she went to many villages, and after looking at the state of the people, she wanted to do something for others. Therefore, she formed "Vishwas Nukkad Natak Mandali,” and this mandali used to go to different parts of Dehradun to perform street plays for awareness. However, people mocked them, and it did not work much.

After two years of hard work, Taskeen got a chance to audition for Miss India. However, she wasn’t allowed to audition because her height was less than the required height. This broke her heart as well as her dream.

Constant Hardships

In 2018, her father retired from the job. Her family’s financial situation was very bad. Therefore, her family shifted to Meerut, and responsibilities piled up on her. Her mother’s health was also not very good. It was important for her to get financially independent. In 2019, Taskeen started preparing for government examinations, and to finance her exam forms, she started taking tuition at home. This way, her NCERTs got prepared, which later helped her a lot.

IAS Taskeen Khan on Josh Talks

Failed UPSC Attempts

Taskeen learned about UPSC through one of her Instagram followers. He motivated her to give it a try. Taskeen gave an attempt but failed to clear the exam, but this preparation helped her to clear the Haj Committee of India’s entrance for a scholarship. Taskeen prepared there for one year and gave her second attempt. However, her weak math didn’t let her clear the CSAT, and she couldn’t reach the mains. Furthermore, she cleared the entrance for Jamia and started preparing again. A number of problems, including financial and social ones, were there.

Do or Die for IAS

In May 2022, Taskeen’s father had a neurological disorder, and he was admitted to the ICU. Her prelims was nearby, and she was confused about whether to give it or not. However, she gave the preliminary exam and cleared it. In all this, for 2 months, she had to travel home every 3 days. Her sister was having anxiety issues, and she started questioning her decision. During these times, she went into depression and started having suicidal thoughts. This time, Athiya Foundation’s Sahil sir understood her, and Athiya madam took her to a psychiatrist. Her condition improved, and she gave her mains. While writing mains, she forgot to write the last answer, and she cried, thinking she would not clear in the metro.

In October, she got the result of UPPS, and she had huge hopes from it, but she couldn’t clear it. She, her sister, and her mother cried the whole night. In December, she was selected for the UPSC Mains. On January 24, 2022, she had a major depression attack as she did not have space for interview preparation, which she later found in the Sarvakon Foundation. She gave her interview but was worried since she was an average student. Fortunately, her name was on the final list. Her journey, as she says, is a testimony to the fact that whatever happens, it happens for a purpose.

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Table of Content


Background and School Life

College Life and the Biggest Rejection

Constant Hardships

Failed UPSC Attempts

Do or Die for IAS

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