The person about whom we are going to talk in this article is no ordinary person. This person is the first person to top the UPSC exam from Rajasthan which is one of the toughest exams in India. Not only that, but also cleared JEE Advance and CAT which are the toughest exams for engineering and MBA respectively.
IAS Gaurav Agarwal has bagged the AIR 1 in the UPSC 2013, his second attempt. Despite qualifying for three top exams in India, he failed during his graduation. Gaurav Agarwal has also worked as an Investment Banker and then quit his job.
Keep reading this article to know how he qualified three toughest exams in India, overcame his failure, why did he leave his job, and last but not the least, some of his advice for the aspirants.
Early life achievements of topper Gaurav Agarwal – successful in JEE, CAT, and UPSC.
The 1st ranker of UPSC 2013, Gaurav Agarwal has completed his schooling from a CBSE board in Jaipur.
What was the percentage of UPSC topper Gaurav Agarwal on his boards?
He got a percentage of 88.2 in his 10th board exam and 85.6 in his 12th board exam.
Gaurav cleared the UPSC exam twice. At first, he got selected as an IPS Officer and in his second and final attempt, he became an IAS officer.
Before that, Gaurav Agarwal completed his graduation and post-graduation.
In 2005, Gaurav completed his graduation in Computer Science from IIT Kanpur, which is the best engineering college in India. He went to IIT by clearing the JEE Advance exam, popularly known as IIT- JEE at 16 in 2001.
Besides doing his bachelors in engineering, Gaurav also cleared the CAT exam, the toughest exam for MBA in 2005, gaining an excellent score of 99.94%.
Gaurav Agarwal did his post-graduation in Finance from IIM, Lucknow which is also one of the topmost universities in India. He completed his master’s degree in 2008 with a gold medal in his possession which he has earned for his outstanding performance.
Gaurav Agarwal also worked as an Investment Banker in Citigroup, a top MNC in Hong Kong for almost 40 months from 2008 onwards after his post-graduation. Then, he quit his job and started a new journey as a UPSC aspirant.
“My family is my pillar of support” – Gaurav Agarwal
Gaurav’s family members were supportive of his journey. Gaurav Agarwal said, “I was motivated by my father, mother, elder sister, and other family members, who guided me in my studies.” His father S.C. Gupta who is a manager at Jaipur Dairy said that at first, his whole family did not fully agree with his decision of leaving a job of more than 1.25 crores to sit for the UPSC exam where the rate of clearing the exam successfully is very low but he supported and motivated Gaurav from the beginning.
His mother Suman Gupta and his 85-year-old grandfather, L N Gupta were his constant supporters too. Later his entire family motivated Gaurav and also guided him.
Is Gaurav Agarwal married?
Gaurav got married to Dr. Preeti Airun now Agarwal just 4 days after his interview for the UPSC exam. Preeti was supportive of him when Gaurav decided to attempt a second time for the UPSC exam as he wanted to become an IAS officer.
UPSC Journey of the Investor Banker Gaurav Agarwal
Gaurav Agarwal left his job to sit for the Civil Service Exam. “I found that the job of a civil servant is more challenging and very distinguished.
The civil servant understands the issues and problems of people and has a chance to serve the people, so I finally decided to quit the job and returned to India for the preparations in 2011,” said IAS Gaurav Agarwal.
This was the biggest turning point in his life where he left a well-paid job to serve our Nation.
Gaurav said that he also joined coaching classes for history in Delhi.
He discontinued his coaching classes after six months and returned to his hometown for self-preparation.
After Gaurav’s first attempt at the UPSC exam, which he cleared and got selected as an IPS Officer, he was training at the police academy in Hyderabad.
Gaurav’s parents were proud of his achievements, so they started preparing for his wedding while he was training as well as preparing for another attempt at the UPSC exam. The interview round of his second UPSC exam was just 4 days before his wedding.
He did not lose his focus and as a result of his dedication, he qualified for the UPSC exam with the top rank.
Gaurav also got motivation from Dr. Preeti, whom he is married to take another attempt at the UPSC exam, even though he was an IPS officer at that time.
Multiple attempts of Gaurav Agarwal.
According to PTI reports, Gaurav Agarwal’s first attempt at the UPSC exam was in the year 2012. In that year, he gained 244 ranks and got selected as an IPS Officer. Gaurav was doing training at the Police Academy in Hyderabad but his intentions were very clear about being an IAS officer.
Despite clearing the UPSC exam in his first attempt, he prepared again and opted for a second attempt in the following year.
In his second attempt in 2013, Gaurav’s hard work paid off as he became an IAS Officer by achieving the top rank and became the first person in his home state to get AIR 1 in the UPSC exam.
The struggle of Gaurav Agarwal’s journey
Gaurav Agarwal’s journey is not as smooth as it looks from the outside. He faced quite a lot of trouble at his graduation. He failed at many subjects though he cleared JEE ADVANCE with polishing marks.
In his last semester at IIT, he failed again for which Gaurav had to do an extension of his last semester. He never had thought of giving up, he used to visit professors for some extra credit work, and even stayed back on vacations to focus on his subjects. Somehow, he managed to complete his graduation after a lot of struggle and by staying consistent. Then, he did MBA and cleared the UPSC exam.
Gaurav Agarwal, who failed in his graduation bagged AIR 1 in the UPSC exam shows that you can achieve anything in life if you dare to work hard for it.
You will have many many ups and downs, but you have to keep the attitude of never giving up no matter what happens just like him. IAS Gaurav Agarwal is the epitome of inspiration for all the aspirants out there.
Posting history of Gaurav Agarwal
Gaurav Agarwal is passionate about his work. He serves the nation with full heart and dedication.
Gaurav Agarwal is currently posted as Commissioner of Ajmer Development Authority in Rajasthan. Before that, he was the Authority Commissioner of Jodhpur Development.
Previously, Gaurav Agrawal has also been Chief Executive Officer, Zila Parishad, Karauli, also served as Sub-divisional officer and sub-divisional magistrate for Bali and Mount Abu.
He was also posted as Additional Secretary, Ministry of Cooperation and Farmer Welfare, New Delhi, Government of India in the past. Gaurav Agarwal has worked on several projects to improve the lives of farmers by using technology. He always wanted everyone to utilize technology.
Other interests and works of IAS Gaurav Agarwal
- Gaurav Agarwal is a great sports enthusiast. Gaurav’s favorite pastime is playing cricket, apart from reading in his leisure time. In his childhood, he used to play cricket almost every day on a fixed schedule.
- When he cracked the UPSC exam with rank 1 in 2013, he started blogging in ‘Khelo India’. In Khelo India Gaurav used to share tips and strategies with the candidates which will help them to study better for the UPSC exam.
- Gaurav Agarwal has even collaborated with Un-Academy, an online coaching platform to share his strategies.
Top tips and hacks to crack the competitive exam UPSC.
Gaurav Agarwal has shared some very important tips for the aspirants. He talked about some of the common mistakes which students used to make and also how the mistake can be avoided. Gaurav said that the writing approach in the exam should be proper. Besides writing answers correctly which is the most important aspect, candidates should keep in mind some of the key points which are shared below:-
- For essays and GS, write appropriate answers. Do not make the answers too short or too long. Write in points and do not add anything unnecessarily.
- For essays, the introductory paragraph should contain a strong point so that it interests the examiner to read the essay.
- Try to cover every point of the topic while writing the essay. Give every point the same importance and do not elaborate on a single point for much longer.
- Another important thing is that handwriting should be very neat and clean as it is the most important part of the presentation.
- Gaurav mentioned the best sources to prepare for the UPSC exam which are mentioned below.
For GS 1,
History and Indian Culture – 11th and 12th NCERT books. Bipin Chandra for Indian freedom and Shekhar Bandopadhayay’s From Plassey to Partition.
Geography – NCERT 11th and 12th books, Vajiram notes, and reports of IPSO, IPCC, and IMD.
For GS 2,
Follow Laxmikanth, 2nd ARC relevant reports, Punchhi Commission reports, CAG reports, and Vajiram notes. Always read on the internet about International Relations.
For GS 3,
Practice thoroughly the previous year’s question papers, and read newspapers and magazines. 2nd ARC report, CAG report for disaster and disaster management. Also, read notes of your coaching class if you attend any.
Gaurav Agarwal said that his optional subject was economics so he studied the subject in depth.
For GS 4,
2nd ARC report, Vajiram notes, and notes of tuition class, Sriram printed notes, Synergy notes and NCERT should be followed.
- The aforementioned sources are the most reliable ones so candidates must follow Gaurav’s suggestion. Apart from that, give mock tests as much as possible. Practice writing the answers because only reading will not be enough. Read the newspaper and keep updated with current affairs. IAS Gaurav said that the students make reading a hobby as it plays a very important role. Tuition notes are very important but students must make their notes too which is helpful for quick revision when the exam is near.
- Choose your optional subject wisely according to your convenience. Research about the subject a bit before which you are opting to choose your optional subject. Gaurav chose Economics as his optional which gave an advantage that both GS 3 and optional subject became the same so revision takes less time.
- Lastly, lead a disciplined life. Instead of studying late at night, try to wake up early in the morning. Make a routine to study properly and have faith in yourself.
Failure doesn’t define your life, your choices do!
Gaurav Agarwal failed in his graduation but did not give up. He got a high-paid salary job but left to follow his passion. So there is no right time to follow your dream and passion. You just have to work hard enough to gain it. Since the day began, it is always you versus you. You have to try harder to push your limits and never give up. Focus on making yourself better day by day. Be determined to fulfill your goals. Always keep a positive attitude and believe in yourself. From Gaurav Agarwal’s life story, the two most important lessons learned are that you can choose to follow your dream any time and everything cannot be in your favor all the time, you have to have patience and overcome your difficulties.