In the recently announced final results of the UPSC Civil Services Exam 2021 on May 30, 2022, women clinched the top three positions. Shruti Sharma secured AIR 1, followed by Ankita Agarwal at AIR 2, and Gamini Singla from Chandigarh secured a notable AIR 3 in her second attempt. This article delves into Gamini Singla’s background, preparation approach, attempts, UPSC optional subject, and more.
Gamini Singla IAS Topper 2021
Gamini Singla hails from Anandpur Sahib, Punjab. She graduated with a B.Tech in Computer Science Engineering (CSE) from Punjab Engineering College in Chandigarh in 2019. Opting for the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), she aspires to contribute to the country’s development and the well-being of its people. Thrilled about her achievement in the esteemed IAS Exam, she holds the belief that women can accomplish anything through dedication and hard work.
Gamini Singla- Family Background
Gamini Singla is from Anandpur Sahib, with both her parents, Dr. Alok Singla and Dr. Neerja Singla, serving as medical officers in Himachal Pradesh. Her brother is an IIT Kharagpur graduate. Gamini attributes her success in the examination to her family’s unwavering support. According to her, her family, particularly her father, played a crucial role in her preparation:
“It might surprise you, but my father has been a tremendous help in my studies. He would read the newspaper and highlight key points for me, ensuring I didn’t miss any crucial information for the prelims or mains.”
Gamini emphasizes that her father’s understanding of what was essential for both prelims and mains exams significantly contributed to saving her time during her preparation.
Gamini Singla- Educational Background
- Gamini completed her school education till Class X at Anandpur Sahib, Punjab.
- She went to Mount Carmel School for higher schooling.
- Gamini completed her BTech in Computer Science Engineering from Punjab Engineering College Chandigarh in 2019.
- She received a placement offer from JP Morgan as a Finance Analyst but didn’t accept it, to pursue her UPSC dream.
- She started preparing for the exam right after her graduation. She took Sociology as the optional subject.
- Unable to clear Prelims in her first attempt, Gamini emerged as an IAS Topper, in her second attempt.
Gamini’s Success at Civil Services Exam
Gamini delved into UPSC exam preparation in 2019 immediately after graduating. While she primarily relied on self-study, she sought assistance from a coaching institute in Patiala. Despite facing setbacks in her first attempt, her childhood dream of becoming an IAS Officer fueled her determination. She persisted with self-study at home from 2020 onward, putting in more effort and successfully realizing her ambition in her second attempt. With a total score of 1045 marks, she secured the third position among UPSC toppers.
Expressing her feelings about the success, she said, “I am really happy. It is like a dream come true. I have opted for Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and would like to work for the development of the country and the welfare of people.”
Gamini Singla’s UPSC Preparation Strategies
Gamini Singla pursued a self-study approach for her UPSC exam preparation, sharing valuable tips that contributed to her success:
1. NCERTs Foundation:
Reading NCERTs from classes 6-12 proved instrumental in clarifying concepts and establishing a robust foundation.
2. Current Affairs Crucial:
Staying updated with newspapers and current affairs magazines was deemed essential for all three stages of the exam: Prelims, Mains, and the Interview.
3. Tailored Study Timetable:
After facing setbacks in her first attempt, Gamini designed a study timetable and crafted a unique strategy for herself. She committed to consistent daily study sessions of 9-10 hours.
4. Coaching and Self-Study Blend:
Despite taking coaching from Vinod sir in Patiala, Gamini emphasized her reliance on self-study for exam preparation, eventually achieving success.
5. Prelims Practice:
For Prelims, she dedicated time to solving numerous mock tests, ensuring ample practice before the actual exams.
6. Insightful Prelims Papers:
To grasp the nature of questions in the UPSC Prelims examination, Gamini solved previous years’ UPSC prelims question papers.
7. Mains Focus on Answer Writing:
In Mains preparation, her primary focus was on practicing answer writing. Sociology was her chosen optional subject for the Mains.
8. Internet for Supplementary Knowledge:
Gamini utilized the internet to understand topics not covered in standard books, maintaining a balanced approach. She also took a break from social media during her preparation.
Sharing advice for aspiring candidates, Gamini emphasized the importance of both hard work and strategy. Reflecting on past mistakes, she encouraged candidates to carve out their unique strategy, highlighting the irreplaceable role of hard work in the examination.
A few tips for UPSC exam preparation
1. Time Allocation:
- Allocate a minimum of one year for Civil Services Exam (CSE) preparation.
- Develop a detailed action plan to initiate your preparation journey.
2. Limited Study Material:
- Avoid confusion by limiting your study material.
- Choose a few selected books and resources and adhere to them as much as possible.
3. Meticulous Planning:
- Plan your UPSC CSE preparation meticulously.
- Create a realistic and achievable study schedule.
- Utilize a calendar to track your goals for better organization.
- Identify your own strengths and weaknesses.
- Focus your preparation based on your needs and understanding.
- This focus and clarity will significantly enhance each stage of preparation according to your requirements.
5. Internet Usage Caution:
- While the internet is an excellent source of knowledge and study material, be cautious not to overuse it.
- Internet distractions can hinder effective study sessions.
6. Practice Tests:
- Take mock practice exams for both prelims and mains.
- Gain confidence and refine your response structuring skills.
7. Maintaining Focus:
- UPSC exam preparation is challenging, so stay motivated.
- Maintain a positive outlook and believe in your ability to pass UPSC CSE 2023.
8. Avoid Anxiety:
- It takes time to establish a CSE preparation routine that suits you.
- Don’t worry if a topic seems difficult and you get stuck; think it through for clarity.
UPSC Topper 2021 – Gamini Singla FAQS
1. How did Gamini Singla secure the third position in the UPSC Civil Services Exam 2021?
Gamini Singla, hailing from Anandpur Sahib, Punjab, achieved the third rank through persistent self-study, a well-structured study timetable, and a unique strategy after facing setbacks in her first attempt.
2. What educational background does Gamini Singla have, and how did she transition into UPSC preparation?
Gamini completed her B.Tech in Computer Science Engineering from Punjab Engineering College in Chandigarh. Despite receiving a job offer from JP Morgan, she chose to pursue her UPSC dream, initiating preparation right after graduation.
3. How did Gamini Singla balance her preparation between self-study and coaching?
Although Gamini took coaching from Vinod sir in Patiala, she primarily relied on self-study for UPSC preparation, emphasizing a unique strategy tailored to her needs.
4. What strategies did Gamini Singla adopt for Prelims and Mains preparation in UPSC?
Gamini dedicated time to solving mock tests for Prelims and focused on answer writing practice for Mains. Sociology was her chosen optional subject for the Mains examination.
5. How did Gamini Singla utilize the internet during her UPSC preparation, and what advice does she offer to future aspirants?
Gamini used the internet for supplementary knowledge and understanding topics not covered in standard books. She advises future aspirants to reflect on mistakes, carve out a unique strategy.
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