Two Main Elements of the Star Value of I.A.S

26 Dec 2019
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Now we’ll understand the policy of UPSC, which is related to not setting the minimum marks criteria for appearing in the exam. To illustrate this, I would like to discuss an anecdote from 1994 when Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma was our President and I was his private secretary. Civil Servant Frank Noronha was the Deputy Press Secretary to the President, working under the Press Secretary. Frank Noronha was a very academic person, and somewhat like a philosopher too. After a while, Frank started to feel that his talent was not being utilised appropriately in the service.

One day during lunch, both of us were sitting with Sudhir Nath ji, the Joint Secretary to the President. Sudhir Nath ji was a brilliant, capable and a very popular officer of Madhya Pradesh cadre. When Frank Noronha expressed this feeling of agony in front of Sudhir Nath ji, he replied instantly, “Then what are you doing here? The Civil Service needs generalists, not geniuses.”

In this answer of Sudhir Nath ji, you can easily find answers to some of your questions like these –

  1. Why the minimum score in the graduate has not been fixed as the minimum qualification to sit for this exam? In other words, why do students of third division are also considered worthy of becoming an I.A.S?
  2. What role does bookish knowledge or academic excellence play in the preparation of this examination?
  3. How should I prepare myself for this exam?

This incident can also help in doing away with your misconception, if there is any, that if you have an academic tendency, then you should go into this field or not.

Anyways now we come to the second key element giving I.A.S the value of a superstar. This element is associated with its enormity, its generosity. The arms of this examination are so long that it is always looking forward to cover everyone. Everyone is welcome at its threshold. Its invitation letter is in everyone’s name. This is kind of an ocean in which numerous rivers coming from different directions keep flowing and infusing their water into it. The plank of ‘No Entry’ has no existence here.

You come here, get involved in this game, and become an I.A.S by getting yourself declared the winner.

This means that the successful youth of this examination is not only winner of any one branch, but is victorious in all branches.

This policy of open doors for the youth from top to bottom, and from all universities, colleges and institutes across the country has given this examination a different shine and prestige over all other competitive examinations in the country. And this is also the biggest challenge to succeed in this exam. Lack of understanding of these two important challenges will prove to be a hindrance in the way of your preparation.

– Dr. Vijay Agrawal (Former Civil Servant and founder of

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