CSC:Achieving top slot in the Judicial Services Examination is no small feat; accept our heartiest congratulations on your splendid success.
Akanksha: Thank you so much sir. Much obliged.
CSC: Can you recall the exact moment when you realized the importance of Judicial Services?
Akanksha: During my college days I realized that corporate Job is not my cup of tea. I wanted to connect and relate with law on a much more ground level. Also Judicial Service is not merely a job but a living profession, as you deal with the real time situations. All this inspired me to work hard in this direction.
CSC: Finally, at what point of time did you make up your mind to make a career in ‘Judicial Services’?
Akanksha: During my LL.B. only I was very clear in my thoughts that I have to become a judicial officer.
CSC: You must have read toppers’ interviews in newspapers/magazines; what inspired you the most? Any particular success story which influenced your journey to this result?
Akanksha: Surprisingly, I never have read any interview, but during my preparation my mentor Mr. Alok Kr. Ranjan sir and my friend Gaurav used to share the stories of various toppers, which inspired me and kept me motivated that, ‘one should trust the process and must have faith in oneself’.
CSC: Was JSE a planned decision or your parent’s wish? Did you keep in mind some time frame, for the examination preparation and number of attempts?
Akanksha: Coming from a non-law family background I never knew about JSE till my graduation with Chemistry (Hons.). It was final year of my B.Sc. when I got in touch with one of my school seniors who happened to be an advocate in Delhi. From there it was my own decision to prepare for judiciary and from here it was law only. It was my first attempt only so had not thought much about timeframe. But, yes, I had in my mind that I have to clear JSE really soon.
CSC: Describe the exact moment when you came to know about the importance of Judicial Services?
Akanksha: I knew the importance of JSE from the very beginning of my law graduation and that judicial services will provide me an opportunity by which I could contribute a bit to our country. Thus it was always my serious choice and not an option.
CSC: If we talk about Interview Boards, many candidates have ‘set impressions’. Do you consider such thoughts help or hinder one’s performance in Interview?
Akanksha: The main purpose of interview is to get insight into your personality. In my case it got polished by ‘Interview Guidance Programme’ at Ambition Law Institute. Furthermore, me with friends Gaurav and Abhishek - were used to have discussions on various topics and issues which helped me during my interview. We should never prepare for interview with any pre-conceived notion. Trust yourself and be confident. You will do wonders.
CSC: What was your first step when you were really serious about making a career in Judicial Services?
Akanksha: I was serious since the beginning of my career in law but the actual preparation started when I joined Ambition Law Institute in November 2017.
CSC: Were you confident of your success in this examination and how did you react to this news of your success?
Akanksha: During my preparation I was not thinking of the result at all. I started with a thought that I have to give my best. We have got 24 days to prepare for our mains so we had no time to think about the result. I am really happy and elated that I got First Rank.
CSC: In how many attempts have you achieved this success? How do you visualize your preparation/previous attempts?
Akanksha: This was my first attempt at UPPSC J. For preparation I adopted simple strategy of focused study for long hours by joining a library nearby my coaching, where I used to study with my friends from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. But, I used to take breaks after every 2 hours and in between I had my coaching classes also. I never missed my classes and was quite regular with coaching and library.
CSC: Were you preparing for other career opportunities as well while preparing for your ultimate goal i.e. Career in Judicial Services?
Akanksha: For the time being I was only focusing on Judiciary preparation.
CSC: While the changing economic environment offers immense lucrative career opportunities in various sectors, still what kept you motivated towards Judicial Services?
Akanksha: The charm and respect which judicial services hold with it always kept me motivated in this direction only. Thus, the corporate jobs never distracted me.
CSC: What’s important and what’s not? Share your thoughts and opinions.
Akanksha: Having a good mentor and friends around is very important and I was blessed with both. My Mentor Alok Kr. Ranjan Sir always guided me that stay away from all kinds of distractions and follow the strategy shared in class, techniques taught there and keep your hard work on then success is bound to follow. Having a good company is also very important. It keeps you motivated and positive. The group discussions and revision unknowingly helps you a lot. One must keep his/her preparation limited i.e. instead of referring to many books one should revise from limited sources and should apprise themselves with current legal and other issues. Reading newspaper regularly will definitely give you an edge while framing answers. Stay away from negative thoughts and negative people. Commit mistakes and learn from it.
CSC: ‘Time Management’ is a key factor while making preparations as well as in writing examination papers. Did you come across such a problem during this period? If yes, then how did you manage things?
Akanksha: Yes, time management is one major thing which plays a great role while one prepares for competitive examination. In this case my friend Gaurav, Abhishek and Amrita really helped me. They shared strategies and guided me how much time I should be giving to major subjects as we had very limited days for our mains examination. We also had a session with our sir for time management.
CSC: List some of the magazines, newspapers, books, etc. which you read for ‘General Studies’ preparation.
Akanksha: Civil Services Chronicle, Mohit sir Class Notes, Study IQ education ( Garg sir ) current affairs, Ghatna Chakra ( All Volumes). For quick revision of latest amendments and bills I referred GK today.
CSC: How did you prepare yourself for Interview? When and which Board did you face? How did your interview go on, how much time it lasted and what were the questions asked during the Interview?
Akanksha: ‘Interview Guidance Program’ was offered by Ambition Law Institute. It was really important as it was going to be my first interview. My UP PCS-J interview was scheduled on 24thJune 2019. I was interviewed by Dr R. Prakash Vaidya Board. My interview went well. They made me comfortable by asking me to sit and further adding that from where had I come, followed were few questions like from where have I done my LL.B., when did I pass, what I did after my graduation, etc. Few of the questions which they asked from law were what is Socialism, Defamation vs Insult, Defamation in Constitution, Civil and Criminal Defamation, nature of Evidence Act, latest judgment on Article 19, few questions from Appeal and Revision, etc. There were few questions which I couldn’t recall or I didn’t know so for them I simply replied sorry sir, “I cannot recall” or “Sorry sir I don’t remember”. It went for 15 minutes. At last they asked me to have water. After that I got up, greeted them and left the room.
CSC: What is the importance of medium of examination for exams like JSE?
Akanksha: I had written the exam in English as I can articulate better in English than Hindi. Medium doesn’t matter if you have good command over your language.
CSC: Does the educational, financial and demographic status of the family of an aspirant have any impact on the preparation?
Akanksha: What all an aspirant need from their family is constant support. In my case I have a humble background. My father works in a private company at Lucknow and we are middle class family and I have studied at DAV school and then at Law College at Ghaziabad and even then I topped it. So, it speaks all about it.
CSC: According to a recent report published by reputed survey agency, Civil Service Chronicle is the largest read Career & Competition magazine. What is your opinion?
Akanksha: I and my friends highly relied upon Civil Service Chronicle for our GS portion. Thus, constant and regular reading will definitely give you an edge and results.
CSC: What is the secret of your success?
Akanksha: My teachers, my family, my friends and definitely my hard work.
CSC: Any suggestion/advice you would like to give to the future aspirants.
Akanksha: Never doubt yourself. Start preparing now. Nothing is impossible.CSC: Thank you very much and wishing you all the best for your future endeavours.