After Multiple Failed Attempts, Determined UPSC Aspirants Get Rank 1 in Engineering Services – News18

By: Sukanya Nandy
Last Updated: May 26, 2022, 14:56 IST
New Delhi
Know UPSC ESE toppers of 2021 — Kuldeep Yadav and Abhishek Kumar Sharma (Representational Image)
After failing at the UPSC engineering services exam, many candidates continue with a motive to crack the exam, however, learning from failures these engineers have not only cracked their exam but have also topped it.
Pune resident Kuldeep Yadav has secured AIR 1 in UPSC ESE 2021 in electronics and communication engineering and Abhishek Kumar Sharma has got AIR 1 in the electrical engineering category. Both the toppers had to go through their fair share of failures before becoming a success story.
Abhishek Kumar Sharma secured AIR 1 in UPSC ESE 2021 in electrical engineering. Hailing from Muzaffarpur, Bihar, he attempted the exam in 2018, 2019, 2020, but didn’t make it into the final list even once until 2021. Although since 2018, he working as an assistant electrical engineer in the Bihar Electricity Department (NBPDCL), he says he always to keen to work in the power sector.
“I wanted to join Central Power Engineering Services cadre because it gives me an opportunity to have an exhaustive knowledge of the power sector of the country and also keep myself updated with all the latest development in the power sector. That’s why I gave ESE. I always wanted to work in the public sector because it gives me an opportunity to contribute more meaningfully in the development of the society,” explains Abhishek.
He attempted UPSC ESE in 2018, 2020, and 2021. “In 2018, I cleared prelims but didn’t qualify in Mains. In 2020, I went till the interview stage but did not find my name in the list. In 2021, I got AIR-1,” said the topper.
“In this attempt, I gave multiple test series (for both prelims and mains). I gave more than 35-40 mains test series which made me ready for any kind of paper in Mains. Mains is very important stage in this examination and it is mostly about accuracy and keeping calm in the examination center. Test series helps in achieving that,” he said.
“I finished my basic syllabus during my college years itself as I was preparing for GATE at that time. Then I restarted my preparation from March 2019. I kept revising all the subjects and finished new subjects from standard source, online lectures. There were four steps in my preparation process which included finishing the syllabus from any standard source (books, classroom, online classes). Secondly, solve all previous year questions and revise hard questions multiple times. Give as many test series as possible of multiple coaching institutes. Last, make 2-3 pages short notes at the very end of every subject so that revision just before exam becomes easy,” explains Abhishek.
He also appeared for GATE three times — he got AIR-797 in 2018, AIR-652 in 2020 and AIR-342 in 2021. Based on his GATE 2018 rank, he got selected as assistant electrical engineer in electricity department, Bihar (NBPDCL).
He appeared for JEE Main and Advanced in 2015. He got around 17,000 rank in JEE Main. He also appeared for the Jharkhand Combined Entrance Examination. and based on his rank in the exam, he took admission in at BIT Sindri, Dhanbad with BTech in electrical engineering.
While his father retired from Indian Railways as a senior shunting driver, his mother is a housewife. He completed his class 12 from DAV Public School, Bistupur, Jamshedpur. He completed his BTech in electrical engineering from BIT Sindri, Dhanbad in 2018.
Kuldeep Yadav has secured AIR 1 in UPSC ESE 2021 in electronics and communication engineering. A native of Pune, he made his first attempt at the exam in 2020 but was unable to secure any rank. Hence, he appeared for a second time. “My main goal was to become Group A Gazetted officer so I appeared for ESE full heartedly in ESE 2020 and ESE 2021,” Kuldeep told
In UPSC ESE 2020, he missed the cut off with 13 marks. “I tried my level best not to take easy questions lightly and solved them with full concentration, yet could not make it through” said he.
Read | After Cracking IIT, IIM Entrances, Haryana’s Vineet Kumar Secures AIR 1 in UPSC ESE
In ESE 2020, he went to interview stage but could not crack it. “I analysed my mistakes at each stage specially pre and mains stage and improved them in next attempted. In ESE 2021, I prepared hard for paper 1 and paper 2. Then in ESE Mains, I prepared from online lectures and appeared for the test series. This time, I tried to improve my mistakes and followed my previous year mains marked questions and tried to solve difficult questions. I tried my level best not to take easy questions lightly and solved them with full concentration,” explained he.
He began preparing for UPSC exam along with his job. Yadav got selected as a junior telecom officer in BSNL via his GATE score. In GATE too, success had come after wait for Yadav. He took GATE in 2016 but couldn’t fetch a good rank, hence took a gap year and appeared for GATE 2017 in which he got 726 rank.
He took the online test series and guidance from ACE Engineering Academy to prepare for ESE. “I sought out structured guidance to perform up to my potential. As I was also working around this time, I didn’t have enough time to study but I was determined and made sure to take out enough time every day to study for ESE,” explained Yadav.
The 29-year-old completed his BTech in ECE from Ambedkar Institute of Technology, Delhi in 2016 by clearing the IP University entrance exam. Hailing from a middle class family, as he says, he completed his class 12 from from SD Public School in 2012.
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About the Author
Sukanya Nandy, Subeditor at, covers education and career. She has been writing and reporting on education and lifestyle for over four yearsRead More
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