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Inspiring Biography of Ansar Shaikh

Ansar Shaikh is a famous IAS officer.

He secured an all India rank of 361 in 2015 UPSC CSE.

Ansar Shaikh’s journey of becoming an IAS officer in his first attempt despite being born into a very poor family and facing countless struggles is very inspiring.

So read on.


Shaikh Ansar Ahamad was born on 1 June 1994 into a Below Poverty Line (BPL) family in Shelgaon village, Badnapur, Jalna district, Maharashtra.

He was born in a slum house and suffered from the pangs of poverty and his family was so poor that sometimes they weren’t even able to afford food.

Ansar Shaikh’s father, Ahamad Shaikh initially used to sell utensils, operate a grocery store and ride an auto rickshaw and even now, he is an auto rickshaw driver.

His mother, Azmat Shaikh used to work as an agricultural worker.

Ansar Shaikh has two elder sisters and a younger brother, Aneesh Sheik.


Ansar Shaikh did his schooling from a Zilla Parishad School.

He was a very intelligent and studious student and thanks to his oratory skills, he even won many prizes in the elocution competitions.

As both Ansar Shaikh’s parents were illiterates, they couldn’t provide him a conducive atmosphere for studying in the home but this couldn’t deter him from studying well on his own and excelling in studies.

Thanks teacher-

While Ansar Shaikh was studying sixth class, one of his relatives encouraged his father to drop him out of the school and force him to work.

That relative opined that he wouldn’t get a job after studying, so it’s better for him to financially support the family by getting some work.

So, Ahamad Shaikh went to the school and requested to drop Ansar Shaikh from the school.

But thankfully, one of his teacher’s, Purushotham Padulkar convinced him to continue his son’s education as he is very smart.

Working as a waiter-

Ansar Shaikh wanted to learn computers during his tenth class holidays and so, he wanted to enroll into the MS-CIT course.

But he wasn’t in a position to afford the fees of ₹2800 for it.

So, Ansar Shaikh started working as a waiter in a restaurant in his village and used to earn a salary of around ₹3000.

He used to work in the restaurant from 8 AM till 11 PM and used to get a two hour break in the middle.

And in this break, Ansar Shaikh used to complete eating his lunch and then, attend the MS-CIT computer course.

Thanks to his hard work, he topped in this course.

Wanting to become an officer-

During his tenth class holidays, Ansar Shaikh read in a newspaper that one of his teachers, Mapari had become a Block Education Officer (BEO) by clearing the Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC) exam.

He was very impressed by him and he too wanted to become an officer like him.

So, Ansar Shaikh met him and learnt about how to become an officer by clearing MPSC.

So, in 2010, he decided to become an officer.

Choosing arts-

After studying 10th class, Ansar Shaikh joined Badrinarayan Barwale Mahavidyalaya, Jalna to study arts in his intermediate.

Badrinarayan Barwale Mahavidyalaya is a government college.

Ansar Shaikh chose to study arts because he wasn’t at all interested in science and maths.

He scored 91% in his intermediate and he also worked in the holidays of his 12th class.

Wanting to become an IAS-

In his intermediate college, Ansar Shaikh saw that the teachers there were preparing for the UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE) and thanks to them, he got to know that the scope of UPSC is much more than the MPSC and with UPSC it is possible to become an IAS officer, collector, etc.

His teachers also explained to him about the CSE syllabus and pattern.

At that time, Ansar Shaikh decided to grow up to become an IAS officer.

His teachers suggested that he shift to Pune after completing his intermediate and start his CSE preparation there.

Joining Fergusson College-

In 2013, Ansar Shaikh joined the Fergusson College in Pune to study BA Political Science.

He got admission into this college based on his merit.

Ansar Shaikh needed ₹16,000 rupees for purchasing the books but as he didn’t have the money, he worked during the holidays of his first year of college.

He made good friends in college and they helped him with books and money.

Ansar Shaikh passed out from the college in June 2015.

Support from family-

Ansar Shaikh’s family unconditionally supported him and his endeavours.

His younger brother is a school drop out and he used to work in a grocery store and used to transfer his entire salary of ₹6000 to him.

Ansar Shaikh’s mother used to work as an agricultural worker and she used to also sometimes send him the money.

In his final two years of college, as he was very busy in preparing for the Civil Services Exam, he didn’t work and during this time also his younger brother fully supported him.

Preparation strategy-

Ansar Shaikh studied for long hours for CSE

Ansar Shaikh started preparing for the Civil Services Exam from his second year of college in July 2013 and prepared until May 2016.

He used to study daily for around 10-12 hours.

In his second year of BA, Ansar Shaikh joined a class of The Unique Academy, Pune.

For the initial six months, he prepared for his optional subject, political science.

Then, for the following six months, Ansar Shaikh prepared for the General Studies but not for the essay.

For the next three months, he revised the remaining topics of the UPSC Mains.

Then, for the following nine months, Ansar Shaikh prepared for the Prelims.

Preparing for the Main-

Ansar Shaikh attended the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination in August 2015 and he had a total of 100 days to prepare for the Main exam.

In this period, he dedicated half of the time for preparing for the Main by reading and revising and the remaining time by practising writing.

While preparing for the Civil Services (Main) Examination, Ansar Shaikh used to study daily for 14-15 hours.

The Main exam was conducted in Mumbai and he wrote the exam in Marathi medium.

The results for this exam was announced on 19 February 2016 and Ansar Shaikh scored 693 marks and passed the exam.

Preparing for the interview-

After clearing the Main, Ansar Shaikh prepared for the interview for the next 40 days.

He prepared for the interview at the Zakat Foundation of India, New Delhi.

Zakat Foundation is a NGO and here, Ansar Shaikh received free coaching with mock interview and accommodation.

He performed very well in the CSE interview and scored 199 marks.

An interesting fact-

Tina Dabi, the 2015 CSE topper scored 195 in the interview.

Clearing the exam-

In 2016, Ansar Shaikh cleared the UPSC CSE in his very first attempt and secured a rank of 361.

He cracked the CSE at the age of 21 and became one of the youngest persons to crack the exam.

In 2016, Ansar Shaikh was allocated to the West Bengal cadre.

In 2016, he was designated as the Sub Divisional Officer (SDO) of Dinhata, Cooch Behar.

In 2017, Ansar Shaikh published a book by the name, UPSC Mi Ani Tumhi.

The first one-

Ansar Shaikh is the first graduate in his whole generation of his family.

Also, he is the first IAS officer of the Jalna district.

So, how are you inspired by the success story of Ansar Shaikh?

Tell me in the comment section below.

Featured image and Ansar Shaikh image credits: Ansar Shaikh @AnsarShaikhFC

About Author

Hello folks, I'm Naveen Reddy.
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