Anu Kumari is an IAS officer.
She secured the second rank in the UPSC CSE 2017.
Anu Kumari’s story of leaving her high paying job to pursue her dream of becoming an IAS officer and persisting even when she failed in her first attempt is very inspiring.
So read on.
Anu Kumari hails from Sonipat, Haryana.
She was born into a very financially modest family.
Anu Kumari’s father, Baljit Singh used to work in Jaipur Golden Hospital.
Her mother, Santro Devi is a dairy farmer and rears buffaloes.
Anu Kumari’s husband is a businessman and operates a business in Delhi.
She has three siblings, two brothers and a sister.
A bright student-
Anu Kumari didn’t have the right atmosphere at her home to study but this couldn’t stop her from becoming a bright student.
She was a topper all through her school and college.
Anu Kumari topped her school and stood second in her college.
She was also a topper in her post graduation.
Apart from excelling in studies, Anu Kumari was also very active in extracurricular activities.
In school, she received the best all-rounder award.
Anu Kumari also won many prizes in dancing, debating, story writing and painting.
Anu Kumari did her schooling from Shiva Shiksha Sadan, Sonipat.
Later, she studied B.Sc. ( Hons.) Physics from the Hindu College, Delhi.
Then, Anu Kumari joined Institute of Management Technology (IMT), Nagpur to study MBA.
In her school days, Anu Kumari dreamt of growing up to become an IAS officer.
Also, while studying at the Hindu College, many times she wanted to prepare for the Civil Services.
The Hindu College was quite famous for producing many civil servants and this too motivated Anu Kumari to pursue her Civil Services dream.
But she couldn’t pursue this dream, thanks to her poor financial condition which didn’t allow her to afford the exorbitant Civil Services coaching.
Also, at that time, Anu Kumari wasn’t confident that she could crack the Civil Services Exam with self study.
So, she chose to study MBA after her graduation.
Starting her career-
After completing her MBA, Anu Kumari joined ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund.
Initially, she received a package of around ₹5.5 lakh per annum.
Gradually over a period of nine years, Anu Kumari’s package increased to around ₹20 lakh per annum.
Even though she was getting paid handsomely, she wasn’t content with her monotonous job and so, she wasn’t ready to stay in this job all through her life.
Inspired by Tina Dabi-
In 2016, the UPSC results were announced and Tina Dabi secured the first rank in her first attempt.
Anu Kumari’s younger brother came across this news in a newspaper and felt that she too can crack the exam.
So, he filled the application form for Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination for her without her knowledge.
And he started convincing Anu Kumari to leave her job and prepare for the exam.
Leaving her job-
Initially, Anu Kumari didn’t want to attempt the Civil Services Exam because she felt that she passed out from the college a long time ago and now, she can’t study once again.
Then, her uncle messaged her and offered to take care of all her and her son’s expenses for a period of two years, if she quit her job to prepare for the exam.
This message filled Anu Kumari with confidence as she realised the amount of trust her family members bestowed on her.
At that moment, she decided to quit her job.
Anu Kumari’s father, husband and in-laws all supported her decision.
Finally, she quit her job in June 2016 and by this time, she had worked in that corporate job for nine years.
Anu Kumari had only two attempts to crack the Civil Services Exam.
If she failed to crack the exam in these two attempts, her plan B was to become a teacher.
During that time, Anu Kumari was left with only a couple of months to prepare for the Civil Services Exam.
In her first attempt, she missed qualifying the UPSC Prelims by just one mark.
Then, Anu Kumari started preparing for next year’s exam.
Anu Kumari moved to her mother’s home along with her son, Viyan to prepare for the Civil Services Exam.
She found it very difficult to concentrate on her studies in the presence of Viyan.
So, Anu Kumari joined a library and started preparing for the exam in the daytime and used to spend the remaining time with her son.
But even this wasn’t fruitful.
So, in 2016, Anu Kumari decided to leave her son at her mother’s home and shift to her maternal aunt’s house in Purkhas.
Separated for two years-
Viyan was only two and half years old when Anu Kumari took the decision to leave him.
This was a very tough decision for both of them but she had to make this sacrifice for their better future.
So, Anu Kumari left her son in June 2016 and reunited with him after around two years in March 2018 after attempting the exam.
A few of her neighbours in Purkhas questioned her love for her son when she was preparing away from his son but she didn’t give up her focused preparation.
All her family members, especially her younger brother greatly supported Anu Kumari and inspired her all through her preparation days.
Her preparation strategy-
The first thing Anu Kumari did was to research on Google to learn about the paper pattern.
She compiled a book list covering all the basic books which she was going to refer to.
Anu Kumari was greatly inspired by Artika Shukla who secured the fourth rank in UPSC CSE in her very first attempt without taking coaching and she followed her book list.
Artika Shukla inspired her that cracking the Civil Services Exam without taking coaching is possible and so, she also didn’t take any coaching.
Anu Kumari studied from the internet and referred to the NCERT books.
Revision and website-
Anu Kumari revised multiple times, that is, 4-5 times for Prelims, Mains and interview.
As she wasn’t able to get The Hindu in her village, she referred to the Insights IAS website for current affairs.
Instead of making notes for Prelims, Anu Kumari utilised this time for multiple revisions.
But she prepared short notes for Mains.
Anu Kumari attended one test series for Prelims.
Optional and study hours-
Anu Kumari took sociology as her optional and also joined a test series for it.
She used to study daily for 10-12 hours.
Anu Kumari also gave mock interviews in various institutes like Samkalp, Vajiram and Vajirao.
She also started a WordPress blog by the name, anubhokar to share her current affairs notes.
Finally, Anu Kumari cracked the Civil Services Exam in her second attempt and got the second rank in the CSE 2017.
Also read- Ankita Sharma also cracked the UPSC CSE after getting married.
Anu Kumari belongs to the Kerala cadre and as of 2021, she is posted in Kannur district, Thalassery Sub Division.
So, how are you inspired by the success story of Anu Kumari?
Share with me in the comment section below.