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A close friend recently appeared for his IAS interview in India..

The results of the IAS interview were declared a week before, many dreams were shattered, and a few lives were made.

Life isn’t a zero-sum game. If you failed the exam or are stressed about the results, here’s some practical advice that your #UPSC coaching centers will never give you.

1. Do NOT drop another year:

Out of 1 million who appear for UPSC only around 80 become IAS officers. For no fault of yours, UPSC is a game of luck - after a point of time. It is a travesty that many Indians are wasting the most productive years of their lives by appearing/reappearing for such exams mindlessly (without any backup plan).

2. There are many ways to contribute to society:

If Sunder Pichai had cleared UPSC - he would be working as a collector somewhere in Greater Noida today.

The large-scale impact he has created or continues to create is insurmountable to one he could have possibly made while being in the IAS.

There are great organizations such as The Bridgespan Group, and Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Clinton Health Initiative doing incredible work. Global Governance Initiative is taking up projects as well in the same space and has also partnered with some of these organizations- apply to these firms, and learn a few skillsets while working with clients.

3. Build Skills:

India has changed. We aren’t a 20th-century economy anymore. With the advent of liberalization and the internet economy - the state control of power shifted from civil servants to specialized professionals.

The current Joint Secretary of Civil Aviation is an #MBA from IIM A and was a partner at KPMG. One of the OSDs in the Prime Minister’s office never even appeared for the civil services exam. There are 100 others like them who are laterally hired and contributing immensely through their work. And this trend will continue to increase.

Don’t let an exam dictate the trajectory of your 20s. The 20s are the most productive years of your lives, and the opportunity cost of revising the UPSC syllabus every year is infinite.

For those who have cleared the IAS exam, I wish you all the very best! More power to you, your journey has just begun.

And for those who couldn’t or are stressed about their results - write to me.

We can plan something better together!

If you are interested in learning about GGI's MBA Scholar program, you can learn here.


Author- Naman Shrivastava, Cofounder Global Governance Initiative, Ex- United Nations, Former Government of India Advisor

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