The UPSC civil services exam is one of the most competitive exams conducted in India. It is attempted by lakhs of candidates every year. However, only a fraction of those come out with flying colours in the end. Clearing this exam gives an entry into the prestigious civil services of the country. As soon as the IAS results are announced, the UPSC toppers gain limelight in the country.The IAS toppers serve as an inspiration to thousands of young people who aspire to clear the Civil Services Exam.


  • Kumar, aged 24 years, topped the civil services examination in his third attempt.
  • He got selected in the Indian Defence Accounts Service (IDAS) after qualifying the civil services examination 2019. Kumar could not make it in his first attempt in the 2018 examination.
  • A Bachelor of Technology (civil engineering) graduate from IIT Bombay, he has qualified the 2020 examination with anthropology as his optional subject.
  • Kumar, who hails from Katihar in Bihar, is currently undergoing training at the National Academy of Defence Financial Management (NADFM), Pune.


Speaking to news agency PTI, he said development of villages, employment generation and poverty alleviation in rural areas of the country would be his focus areas. “My dream was to get into the IAS as it gives a wider platform to work for the betterment of the people. It has been realised and I would like to work for the underprivileged people, especially in rural areas,” he said.

I used to have a fear of disqualification before the prelims and mains. I was fortunate to have the constant support of my friends and family. I had a good plan for study, used to self analyse so my preparation was on track: Shubham Kumar, UPSC topper 2020

Kumar also said he got a lot of support from his father and the academy, especially its director, in preparing for the examination. “My father used to motivate me a lot and helped me in maintaining a positive attitude that helped me in clearing the exam, said Kumar, adding that his father works as a bank manager in Bihar.

Being an engineering graduate in 2018, Shubham's first attempt in 2018 went in vain as he could not clear prelims. In the second attempt in 2019, he secured the All India Rank (AIR 290), and the achievement came in the third attempt, securing All India Rank 1.

Regarding his preparation, Shubham said, "Daily study of 7 to 8 hours, practicing previous year papers, mock tests, making a peer group to discuss and share notes, online materials, and exam strategy by two to three coaching institutes, are all in his preparation for UPSC Civil Service exam."

Shubham took Anthropology as his optional paper in mains as it's quite scoring. "The Mains is the toughest in UPSC CSE, I was focused on my writing skill, make notes from all available books in the market, and want to credit my IIT batchmates who supported me to clear the toughest competitive exam."

Detailing his friend's role, the 24-year-old said, "After IIT, we make a group for the UPSC exam. Though I was solely preparing from Delhi, but we were connected via social media. The online discussion, sharing good notes, and doubt clearance are the role everyone played. We helped each other, and some of my friends already got into IAS last year. This time, it's my turn and I want to thank all my friends for the role played."

The Covid-19 pandemic, though stressful, but did not affect the topper much, as according to him, "with less outdoor activities, he put more focus on his preparation."

Though UPSC aspirants feared the interview a lot, Shubham assured the aspirants that it checks their personality and in-depth knowledge of the subject. "I was asked questions from the rural, agro sector, various policies of the government, and the confident answers helped me to clear the interview."

Shubham advised aspirants preparing for UPSC to be consistent, work hard, and be patient. Consistency according to Shubham, is the key to success.

Shubham also credited the role played by his parents, his teachers in IIT Bombay and others for the achievement.

Congratulating Shubham, Deepankar Choudhury, Head, Civil Engineering, IIT Bombay said, "He is one of the best in his batch, a constant performer in all his academics. We are proud of Shubham, and wish all the success for his future endeavor."

Source - Various Internet Sources