The number of successful SPIPA students has dipped slightly from record 20 successful candidates last year. SPIPA officials said that for the 2015 exam, there were only 1,078 vacancies as against 1,236 the previous year.
Pulkit Garg, a native of Haryana and an officer in the Indian Railways, had come to the institute to prepare for the interview. He is an IIT graduate. Garg is ranked 27th this year.
“My advice to aspirants is, don’t rely on coaching classes alone. A lot of useful study material is now available online. I will also advise aspirants not to lose heart if they don’t make it on the first few attempts. I myself was ranked 490th in my previous attempt,” Garg said.
Ravindra Patel, a native of Khedbrahma, is ranked 176th. Son of IPS officer DN Patel, he wishes to follow in the footsteps of his father and join the same service. Patel, who is a doctor by education, said almost all his family members are government servants and that this had encouraged him to try for the civil services. This was his third attempt at the first exam, Ravindra said.
Komal Patel, a native of Mehsana and B.Tech from DA-IICT, is 22 years old and has cleared the prestigious exam in the first attempt. Her all-India rank is 335. She is currently in the US. However, her father told TOI that she is the first in their family who wanted to join government service.
“She had got job offers after graduation but she was determined to give the civil services a shot. She had prepared hard. She had taken mathematics as subject for her main examination,” Komal’s father said.
Other successful candidates from Gujarat include Abhilash Mishra (rank 341), Prakash Parmar (602), Amit Vasava (737), RK Vikram (743), Jaiprakash Bhamu (755), Nathabhai Nangas (991), Krunal Rathod (940) and Sudhambika R ( rank 984).
Prakash Parmar (rank 602) is a doctor and native of Surendranagar. He said there is not enough awareness about the UPSC exams. This is why very few students from Gujarat take the exams, he said.
“I will take the exam again to improve my rank,” he said.
SPIPA director general Vipul Mittra said that over the years, the number of aspirants from the state has increased. “We have also increased our intake from 340 last year to 500 for the next exam. All the students are provided scholarship. We have also taken our coaching facility to various districts,” he said. Mittra further said that SPIPA in Ahmedabad will also be upgraded this year.