I’m Avinash Kumar, UPSC CSE 2022, rank 17. I passed this test with philosophy as an elective. In philosophy, I received 319 points, 165 in paper 1 and 154 in paper 2. In this essay, I’d want to talk about how I feel about philosophy as an optional subject for the Civil Services Exam and how I plan to approach it. I’d also like to draw attention to a few possible causes of these marks.
In July 2020, I began my preparatory process. My decision to leave my Power Plant employment was driven by a combination of two factors: first, I was not enjoying it and was experiencing a lot of emotional turmoil; and second, since I was born in the state of Bihar, there had always been a pull towards it.
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Avinash Kumar UPSC Optional Preparation Strategy
When it came time to selecting my elective topic, I chose philosophy right away. I wasn’t thinking about the average philosophy grade at the time. I didn’t learn till much later that philosophy had recently lost its reputation as a topic with high academic standing. I simply read over the curriculum themes and prior years’ questions and discovered that this was a subject I could handle. I eventually began to see it as a chance to systematically study philosophy. I have always thought that a civilization’s guiding principles determine its fate. There is limited discussion of philosophical perspectives compared to discussions regarding economic, geographical, or historical ones. Philosophy comes first for me.
I first consider the philosophical and ethical frameworks of western civilization, which have their roots in Judeo-Christian religion. According to Swami Vivekanand, India’s religion and spirituality are its soul. Philosophy is a great subject for anyone looking to cultivate an inquisitive mind. Philosophy is about a passion for learning. knowledge that occasionally lies outside the realm of our five senses. It is referred to be knowledge from “the transcendental” universe. The metaphysical world exists beyond the physical world.
Anyway, let’s go on to more specific topics from the perspective of UPSC preparation.
Why should one choose philosophy as an optional in UPSC ?
1) It features a condensed curriculum that can be finished in four months.
2) After a certain point, answering questions doesn’t involve much work. I only took six sectionals. After the third test, I was able to comprehend the demands of the paper and began to write responses that were at least passable.
3) There are top-notch coaching courses accessible. I attended Mahesh Sir’s optional online philosophy classes (Enlite IAS). His handling of the situation was superb. I had this bad tendency of constantly deviating from the exam to inquire about academic matters. But he constantly reminded me to keep my questions within the parameters of the examination.
4) It improves your wisdom. You create a distinct viewpoint that you use to examine every problem. One might find consolation in philosophy in the midst of turmoil and uncertainty. I always found comfort in philosophy when studying for the UPSC exam. On my worst days, I would read only philosophical texts.
5) Philosophy should be used for more than simply mental exercise; it should also be applied to daily life. “Darshana” is the name for philosophy in Indian. It modifies your perspective. It modifies the way you view the world.
6) Finally, my grade demonstrates that philosophy is a subject that receives good marks.
Avinash Kumar, who comes from the unremarkable village of Badhuwa in the Bihar district of Araria, earned the 17th spot.Avinash Kumar, 25, who is from the unremarkable village of Badhuwa on the Indo-Nepal border in the Bihar district of Araria, is the son of a retired government school teacher. In his third attempt, he scored 17th place in the competitive civil services tests. He was unable to pass the preliminary test in his two prior attempts.
|Mr. Avinash Kumar
|All India Rank
|17th Rank in UPSC
|0840388 Roll Number
|1034 marks in Mains
|Number of Attempts
What worked for me?
1) Conceptual Clarity: Mahesh Sir deserves credit for this one. His strategy was great. He would always use the plainest language to get to the heart of any philosopher. He clarified all of my questions, both rational and irrational. It is easier to answer unusual questions when there is high conceptual clarity, which is not uncommon.
2) Enough preparation for anticipated questions: Unlike GS, optional topics can be somewhat predicted based on last year’s tendencies. If one can successfully prepare for those anticipated questions, it can be helpful in the exam because one can compose insightful responses in the constrained amount of time allowed.
3) Managing space and time constraints: I tried to finish papers on time by allocating an equal amount of time to each question. A certain question’s answer is only allowed a certain amount of space. As a result, you must make sure that you fill the available area with content-rich answers.
4) Writing answers with lots of information: Such an answer would not only address the main notion of the question, but also make fleeting allusions to other areas of the philosophy of a specific philosopher. Even if it isn’t specifically asked for, one should also include critique of the particular ideology. The importance of the philosophy or a contrast with a Western or Indian philosopher should be the conclusion.
5) Choosing the appropriate questions is important because the “Western philosophy” portion contains more factual information. As a result, one can produce better responses in the part on western philosophy. Similar to this, some “philosophy of religion” themes may get higher grades.
6) I got a little lucky: This exam has a lot of luck involved. This was the end outcome of a number of variables coming together. I could have missed any of them without good fortune, and the outcome would have been completely different.
Sources Referred by Avinash Kumar
Since this was my first mains, I simply relied on the coaching class notes from Enlite IAS (Mahesh Sir) for every section of both papers. I didn’t make any further references. The notes themselves were derived from a number of books.
Advice to philosophy optional candidates by Avinash Kumar
To start, you must work to improve your conceptual clarity. For instance, you need to know how a certain philosopher’s epistemology relates to his metaphysics. Naturally, Charvaka will deny the existence of God and Soul if he simply accepts perception as a reliable source of truth.
When speaking with Iasbio.com on the phone, Avianash revealed, “During my school years, I had to deal with floods while travelling to the Shri Rani Saraswati Vidya Mandir, Forbesganj, from which I cleared my tenth with a 10 CGPA (Cumulative Grade Point Average).” He continued, “One must take risks in life and I too took the risk by quitting my job in 2020, but today I can say I can do at least something for my country. Only then can you move forward with your goal.”
Avinash Kumar UPSC Topper Booklist
He emphasised the value of independent study, saying, “If a student wants to pass the highly competitive UPSC examination where you have to compete with brilliant students, self-study should always be given the top priority.”
On the Indo-Nepal border, in the village of Badhuwa, which is situated between Forbesganj and Jogbani, floods occur annually, causing significant damage to the local farming community. He replied, “I have also felt the aches and pains of my father, who is now a farmer.
After graduating from high school, he earned over 93% in his XII class at Chinmaya Vidyalaya Bokaro. He then went on to Yadavpur University Kolkata to complete his engineering degree, passing with honours and receiving a gold medal. Later, he worked as an engineer in West Bengal’s power department until 2020.
Avinash’s mother, housewife Pratima Devi, said, “But something very special was in the store of Avinash, and he decided to prepare for the UPSC in Delhi,” adding, “He never lost his heart even after two successive failures, and this time he had done proud to all of us.”
In his hamlet of Badhuwa, farmer Ajay Kumar Singh remarked, “My son has been honest to his work, and what he has done today is the result of his honesty and dedication.”