HYDERABAD: For Shaik Siddikh Hussain, the Nalgonda boy who topped the prestigious Indian Engineering Services (IES) examination conducted by the Union Public service Commission (UPSC), it was dedication and hard work that paid off.
Considered to be the highest level of government sector jobs for the engineering graduates, the IES requires the candidates to go through a rigorous test that lasts for almost a year.
“I was determined to sail through the competitive exam. For that I prepared a monthly schedule and divided the syllabus into small chapters. I was keen to stick to the schedule and it worked,” Shaik Siddikh Hussain, who stood first in the Electrical Engineering branch, told Express.
Hussain hails from a middle class family from Suryapet in Nalgonda district. His father, Shaik Hussain is an employee with Telangana Social Welfare Department, while his mother Krishnaveni is homemaker. He is also an alumnus of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Gandhinagar from 2012 batch. After his graduation, he worked with Tata Consulting Engineers (TCE), Mumbai for a year, deciding to join the civil services.
In a brief chat with Express, Hussain said, he studied for almost 10 hours a day for more than a year. He also joined a coaching institute in Hyderabad for guidance. With his top rank, he now has a choice of joining his favourite service, The Indian Railways. “I want to be a part of the massive transformation that Indian Railways is witnessing right now,” said an enthusiastic Siddikh Hussain.
Had you set set your mind to secure top rank?
No, I did not even expect this rank. But I was confident of making it to the top 10. My interview went really well. A month long preparation gave me that confidence to perform well in the personal interview and expect a rank in top 10. But first rank was indeed a surprise.
What made you leave your well paid job in private sector and spend one year preparing for a government job?
My one year experience with the private sector made me realise that it was not my cup of tea. I want to serve a larger population. I had plans to join government services, but I was not sure of it. My seniors at IIT motivated me to prepare for the IES. Now I am happy with my decision.
How many hours did you dedicate for your preparation?
There was no timetable for preparation. But I made it sure that I had a good sleep for at least eight hours a day and studied for the rest of the day. I prepared a monthly chart and divided my syllabus into small chapters. I ensured that all topics were covered within the time frame. It helped to complete the syllabus and revise it multiple times. In fact I have solved 14 previous question papers of IES for seven times. This made the entire difference. At one point of time, I was able to guess the questions that I would face in my exam.
Does coaching matter for exams like IES?
I personally feel that coaching can help. If someone has good command over the subject and has proper guidance, they can prepare on their own. The choice changes from person to person. For me, coaching was helpful, because I did not have any guidance.
How was the support from your family?
The entire credit goes to my parents who stood by me. Leaving my job for IES was a big risk. But my parents never discouraged me. They always supported and believed in me.