He failed ASO exam, topped Odisha Civil Services Exam in first attempt

Topper of Odisha Civil Services Examination 2019 Aswini Kumar Panda’s story is nothing less than inspirational.

Published: 10th October 2021 03:30 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th October 2021 08:36 AM   |  A+A-


Representational image (File photo| EPS)

Express News Service

JAJPUR:  Topper of Odisha Civil Services Examination 2019 Aswini Kumar Panda’s story is nothing less than inspirational.

The 29-year-old scripted his success story on the foundation of a failure. He had failed to clear the Assistant Section Officer examination in 2018  by 0.5 marks and he has no qualms about sharing the same.

The engineer from Khetrapal village in Dharmasala block achieved the top position in his first attempt and did not take any coaching for the examination.

“I had never imagined I would top the list. I am glad to have achieved the feat in my first attempt without any coaching,” he told TNIE. 

Aswini Panda 

Panda has a word of advice for the State civil service aspirants.

“Candidates preparing for the examination should not rely on coaching institutes,” he said emphasising that they should try to expand the horizon of knowledge, do self-study and self-evaluation which are key to cracking the examination.  

Panda completed his school education from Jana Kalyan High School near his native place and Plus Two in Science from Ravenshaw University.

He then pursued B Tech in Mechanical Engineering from a private college in Berhampur in 2015. After his engineering, he worked in Delhi for three years.

“After working in a private company for three years in Delhi, I left the job in 2018 and returned home. I tried becoming an Assistant Section Officer (ASO) by appearing the Odisha Public Service Commission examination but failed." 

“I failed the ASO examination by just 0.5 marks. Then I decided to attempt the Odisha Civil Services examination and started preparing for it,” Panda said. 

The civil services preliminary examination for 2019 was held in March 2020 and the mains were delayed due to the pandemic.

“The lockdown was a boon. I was confined to my house and this enabled me to study for 6-7 hours daily,” he said.

Studying for the examination was tough amid the negativity all around but Panda’s parents Avimanyu and Sebati along with his two siblings stood behind him like a rock. 

Attributing his success to his parents, elder brother and sister, friends and teachers, Panda says he intends to work for overall development of the place of posting after his training.

“My aim is to work for the overall development of the region and its people where I am posted. I personally have an inclination towards education, health and women’s empowerment. I will try my best to deliver services to the lowest strata of the society,” added Panda.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp