How Ansar Shaikh Scored Rank 361 in UPSC 2016 in his First Attempt?

Ansar Shaikh came into limelight when he cleared the prestigious UPSC exam in his first attempt and became the youngest Civil Servant. His achievement becomes more important as he was the first graduate in his family.

The young lad, Ansar Shaikh is the son of a Rickshaw driver in the drought prone village of Shelgaon in Jalna District of Marathwada in Maharashtra. His father struggled with his alcohol addiction due to which he married thrice. Ansar’s Mother, who used to work as a farm hand, is the second wife of his father.

His Childhood was different from a normal child. He grew up watching the social menances of domestic violence and incidents of child marriage. His sister got married at a young age of 15, whereas his brother dropped out from school in class 6 to work in his uncle’s garage.


Even though his brother was two year younger than him but Ansar Sheikh consider him much more bigger than himself in many ways. You will get to know the reason behind this in a while.

Having so much economical constraints in the family Ansar Shaikh continued is studies. Many of his relatives gave their suggestions to his parents that there is no need for Ansar to study. But his parents supported his studies because of an event. When Ansar Shaikh was in Class Four, his parents approached his teacher and told her that they wanted Ansar to drop out. But the teacher told them that their son was a bright student, invest in his education He will change your lives and you will never have to regret this decision.

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For his uneducated parents these words has great worth. So, his parents supported his education and Ansar got a chance to showcase his talent in Class 12 Boards in which he scored exceptional 91 percent and raised the confidence of his parents.


He mocked about his struggles in Zila Parishad School. He said, “I loved chicken, but it was a luxury item for us as it was difficult for us to manage two meals a day. But sometimes, we would spot worms in our mid-day meal in school and that vegetarian food turns out to be a non-vegetarian one.

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Ansar Shaikh had studied till class 12 in Marathi medium but his move to join Fergusson College of Pune for his Bachelor’s in Political Science was a difficult one. His father used to send him a small amount of money from his savings which allowed him to survive in the city but his brother used deposit his entire salary of Rs 6,000 to fulfill his brother’s academic dreams.

He first entered fergusson college in 2012 and he had only a pair of chappals and two pair of clothes. He used to wear the clothes alternatively. Despite from being a Marathi medium school and unable to speak English fluently he developed a sense of inferiority complex. But Ansar didn’t gave up.

In his first year in college his teachers introduced him to UPSC. So, he approached Unique Academy’s Teacher Mr. Tukaram Jadhav and requested him to give him admission there.

But a bigger problem came which was the coaching fees. It was Rs 70,000. He remembers, “I talked with Jadhav Sir and told him about my financial condition and family background. He promised me that he would give him a 50 percent concession because they saw a spark in me. Most of the candidates in his Coaching class were in their late 20s and early 30s. And they were barely left with 2-3 attempts. Since he was just 19 year old then. He found difficulty in interacting with others as most of them were older than him. He used to sit in the back and craned his neck.

But as the course continued he started interacting with others. He was curious to know more about this exam and  he believes that this spirit of enquiry is essential in every UPSC aspirant.

Many times he asked silly questions and everybody mocked at him but he never stopped asking questions. He remembered those days when he used to eat Vada pav only and did not have enough money to buy preparatory notes. So, he borrowed it from his friends and used to photocopy it. 

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Ansar Shaikh pushed himself very hard. He used to study 13 hours a day. He Knew there is no way back. And he couldn’t afford failure. His condition was so grim that he knew its was his first and last attempt. If he would not make it up in his first attempt then he had to find other options as he could not afford Second Attempt. 

He got a great relief when he cleared Prelims, Mains and Interview were still to go. Everything was going well but while he was preparing for Mains he got bad news. His Sister’s Husband died due to overdosage of Alcohol. He was an Alcoholic person.

At this time, the responsibility of comforting his sister and her family came in his shoulders. Since, his Father and Brother were busy in their work and they had too.

In those tough times his sister told Ansar to return back to pune and continue his preparation for Mains.

Ansar Shaikh
IAS Ansar Shaikh

When the results came, he came to know he had cleared it. He remembers his interview where a retired IAS Officer asked him the reasons behind the Muslim youth turning up to radical organisations. They were impressed by his answer but at one point of time during his answer they asked him whether he belonged to Shia sect or Sunni sect. Ansar was quick to respond and he replied, “I am an Indian Muslim”.

Ansar Shaikh scored 199 in interview which is impressive as far UPSC Interviews are concerned.

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IAS Ansar Shaikh’s Advice

If you believe that you are going to compete with Lakh of UPSC aspirants then you are mistaken. Your only competitor is you. You have to remove all the negative and pessimistic thoughts from your mind and be focussed on your goal. Eventually, success will come in your way.

IAS Ansar Shaikh

Many people give excuses that they are poor. But remember Poverty and Success are two different things and  has no correlation. You should be hardworking and determined towards your goal. Your background doesn’t matter much. The only thing that matters is are you.

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Marks cannot define your intelligence but it can be a way to uplift themselves from the trap of poverty for someone. It’s never easy to score such grades and therefore they should not be disregarded.


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