BHUBANESWAR/ANGUL: Last month, when Animesh Pradhan was busy preparing for the interview round of the UPSC Civil Services Examinations 2023, he lost his mother to cancer. Today, when he secured All India second rank in the UPSC exam, his only regret was that his parents could not get to hear the news. Animesh lost his father, a principal, in 2015.
As news spread and wishes poured in, the 24-year-old was in a pensive mood.”I was emotional when I heard the news. I wanted to share this with my mother, but she is no more to hear this. My mother was my biggest motivator,” said Animesh, a native of Bhalugadia village in Angul district. Animesh, an engineering graduate from National Institute of Technology, Rourkela, is currently employed with the Indian Oil Corporation Limited. This was his first attempt at UPSC.
“If you progress towards your goal with determination and have a strong will to succeed, you can achieve your goal,” Animesh said over phone from New Delhi.
Back home, Animesh is not the only success story. Odisha set a record with 18 candidates making it to the final list of 1,016 candidates to have qualified the Civil Service Exam. Chief minister Naveen Patnaik, while congratulating all the candidates, posted on X, “I congratulate all the successful candidates from Odisha, who have cleared the UPSC examination. May they work with dedication to take welfare initiatives to the grassroots. I wish them bright careers ahead.”
Besides Animesh, Mayurbhanj district’s Prajnanandan Giri made it to the top 50 by securing the 24th rank in the exam.
‘I wanted to share this news with mom, but she is no more’
Animesh Pradhan, who secured second rank in the UPSC Civil Services Exam, tells Minati Singha that becoming an IAS was his childhood dream.
Did you expect to secure second rank?
No, not at all. Since it was my first attempt, I did not expect to obtain second rank. I got the news when I was in my office.
How was your reaction?
I was emotional. I wanted to share this with my mother, but she is no more to hear this. I was overwhelmed and very happy. My mother was my biggest motivator.
How was your preparation for the exam?
The preparation was very challenging for me as my mother was undergoing treatment for cancer. It was very draining emotionally and physically. I did not join any classroom coaching, but I took online mock tests and enrolled in online mentorship programme.
Why did you chose to become an IAS officer?
It was my childhood dream to clear the civil services exam. Somehow, I felt this job suits my personality and gives purpose to life.

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