As he tried to balance his studies and job, UPSC civil services exam topper Pradeep Singh said that there were times when he felt that he was losing focus, but his father, a farmer, kept motivating him.
It was the fourth attempt at civil services for Singh, 29, who hails from Sonipat district in Haryana and had qualified in 2019 for Indian Revenue Service (customs and central excise).
Singh was undergoing probation at the National Academy of Customs, Indirect Taxes and Narcotics (NACIN) in Faridabad.
He topped the list of 829 candidates who have qualified for the prestigious civil services, including the IAS, the IPS and the IFS.
Describing it as a "dream come true", Singh said on Tuesday that he wants to join the Indian Administrative Service as he is keen to work for the deprived and poor sections of society.
He said that consistency and focus are a must to succeed in the civil services exam.
"It is like a dream come true. It is a pleasant surprise for me. I always wanted to be an IAS officer. I would like to work for the deprived sections of society," he told PTI.
As his father Sukhbir Singh is a farmer, working for the welfare of peasants is also close to his heart.
"UPSC demands consistency as well as focus. At one time when I was doing this job, I had a feeling that I may be unable to keep my focus on the exams. But my father kept motivating me," he said.
“My father is very happy today. My entire family is very happy,” Singh said.
Singh's mother is a homemaker, his elder brother works in the insurance sector and younger sister is pursuing MSc in mathematics.
“I also motivate my sister to pursue her dreams without any pressure,” he said, adding his family and friends supported him throughout.
Replying to a question, he said that challenges do increase when one is balancing between studies and job. "Staying focused may seem difficult, but one has to stay determined to achieve the goal," Singh said.
And his message for civil services aspirants: "Always keep your focus and concentration. There may be moments when you feel you may not be able to pull it off, but that is the time when your determination helps”.
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar congratulated Singh and hoped that other youths from the state will also take inspiration from him.
Taking to Twitter, Khattar said, “My heartiest congratulations to Haryana's son Pradeep for getting first rank in UPSC Civil Service exam results.
“I hope that other youth of the state will also take inspiration from you to achieve higher goals.”