About me

I am an electronics and communication engineer belonging to the 2006-2010 batch of the National Institute of Technology Calicut. I have been recommended by the UPSC for appointment into the Indian Administrative Service with an All India Rank of 19 in the CSE 2010. I hope to get into either my home state, Kerala or Tamil Nadu or Karnataka cadre. I like debating and have been participating in public speaking events form my school days.  I believe in the need of a responsive government with a strong and empathetic bureaucracy to address the countless problems we face.

My favourite books imclude 1984 by George Orwell, One hundred years of Solitude by Garcia Marquez, Freedom at Midnight by Lappiere and Collins, ‘randamoozham’ by MT, ‘God of small Things’ by Arundhathi Roy. I read non-fiction more but turn to fiction when the dosage of non-fiction becomes too much to bear!!

I hope this page will see more activity as I take my my job with the Govt. of India as IAS places you in the most diverse jobs as possible.

The views expressed in this blog are strictly personal in nature.

  1. Hello Gokul, first visit to your blog! Way to go!

  2. Excellent blog Gokul.

    Keep writing man. They are my favourite books too :). Have you read ‘Animal Farm’ by Orwell?

    • Hey Vinay

      You have got an awesome blog. Wonder how i didnt come to notice it before.

      Yes I have read Animal Farm. Awesome book no. Its a kind of an introduction to 1984. 1984 starts where Animal farm has ended. Amazing works, both.

  3. Sk Jahiruddin


    Please suggest me a good coaching center for GS and essay. I am an IIT student and hopefully can manage Physics and Maths by my own. For GS and Esaay I need some guidance. Plese help.



    • Hi Panchami

      Keep your eyes and ears open. Know what is happening around you, form opinions and work on your general awareness and writing skills. Also try to get into a good college for the course of your choice. This should help create a strong base from which preparation can be easier.

  5. hi… gokul congo fr ur slection in the services i am on the same path and find ur blog useful in the prepration.

  6. diensh kumar

    Dear sir,

    I have come to know about your good self through UPSC portal.com.
    actually I am IAS aspirant with Public administartion and Sociology as optional for mains in Hindi Medium.
    but i am in dilemma due to.
    1. if i should join coaching for sociology or public ad
    2. which coaching center is best for sociology and public ad in delhi.
    plz guide me

    • Hi Dinesh
      I studied by myself. Hence no idea about coaching centres. From what i know, whether you join coaching or not, still u have to put in a lot of self effort. So kindly consult successful seniors who have attended coaching and decide

  7. Hello Gokul,

    Can you please send me your e-mail ID to me at amitgupta137@gmail.com. I would like to send you the word docs I prepared since I started preparing last October.

    I wanted to know if I am going in the right direction.

    Thanks dear for reply to my previous question.

  8. hey gokul,u r writings r too gud for the upcoming aspirants….do keep blogging dat the needy can take d advantage of it,,,…

  9. Hii Gokul

    Firstly Congratulations!! I went through your blog and i found it was really very useful for every civils aspirant. I was little bit confused with subjects. I am planning to take economics and public administration as optionals bcoz i have science degree in economics. Is that combination good?. Do i need to study other books on indian polity, science and technology ,indian history etc…if i have choosen those two.
    please give me some clarity on this.

    • Hi Mani
      Choose subjects that you are comfortable with. the effort needed varies with subjects. So get to know about that from seniors. I have no idea about economics.

      Taking these will cover Polity and economy (esp Indian economy), but not sure about the other topics

  10. Hai…brother…..
    I am neenu. I am a XI Science student of BSS gurukulam HSS Alathur. You really inspired me to have a dream of civil service. Can you please give apt suggestions for me to become an IAS officer.

    • Hi Neenu
      Get into a good college after +2 (on whichever subject you choose to take). Read newspapers daily, good non-fiction works and try to form opinions about what happens around you and enjoy life. You can do the intense preps after your 3rd year in college or after graduating.

  11. Hello bhaiya, I needed some help deciding over my course which I’ll be taking now. I want to become an IAS after doing my B.Tech.
    What is confusing me now is, which are the most scoring subjects(optional ones) that should be taken?
    Like right now, I have a choice for doing Civil/Chemical/Industrial Engineering from IITDelhi, and Computer Science from Guwahati or Roorkee, and mechanical from IIT Kharagpur. My parents want me to take civil as it’s also one of the optional subjects, so it will help me. But I’m confused as to whether it really matters?
    I have a strong background in mathematics, I saw the mains paper of previous years on UPSC site, I was able to solve most of the questions(though not in the required time frame) This makes me think if subjects like Maths, Physics, Chemistry are not that scoring, because they require more time, especially maths.
    Chemisty was also easy, was able to do quite much without a time problem. But I think you will know more.
    Which subjects are the most scoring?
    And will taking civil at IIT Delhi help me in the future?
    My email is id4_spl_ppl@yahoo.co.in
    Please reply as soon as you get time, because I need to lock choices before 16th 🙂

    • and by the way, I am more interested in doing computers(I’ve done quite a lot of programming and stuff in school already), but the IIT-Delhi brand has it’s own value 😀

      • Hi Anant
        I am sorry for the late reply. Was busy with personal matters. Study what you love to study. Dont worry too much about civils. No matter what you study, this requires intensive effort at a later stage. Which ever branch you take, you can comfortably take up chemistry, physics and maths. So choose according to your interests.

  12. Hi Gokul,

    Firstly congratulations 🙂 , i am civil aspirant, & really confused. i was initially considering to join classes for the same, but the exorbitant fees were quite a deterrent. so i want to prepare on my own, any additional tips from you would be a treat in terms of books or study material.

    Thank you,


  13. hello sir ,
    I have written my prelims 2011. Expecting a positive results. I felt dat i should start my mains preparation . My optionals are geography and pub ad. can u plz guide me how i should proceed regarding books and way of studying .

  14. Hello Sir,
    I have completed 3rd year of B Tech in ICT and have started preparing for civil services. I enjoy reading your blogs, maybe because it has some flavor of an engineering grad also along with a civil servant.

    I wish to ask you a question. What is meant by critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, balance of judgement and intellectual and moral integrity ? As you know, these are what UPSC looks for in a candidate.

    Could you explain this in your next blog and also tell us how can we improve upon these qualities ?


    • hehe. That would have caught me off guard if asked for my interview!! From what i know, UPSC is looking for broad based, honest individuals who do not take extreme views. They try to test this especially during the interview phase. I believe its not possible to test these in a matter of few minutes. Thats why we have to live with corrupt bureaucrats in the system too!!

  15. hi..
    it was good to read your blog. im a chemical engineer from chandigarh . i m wanting to prepare for the civil services exam with public administration and sociology as optional subjects. is the choice of subjects fine? as im staying in chandigarh, there r not gud coaching institutes here. so there is a confusion in my mind as how to prepare for the exam as im totally blank right now. im just a starter so nt understanding what to do and how to prepare? but i really wish to be an ias officer. it was my childhood dream to becum a civil servant. im already too late to start wid the exam preparation. time is short and work is more. and moreover im totally blank about the books, notes,and the way to study. please help me out.. thanks … looking forward to your response…

    • Pubad & socio is a popular combination. it will be easy to get coaching and study material. I have posted about Pubad

  16. Like you I am also a student of EC, but from JSS, Noida.

    I came across your blog today and after going through it, I found, may be, you might be the right person to answer the question which is in my head from last 10 days – Is joining any coaching institute for IAS preparation necessary to crack it?

    You donot seem to have done any coaching. Am I right?

    • I did it without any coaching. But the question is purely subjective. If you have the will the make it through alone, you can.

  17. Hi there…
    I am rahul, third year nitk surathkal eee undergraduate… I want to crack IAS just like you on my very first attempt after colg… first i though with the activities of colg going around its impossible to crack this exam while one is studying in colg… but when i came across your blog.. my ideology changed… I hav gone across all your post nd hav seen that u were very focussed… but still please give me some detail about how u managed your course in NIT and your studies for IAS… I believe that req a lot of sacrifices… also I am planning to take electrical and pub adm… is that a decent choice… thanks!

    • Combining a science optional with Pubad is good. But be ready to put in hell lot of effort for electrical!! as with managing college work and studies, its was difficult for me but still managed with support from teachers and friends. My friend was kind enough to spare me from the major project work. completely!! i am used to multi tasking…so managed good grade points in both the semesters also. Try your best. If not possible, attempt after devoting one more year. All the best

      • thanks a lot for your quick reply and wishes :). I am going along your line of one science optional (like Phyiscs you took!) Hav just seen that the science courses are comprehensive in nature. Nonetheless I’ll follow you.

        Two more question: 1) Does blogging help much in preparing for IAS… like mean posting your opinions abt current affairs?

        2) When did you exactly started preparing for IAS? was it after third year?

      • 1. You can write on your views and see how people respond. If good debates occur in your blog then it can be constructive. But i dont think you wont get time for those once you start full time preps!!In my case, i couldnt post much during my intense preps

        2. I started in may 2009 (during my 3-4 year hols)

  18. can u plz tell me if enrolling for a test series is a good way of preparation for GS, specially time bound answer writing…i m a little confused and dont knw how well can i prepare on my own

    • Enrolling for a test series for optionals will be a good idea. But only after you complete the syllabus. so preferably near your mains. I dont think there is any benefit in joining for a GS test series…..Just learn to answer to the point…..And try to know as much as possible

  19. hii,


    i have completed my masters in International Relations from JNU last mnth n decided to take a year off for cse 2012.i have pol sc n socio as optional.somehow due to my background i had a habit of going into depth of subject n indulging in a lot of refernce wrk. however given the vast syllabus and time constraint i have realized that my strategy wont work. in a bit of dilemma.since am starting from this very month..will the time be enuf to prepare?n if u cud plz enlighten me as to from when it would be appropriate to start prelims specific prep
    thank u

    • I year before prelims is good enough. There is no need of any prelims specific approach. If your GS knowledge is good enough to write a good mains paper, you will be able to manage paper 1 of prelims. Do some aptitude in between and that will take care of paper 2…

      You can do prelims paper solving exclusively 1-1.5 months before prelims. Its just a necessary evil. The real exam is mains

  20. sir,
    can u please upload a few sample answers clarifying how to write answer in the exam, jus like the http://prakashrajpurohit.wordpress.com/2010/ blog?
    that will be a great help to people like me who live in remote areas..
    thanks )

  21. akshay ahuja

    sir,iI am myself pursuing b.tech(now in 2nd yr) from NIFFT,ranchi.I dream for a career path like yours.cse and b.tech back to back.but i am in great dilemma sometimes i think of first having job security by trying for job @psu’s ..how did you manage it all,did you prepare all through college years,were u doing a job,when u started preparation

    • I stared my preps at the end of my third year, skipped placements and appeared for prelims right after my s8 exams….Sat home for the next year for mains and interview.

      Its a subjective question. Its almost impossible to prepare for this exam while doing a job. maybe you can work for 1-2 years and then start preps. Its all personal and depends on your confidence level and appetite for pressure!!

  22. Hi…
    I am going to begin my third year in EC engineering from NITC…Now I am quite sure that technology is not the area I really want to pursue…Cracking IAS on the first attempt seemed like a strenuous task..and people were telling me that the best way is to finish graduation and take coaching in Delhi,thereby wasting a year…You have disproved all such apprehensions…and as you have been through those things which I am abt to face in the next 2 years,so you can tip me about it better than anyone else..abt where to begin..and how to manage ec dept along with it…

    • I prepared through my 3-4 year hols and my final year. Maintain a good gpa so that you can relax on the academic front during final year. Tronix is one of the few depts where i think one can manage something like this. teachers were supportive and academics in s8 was very light.


    Hai bhai congrts for ur success in the cse…..me a civil services aspirant…….presently completed my final sem B.TECH(7-11) frm GEC TCR………as a optional i want to take geo and pub Ad………..tel me hw i should begin my prep. especially keep in mind that frm ths year onwrd CSAT is there…………..

  24. sir,
    this year m going to start my graduation in bhu in geology major.frankly speaking i have no idea how to go about ias preparation. i mean shall i first concentrate on my graduation and then take an year off or shall i go about it side by side?for now , i was thinking that may be can do my pg in geology and then start preparation. but m really not sure.my general knowledge is quite good and m a voracious reader n wz an extremely active student in cocurricular activities at my skool. m also quite interested in history , economics and political science which makes gs a bit simpler. thought u can guide me of the route i can take.m also not interested in taking any coaching n would rather rely on self study.please clear d mist for me.n also what do you think of geology as an optional subject?

    • The course to be to taken is to be decided by you only. Use your time to improve your gk and decide by the time u reach your final year

  25. Hi gokul,
    can u suggest me person who can guide me about preparation for sociology for mains.

  26. Hello Gokul,I am pursuing my b.tech 3rd year now n i wish to attend csat immediately after my 4th year.Can you suggest me few tips on how to start up my preparation n let me tell you i probably have to crack the test in the first attempt and its very important for me to do.Will the books u suggested be enough for my preparation too ?If not give some more ideas coz I am in a desperate position!

  27. nikhilkamineni

    hello sir……
    now i am doing b.tech 2nd year electrical engineering……my course is for 5 years (an integrated m.tech course)…..after finishing i want to become an IPS officer in the very first attempt……….
    is it the r8 time to start preparation???
    and also many people r telling that upsc may change civils pattern r syllabus……….so please tell me what strategy shoud i have to keeep please help me sir

  28. Hi Gokul,
    Congrtz…nd its a good initiative to help IAS Aspirants like us. Keep blogging.

  29. Sir ,
    First of all Hearty congratz 4 dis amazing success….
    me completed graduation in Chemistry from Calicut Unvty last year & very much interested in Civil Service. i got selection as Postal Assistant in dpt of Posts & i hav 2 join in it on coming September. So i can’t go for coaching or things like that. i hope dat i have quite General knowledge base.i wish 2 start my basic preparation now & will do intense preparation after Probabationaryperiod ie, 2 years……Is anything wrong on this decision?how i will start my basic preparation?…
    Hope reply

    • I have written about that. You need to gauge how much time you need to complete the syllabus and start accordingly….somewhere between 1-1.5 years before the prelims will be ideal..

  30. Hi Sir
    congrats for the success ! 🙂 i am in 3rd year of electronics and communication engineering
    (like you) and just now i have decided that i want to first of all clear this exam.i m confused over the optionals . i want to take physics but it has been more than 2 years i left it. Sir will it be a problem for me (my rank in AIEEE was 7156)
    when did you started preparing ??
    i was just a movie buff , partying and playing boy but there is a change in me now. So it is just a fresh start for me in our world of IASguys. and i wish to be in good ranks in the first attempt itself like you.
    guide me sir .

  31. hiii sir…i hv jst finshd ma BE…n nw m intrstd in civil srvcs…should i go fr coaching or prepre by own?

  32. avaneesh pandey

    hi sir please suggest me books of physics

  33. Hi Gokul,

    I am also making my first attempt in CSE mains 2011. have pubad and socio as my optionals. I am feeling underprepared eventhough i have got the confidence to do well in exam. any particular advice just 2 weeks b4 the exam

  34. hi gokul,
    i was impressed by the information you have posted in your blog. It was interesting to know that u cracked the exam by your own effort. many congrats for that.

    I decided to pursue my dream of joining the prestigious sevice.
    one of my option i have chosen is public administration. i got clear idea of how to read the paper. thank you for your valuable information and experience

    is any special preparation needed for essay writing?

  35. Lokendra Bhati

    Hello sir, i am lokendra i’ll be completing my MBA by may 2012, i want to be a part of the system that’s why i want to be an IAS officer to bring change in society. well, m planing to go for UPSC after 3 years of MBA would be doing job first but by the time i want suggestion from your side about wt should i do apart from job in those 3 years what to study? how to study ? which books to refer? and i even dont know which subject i should choose n opt for so that half of the prep my mine would be done by the time i’ll fully get into it.
    i’ll be pleased to hear from you
    Thanks !!

  36. hi plz guide for cse with phy n pub ad on my id anki_i3@rediffmail.com

  37. Hai Gokhul cangraz……..
    I am FAVAS as a police officer in kerala police ,can you pls send me your e-mail id to me at favasmukkam88@gmail .com. Now i studing for civil service myself with my job.

  38. Hi Gokul

    Congratulations for your awesome success. You are doing a great work by empowering the aspirants with right guidance. Being an aspirant, i can know the pains one have to undergo in search for right guidance, for anywhere one looks he finds commercial interests only.

    I have written mains this time and hope for the interview call. Could you please share your viewpoint on preparation for the interview. How did you go about it? Or is it that there is not much to prepare as personality is a fixed matter?

  39. Hi can u please tell me whether optionals will be removed for 2013 csat ????

    • It has already been removed for the prelims….But the same will take some time for mains…not in the next 2-3 years i think

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