From Engineer to BSF, From BSF to Civil Services: Mr. Harpreet Singh


The Civil Service Exam conducted by UPSC is undoubtedly one of a kind. Millions of candidates aim at cracking it to avail  the opportunity to pay back to the society and of course, sometimes because of the glamour associated with being a bureaucrat but only a few of them are actually able to join services because of its complexity and mind boggling competitiveness.

Mr. Harpreet Singh, an alumnus of Thapar University, Patiala secured 454 Rank in CSE 2017. By education, He is an Electronics and Communication Engineer and professionally, was serving as Assistant Commandant in BSF until the results for UPSC 2017 came out.

Here is a snippet from his recent interview with PU mirror:


This exam surely needs a hardcore internal motivation, what motivated you to take CSE?

In initial years after completing my graduation, I worked for some time in the private sector and that’s when my conscious became fully aware of the fact that public sector is the one I want to work for due to its more direct interaction with the public and also it provided with better opportunities to serve them.

Which attempt of yours was this? Also, is there anything over and Above bookish knowledge which you learnt after appearing for UPSC?

This was my 4th attempt and the one thing that I’ve learned while preparing for CSE is that your hard work and perseverance definitely pays off. If you are consistent with putting your hundred percent into something, you’ll definitely get a result in return.

Can you walk us through your daily routine while you were preparing for the exam?

Since along with preparing for CSE I was also pursuing my job at BSF, I made sure that I don’t let my studies affect my job and the other way around. So, whatsoever time I got, I read newspapers and articles, highlight the major issues and brainstorm over them.

Who has been your pillar of support during the entire process because well, assurance from the loved ones is as important as self assurance?

My parents had always remained my pillar of support. After giving unsuccessful interviews in the last 2 attempts, my family did not let me shatter. They motivated me to my best and finally, I came out with flying colors.

We are well aware of the coaching culture which has bloomed over years but only a few of them are authentic. Did you join any coaching institute and do you recommend it?

Yes, initially I too, like the rest, started taking coaching but soon after a month I had to quit it to carry my job and yes, I would say that it is recommended to take coaching especially during the initial preparation so as to make an orientation towards CSE but of course, it not a hard and fast rule.

Is there any advice for the aspiring civil servants reading this interview?

My one piece of advice to them is that half of the work is already done when you believe in yourself. So, keep studying by putting some extra effort into it. The only difference that makes between the achiever and the loser is that of persistence and eventually you’ll definitely achieve your goal and will get your chance to serve the nation as a civil servant.

About the Author:

Priyanka Sharma (USOL, Ludhiana)

Priyanka Sharma is an ardent bibliophile, giving vent to her hobby of writing and photography every now and then at various platforms. She is an aspiring civil servant, curious about almost everything under the sun with a special bias towards politics and diplomacy.She believes in finding happiness in the littlest of the places and waking up everyday with a purpose and intent and Never giving up. She aims of leaving an eternal impact on the lives of as many people as possible with whatever she does.




Navpreet Kaur (PAU, Ludhiana)

Navpreet Kaur, a strong admirer of art, coffee and dogs, is 20 years of age and is currently pursuing second year of Nutrition and Dietetics at Punjab Agricultural University. She always has her pockets full of proses and poetry is definitely one of her escape plan. Other than snuggling with books she can be found spreading happiness around with a laughter as weird as her jokes. She is a person full of love and spirituality and also believes that life always has something better to offer.


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