Sanjay Pradhan from Sukhia Pokhri, has ranked 13th in WBSC Examination 2018 (Executive Cadre) whose results were declared recently. He is the only candidate from the Darjeeling Hills or the Gorkha community to be selected under the Executive Cadre. He started his career in the Government services after clearing the competitive exams for the Intelligence Department as Security Assistant. However, after joining the services, motivated by seeing is fellow officers pursuing the dream for Civil Services, Mr. Pradhan too followed suit and started preparing for WBCS.
A boy from small town in Darjeeling, Sanjay Pradhan’s journey is that of perseverance, ambitions, and steadfast focus, which will inspire many other youths and students following te same path. This is his story…
Ama: Smt Lahamu Sherpa Pradhan
Baba: Late Bir Bahadur Pradhan
School: Saint Alphonsus School, Kurseong
Higher Secondary: Saint Alphonsus School, Kurseong.
Graduation: Darjeeling Govt. College [BSc, Chemistry (Hons)]
Address: Simana Road, Sukhia Pokhri, District Darjeeling
What got you interested in Civil Service?
Passion of WBCS was not from the beginning. After completion of Graduation, I started realizing that something needs to be seriously done. I started realizing the hardship arising out of the economic crisis in my life. I then started engaging myself in Competitive examination. After two years of study, I managed to clear a few of competitive exams and in the meantime, I joined the Intelligence Department as Security Assistant. As I reached there, I started finding friends from various communities (particularly those from Bihari) who were then preparing for Civil Services. They were full of passion, dedication and were very sincere in their studies. Looking at them, I started realizing that if they fight and struggle for Civil Service, then, why should I not do the same. Now I started aiming to go for WBCS and continued my struggle.
How did you start preparation for WBCS?
First, I studied all NCERT books of all Subjects (Hist., Geo, Sc, Civics and others) which helped me to have some consolidated knowledge of different subjects. Then, I jumped onto some basic/foundation books like Loucent, Arihant. These books were helpful to me to have knowledge of General studies. But then, were these books just sufficient? No. Some indebt books were further required. I then purchased Tata Macgraw Hill and Pearson General Studies series for General Studies preparation and studied them. These books were really helpful in the Preliminary Examination as well as Mains Examination.
Besides, I used to subscribe magazines like Pratiyogita Darpan and read newspapers regularly for current affairs updates.
What was your optional subject in WBCS?
My optional subject in WBCS mains was Sociology. Though I was a student of Science, I chose sociology as my Optional subject. It was a tough time for me to grasp knowledge of Sociology. I started with foundation books like DC Bhattacharjee, then jumped onto IGNOU eso series and then studied other books available in the market. Whenever, I used to get time, I used to watch lectures of Subhas Mahapatra online. His lectures were worth mentioning that really helped me to understand sociology in true sense.What were the difficulties or challenges you faced while preparing?
In the midway of WBCS journey, I got married. After marriage, it was not an easy task for me to maintain consistency. I was not able to concentrate fully. Moreover, I being an employee did not have abundant time like other competitors. But under such difficult situation, my parents, wife and all family members stood in favour of me, encouraged me to carry out my preparation. I became more enthusiastic then and increased level of my preparation and my passion for WBCS.
How important is the support of parents and family?
See, WBCS is not a matter of joke. To materialize your goal for WBCS (exe), you need to have peace of mind. This is possible only if you have moral support of your family members.
Why did you choose WBCS as your career path?
Civil Service is an ideal platform by standing on which you can contribute more towards the society through your philanthropic works. The journey of Civil Service is also not easy. First of all, you need to compete to get the post and later, may have to face lots of obligations in varied forms. It is therefore adventurous and challenging. There are only few who opt to accept and adapt with the challenges and I think I am the one amongst them. Moreover, the post of executive is prestigious and everyone wishes to get the same.
What advise you give to the youngsters?
Well, the youngsters need to keep in mind that our representation in WBCS (exe) is declining slowly. In the 2018 result, I was the only passed candidate from our community in exe cadre. It means, the competition is going tougher day by day and we are not able to compete properly.
If you are seriously interested in WBCS, then I suggest you guys to study seriously. Before starting your preparation, few things need to be kept in mind. They are:
- You need to understand the nature of the Examination
- You need to go through past exam papers (both Prelims and mains)
- You need to devise a rational strategy to clear the exam like how many marks you need to score in each paper and what are the ways and means to score healthy enough marks to qualify.
- Collection of preferable Books and sincere dedication.
Remember, hard work, smart work, consistency and strategy is the important tools to pass any competitive Exam. We can take a simple example in this context, without adoption of Tulugama and Rumi tactice by Babur, the foundation of Mughal dynasty would have not been possible. Without adoption of new economic policy, improvement in our GDP would have not been possible. So, strategy is the key factor here.
I have a personal experience that, candidates often neglect the Language paper. Others concentrate even on language papers and score good marks and manage to clear the Exam. The reverse is the case with our community candidates. We are good in English, no doubt. But we do neglect Nepali paper and cannot score healthy marks. The result is that because of poor marks in Nepali, we fail to qualify. So, it is my appeal to all candidates to please focus on language papers also.
How much time you used to spend for preparation/?
To be honest, I used to spent 5-6 hours daily. In the morning, I used to study, General Studies for 2 hours. In the Office time, I used to read newspapers and then if I get the opportunity, I used to practice Maths and GI for 1 hour at least in the afternoon. In the evening, after reaching my home from Office, I used to study Optional subject.
What is your feeling about your success that you have cleared WBCS (exe) with 13th rank and you are the only member from Gorkha community in the WBCS (exe) 2018 list in exe cadres?
Well, there is a huge difference between individual and community success. Individual success cannot lead to utmost happiness. I shall consider myself more successful if I could bring one or more WBCS (exe) on my personal efforts. I have a plan to launch a channel and online portal to help those who are the aspirants of WBCS. Officially I have started a Facebook page viz, eurekaalearnings but I haven’t started the work on it. But I promise that I will lend my helping hands to all aspirants through this page in the coming days.
Whether affiliation to Coaching centers is essential for success?
Well, Coaching Centres can provide you directions about how to carry out preparation. But I personally feel that materials provided by them are not just sufficient to succeed. You need to study extra books and develop thorough knowledges.
What is your suggestion to those who are trying their best but have not managed to get through?
They should not worry. They should incessantly keep on giving best of their efforts. Remember, God help those who are sincere, hardworking and dedicated. Your hard work will definitely pay off.
We congratulate Sanjay for his success, and we hope that he will continue to work for the betterment of our country and community in the coming days.
[Interviewed by: Suman Pradhan for TheDC]