The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)’s Civil Services Exam (CSE) is among the most challenging recruitment tests not just in India but globally as well. While many takes years to crack the exam, 21-year-old Ansar Shaikh has become the youngest to crack the exam and become an IAS at such a young age.
After years of diligent preparation, millions of aspirants finally sit for the exams each year, but only a select few are ultimately chosen. Only a strategic mix of diligence, direction, and determination may aid UPSC applicants in passing the esteemed exam. One such story is of Ansar Shaikh, who created history by becoming the youngest IAS at the age of 21 in 2016. In his first attempt, UPSC 2016, he secured an All India Rank of 361.
Ansar Shaikh’s father, Yonus Sheikh Ahmad, worked as an autorickshaw driver in Maharashtra’s Marathwada. His mother used to work on the farm. Ansar Shaikh was raised in a household with many hardships. His younger brother dropped out of school in class VII and worked in a garage to support the family and aided Ansar in his preparation for the UPSC examination. Childhood for Ansar Shaikh was nothing short of a struggle. But, despite all these challenges, Ansar, worked hard to achieve his goals.
Ansar, a political science graduate from Fergusson College in Pune, previously admitted that he had experienced discrimination when hunting for PG. He had to change his name since he was unable to obtain accommodations. “I had said that my name was Shubham, which was actually my friend’s name. Now I don’t have to hide my real name,” Shaikh told IANS.
Despite all odds, Ansar never went off track from his objective. Ansar chose a different path rather than continuing in his father’s footsteps, making history in the process. His performance is even more impressive when one considers the fact that his family did not place a high value on education. Ansar Shaikh is currently posted in West Bengal.