IAS topper wants to fight corruption

Civil service examination topper Anudeep Durishetty.

Civil service examination topper Anudeep Durishetty was always confident of cracking the exam, but never thought he would come first. The elder son of Durishetty Manohar, an additional assistant engineer in the Telangana state electricity department, and Jyothy, a homemaker, Anudeep attributes his success to determination and quality hard work.

After completing BTech in Electronics and Instrumentation from BITS, Pilani, in 2011, Anudeep worked in Google. In 2013, he was selected for the Indian Revenue Service and was posted with the Customs and Central Excise Department in 2016. Anudeep won the best officer trainee award during the weapons training programme at NISA, Hyderabad. He is a football player as well, and has a keen interest in Artificial Intelligence. Excerpts from the interview from Hyderabad with Anudeep, in Metpally.

After four previous attempts, did you expect to top the exam this time?

The journey has been long and tough, this was my fifth attempt. Yes, I did believe that I will crack the civil service examinations. Everything is possible if one believes in himself and prepares for the examinations in a consistent manner with dedication. And dedication will certainly take you to success.

In my second attempt, I was selected for the Indian Revenue Service and I am currently serving as Assistant Commissioner at the Central GST (CGST) office in Hyderabad. I am happy to get the top rank on my fifth attempt. It is just sinking in and I am enjoying the moment. In my intermediate and also in BTech course, I was an above average student. You don’t have to be super intelligent in academics to crack IAS. What counts is your determination.

I decided to write UPSC exams during my final year of B tech. Despite a few chances in campus recruitment, I decided to stick to my dream. But I never thought that I would get the first rank. It’s a tough exam, lakhs of people write the exam. In India, there is no dearth of talented people. I am happy that I am in this position. Even as an IRS officer, wherever I was posted, I gave my 100%. I have to do justice to the salary paid by the government. That was my goal as an IRS officer or when I was working with Google. I always keep in mind that I have to give my best and work in public interest.

You have been working in the CGST department, how did you spare time for preparation?

I was in charge of indirect taxes administration at the Jeedimetla division. In the last one year, CGST work has been hectic. We did a lot of public outreach programmes, answering people’s queries. But every day I used to prepare for at least two to three hours. During weekends, I used to prepare for at least 10 hours a day. But the experience I had at the CGST will help me in the years to come.

During IRS training, you had a chance to visit Singapore to study their anti-corruption policies. Do you think corruption can be eradicated?

Corruption should be eliminated institutionally through a multipronged effort like in Singapore. Corruption could be eliminated if you have institutions. Government officers must be accountable, the public should have a right to question. Once we have the systems in place then corruption could be brought down. India has come a long way since Independence. There were many achievements, but we will have to do a lot more. That’s what excites me. I am happy that I too can contribute to this wonderful developmental journey.

Now that you have reached the top, what is your next goal?

I want to give my 100% to society. There are different ways of serving society and civil services is one such way. Lawyers and police officers also do service to the nation. I felt IAS is a better platform. I have just crossed the first step. I will do well to the best of my abilities.

To whom do you attribute your success and are you happy leaving the IRS?

My parents encouraged me whenever I faltered. Without them, I could not have succeeded. My father, who came from a small village called Chittapur, has already reminded me of the responsibilities ahead. I am grateful to all. When I failed three times, I did not get depressed, but corrected myself. Working for IRS is meaningful, but IAS gives you wider responsibility. In IRS I have learned only one aspect of the economy. As an IAS officer, I can be a part of nation-building.

How was your preparation and which state cadre have you opted for?

I have opted for Telangana cadre. It is the youngest state and it has a lot of potential. I want to play my part in its development. As far as preparation is concerned, I took Anthropology in the Mains exams and prepared on my own. I practised writing answers as we do not have time to think during the examination. In my personality test, I was asked more about my family background. They wanted to know why I wanted to shift from IRS to IAS and also on my subject, Anthropology. They also asked me about my hobbies.

I believe that our background makes no difference at all. You don’t have to be from a great background. Only performance matters. I believe that there is no need to join coaching centres. One can easily avail information through the internet. Quality of preparation is more important than the number of hours.

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