"I made up my mind that irrespective of what discipline I study, I will write the civil services exam," Richard recalled in an exclusive interview to EastMojo
Kohima:"I am filled with mixed reactions. There is joy, gratefulness, vindication and to some extent, a bit of awe," says 25-year-old Richard Yanthan who secured 133 rank in the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) Civil Services Examination 2019, the result for which was declared on Tuesday.
Speaking with EastMojo over phone, Yanthan expressed that the result came as a surprise as he did not expect to be ranked 133. "I did think that maybe I will get something this year, but the rank was unexpected," he expressed. He then humbly added, "Ultimately, it is all God's doing".
He revealed that this was his second attempt for the examination. He recalled how he did not pass through the interview in his first attempt in 2018. But the failure did not stop him from applying for the coveted examination as he remained determined and focused.
A BTech graduate in civil engineering from Guwahati, Yanthan said that he left for Delhi to prepare for the examination immediately after he graduated in 2017 where he underwent coaching.
He said that as he was not in touch with the humanities subject for around a decade, the coaching institute where he enrolled in has come as a great help as it provided necessary materials.
After 13 years, Yanthan is set to become the first Naga who made it to the list of IAS, since 2007. While his achievement is an inspiration, he encouraged the aspirants saying "If people think that this is an inspiration, I am very grateful. There are many bright and talented Nagas out there who are doing a lot for the state and can do a lot more in civil services--at the state or union level and contribute their services".
As he prepared for the civil service exams, Yanthan also appeared the Nagaland Public Service Commission (NPSC) NCS, NPS, NSS and Allied Services 2018 exams results where he secured the 7th rank, in his first attempt. He said that since June 15, he was posted and attached to the Deputy Resident Commissioner (DRC) at the Nagaland House in Delhi.
As he grew up in a family where the people around him were administrators in the state administration, he said that the three words 'IAS' became familiar to him at a very young age especially during his Class II-III as he would hear about it.
"But the actual idea of the service cropped up when I was in my 9th and 10th standard. That is when I made up my mind that irrespective of what discipline I study, I will write the civil services exam," he said.
Yanthan also recalled that although he was not a mediocre student, he was also not among the toppers. While he passed first class, he said that he never topped the class. "It is the passion, commitment and hard work. I think I have been quite disciplined," he said.
To him, maintaining consistency is very important, and so is working on developing one's personality. He said that although every individual who cleared the IAS exam may vary and do things differently, the common denominator is "hard work" which may be coupled with its style (specialization). He cited that the individual's style may be a valuable addition to the answer presented.
"Initially, one is required to work very hard. But if you stumble or find failures along the way, then some people do tend to give up the hope, or get frustrated or depressed midway which can be an issue. So, perseverance is key along with hard-work," he added.
Sharing his experience, he said that while more hours may be invested in reading books during the initial phase of preparations, but gradually as the aspirants master the concepts and the core syllabus, the amount of study hours studying can be reduced. Then, the art of writing answers and other aspects follow, he said.
Yanthan completed his schooling from Chandmari Higher Secondary School Kohima, completed his 10+2 from Kohima Science college after which he proceeded to Guwahati for B Tech where he graduated in 2017.
A native of Lakhuti village under Wokha district, Yanthan is the eldest sibling in the family with one brother and one sister. His father passed away when he was Class X. His mother hails from Changki Village under Mokokchung district.
He also shared that his younger brother, who is also a civil service aspirant has begun his preparations and that his younger sister aspires to pursue in the medical field.