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‘Being a Civil Servant comes with a lot of charm; there is so much you can do for society at large’

As Additional Superintendent of Police at Purulia in West Bengal, this Apeejay alumnus says that being an IPS officer gives his life meaning



Most of us have heard of Purulia in West Bengal for all the wrong reasons. The Purulia arms drop happened on December 17, 1995, when unauthorised arms were dropped from an Antonov An-26 aircraft in the district. So, the minute you talk with a police officer serving in the area, you are filled with a sense of pride and thank him for his services.

Chinmay Mittal, an alumnus of Apeejay School, Charkhi Dadri, Haryana, says that now that he is posted in West Bengal, it is like a completely different world out here. “From Charkhi Dadri to Purulia is quite a change especially since I did my training for almost two years in Hyderabad,” he said.

Unreservedly, Mittal talks about what it takes to be a police officer. Excerpts:

Tell us about your school days.

I joined Apeejay School in Charkhi Dadri in Class VII and completed my schooling here. I took up Science in Class XI (non-medical). Not everyone has fun-filled school days but that didn’t mean that I lagged or didn’t enjoy my time here. I had friends and the teachers were good and cordial.

How and why did you decide to sit for the Civil Services?

It was not as if I had decided at a young age to sit for these exams. I had planned for a few options and therefore, I pursued BTech in Electronics Engineering from NIT. It was then that I decided to sit for the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) exam. I thought, why not give this exam a try? So, instead of taking up a job in the private sector, I started preparing for the exam. I loved the whole journey that came with the preparation and took it on a serious note. I was lucky that I cleared it on the second attempt.

How has the journey been this far?

After I cleared the exam I went to Hyderabad. That is where the IPS training takes place. Once the training was complete, I was posted at Purulia in West Bengal. Since I am an Additional Superintendent of Police, Operations there are days when the work is 24×7. A large part is Maoist invested so it keeps me busy. I have been here for the last three-four years.

Did you take up coaching to prepare for UPSC?

Yes, I did. I joined Vajiram & Ravi in Old Rajinder Nagar in Delhi. Having joined these classes, I feel that preparing for this exam is largely dependent on self-study. Coaching classes can only guide you on how to proceed further; tell you about the pattern of the exam and the kind of prep that needs to go with it. They also tell you about what kind of competition one is going to face in the exam. But after this, it all depends on the candidate and how he/she utilises this information. I think that 10 per cent is coaching effort and the rest is your hard work.

People say that to clear UPSC, one has to study for 14-18 hours. Is that correct?

To be honest, how many hours an aspirant studies is very subjective. I would say that before you take your first attempt, you must put in a lot of hours. But once you are in the flow, you can cut down on the study hours since you are familiar with the exam. In the beginning, I too studied for many hours but after that, it came down to eight-10 hours of consistent studies. But during the exam days, this time went up.

Once you give the first exam, you understand the pattern and the completion. You know your strengths and weaknesses. For subsequent exams, you must concentrate on those and revise what you know. I know a few people who took up private jobs and studied side-by-side.

How did you end up being in the IPS?

It was not by choice. Before you sit for the exam you have to fill in your preference. I listed IAS first and then IPS, IRS, and so on. My marks qualified me for IPS. But now that I am in this service, I would say that it is the best thing that has happened to me. The sense of satisfaction of having done a good job at the end of the day is incomparable. We deal with the public daily; solving their problems fills me with joy.

The police uniform that we wear fills me with a sense of joy and commitment. We serve society and there is no better job than this.

What advice would you give to Apeejayites who want to sit for the UPSC exam?

Go for this exam if this is what interests you. Being a Civil Servant comes with a lot of charm; there is so much you can do for the betterment of society at large. The salary package is good too. There is a sense of job satisfaction that comes with plenty of perks. Earlier, there was not enough guidance that one could take advantage of. Things have changed today. There is a lot of study material and information that is available on the Internet that students can access.

Shalini is an Executive Editor with Apeejay Newsroom. With a PG Diploma in Business Management and Industrial Administration and an MA in Mass Communication, she was a former Associate Editor with News9live. She has worked on varied topics - from news-based to feature articles.

Poetic गुफ्तगू – With हुमेरा खान @poetsofDelhi