“Taking IAS exam is like running a marathon”: Mahesh Bhagwat who trained UPSC topper, 126 rankers

Mahesh Murli Bhagwat, who coached UPSC aspirants wholeheartedly out of passion, is overjoyed since he mentored 600 to 700 IAS aspirants

“Taking IAS exam is like running a marathon”: Mahesh Bhagwat who trained UPSC topper, 126 rankers

HYDERABAD: The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) topper Ishita Kishore and over 600 candidates were mentored by Telangana Additional DG CID Mahesh Murlidhar Bhagwat.

Mahesh Murli Bhagwat, who coached UPSC aspirants wholeheartedly out of passion, is overjoyed since he not only trained but also mentored 600 to 700 IAS aspirants, of whom about 126 passed the UPSC examinations in 2022 and 12 obtained positions among the top 100 candidates.

Mahesh Bhagwat, along with a few of his peers who are also senior officials, banded together solely for the purpose of helping and mentoring candidates for the Indian Administrative Service.

Mahesh Bhagwat and his friends, consisting of senior IAS officers from across the country, spend two hours each day coaching aspirants by supplying daily newspapers and editorials and developing questions based on candidates' subjects, their native states and interests to prepare them for the final interview round. They train candidates via a WhatsApp training group which boasts of 500 candidates.

"This year, UPSC announced the results of 993 candidates, 600-700 of whom were trained by us. About 125-150 candidates obtained top grades with 12 ranking in the top 100. We are extremely happy that we trained people who received ranks of 1, 4, 14, 22, 24, 25, 27, 35, 38, 54, 72, 74, 76, and 78," he said.

"The majority of the tutoring is done online while many candidates from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh attend classes in person. We also analyse previous interviews on what kind of questions can be asked to a particular candidate based on their graduation, optional subjects and native states and prepare a question bank based on these criteria. As a result, prospects benefit greatly from regular exercise and planning," he said when asked about his teaching strategies.

"I'm very happy today since one of my students, Ravi Meena, who is already a forest officer in Rajasthan, cleared IAS examinations in his 10th attempt. He attempted the interview round seven times before finally getting it this time. I'm particularly delighted since I remember how I used to boost his morale every time he failed in his interviews before and he contacted me today saying he is really happy, " Mahesh Bhagwat said, expressing joy over his students' accomplishment.

Mahesh Bhagwat with IAS ranker Ravi Meena

When asked about his team, Bhagwat said that his IAS friends from Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh joined him in mentoring candidates. "I have been joined by my friend Anand Patil who is secretary to the governor of Tamil Nadu, Abhishek Sarafi from Madhya Pradesh who is very active and IAS officer Nilakanth from Punjab, some professors, content writer from Hyderabad who started a website Vikas.IAS.com which is very helpful for the candidates. Many like-minded people joined me and assisted in mentoring the candidates who achieved high rankings this year," he said.

Mahesh Bhagwat said that he frequently predicted if a candidate would pass the interview based on his/her interview. "Many times, based on candidates' interviews, I tell them whether they can pass the interview or not. Like this time, fourth ranker Smriti Mishra described her interview experience in our WhatsApp group and I immediately told her that she would certainly clear the interview this time and she achieved fourth rank, which makes me very happy. This is a win-win situation for both the candidates and myself. With my knowledge, I can now estimate what kinds of questions can be asked of a specific candidate. Not only do I assist applicants for IAS exams but I also assist candidates for IFS exams besides the tests for Central Police Forces (CPF)."

Many newly appointed IAS officials express their gratitude by personally meeting Mahesh Bhagwat in Hyderabad. "It feels great when candidates who I've only spoken to over the phone pay me a surprise visit, whenever they come to Hyderabad, to express their gratitude. A Kashmiri IAS officer recently paid me a visit. I was ecstatic because he is from the Bakarwal community, one of the most backward in Jammu and Kashmir, and he made it to the civil services," he adds.

Mahesh Bhagwat with Shabbir Chaudhari IAS officer from Jammu & Kashmir

Mahesh Bhagwat, who believes in giving back to society by tutoring candidates for free without expecting monetary reward, expects the candidates too to help other applicants succeed.

"Taking the IAS exam is like running a marathon. Aspirants should begin as soon as they graduate, because this exam demands a great deal of persuasion and patience. If they start early and pass the exam, they can be promoted at a young age. Also, because this exam involves a large amount of time, patience and money, having a backup plan is always desirable," added the senior officer while sharing a quick tip for the future IAS aspirants.

When asked if he has ever aided any aspirant with finances, Bhagwat recalls assisting numerous candidates during COVID19 pandemic. "We helped many candidates during COVID19 crisis. One of the candidates I know was transported from Akola by air ambulance and treated at KIMS Hyderabad. I wore a PPT kit and visited him on a regular basis to stimulate him and he was strong enough to fight back. His IIT classmates raised approximately Rs 1 crore for his treatment. Devanand survived two cardiac arrests and is now preparing again and taking the exam this year, " Mahesh Bhagwat added.

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