UPSC Topper Success Story: Know how a Class 12th dropout, IAS K. Elambavath cracked the UPSC exam with self-study

14 Oct, 2021

UPSC Topper Success Story:

While for many youths the aim of becoming an IAS is to improve their future, Elambavath took the UPSC Civil Services exam to rectify the deplorable condition of government offices and establish new functioning in them. Elambavath took this decision of becoming an IAs officer after being in regular touch with government offices for 9 years. However, to fulfill this dream, Elambavath faced odd circumstances and constant failures. Let us know how was his journey till becoming an IAS.

Elambavath hails from Tamil Nadu:

Elambavath was born in 1982 in the small village Cholagungudikkadu in Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu. His father worked as a village administrative officer and his mother was a farmer and social worker. Elambavath spent most of his childhood helping his mother in the fields and going to school. The family of Elambavath always attached utmost importance to education as his father was the first graduate of the village.

Father’s death led Elambavath to leave his studies:

Life took a tragic turn in 1997 when Elambavath lost his father. At that time he was in Class-12 and due to financial constraints he had to leave his studies and start working in the field with his mother. Elambavath says, “My schoolmates and people around me were busy studying medicine and engineering. Meanwhile, I was unclear about my future. I had no idea about UPSC or its recruitment until I turned 24."

Elambavath knew that farming would not meet the needs of the family so he applied for the post of Junior Assistant (LDC) on compassionate grounds to be provided to the family members of the deceased Government servant. Part of the application process was the submission of educational certificates to the district collector's office. Along with this, other 20 types of documents were also to be submitted. However, he did not get the LDC job despite submitting all the certificates, citing administrative reasons. 

Elambavath visited government offices for 9 years for jobs:

Elambavath, along with other candidates, shared their grievances to the district collector, revenue secretary, commissioner, and even the chief minister but to no avail. But, when all his means and efforts were unsuccessful, Elambavath decided to take up UPSC.

Elambavath completed 12th and graduated with distance learning:

Since Elambavath left his studies in class 12, he chose distance learning and completed his graduation in history from the University of Madras. Elembavath worked hard and studied on his own as he did not had the money to pay the coaching center fees.

Elambavath explains that there was no facility in his village or nearby cities for UPSC exams guidance, so he studied in the public library which has a separate section for civil services. Elambavath used to study in Pattukottai along with 10 other civil services aspirants. The library and the support of the people helped K. Elambavath to get free civil services coaching from the Tamil Nadu government.

Elambavath got selected for the interview stage of UPSC thrice in a row but failed in all however, he cleared many examinations of the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission. Though Elambavath's dream of getting a government job came true in 2014, the dissatisfaction persisted as he wanted to crack the UPSC exam. 

K. Elambavath became an IAS officer in 2016:

K. Elambavath appeared for five Mains and three Interview rounds and failed in all of them. But he did not give up and instead worked hard but sadly all his efforts ended without any success. But in 2014 the central government gave two more attempts to those who were adversely affected by the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT), so Elambavath took advantage of this opportunity and again in 2016 gave the exam with better preparation, where he secured 117th rank and fulfilled his dream of becoming an IAS.


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