Another feather was added to the cap of achievements of Northeast Indian states when Idul Ahmed from Guwahati, Assam emerged as the topper in the Indian Engineering Services (IES) examination, 2016. Hailing from Guwahati and currently residing in New Delhi, Idul Ahmed was a former Engineer in Oil India Limited, Duliajan. He has become an inspiration for many UPSC aspirants in the region through this feat of his.
Here is Idul Ahmed in an exclusive interview with TNT-The Northeast Today
TNT- Why did you choose Engineering Services as your career path?
I was working at OIL India after I passed out B.Tech from IIT Guwahati in the year 2014 for a period of 1 year. While I was working at Oil India, I really liked the work culture, but I thought that I was not contributing enough towards society and country. Thus I thought that may be civil services are better step to go forward with. I was not exactly sure whether I would clear the civil service at 1 attempt or not, so for a career back up I gave engineering services as I was familiar with the syllabus being a mechanical engineer. Right now I am In Delhi and preparing for my Civil Services, in case I fail then I would join Engineering Service.
TNT- How much preparation time is required to get through UPSC IES?
Well, preparation varies from Individual to individual. I had a good academic background in IIT. I was very familiar with the mechanical course and also gave GATE in my final year of engineering. So my concept of mechanical engineering was very much strong from my college days. Therefore I didn’t have to prepare that much extensively, I left my job in September 2015, after that I entirely dedicated my time for IES preparation. According to me an individual who is not that familiar with the syllabus then 1 year of coaching and preparation is enough.
TNT- How did you manage the preparation along with other obligation of life?
For this exam it doesn’t require that much of extensive study like Civil Services. Now I am Delhi and I have to sacrifice a lot of hobbies that I used to pursue back then in my home. My study period was not like 8 to 9 hours a day, it was dependent on the topics that I had to complete on a particular day. Sometimes I study for 4 to 5 hours and sometimes it stretched to 10 to 11 hours. My hobbies include playing Cricket which I usually used to do on weekends and also I am a big Real Madrid fan. So I never used to miss any of the Real Madrid matches. It is something which you pursue from your busy schedule.
TNT- Did you join any coaching centre for IES preparation?
No, for IES preparation I didn’t take any coaching. I carried out my preparation it by myself by staying at home
TNT- What are the qualities an IES aspirant must have?
For this exam if you are dedicated and constantly motivated for a 1 year period then it’seasy to crack it. For any examination whether its civil Service or IES, you might acquire a lots of failures, but you have to learn from those failures instead of giving up. I never faced that kind of dilemma as I always keep a backup. People have different alternatives, main thing is to be devoted towards your goal
TNT- Some words of wisdom for the students who are aspiring to crack the IES exam.
The pattern of IES examination is changing. It was not totally understandable. Besides yourour course you have to study fundamentals from other branches of engineering too. Back then in my time, it was not the case. I was mechanical and I was specially asked mechanical questions. But now the scenario has changed a bit and I would suggest to prepare from previous year question papers of IS.IES and IFS. Now you have to takedown 300marks in 3hours. To secure a good percentage you have to constantly practice those questions and revision.
–Interviewed by Ritu Raj Boruah for TNT- The Northeast Today News