Shatarupa Mishra graduated from Symbiosis Law School in 2013. A lawyer by interest, civil servant by profession and dancer by passion, currently, she is training as an IRS Officer-Income Tax in National Academy of Direct Taxes, Nagpur, after clearing Civil Service Examination 2014.
She studied in De Paul School in a small town Berhampur and subsequently in St. Joseph’s High School, Bhubaneshwar. She was extremely active in extracurricular activities like writing, dancing and singing.
Inspiration for Civil Services:
She believes it to be a very conscious choice to appear for Civil Service Exam. She belongs to a family of state and central civil servants, so somewhere the inspiration to be one was right at home. Her biggest inspiration was her father who is respected by all as an honest, upright and efficient officer in the State Government. Dinner table conversations had many a times, been about development, administration and issues therein.
She was keen to be in a profession which offered her a wide platform to work in law, policy and implementation. Her legal training actually strengthened her resolve to sit for this examination.
The syllabus of the civil services exam piqued her interest, particularly the general studies papers. Keeping all these factors in mind, she eliminated other career options in law in fifth year of law school and focused her preparation for the most difficult exam of India.
She started preparing for this examination immediately after graduating from law school in 2013 and wished to clear the examination in her first attempt.
She used to fix daily targets and accordingly work to complete them, so there was no fixed number of study hours. On an average, it ranged from 6-8 hours daily. Rest of the time she spent in reading newspapers, surfing the net or carrying out other hobbies.
She stresses that having a fixed schedule and weekly targets is important as she has personally benefited from such meticulous planning.
During her preparation, it was not the studies that she found difficult, rather she says:
“The toughest part for was staying away from my family, and friends as I was preparing in Pune while my family stays in Bhubaneshwar”.
How the Law background helped her:
She attributes her success in the first attempt to legal education in a lot of ways.
- Law students are used to processing copious amounts of information and presenting them in answers.
- Writing subjective answers in limited time is a skill acquired during law school. It served as an asset while writing the Civil Services (Main) Examinations. In all her mock tests and the mains examination she never faced the issue of time management.
- Integrated law course already gives an insight into general humanities subjects in the initial years like political science, history, sociology, etc.
However, one has to be careful to keep legalese and biased viewpoints out of your preparation and remember that this examination wants administrators and not lawyers at the end of the day and mould yourself accordingly.
Message for Law students:
- She personally feels that with the hard work, perseverance and right guidance, it is not difficult for a law student to clear these Examinations.
- Civil Services involve law interpretation and implementation, public administration and management, which law students imbibe in their five-year long erudition.
- Approach this examination with full focus and determination, if you choose to appear for it. Success shall definitely follow.
Tips for aspirants:
- A civil service aspirant should first know how to read the newspaper for this examination. Then preparation becomes very easy and interesting as one can interlink concepts with current affairs, analyze and present in an unbiased manner. Here’s what she has to say about the habit of reading newspapers:
“My preparation for civil services was very newspaper-oriented and it held me in good stead throughout all three levels”.
- Readers wanting to pursue a career should first be clear about why they want to pursue it. Once they have decided, they should just focus and plunge into the syllabus with full determination.
- Enjoy the process of learning and studying for this examination and before you realize, success shall be yours!