Many students dream of settling abroad, but there are always exceptions. Some students want to stay in India and help the underprivileged in our society. Today, we’ll talk about one such woman who — despite studying at the prestigious Cambridge University — decided to become an IAS and help the needy in India. Pranita Dash of Odisha made it through the civil services tests on her 3rd attempt in 2022, while she was enrolled at Cambridge. She achieved an All India Rank of 42. Pranita Dash, who is academically gifted, completed her Masters in Economics from the University of London and also was pursuing her MPhil from Cambridge.
Hailing from the small Odisha town of Baripada, she pursued her early education from her hometown till the fifth standard. Pranita finished her schooling in Bhubaneswar and got a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from St Xavier’s Kolkata. After graduating from Kolkata, Pranita pursued a Master’s degree in Economics at the University of London with a scholarship. She simultaneously prepared for the UPSC exams. Her initial plan was to pass the civil service exam during her undergraduate years.
Following her Master’s degree, Pranita Dash pursued an MPhil at Cambridge University, while simultaneously preparing for the UPSC. In 2020, she made her first UPSC attempt, followed by a second attempt in 2021. Regrettably, she did not clear the Prelims in either attempt.
In her third attempt, Pranita cleared the UPSC exam in 2022. She clinched an impressive 42nd All India rank and became an IAS officer. After completing the UPSC 2022 Mains exam, Pranita headed to Cambridge. After passing the Mains, she focused on her interview preparation from there.
Pranita Dash prepared for civil service exams by taking coaching classes and solving mock tests and interviews. Her advice to aspiring students is to cultivate confidence and select a subject they are passionate about. During her interview, she answered several unconventional questions. While she answered some of them, she wisely chose not to respond to a few.
After the Preliminary examination, many aspirants struggle with the written exam. As per the Indian Masterminds, Pranita Dash advised, “The first thing to remember is not to delve too deeply into any topic. Maintain a basic understanding and facts. Always substantiate your answers with examples and graphs.” She pointed out that this approach wasn’t innate, rather she learned it through practice.
Pranita Dash stressed the importance of learning from failures. She encouraged passionate civil service aspirants to persevere through hard work but also highlighted the multitude of alternatives and opportunities to serve society and the country.