Govind Jaiswal’s Journey – IAS Officer and a Rickshaw Driver’s Son

Becoming an IAS or IPS officer is a dream of many in our country – rich or poor, famous or non-famous, it doesn’t matter. The UPSC conducts the Civil Services Exam every year and lakhs of aspirants applies to clear it. Still, as we know, it’s a very prestigious position, which makes it very competitive.

Anyone can clear this exam and become a Civil Service Officer. The only thing required is a dedicated mindset and a passion for becoming a Civil Servant. We will discuss the journey of a very talented young man, Mr. Govind Jaiswal, who has achieved great heights even after coming from a very humble background. He grew up in a household where the sole breadwinner was his father, a rickshaw puller, which meant living with minimal access to the necessary amenities.

But the success story of Govind Jaiswal stands as a testament to what hard work and determination can make you achieve, no matter where are you from. He placed 48th rank and cleared the UPSC Civil Services Exam in his first attempt.

The Success Story of Govind Jaiswal

Govind Jaiswal
Govind Jaiswal and his Father

Hailing from a lower-middle-class family, Govind is the youngest four siblings in a family of six. He used to live with his family in a tiny rented room, where his father was the only source of income. And after completing his schooling from a government school in Usmanpura, he graduated with a degree in Maths from a government college in Varanasi.

During his graduation years, the neighbouring localities faced a lot of power cuts, sometimes even 14 hour-long power cuts every day. The neighbouring households used generators daily as a power backup, which led to unbearable noise and a source of disturbance in his preparations.

However, this reason was not good enough to stop the determined Govind from achieving what he wanted for his future and his family. He described the situation, by saying “I used to close all the windows and put cotton balls or headphones in my ears to reduce the noise.” Soon after his graduation in Varanasi, he then moved to New Delhi to prepare for the UPSC Civil Services Exam.

Unable to manage the living expenses in a metropolitan city, Govind’s father, Narayanm Jaiswal, sold his only piece of land for just INR 4,000. To cover his costs, Govind used to teach Maths and prepare for his exams in the next 18-20 hours of the day, which eventually led to him to achieve his dream.

Upon recalling the day when the results came out, he says “For the first few minutes, I was shocked and was shivering like hell, as my hands were not in my command.” He said he had a lot of sleepless night for about ten days before the result.

Over this entire journey, Govind mentioned his mentors and the people who inspired him to aim high. He said he admires the words of Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam, as President Kalam has given all of us the ability to dream and the power to make that dream. He’s described his goal as a developed India and he is already a source of motivation for many people.

Govind’s Winning Strategy

  • Finding the right mentor: He made sure to listen only to people who inspired him to do be better and do better in life.
  • Determination: Their house did not even have a lamp, but nothing could stop Govind’s determination from marching towards his goal.
  • Will Power: This is the essential ingredient of achieving any success. During his long and odious period of struggle and preparation when he even had to go without enough food for 2-3 days at a stretch, he chose to stick to his dream/goal.
  • Self Confidence: He always believed in himself and his mentor’s teachings. His family was also his source of motivation and they indeed had a significant role to play as they were reaffirming his faith in himself.
  • Positive Mindset: It is quite natural to fall into the vicious cycle of negative thinking when there is uncertainty while preparing for the toughest exam in the country. Success in the UPSC Civil Services Exams has and will always be unpredictable, but the aspirants need to have a positive and determined mindset to be successful.
  • Focus: Focusing on what really matters results to less distraction and makes you want to work on reaching your goals.
  • Hard Work: There is no substitute for hard work, and he says he sat to study for a thousand hours and has faced many troubles throughout his journey, but it was his dedication that told him to never take ‘no’ for an answer.


Mr. Govind Jaiswal is living proof that no matter what circumstance you’ve been given, if you have the right mindset and the passion to pursue your goals, you are sure to reach them. Clearing the UPSC Civil Services Exams in his first attempt, this article highlights his strategy in preparing for India’s toughest and most prestigious exam.

Topics covered in this article

  • Success story of Govind Jaiswal
  • Strategy for clearing the UPSC Civil Services Exam in his first attempt

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