Palash Pagaria completed his B.Tech from IIT BHU and went on to become the All India Rank 1 in UPSC Engineering Services Examination (ESE / IES) 2015 in Civil Engineering. This UPSC topper is from Udaipur, Rajasthan and believes that there are no shortcuts to success.

His list of achievements run long and include being a Gold Medalist in B.Tech.

If you are aspiring to clear the Engineering Service Exam, then taking a leaf out of his book should be the first thing to do.

Name Palash Pagaria College and Degree IIT BHU, B.Tech in Civil Engineering
Branch Civil Engineering Working Working in Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd.
All India Rank 1 Department preferred IRSE Railways


Palash Pagaria shares the credit for his achievement with his mother (Sangeeta Pagaria), father (Anil Pagaria), elder sister (Esha Pagaria), God, teachers, relatives, friends and well-wishers.

Engineering Service Examination 2015 – Palash Pagaria’s Scores

Subject Marks
General Ability Test 125.55
Objective I 109.45
Objective II 131.67
Conventional I 144
Conventional II 123
Interview 150
Total Score 784

Why did you choose Engineering Services as your career path?

Since I did my B.Tech in Civil Engineering and developed a good amount of interest in the subject I thought to build my career in the same field and Engineering Services is the most revered exam for technical streams in India.

How much preparation time is required to get through UPSC ESE? 

According to me 12-18 months of dedicated preparation is sufficient.

How did you manage the preparation along with college studies?

I did my whole preparation during my college days itself. During my preparation I focused only on studies, one has to be away from distractions, manage time well. Blessings really work and remember that your work will always pay you, but when and how is decided by the almighty. Fortunately, I cleared the exam in my 1st attempt.

Did you join any coaching center for ESE preparation?

No, I did not take any coaching for clearing ESE.

I was fortunate enough to get guidance from my teachers. One can refer previous year question papers and syllabus to get an idea of what UPSC generally asks and then one can decide what to prepare and how to prepare.

When did you start preparing?

Preparation started from June 2013 i.e at the start of my 3rd year. The college exams have to be taken seriously and given equal respect. Performance in college builds up confidence.

Which books did you prepare from?

I studied the books referred in college for my college exams (UGC’s course books). For those topics which are not covered in college but are there in ESE, I referred to the internet and notes from some of the coaching institute.

Can you share with our readers your UPSC Interview experience?

The interview was scheduled on 4th December in the afternoon session.

Interview panel consisted of a Chairperson and three others from technical background.

It started with questions about my present work in Powergrid and about Powergrid. Questions were also asked from

Questions were also asked from well foundation and design of buildings.

One has to be confident of his answers and should stick only to what is asked. Be clear about the question (what exactly is asked), then frame your answer and deliver after a pause.

Don’t be abrupt to answer before the question ends.

Please share some tips to crack UPSC interview.

  • Dress up properly, ask for permission to enter the room.
  • Wish the panel. Wait till they offer you the seat and then take your seat with thank you. Try not to be nervous, be calm, composed and confidence.
  • Wait till they offer you the seat and then take your seat with thank you. Try not to be nervous, be calm, composed and confidence.
  • Try not to be nervous, be calm, composed and confidence.

What are the qualities an ESE aspirant must have?

Be honest to yourself and the world. Determination, character, hard work, focus, dedication, belief.

Some words of wisdom for the students who are aspiring to crack the UPES ESE exam.

There is no shortcut to success. Be smart enough to study what is relevant. Luck is important.

Luck depends on your character, and your past works and manners forge your character.

What was your preparation strategy?

Do good in college exams then in GATE exam then finally in ESE. Prepare theory first i.e be clear with the concepts and then practice questions to implement the theory prepared. Try to visualize things and google images and processes. This helps to remember. Revision is the key to your performance.

What was your preparation strategy in last two months?

This is the most important stage of preparation when one does the final revision of all the concepts learned so far and practice a lot of questions. I referred to Solved previous year papers books available in market during the last months.

Anything else to be kept in mind during preparation?

Just BELIEVE in yourself, keep on doing the good work, you will definitely be rewarded for your work at some point of your life.

Verses from Shrimad Bhagwat Geeta – Karmanye Vadhikaraste Ma Phaleshu Kadachan

All the Best to all the aspirants.


Palash, we wish you the very best for the future. We sincerely believe you will go a long way and make all your dreams come true. Your path will definitely have several beautiful milestones to cherish.

This interview was coordinated by Aglasem correspondent Shivika Rastogi.

Are you also preparing for UPSC Engineering Service Exam (ESE / IES)? Have questions in mind? Clear your doubts from UPSC Toppers. Post your queries in discussion forum.

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