Mantras to qualify KAS

Malik Suhail, stood second in the recently declared KAS merit list. In conversation with Aliya Bashir, he reveals the secrets of his success.

Malik Suhail Ahmed, 27, is the second topper in this year’s KAS merit list. He visualizes his success as an opportunity to do some good to the society in the capacity he will now work. “I want to serve the people and contribute to the society,” he says.

Hailing from Verinag in Anantnag, he attributes his success to his family. “My father is my role model and an inspiration. It would have been never possible to fulfill my dream without the support of my parents. I owe lot to them,” he says.

His father has been a lecturer of English literature, and mother a home-maker.

A post graduate in economics, Suhail did his B.A. (Honors) in Economics from Aligarh Muslim University (A.M.U) in 2004. He completed his post graduation in the same subject through distance education mode in 2007.

It was during graduation that he developed an interest in civil services. After completion of his graduation he appeared in the KAS for the first time. He qualified the prelims and the mains but could not go beyond the interview stage. However he did not lose hope and continued his effort.

His hard work bore fruit when in 2008, he cleared the Central Police Force (UPSC, CPF) examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission.
Consequently, he was appointed as an Assistant Commandant in Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and was posted to Chennai.

He still had his eyes set on the KAS, so he re-applied. This time he qualified all the stages, and with flying colours. He topped the KAS selection list from Kashmir this year and stood second overall.

Recalling his interview experience, he says that the board which interviewed him this time was very cordial, encouraging and supportive of his views. “There were a couple of questions which I was not sure. But, I honestly made my reservations clear. I think that helped me to qualify,” says Suhail. His advice to future aspirants at the interview stage is to be very positive and forthcoming in approach.

As per him, the ideal preparation style between selective intensive and extensive study to crack KAS is Selective intensive study preparation.  Suhail was very patient during the whole tenure of his preparation. He had a keen interest in whatever he studied and never lost his goal even during the time of hardship. He always maintained the objectivity and worked hard.

“I believe one year of hard work and serious preparation is all that is required for this examination,” says Suhail. “But one should not forget that the syllabus is very vast and the aspirants have to see lots of ups and downs. One must be patient and should develop the tendency to stick to hard work with objectivity,” he says.

On the importance of coaching he says that it is important if a candidate is opting for an optional that he had never studied before. “I went for coaching for both my optionals. I did public administration at Vajiram & Ravi and Urdu literature at Crescent I.A.S Academy New Delhi. My coaching helped me a lot to understand the topics with more comprehension and depth,” he says.

Before getting down to actual preparation, the kind of reading that Suhail suggests is that aspirants should develop a habit of reading to improve their observation and analytical power of whatever information they come across. “This will form the foundation and then the aspirants may start preparation of General Studies and both optional,” he says.

“The magazine and newspapers that I had subscribed to during my preparation are Service chronicle, Yojana, The Hindu and other magazines .All proved very helpful and informative,” he says. Keeping in touch with newspapers and magazines keeps a person updated of the happenings all around, he says adding that newspaper reading is important for General Studies in particular.

Suhail counts being goal oriented as being important to success in any exam. “It is very important to keep your goals in sight, and never lose direction,” he says.

To aspirants he has valuable advice. “Keep believing in yourself and work hard. And always have faith in God,” he says.

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