Nandini Maharaj’s journey to becoming an IAS topper is a story of balance, discipline, and strategic preparation, showcasing that success in one of India’s most challenging exams, the UPSC CSE, can be achieved even while juggling a job and personal interests.

Also read: पहली बार में नहीं मिली सफलता नहीं मानी हार महज दुसरे ही प्रयास में UPSC पास कर बनी IAS अधिकारी…

Nandini Maharaj: A Topper Who Balanced Work and Studies

Nandini Maharaj stands out as a unique candidate in the realm of UPSC aspirants. Unlike many who dedicate their entire time to studying, Nandini chose a different path. She believed that continuous immersion in books wasn’t necessary for success. Instead, she focused on quality study, even as she continued working. Her approach was driven by the understanding that one need not abandon their professional life to excel in the UPSC exams. This balance is a testament to her ability to manage her time and commitments effectively.

A Blend of Work, Study, and Passion

Nandini’s strategy was not just about studying hard but studying smart. She maintained a rigorous schedule that included her job, preparation for the exams, and her passion for dancing. In her interview with Delhi Knowledge Track, she emphasized the importance of engaging in activities that rejuvenate the mind. Her success in the second attempt is a powerful example of how diverse activities can contribute to overall success in exams.

The Influence of a Disciplined Upbringing

Raised in a disciplined environment by her bureaucrat parents, discipline was ingrained in Nandini from a young age. She excelled academically throughout her school years and pursued a BA Honors in History from Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi. Her quest for knowledge took her to the UK for a Master’s in Applied Human Rights. This diverse academic background provided her with a broad perspective, essential for the UPSC examination.

Balancing Hobbies and Career

Nandini’s love for dancing and teaching children played a significant role in her life. She never abandoned these passions at any stage of her career. Her belief in the importance of hobbies for mental well-being was a key aspect of her preparation strategy. Whether in India or abroad, she continued with pole dancing and teaching, illustrating her commitment to maintaining a balanced life.

Teaching as a Tool for Revision

After completing her postgraduate studies, Nandini took up teaching history, which coincidentally was her optional subject for the UPSC. This teaching role not only allowed her to share her knowledge but also helped her revise and deepen her understanding of the subject, thereby serving dual purposes in her preparation.

IAS Nandini Maharaj
IAS Nandini Maharaj

Efficient Time Management

Despite her busy schedule, Nandini managed to dedicate 6 to 7 hours daily to her studies. She is a firm believer in the efficiency of time management. Her approach was methodical – understanding the syllabus thoroughly, selecting the right books, and regularly solving previous years’ question papers. This strategy helped her cover the vast syllabus effectively and stay well-prepared for the types of questions asked in the exam.

Nandini Maharaj’s success in the UPSC CSE on her second attempt while balancing a job and personal interests is a narrative of determination, efficient time management, and the power of a balanced approach. Her story is an inspiration to many aspiring candidates, demonstrating that with the right strategy, discipline, and a little bit of passion, achieving one’s dreams is indeed possible.

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