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TOPPER’S STRATEGY: Rohan Botre, Rank – 187, UPSC Civil Services Exam – 2015

Rohan Botre

Rank – 187, CSE – 2015


Educational qualifications

  1. Masters of sciences (MS) Civil engineering—Purdue University, USA
  1. Bachelors of Engineering— Pune university, India

When I was in 10th standard I came across a documentary related to the IAS training academy at Mussoorie. I was inspired by that documentary and later tried to explore more information about the services like IAS and IPS. I was very much influenced by the work done by some renowned IAS and IPS officer , that I decided to study for this exam i,e UPSC

I was in the United states for a masters in civil engineering program at the famous Purdue University in the state of indiana. Being from a educational background (both parents are professors in pune) , I had decided to first complete my education with a MS degree. Even when I was in USA, I always kept this at the back of my mind that I have to go back to india after the MS program gets completed and start my ups preparation.During my stay abroad I constantly read articles from THE HINDU AND INDIAN EXPRESS.

I started my UPSC preparation In 2012. I selected Public administration and Sociology as my optional subjects. Before 2013 prelims there were two optional subjects. But in 2013 attempt I dropped sociology and selected Public administration as my optional.


This is the most crucial part of the process. Due to heavy competition prelim has become a cause of concern. I suggest you to complete as much as syllabus as possible for prelims… here are the sources:

  1. Spectrum: HIstory
  1. NCERT for ancient and medieval history (do not neglect this part)
  1. CCRT plus Art NCERT (very important for mains also)
  1. GC leong, 11th and 12th NCERT for geography
  1. Shankar IAS material for Envo
  1. Ramesh singh for economy.
  1. Laxmikant for polity
  1. Insights website for current happening through which you could solve many question related to IR, international organizations, polity etc.
  1. CSAT — any local class material (only 66 marks are needed now)

Read these sources thoroughly and completely..


Let me first thank for providing the entire UPSC aspirants with such good quality material for general studies as well as optional preparation. As we all know for GS 2 and 3 papers, current affairs is very important… It is not just the current affairs but a thorough analysis of the topic is critical… If we have a look at the question papers we could figure out that analytical question are trending… So for this analysis I depended on LS and RS debates that were discussed in platform. I have surely benefited by the Secure compilations. It is a rich source of data, figures, trends. I was able to use this info in each answer of my paper. I relied very less on news papers.  As time management is an important part of the prep process,Ii could not invest more time on paper reading. Reading the secure questions compilations and understanding the topic was my techniques of preparation. Most benefit that is received from the website is for ethics in which i could score 113 marks. I used to write daily latest two answers from the compilation and compare with the answers written by others. This helped me polish my content and language..


I never took any classes for optional. My mother, being a professor of political science taught me this optional. Most important thing i would suggest aspirants is to focus on answer writing and notes making in public administration. This attempt i was able to score 226 (110 + 116) in

  1. I made extensive notes from various books like
  1. Stephen Robbins
  1. Mohit Bhattacharya
  1. Fadia
  1. IIPA journals
  1. ARC reports.
  1. Rajni Goyal.
  1. If possible Punchi commission report.
  1. most important is Laxmikant ( public administration wali)

I had revised these notes a number of times. The challenge in PA is to comprehend the question that is asked in the paper. The questions are not at all straight forward. This skill comes by extensive reading, notes making and answer writing. Here also insights can give a lot of help in answer writing and discussion. One who cannot afford classes and test series can make use of this platform extensively.

I once again thank this website and it concerned people for such a good work….

Thank you and god bless you all.

My Marks:

Essay  – 129
GS 1  – 106
GS 2 –  82
GS 3 – 100
GS 4  – 113
Pub Ad 1.  – 110
Pub Ad 2.  –  116
Interview 154