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[Episode 1 of the podcast] A Little More Light: Igniting Imagination, Inspiring Action | Life Beyond UPSC: Politics as a Career with Bhavya Narasimhamurthy

Hello Dear Student!

We are thrilled to finally share the first episode of our Podcast: A Little More Light with you!

Thank you for the outpouring of support and the immense love that you have shown us in the last week! As you know, this podcast aims to showcase that there is a life beyond the UPSC exam, give hope to people and throw a little more light on stories worth sharing.

Since the inception of Insights IAS, we have seen several talented students not making it to the final list and this breaks our heart. Furthermore, we have seen students give up hope about a better future when they fail to clear this exam.  Some students invest (not waste, remember that it is a personal choice and nothing can be deemed as a waste in life, everything contributes to making us who we are today, we are the sum total of our experiences) several years preparing for this exam and are often hit hard when they exhaust their attempts without a tangible career. Meanwhile, their peers would have moved on to greener pastures: with a great career, promotions, monetary rewards, love, family, etc. This may leave one feeling worthless and inferior to the world at large. Devoid of hope and clueless about their future, most are left alone without support. However, they do get a generous amount of “I told you so!” from people around them!


Several aspirants also tend to get demotivated while preparing, go through more lows than highs, and sometimes it may seem like a constant struggle to prepare for the exam. As students, we are so often insulated from the world at large while we are preparing for this exam- surrounded by only a multitude of standard books, and toppers’ talks; all we hear about is how great it is to clear the exam; which material we should use, how many revisions we must do…our lives seem to begin and end with preparing for this exam! Do you think this is the ideal way to live? While we believe that an aspirant must prepare sincerely if this is their goal, we also believe in living a balanced life: being open to the world, the learnings it has to offer, and pursuing various hobbies that one may have.


Why do you think this happens? While we don’t claim to be experts, based on our own experiences and seeing those of our students, we think that one of the reasons is that we tend to get disproportionately attached to the idea of clearing the exam. We focus more on the outcome than on the process and we may not be resilient or strong enough to absorb setbacks. We also have this false belief that clearing this exam is the best thing that can happen to us.


But remember that THERE IS A LIFE BEYOND UPSC! Today, we have a very special episode with a very special person: an ex-student of Vinay Sir, who is now playing a leading role in politics and ushering in change with her path-breaking work at the grassroots! Ms. Bhavya Narasimhamurthy, is a graduate of Electrical and Electronics Engineering from MSRIT, Bengaluru. She then went on to take several attempts at the UPSC CSE Exam. However, after her 4th attempt, she decided to write her GRE. Having obtained a high score, she chose to pursue a Master’s in Public Administration from Columbia SIPA in the United States of America! She went on to work at the UN in NYC, UNICEF in Nepal on malnutrition, and UNFPA in Egypt on gender-based violence. Even while preparing for UPSC, she used to love volunteering at organizations that helped women and children. She had a strong innate desire to work for the upliftment and progress of women and the youth and she found another path to her goal. Listen to her talk about her deeply enriching experiences, her ambitions, goals, and her vision for a better future!


Ms. Bhavya’s story teaches us a few important lessons. Firstly, there is LIFE BEYOND UPSC! She tells us that we must understand the difference between a PATH and a GOAL. Her goal was to be a change agent and work with the people and for the people! Her first path (of becoming a civil servant) did not work out. So, did she just give up and surrender her ambitions? NO! She found an alternate path to walk steadily on towards her goal. Furthermore, she talks about the significance of COURAGE. When everything seems to be going wrong in your life, do not give up! Be courageous and persevere towards your dream- one step at a time! Believe in yourself. Moreover, she highlights the importance of taking no shortcuts in life (or in politics as a career). Work hard and work with sincerity and someday, your efforts will be recognized and lauded. She never considered her UPSC journey as a thorn in her path, instead, she says it played an important role in helping her acquire several good habits: reading the newspaper, keeping abreast with current affairs, and enhancing her writing skills; she still keeps in touch with books like Polity by Laxmikanth, and books by Bipan Chandra!


Life is much larger than an exam. Do not let one exam determine your self-worth. You have infinite potential. You may face several diversions in your path while you traverse towards your goal, but remember that those diversions are in fact guiding you on towards better paths. Every setback or challenge is an opportunity. Life beyond UPSC is bright if you just remember to turn on the light.

Watch the episode here:


Please write in to us at and let us know if this episode with the wonderfully inspiring personality: Ms. Bhavya, encouraged you to broaden your thinking and gave you a little more light!


Until next time!

Note: Original quote is “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” ― J.K.Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban