Adapa Karthik, a Doctor, who had topped the Indian Administrative Service Examination in 2008. As a topper, he was given the option to go to his hometown in Khammam, Andhra Pradesh but Adapa chose Ranikhet, as it was much more backward place and that’s the kind of place how he wanted to contribute and serve the nation.

IAS offers a tremendous opportunity for leadership and to work at the grass-root level. Adapa says, “never to ignore Prelims even after your Mains or your interview because when the results are out, you don’t have any time left for the next year’s Prelims”.

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Educational Background

Adapa got a scholarship for his Post Graduation at both Harvard and Cambridge. He also got a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation scholarship for a PhD in Molecular Medicine at Harvard and Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Trust Commonwealth Shared Scholarship for his PhD in Cambridge. But Adapa gave up prestigious Harvard and Cambridge university scholarships to join the IAS.

Attempts by Adapa Karthik

Karthik, a doctor, had been selected for the Indian Police Service (IPS) in 2005 and 2007, in earlier two attempts but he let it pass too. However, in his third attempt his determination to be an IAS officer made him the All India Rank topper in 2008.

Karthik devoted six to eight hours a day, but more than the number of hours, it was the quality and consistency of his studies, which matters. He used to be very consistent with his reading.

Optional Subject

Adapa Karthik opted Zoology and Psychology as his optional paper. Having done medicine, which is Advanced Biology, he wanted to go back to his basics and study Zoology, which is Basic Biology.

Psychology because it was a new subject for him and he really worked so hard to fetch good marks.

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Life as a Doctor

Dr. Adapa Karthik enjoyed being a doctor and in fact, continued to be a doctor even after becoming IAS. In his capacity as an administrator, he organised health camps, where he also served as a doctor. But what he realised is that as a doctor, the canvas you get to paint on is very small. Health is the only field where he can work in as a doctor.

Advice to future UPSC Aspirats

  • Just be yourself! The more artificial you are, the more you will struggle.
  •  Newspapers is the ultimate thing. Read The Hindu, which is far the best newspaper while preparing for the Civil Services Exam.
  • While preparing, don’t merely ‘read’ the newspaper, ‘study’ the newspaper. Underline, make notes, analyse, draw some conclusions and discuss.
  • Read a lot, keep abreast of what’s happening in the world, in the country and in your state.
  • Complete syllabus and focus on your goal.

Important: Books for UPSC Civil Services Preliminary Exam Preparation


  1. Sir, i want to become an ias officer but there is much confusion that which subject i have to choose after 10th , i am studying in 9th standard from mp board how can i prepare myself sir plz help me and suggest me plz plz sir

    • If your ultimate goal is IAS then according to me you shold opt for ARTS stream with HISTORY,POLITICAL SCIENCE, GEOGRAPHY AND ECONOMICS. This subjects will make your base for IAS SYLLABUS.

    • angad yadav…. first you have to focus on your study..and then took social subjects as your +2 and graduation….

    • 1st be in ur wat,,devote urself to study n understand the subjects u have…..because these are the basics ryt,,,then automatically u will survive in ur civils journey.

  2. sir I hosatti studying MBBS in kims Hubballi.and to
    become a IAS..but I am in confusions which one I have to choose..I interested in history but I thinking that how I can manage that as my study restricting me to only medicine. ..pls advice

  3. Supper Sir , I am salute you and your hard work , best of luck . this year I will clear this exame Ankit Singh

  4. hi sir, iam an b,com student, i intrested in civil service exam, what is the minimum percentage require in gradu

  5. congrates sir. i salute ur hard work…
    sir i’m now studying engineering last year .
    i become ias officer please gauide me…

  6. Hloo sir
    My self mantu kumar mangal from odisha. I have complete my graduation in bsc biology and mba in marketing . But I want to give ias exam . So plz suggest me the right path of success . Which book and which is the best coaching center in raipur.

  7. Hi sir…my name is prathima. I have done my in biochemistry. I started to prepare for civil services. Im intrested in zoology but im not a graduate of zoology. i like to take zoology as my optional. i had basics of zoology only upto my intermediate. can u plz suggest me whether my pat is right or not. Hope a reply from u. Thanku sir.

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