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New Delhi: The UPSC Civil Services Exam stands tall as one of India’s most formidable academic challenges, demanding unwavering dedication, patience, and consistency from aspirants. Many invest significant sums in coaching and tuition at prestigious institutions, viewing it as a necessary expense to conquer this daunting test.

However, shining examples like IAS Arunraj dispel the notion that success hinges on exorbitant coaching fees. Arunraj’s remarkable journey saw him clinch victory in his first attempt at the UPSC exam, all without the aid of coaching, at a mere 22 years of age.

Originating from Uttar Pradesh, Arunraj distinguished himself as a stellar student from his early schooling years. Despite securing admission to IIT Kanpur after completing his intermediate studies, his heart was set on a different path—to become an IAS officer, as reported by DNA India.

His journey towards this goal commenced during his fourth year of undergraduate studies. Opting to forgo a conventional engineering career, Arunraj devoted himself to self-study, eschewing employment to dedicate ample time to UPSC preparation. Relying solely on NCERT books to solidify his foundational knowledge, he supplemented his efforts with rigorous mock interviews and judicious use of online resources.

His unwavering self-belief bore fruit when he conquered the UPSC CSE 2014 in his debut attempt, securing an impressive All India Rank of 34. Currently serving as a Tamil Nadu cadre IAS officer of the 2015 batch, he holds the esteemed position of Executive Director at the Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu Limited (ELCOT), under the Government of Tamil Nadu.

Arunraj’s saga underscores a powerful truth: success in the UPSC exam is attainable through steadfast dedication and self-reliance, rendering exorbitant coaching fees unnecessary burdens on aspirants and their families.