Journey of Hawker’s son: Here’s how this Bihari hawker’s son secured 45th rank in UPSC

 UPSC topper 2020: It was in 2014 when Anil Basak, for the first time, surprised his family and relatives by entering the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi. But this was just the first stage of his leap to success. Back in the day when he traveled from Bihar to Delhi, Basak had no idea that a few years down the line he would be amongst the top 50 to crack the elite civil service examination.

“I was selected for IIT Delhi in 2014. When I reached the third year of my civil engineering course, I started preparing for the civil service. It was August 2016,” Basak told India Today while recalling the journey towards the goal.

The boy from Bihar’s Kisanganj couldn’t clear the prelims of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) in 2018 in his first attempt. The results broke his heart. “I had put a lot of effort and energy between 2016 and 2018. And yet I couldn’t clear the prelims. Possibly because my strategy was wrong and I had become arrogant that if I can clear IIT-Delhi and I can get through any exam,” that’s how he summarised the preparation and eventual result of his first attempt.

However, he recollected himself and his courage and became “humble”. And set the ball rolling. In his second attempt, he got through in the civil services and secured his position in the IRS by getting 616th rank.

The third time’s charm

It was the third time’s charm. In the UPSC 2020 final results, Basak clinched 45th rank and now wishes to serve the Bihar cadre.

Sahi bataun to kahtin paristhiyan thi, aur unhi paristhitiyon ne mujhe majboot banaya (Honestly, the situation (financial background of his family) was adverse. Possibly, it was the tough times that tested me, also game strength,” Basak said

Son of tobacco shop owner in Bihar district cracks UPSC for second time


“I am exhilarated… My father and mother are on cloud-9. They are the creator of my success,” the IIT-Delhi civil engineering graduate said. He further emphasized how his father played a crucial role in his shaping his educational and professional success story.

“Due to my father, we are a family of news buffs. Back at home, all of us used to watch a lot of news from the TV news channels, including Aaj Tak.In my childhood, when we were consuming so enormous amount of developments related to current events through news channels, I didn’t know that I would end up becoming an IAS officer,” Basak said. He gives credit to a school teacher from his primary school, Jai Shankar — who laid down the foundation stone for his career.

Family background of UPSC topper Anil BasakBasak is second amongst four brothers in the family. While his elder brother is a working professional, the two younger brothers are still pursuing their studies. The family belongs to Kharudo. While his mother, Manju Devi, managed the home, his father, Binod Basak –did all sorts of odd jobs to sustain the family and to ensure education for all four sons.

“My father had studied only until fourth class. But he speaks several languages. My family has seen a state of abject poverty,” said the 26-year-old IITian. “My father used to work as a hawker. He had also worked as a house help in Rajasthan just to sustain his family. He kept on doing odd jobs. And he eventually — single-handedly — managed to build a small clothes business unit in Kisangnaj.”

The family first used to live in a rented house and then managed to own a kutcha house. Later, his father built a pucca house.

“There is a lot that needs to be done at home. My family’s financial state is not good. I need to take care of my family. And would hopefully be able to fulfill their dreams after I join the services,” Basak said.

Even though Basak is eligible to get the benefits of the SC quota, his stupendous performance in the civil services means that he has been selected under the unreserved category.

“My father is my biggest inspiration. He single-handedly used to run the business, cook food for us, manage the daily chores. I used to think if I am able to put even 10 percent of effort that my father puts in every day, I would be able to get through the civil services,” Basak smiled as he shared the factor that kept him driving during the difficult times.

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