Interview of Hon’ble Judge Ankita Singh by Anushka Teresa (Coordinator Kanoon Sangrah)
Ma’am can you please tell us about yourself and about your esteemed achievements?
ANS- My name is Ankita Singh and I got selected for UP-PCS-J in 2018 with 86th rank that was my first attempt and like my achievement, this is my biggest achievement indeed.
Can you please tell us about your schooling and your college? (as in – What were your earlier subjects and Where did you pursue law from)
ANS- okay!! I did my 10th in 2010 from the central academy and my 12th with Pcm +computer from the same school, and then I did my graduation in LLB Hons. In 2017 from Lucknow University, then I started my preparation.
Was Law always your dream career? Why did you choose the Law field as your career path?
ANS- No, in the beginning, it wasn’t my dream career as I was from the PCM background so my sister introduced me to the law but slowly through the course I developed an interest in law then I decided to choose this as my career path. So, It was not always my dream career from the beginning.
How do you feel about your achievement and can you share your struggles and challenges with us?
ANS- about my achievements obviously I feel great. It’s more like a dream come true. And then talking about my struggles and challenges, I basically faced two major challenges, the biggest was to make up my mind for this judiciary exam as I don’t have any family background as none of my parents were related to this field so to make up my mind for this was my biggest challenge to prepare myself, then I was not satisfied with any coaching so I prepared everything on my own so that was a big challenge too.
When did you start preparing for the PCS-J?
ANS- Soon after completing my graduation, if I may say mid-2017 soon after I completed my graduation then I made up my mind for the judiciary, and then I started my preparation.
What was your style of preparation and notes making as this will be very helpful for our future aspirants?
ANS- Style of preparation, my preparation, and the center of my preparations were my bare acts. I went through the bare acts thoroughly, multiple revision of my bare acts and while preparing from the bare acts I made my notes, and then I made notes for some subjects in a concise form. Like for example IPC Indian Penal Code, I made IPC notes normally it takes 2-3 copy to make IPC notes as it contains 511 sections so it took 2 copies for my notes in the beginning then after preparing I started thorough preparation and multiple revisions, and then I made it in a concise form say just 20 to 30 pages because in the end during the mains these 20-30 pages will help because you won’t have time for preparations. We get 25 days for mains and when the exams start it’s a three days process and you don’t time for revision and the concise form notes are helpful, so that was my style of preparations and the only thing that I focused on was the bare acts and nothing else.
Ma’am, can you please share the books you felt were most helpful during your preparation days, and did you go for some coaching classes, or was it self-preparations?
ANS- actually for Judiciary you need very limited resources you don’t have to go through all the books like Pillai, Ratanlal, Dhirajlal, you need a very limited source. Bare acts are the most important thing that you need. For mains, I mainly did test series. This test series and the bare acts helped me. So the test series really helped me a lot with the answer writing structures.
If I talk about books like I don’t need all this Ratanlal and Pillai and that’s not required and if you answer in concise you don’t have to study everything, all you have to do is you have to do is smart studies like you go through the bare acts and go through the sections and pick up few important things because for one answer say it is of 15 marks you get to write 3 pages like 3 sides so you don’t have too much space or time to write everything so you don’t have to study everything, Bare acts are more than enough, make your self- notes that’s all you need.
For the particular subject I took help from books like for Land laws I took help from Tausif Raza and I also practiced for my Pre’s from OP Tiwari it helped me a lot and for Current affairs I practiced from Ghatna chakra, mainly it’s for PCS preparations but it helped me a lot in GS. And also test series for both pre and mains both. When I started my preparation I did 2 months of coaching but I did not catch up so I decided to prepare on my own. Go through the syllabus and yes the previous year’s questions. I made this mistake as I missed that too but I’ll suggest going through the syllabus and question paper thoroughly and the bare acts. I did not go through these subject textbooks, just prepare your notes from the bare facts that are more than enough. You can take help from books then concise it then goes through it.
Then for a few subjects I could suggest a few books starting with Polity I used Lakshmi Kant and then for History I went through the videos from Mrunal academy and for Geography, I prepared from Barnwal, it’s a book with few chapters according to previous years questions and few things from the Ghatna Chakra as I told you earlier. And for current affairs the most important thing you need a regular magazine and just before the exams, I went through the compilation, and for important names, I went through the GK today.
These were the books I took help and the rest were the bare acts as having emphasized throughout.
What kept you so focused through the whole exam journey as we know the PCS-J exam is divided into three parts: the mains, prelims, and interview?
ANS- Yes actually sometimes it gets very frustrating through the whole journey as it’s a one-year process and the time the preparations take so it gets tedious.
Also during the preparation one question always hits you- would I be able to crack it, will I be able to achieve what I want. But besides all these things all you have to do is remain determined towards your goal, it’s not only an exam divided into three parts but it is an exam of your patience and your ability. You cannot lose yourself in this process. You just have to study smart and stay focused and you have to be determined and this will keep you pushing during the exams.
Now that you have achieved this honorable position, would you call this your ultimate goal and objective of your life?
ANS- No obviously not, achieving just one thing cannot be your ultimate goal and objective. Once you achieve something you wish to strive for something more and better. Now that I have achieved this position now my aim is to do better and work efficiently towards what my profession asks for.
How did your family and the people around motivate and help you with your dreams?
ANS- Very supportive. I got a lot of motivation from my parents but talking about my biggest motivation that was my sister. She herself was preparing for UP-PCS and through this, I got my inspiration and help from her and she too got selected as the SDM this year with 28th rank. This was something that kept us both motivated and we used to study together in a room both helping each other.
Apart from Law were you interested in any other field as your career?
ANS- No None as such
What are your plans for yourself in the future?
ANS- now after this practice I should settle as every parent’s dream but no plans as such for the future and I just want to do my job and be an inspiration to people as through your interview I can be. I might be able to help future law aspirants.
What are your best words for advice to the young generations who aspire to be standing in this position that you have achieved for yourself?
ANS- When I was preparing, in my room I always saw a quote that was written by my sister. It is the ‘Geeta ka Updesh’ ‘karmanye vadhika raste, Ma phaleshu kadachana’ it means to do your Karma (action) and success will follow you automatically. We both used to always see that and follow that too and this is my message to the young generation that just set your goals and follow it and you will achieve it. You can achieve anything all you got to do is believe in yourself. No one else is going to take your success or your failure. Only you are accountable. You have to face your success and your failure and you just have to be patient and you will achieve everything. Keep something that keeps your focus just like a quote that motivates you and helps you from getting distracted and enjoy what you do.
During these times where women empowerment is a burning issue, as a strong and successful woman what would you advise the women who are working hard to make a place in this society??
ANS- You don’t have to be militant to empower other women but you need to be proactive about it. To all the women who are working hard to make a place in society, I just want to say ‘stand up’. Take a stand for yourself. If you see something wrong around you call it out, don’t just point to it explain why it is unbalanced and the consequences it will have. Don’t worry about the reputation; it is something to be proud about.
One more thing is that share your opportunities as we hesitate, we question our self, we let our lack of confidence holds us back, It’s much easier for you to spot the potential in another woman. Encourage other women, Hold a woman’s hand, and give her a push when she needs it. This is not just for a woman but also for a man and for the entire society. It is very easy to pull someone down; you need to help the people to help them fly.