Harsha Koya - AIR 6 Civil Services Exam 2017 - Khammam, Telangana
Harsha Koya

I am KOYA SREE HARSHA. I am from Khammam district of Telangana. I am NIT Jamshedpur 2012 passout with Production and Industrial Engg. Post that I worked for 3 years 10 months in SIGNODE INDIA LIMITED in Hyderabad as a Project Engineer till 2016 May. In March I have decided to appear for civil services exam and so resigned from the job and started preparing for the exam. This is my first attempt and could clear CSE 2017 with good rank.

The decision to prepare for civil services was not a sudden idea, but a culmination of several factors and my understanding of things since childhood. Since childhood, I had this feeling of country and society. But it is during the job that I actually started to seriously think and that thought process consolidated to an idea that civil services is right choice.

My preference was IAS. With AIR 6 I would be getting IAS. The cadre I will be getting most probably is TELANGANA.

My first reaction

Happy for the result. This result is a culmination of efforts of a lot of people and mine. Credit would go directly to my parents and friends especially Abhishek Ranjan Dubey (college mate) Uday K (School mate) Prem (Flat mate) among several people

Educational Background

Prior Attempts None
Post-graduation NA
Graduation NIT JAMSHEDPUR Production and Industrial Engineering 2012 8.53
Senior Secondary Education Narayana Junior College, Hyderabad
2008 92%
Secondary Education S F S School Khammam
2006 92%
Work Experience SIGNODE INDIA LIMITED, Hyderabad Project Engineer 2012 Aug to 2016 May

Optional subject

My optional was anthropology. Primary reasons for choosing it was,

  1. One of my close friend, Abhishek ranjan dubey, was doing MA Anthro. in IGNOU and had good knowledge of subject and would guide me.
  2. Availability of material in market.
  3. Less people opting for this subject.
  4. Marking scheme for last 3-4 years was positive and slightly higher.


Initially, I joined in VAJIRAM & RAVI. They helped me to bring discipline in life and to have basic idea of the subjects.


  • Polity subject teaching is very good. Economy is also very good here.
  • Covers all subjects, though not in depth but all topics are primarly touched.


  • Too much gap between classes of same subject.
  • Some times classes are very general and not all teachers are inspiring.


Firstly, my strategy was to be consistent all through preparation. Its a game of averages so I focused more on knowing atleast average in almost all topics.

A. Study Schedule

I would study from 8am – 1pm, 2pm – 7pm and 7:45pm – 12pm.

B. Strong and weak subjects (How did I prepare them?)

Strong subjects: Polity, Economy, International Relations, History and Anthropology.

As I already said that this is a game of averages, so its better to have atleast average knowledge on all subjects. So I am not too sure about my weak subjects.

Books and e-sources

Books list is upto student which he feels comfortable. What I did might not be suitable for others. But here are my book list,


  • News paper – The Hindu
  • Monthly current affairs compilation from Vision IAS
  • Polity – Laxmikanth
  • Modern history – Spectrum by Rajiv Ahir
  • Geography – NCERT 11th and 12th + GC Leong
  • Art and Culture- 11th NCERT on fine arts + CCRT website
  • Medieval India and ancient – Tamil nadu history text book 11th class
  • Economy – News paper + Budget + Economic survey + Srirams economy material as reference
  • S&T – 6 to 8 NCERT
  • Environment – Mix of Shankar environment book and current affairs
  • Government schemes


  • News papers – The Hindu + Indian Express
  • Polity – Laxmikath + Current affairs
  • Art and Culture, Modern history, Ancient and medieval – same books
  • World history – Balyan notes
  • Post Independence – no books; written with general understanding of India
  • Geography – same books + Mrunal some pages on Industries
  • Social issues – current affairs
  • IR – Rajya sabha tv debates (Big picture + Indias world)
  • Economy – same
  • Security issues – Rajya sabha tv security scan program
  • S&T – current affairs
  • Ethics – self made notes in simple terms and with lot of examples

Current Affairs:

  • The Hindu
  • VISION IAS monthly magazine
  • Post prelims (Indian Express)
  • Rajya sabha tv Debates

Essay section

Essay I felt was important section for scoring more marks. I felt a 10-12 page essay will present your personality. So gave more focus on presenting essay which actually fits my thought and ideas. Tried to cover wide ranges of areas to give a feel of holistic idea.

The other most important thing in essay is that it should be in structured form. In simple words, everybody will have some ideas about what to write, but what help in scoring is how structured your argument and essay is. Always tried to end the essay in optimistic and energetic note.

In Main Exam I wrote on,

  1. Centre State Relations: I tried to cover diverse areas in relations from GST to Demonetization to RERA act to Land acquisition policy etc. I didn’t restrict myself to hardcore economic relations of 14th FC but tried to cover all areas.
  2. Social Media as Selfish Medium: I started with yes it is selfish and then presented argument about why it is not a selfish one. Then concluded with balanced note of why it up to us in deciding selfish or not

Mock Tests

In my opinion the mocks are very very important. Everyone have knowledge, may be 5% more or less, its not a big deal to attain that, but what matters is how you present your ideas in the short time in a more structured, balanced and more rational way. Its only by practice that we can learn that. I did write about fourty five 3hrs mock tests in pre to mains gap.

Below are my preferences, but they can vary:

  • L2A for anthropology
  • Vikash Ranjan and VVR IAS for essay


Interview guidance, as such mocks I gave in Samkalp, Vajiram, NEXT IAS, KSG, Sree Chaitanya, Chanakya etc. You cannnot prepare for personality test. You can only know your personality and make slight modification and modify it.

My interview was on second day. It was a mix of factual and opinion based questions. They were trying to see how rational and balanced my thought process was.

Advice to fellow students

  • Stay motivated, if you can maintain motivation high your job is half done.
  • Plan syllabus and schedule the study accordingly. The UPSC syllabus is so vast, so break it and read it carefully.
  • One needs to be average in everything. You don’t have to know everything of a topic.
  • Consistency in performance and practice is key.
  • Be open to ideas and be in touch with seniors and friends