Almost every Indian household has one or both parents who expect that their children become one of these; a doctor, engineer, civil servant or lawyer. And with good reason, these professions are all about leading a solid, stable life. But, in spite of these perks, some of the most well known Indian personalities chose other professions in the midst (or even after clearing the exams) of preparing for UPSC exams. Want to know who? Read on. 

1. Subhas Chandra Bose

Although Subhas Chandra Bose cleared the civil services exam in 1920 while he was in England, he resigned a year later. He wrote in his resignation letter, “Only on the soil of sacrifice and suffering can we raise our national edifice.”

2. Kapil Sibal

The politician had cleared the exam and accordingly been allotted Indian Administrative Services. Unfortunately though, he was aiming for the Indian Foreign Services and so instead went on to pursue law at Harvard Law School. 

3. Ram Nath Kovind

Mr President was also an IAS aspirant. He had moved to Delhi to prepare for the civil services exam and successfully cleared it in his third attempt. However, he didn’t take the opportunity, as he was allotted allied services. 

4. Sakshi Tanwar 

The television actress has spoken about how she was planning on going for the civil services but was out of the blue asked to replace a co-anchor that her friend was working with! And the rest as we know is history. 

5. T.R. Andhyarujina

T.R. Andhyarujina was a designated senior advocate and practised at the Supreme Court of India. Even though he had cleared the civil services exam, he chose to pursue law as a career choice. 

6. Aishwarya Sheoran

The former Miss India finalist has previously said in interviews that she always wanted to work in civil services. So, after the beauty pageant, she went on to clear UPSC with a rank of ninety-three. 

7. Roman Saini

The genius kid who cleared the AIIMS entrance exam at sixteen years old, also widely known for being the co-founder of Unacademy, cracked the civil services exam at the age of twenty-two, in 2014. Though, he retired after a year and turned to entrepreneurship. 

8. M.S. Swaminathan

M.S.Swaminathan, also known as the father of the Green Revolution in India, had cracked UPSC and qualified for the Indian Police Services. But, he declined the opportunity and chose to take up a fellowship with UNESCO at the Wageningen Agricultural University, Netherlands. 

9. Balraj Syal 

The actor plus comedian (known for his appearances in Mujhse Shaadi Karoge, and Fear Factor: Khatron Ke Khiladi 10) has also spoken about how he was studying for UPSC prior to his acting career. 


10. Anubhav Singh Bassi 

The comedian went from being a lawyer to being a UPSC aspirant, and then eventually heading towards stand up comedy as a career choice. Hence the IAS jokes, I guess. 

The Hindu

What would’ve happened if they would’ve chosen to be bureaucrats?