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Chasing Dreams with Determination: The Inspiring Journey of IAS Officer Swetha Agarwal

Swetha Agarwal I A S

Life should have a purpose. A good start is said to be half finished. It is not circumstances but firm decisions that lead us to our goals. An experience at the age of sixteen gave her the courage to be where she is today. She was unaffected by gender stereotypes at all. Swetha Agarwal, ranked 19th in Civil Service Exam, was also the West Bengal state topper in 2015. Swetha currently holds the position of Additional District Magistrate in West Bengal.

Swetha was a native of Bhadreswar, Hooghly district of West Bengal. She belonged to a conservative joint family that often upheld antiquated beliefs within the patriarchal framework. Everyone in the family—aside from her parents—was disappointed upon the birth of a baby girl.

Fortunate Girl

Her parents were determined to give her the best education. So they sent her to St. Joseph’s Convent in Chandranagar. Swetha was the first girl to graduate from that joint family, despite being the youngest of 15 children. Her cousins were enrolled in the local schools with a Hindi or Bangla language and married when they were of legal age. Swetha was one of the top 15 students who graduated with a first-class degree in Economics from the prestigious St. Xavier’s College. She earned her MBA, finished her post-graduate studies, and worked in a multinational company, Deloitte India.

Swetha currently holds the position of Additional District Magistrate in West Bengal

Saving Each Penny

The convent’s monthly fee was Rs. 165. Swetha even preserved the modest sum of money her relatives had given her. Her father made every effort for Swetha’s education, from working as a daily wage labourer to running a grocery store. By the time she entered the tenth grade, their financial situation had improved.

Dreams, Her Motivators

Ever since she was a child, Swetha Aggarwal deeply admired the “khaki”. However, in 12th grade, she had to obtain a residential certificate from a government office. Unfortunately, the office staff directed her from one place to another, causing her frustration.Amid her anger, she proclaimed that she would become a District Magistrate (DM) one day.

Passion For IAS

According to Swetha, It creates a unique opportunity to receive quick feedback from the audience, which is a vital component of government since it gives a lot of strength and empowerment and the appropriate way to aid the populace. That is why Swetha decided to join the IAS.

Swetha Agarwal’s experience encourages us to never be afraid to dream big

Struggles To Become One Among The 90 Candidates

She joined coaching sessions in Delhi after leaving her work at Deloitte, but after a few lectures, she decided to stop and prepare independently. She again started her preparations in 2011. When the entire family came up with marriage topics, her father encouraged her to continue her goal.

Her UPSC Journey

Swetha relocated to Kolkata. UPSC completely altered the syllabus in 2013. However, she gave her best and scored 497th rank. She decided to try again after feeling unsatisfied with her goals. That time, she received the 141st rank, realising her childhood aspiration of joining the Indian Police Force and wearing the khaki uniform (IPS). She again decided to give it one more shot and accomplished her dream by earning an AIR of 19 in the UPSC 2015.

Her journey to becoming an IAS officer is a reflection of her hard work, preparation and determination

Swetha Agarwal’s journey to becoming an IAS officer is a reflection of her hard work, preparation and determination. Born and brought up in a conservative family with financial instability, the only thing her parents could provide her was a good education. She had to face the marginalisation of being born as a girl from her family. But her parents never supported it. She aspired to become the District Magistrate. For that, she nurtured that dream until she realised it. Swetha became an IAS officer in 2015 after three consecutive attempts in the UPSC Civil Services test. Swetha Agarwal’s journey inspires us never to be afraid to dream big and work hard for it, no matter the circumstances or problems we face.

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