About Kothamasu Dinesh Kumar, books for IAS, Marks of Kothamasu Dinesh Kumar, Success story of UPSC topper, Tips for preparation for UPSC, UPSC Preparation Strategy
UPSC Strategy by Kothamasu Dinesh Kumar: 2016 UPSC IAS topper
2016 was a lucky year for Kothamasu Dinesh Kumar, he successfully cleared the exam in his first attempt only. He not only cleared the exam but also got 6th rank all in India. As it is a myth that it is very difficult to crack the civil services exam in the first attempt but Dinesh proved everything wrong.
IAS is a like dream for Dinesh. He never thought that he will prepare for UPSC but later on, he reached at the highest level of success what he wants. He proved everyone that nothing is bigger than your hard work and determination.
He comes from a middle-class family and he did not have all the resources for the exam. In spite that he cleared the exam only on his ability. His story is something to be cherished.
About Dinesh Kumar
Name: Kothamasu Dinesh Kumar
Rank: AIR 6
Roll No.: 0032405
No. of Attempt: 1
Optional Subject: Political Science
Work Experience: Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited
Also read: The details of UPSC exam.
He comes from a middle-class family so his family does not have many resources so that he can easily pursue his dreams. He was born and brought up in Chittinagar. He comes from a very humble background and reaching this level is nothing less than a miracle for him. While people complain about the lack of resources and lack of guidance in the journey of UPSC, Dinesh’s story is something to be valued.
He has a very humble and inspiring personality. He is a very down to earth person. He is a perfect example of strength and motivation. He never thought that he will prepare for civil services and regard this, he told that “I always thought that Civil services are meant for the wealthier sections”.
On his success, he also said “I knew I had done well but had no idea that it would fetch me sixth rank. Going by this, I can confidently say that hard work and determination is the key to success. It is a misconception that fluency in English is mandatory to crack Civil. I am not very fluent in the English language; I can only communicate my point. I would want civil aspirants not to get bogged down by language barrier”.
He completed his schooling from his hometown. He is a Mechanical Graduate from National Institute of Technology (NIT), Warangal. He also worked at Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited as a Site Engineer for one year.
After doing a job for a year he resigned from his job to start his preparation for CSE. He started preparing for civil services in July 2015. He used to take coaching from Vajiram and Ravi for his optional subject and general studies.
Must read: Everything about UPSC exam from scratch.
Marks of Kothamasu Dinesh Kumar
He secured 1091 marks out of 2025 and got the 6th rank. He made everyone proud by becoming a national topper. His scores are given below:
General Studies 1: 116
General Studies 2: 104
General Studies 3: 127
General Studies 4: 120
Optional Paper 1: 150
Optional Paper 2: 167
Written Total: 912
Personality Test: 179
Total Marks: 1091
List of Books/ References
The list of books he used to read or follow during his preparation is given below:
Modern History: Spectrum and for Mains, I studied Bipan Chandra too.
Ancient History and Culture: Tamil Nadu Textbooks, NCERT’s, Nitin Singhania, CCRT and NIOS
Indian Polity: Laxmikanth
Economy: Mrunal and The Hindu. Apart from these you need to study Economic Survey and Budget
Geography: Mrunal and NCERT
Environment: Shankar IAS and Vajiram and Ravi Yellow Book
World History: Vajiram and Ravi Yellow Book and Vision IAS material
Governance: ARC reports, News Papers, vajiram class notes
Ethics: Vajiram and Ravi Yellow Book, Justice Videos on Youtube, vajiram class notes
Social Issues: Vajiram and Ravi Yellow Book and Newspapers
Post-Independence: Bipan Chandra (Read-only selected topics, entire book is not in syllabus)
Disaster Management: 2nd ARC
Security: Tata McGraw Hill and Vajiram and Ravi Yellow Book
International Relations: Entirely Current Affairs – Get a basic idea of how relations developed from any notes
Science and Technology: I did not study any specific book, I just followed current affairs.
IASBABA value Addition notes provided during my ILP.
For prelims, he followed online quiz initiatives of IAS BABA and other online study materials.
Also read: The books for UPSC CSE.
Books for Optional Subject
He chooses Political Science as his optional subject. Because it is securing subject and there are many online study materials available.
The references he sued to follow are discussed below:
For Paper 1:
Political Ideologies by Andrew Heywood
Political Theory by OP Gauba (Selected Topics like Political Theory, Meaning, and Approaches)
Political Theory by Rajeev Bhargava (Topics like Justice, Equality, Sovereignty, Democracy, and Power are good)
Western Political Thought by Sushila Ramaswamy.
Indian Political Thought by VR Mehta.
He studies Indian BL Fadia for Section B(Paper I), ARC reports and Punchhi and Sarkaria Commission reports.
Easy topics like Planning and Economic Development, Land reforms, Agraraian relations.
Social movements were BL Fadia.
IGNOU books for all these topics.
Must read: The strategy for UPSC prelims.
For Paper 2:
Comparative Politics: IGNOU and some Online Browsing. For this topic, it is very important to understand how Political Science developed over the years. Hence it is important to get the link between CP and Political theory(Approaches) topic
Approaches: Baylis and Steve Smith
Rest of the topics from Global Politics by Andrew Heywood.(Every topic is important and cover it from page to page)
IGNOU is a good source for topics like Determinants of Foreign policy, institutions of policy-making and role of diaspora etc.
Oxford Indian Foreign Policy
Watch RSTV debates.
Distinguished lectures of the Ministry of External Affairs. It is one of the best sources to get good points.
Some Important Points
There are some points which he suggested for all the aspirants who are preparing for CSE. Try to keep these few points in your mind.
Always believe that you can do this. Always be confident and have self-belief.
You should know your weaknesses and strengths to clear the exam. Find your weaknesses and work on them.
Do not just read everything, always make notes of everything that you read. Only reading is not enough.
If you did not find the start of every topic helpful then start reading between the lines to study faster.
You have to make your answers innovative so that you can differentiate yourself from other candidates.
Also read: The books UPSC exam.
You can also see some of his interviews:
If you have any doubt or need guidance you can comment below, our team will try to answer it.