UPSC 2018 Topper – Kanishak Kataria (AIR 1) Optional Subject, Marks

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

Kanishak Kataria, a data scientist in Bangalore, made history when he became the 2018 UPSC Topper. He graduated from IIT Bombay and cracked the challenging exam on his first attempt. Before this, he worked in Bengaluru’s IT industry and even got a job in Korea. Kanishak’s dad and uncle are both civil servants, and he has grown up respecting their dedication to duty. He chose math as his optional subject and dedicated more time to it because of its extensive syllabus.

Despite belonging to the SC category, Kanishak Kataria did not rely on reservations to succeed. He worked hard and achieved his goal, proving that a student’s category should never affect their learning or performance. This shows that students should not take their category for granted and always strive to achieve their goals through hard work and dedication.

UPSC 2018 Topper

Kanishak Kataria was the topper of the UPSC exam in 2018. He is from Jaipur, Rajasthan. His father and uncle are both in government service. Kanishak was inspired by their work and decided to pursue a career in civil services. He studied for 10 hours daily with full focus and hard work to achieve his goal.

Kanishak prepared for the UPSC exam in Delhi in a coaching center for 7-8 months before returning home to Jaipur for self-study. He also worked as a data scientist in Bangalore. His success mantra is hard work and staying positive. Kanishak wants to work towards the betterment of the country as an IAS officer.

Overview of 2018 UPSC Topper: Kanishak Kataria

Kanishak Kataria, a 26-year-old engineering graduate from IIT Bombay, emerged as the topper of the Union Public Service Commission Examination in 2018. He secured the first rank among a total of 759 candidates who cleared the prestigious examination. His achievement made him an inspiration for many UPSC aspirants who aspire to follow in his footsteps. Here is an overview of UPSC Topper 2018,

  • Education Background: Kanishak Kataria completed his B.Tech in Computer Science from IIT Bombay. And then worked as a data scientist in Bangalore.
  • Family Background: The family of Kanishak Kataria has a history of working in government service. Both his father and uncle engaged in governmental service. Sanwar Mal Verma, his father, holds a prestigious position as an Indian Administrative Service officer and serves as the current Director in Rajasthan in the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment. While his uncle, Kailash Chand Verma, works in Jaipur as a Divisional Commissioner.
  • Previous Job: Kanishak Kataria worked as a Data Scientist at QPLUM in Bangalore.
  • Optional Subject: He chose Mathematics as his optional subject for the UPSC exam.
  • Preparation Strategy: IAS Kanishak Kataria studied for 10 hours a day with full focus and hard work. His study is based on his self-strategy on his strengths and weaknesses. He also took coaching for about 7-8 months in Delhi before returning home for self-study.
  • Advice to Aspirants: IAS Kanishak Kataria advises aspirants to stay positive and focused. He also suggests that aspirants should take their strengths and weaknesses into account while preparing for the UPSC exam.

Educational Background of Kanishak Kataria

Kanishak Kataria was born in Jaipur, Rajasthan. He completed his schooling at St. Paul’s School in Kota. Kanishak Kataria did incredibly well in the IIT JEE exam in 2010 and earned a rank of 44. This allowed him to attend IIT Bombay in 2014, where he pursued his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Engineering.

During his graduation, he was inclined towards machine learning and data science. He has a work experience of around 5 years, with his first job being a software engineer for Samsung in South Korea until 2016. Afterwards, he worked as a data scientist for QPLUM for two years before he decided to quit his job and prepare for the UPSC examination.

Family Background of UPSC Topper 2018 (Kanishak Kataria)

IAS Kanishak Kataria belongs to a middle-class family. His father, as well as his uncle, have served as civil servants. His father, Sanwar Mal Verma, is a Director in the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment, Rajasthan, and holds a position in the Indian Administrative Service.

Meanwhile, his mother is a housewife, and his uncle, Kailash Chand Verma worked in Jaipur as a Divisional Commissioner. Additionally, his grandfather was also part of the state administrative service. Kanishak has always been respectful of the duties of a civil servant, and he was inspired by his father and uncle to pursue a career in the same field.

Marksheet of UPSC Topper 2018

Passing the UPSC exam is a difficult challenge, as it requires a lot of hard work and dedication. In 2018, around 8 lakh people applied for the UPSC exam, but Kanishak Kataria managed to secure All India Rank 1 due to his hard work and determination. His excellent marks in the Civil Services Exam are undoubtedly inspiring for all students preparing for the UPSC exam.

Kanishak Kataria secured a total of 1121 marks out of 2025, which included 942 marks in the written examination and 179 marks in the interview round. Candidates can check the mark sheet of the UPSC topper 2018 in the table below.

Papers Kanishak Kataria Marks
General Studies Paper I 98
General Studies Paper II 117
General Studies Paper III 117
General Studies Paper IV 116
Essay 133
Optional Paper 1 170
Optional Paper 2 191
Interview 179
Total 1121

Optional Subject of Kanishak Kataria

Kanishak Kataria chose Mathematics as his optional subject for the UPSC examination. His background in computer science and engineering and his interest in machine learning and data science may have played a role in his decision to opt for Mathematics.

Kanishak Kataria chose Mathematics as his optional subject because he genuinely loves the subject. He dedicated more time to studying his optional subject because it has a vast syllabus. He scored impressive marks in Mathematics, which contributed significantly to his overall score.

Preparation Strategy of Kanishak Kataria

Kanishak Kataria’s achievement in the UPSC examination in 2018 was a result of his hard work, determination, and focused preparation. His success story serves as an inspiration for aspiring civil servants who are looking to pursue a career in civil services.

  • Kanishak Kataria prepared for the UPSC examination for approximately one and a half years.
  • He studied for 10-12 hours a day and maintained a disciplined routine.
  • His preparation strategy included reading the best newspapers, UPSC NCERT books, and standard reference books.
  • He also attended coaching classes at a reputed coaching institute in Delhi.
  • He emphasized the importance of understanding the concepts thoroughly and developing analytical and writing skills.
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