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Pride of Udupi – Farmer’s son Harikrishna Mayya cracks UPSC code with 408th rank

Harshini Brahmavar

Daijiworld Media Network – Udupi (EP)

Udupi, May 25: Securing 408th rank in UPSC after studying in Kannada medium school, Harikrishna Mayya stands out as the proud son of Udupi. Born in a farmer’s family in Manooru village near Kundapur, Harikrishna is the son of Kota Manooru residents M Madhava Mayya and Lalitha Mayya .

Harikrishna had completed his primary education in Manooru Rama Prasad higher primary school and high school and college education in Kota Vivek Pre University College.

He had also done his M Sc in psychology at Bengaluru University in 2009 and has worked in NIMHANS for some time as researcher. He has passed UPSC after four years of continued attempts and has earned a name in his land by securing  marks. 

Daijiworld spoke to Harikrishna to know more about him and his path to success. Here are the excerpts from an interview with him.

What about your childhood?

I was born in a farmer’s family in Manooru of Udupi district. My father is a small time farmer. Ours is a medium class family. However there was a large collection of books in the neighbour's house, Shanbhog. I developed a habit of reading from there. Their family is well educated and are serving in good sectors. They were friendly with us. In a way my elder brother too, has inspired me to participate in extracurricular activities.

What was the reaction of family when the results were out?

I was not at home then. However it was a thrilling moment. I received a phone call at 4 pm that day. I received messages on WhatsApp congratulating me. I checked the surname and confirmed the result.

Did you expect a good result?

Hard work is essential than expectation in UPSC examinations. Speaking of expectations, the experience in it provides us a lesson. I had written the examination well. I had positive feeling about the results. However, I did not expect excellent result such as this.

How many times had you attempted?

This is my fourth attempt. I had also appeared for three mains and an interview.

Were you confident of passing?

Yes. I was confident. I have not thought about past failures. Nothing is more important than confidence here. Good preparation also is necessary. If not, passing in stages becomes impossible.

You had chosen science in PUC and passed B A, M Sc in psychology. Why did you feel like selecting UPSC later?

There were ranks in both PUC and engineering. Medicine is an interesting field. I had no interest in engineering. Besides many in the family were engineers. Medicine being a service oriented field, got me to thinking that, if I choose that, I will have to work hard. Therefore I chose BA, deciding to do something new. I got the inclination after securing post graduate degree and started work. I had worked for a year in the Air Force and two years in NIMHANS. I decided that if I have to continue, this is the field for me.

How were  BA , MA helpful to you?

BA had education on human values, psychology, journalism and optional English. I had learnt three literary languages. They were Kannada, English and Sanskrit. It helps us understand ourselves and the society.

How was your UPSC education?

The examination is conducted in three stages. Their preparation also is done separately. It requires holistic approach and intensive research. Though there is a particular syllabi for them, the questions go beyond it. The question papers are in UG level and PG level. Handwriting should also be good. It should be easily understandable to the ones who are correcting them. Communication is necessary in interview stage. Therefore, we should be adaptive.

Why did you feel like attending UPSC examination?

As told earlier, I opted for it with the intention of doing something new after education. I was impressed by the service to the nation when I was in the Air Force. I was also spirited by looking at the service to the people in NIMHANS. Both of them inspired me.

Did your trip to Bengaluru from Mangaluru inspire you to write Civil Service examination?

Though Bengaluru is well known for education, it did not influence me. It however gave me exposure and development to a large extent. I selected a good educational institute while studying. I might have studied for ten hours per day during examinations. It is useful to study with a time table.

Have you written other competitive examinations?

I had appeared for bank examination after UPSC and got selected. However my interest was in service oriented field.

Have you been to coaching classes? Was that helpful?

Coaching was helpful to some extent. It provides guidance to examinations. However it is good to write remembering key points. Coaching is not essential. Friend’s circle and group study has helped me.

What books and websites have you referred to?

There is no specific site for UPSC examinations. However it is good to refer government websites such as PEO, PRS legislative. Besides that, there are Vivekananda foundation, Insight in India, IAS Baba and many such websites. There is no dearth for information at present.

What were your hobbies during your studies?

There is column titled 'personality details' in UPSC. It also has a 'hobbies and interests' column. I watch all the language films in the world, without restricting to any particular language. Besides, Yakshagana and classical music refreshes my mind and helps me reduce tension.

If you return to Udupi as the deputy commissioner what changes will you bring about?

The people in our district are intellectual and adventurous. There is an ample amount of human resources. However, they do not participate enough in government’s governance. I will be continuing on the basis of what the present deputy commissioner has done.

What do you say about Modi’s digital India and Make in India?

I had faced this question during the interview. Our country is agriculture oriented. Therefore, 50% of the people depend on agriculture. The aim is to involve the youth. Building a strong country by making jobs available to all the people, spreading the people engaged in agriculture to other industries and using good talents is an amazing concept. It is necessary for developing India.

What is the secret of your success?

Concentration, continued hard work and sincerity are necessary here. Getting updated on current affairs and patience is essential.

How do you intend to serve in the future?

I have opted for this career for the service of people. My aim is progress of the country.

How was your interview?

It was excellent. My interview was conducted on March 13. Situation based questions were more. Questions on quick decision making and projects related questions were also in plenty.

What are your suggestions for youths writing Civil Services examinations like you?

Continued hard work and concentration are important here. If you take me as an example, I do not have sound financial backing. I am from arts and rural background. The government provides scholarship for such branch of studies. Guidance is not important in it if you give up fear of uncertainty. It is possible to write the examination in Kannada also. One should be prepared to accept challenges. The personality of the person changes once he prepares for the examination.

Comment on this article

  • K. S. Mayya, Mangalore/Bangalore

    Thu, May 26 2016

    Let me provide my one cents although I cannot speak for Harikrishna.
    1. Industrial practices must be brought into the agricultural sector. It is important for people to go for industries so that the know-how(or best practices) can be translated back to this much needed sector.
    2. World over (especially the first world), Agriculture is highly subsidized by Government. You will be surprised to know that French wine also get indirect subsidy from the French Government. Therefore Agriculture is not a profitable sector. To this end, Government help (direct or indirect subsidy, skill set development, advanced research not for filling journal papers but to be utilized by farmers, newer crop, water resources etc.) in Agriculture is necessary.

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • dr. Madhyastha, balkudru

    Thu, May 26 2016

    dear Harikrishna.
    Proud of manner village. yes, hard work and parents blessings does play important turns in everybody life. All the best. One day I should see you as Harikrishna Maiyya, DC, Udupi.

    DisAgree Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Vincent Rodrigues, Frazer Town,B'lore

    Thu, May 26 2016

    Great performance indeed.Congratulations and all the best.

    DisAgree Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Evans Christopher Sumitra, UDUPI/ NEW YORK, USA.

    Thu, May 26 2016

    Congratulations to Harikrishna Mayya. We are proud of you and so also your parents, teachers and well wishers. Wish you all the very best in your future plans and God bless you and your family.

    DisAgree Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Hindustani, Manipal

    Wed, May 25 2016


    May God Bless!

    Jai Hind!

    DisAgree [1] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • K. S. Mayya, Mangalore/Bangalore

    Wed, May 25 2016

    Heartiest congratulations!!!
    wish you all the very best for a bright future!!

    DisAgree [1] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • VM, Udupi

    Wed, May 25 2016

    Congratulations Sir. We wish you all the best.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jaimini P.B., Manipal,Sharjah

    Wed, May 25 2016

    Please accept my Congratulations..You made people of Twin districts proud..You came from a place which is called Buddhivantara Naadu (Manooru,Kota)..Our great legend Dr.Kota Shivram Karanth came from this holy place..I have little confusion about your reply regarding Agriculture and Digital India..So far I thought that people are selling their land either for commercial purpose or going to cities for good job..and Agricultural sector has been ignored totally..But your reply says youths have to choose other Industries instead of depending too much on Agriculture...Unless we produce sufficient food,can we develop just by developing IT/Industries ? My opinion is that where there is a fertile land,then agriculture should be promoted..

    Note: I will be grateful to you if you clear my doubt..Wish you all the best once again..

    DisAgree [2] Agree [24] Reply Report Abuse


    Wed, May 25 2016

    Pride of Udupi and peoples.
    Best of luck.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Santosh,K, Mangalore

    Wed, May 25 2016

    Congratulations for securing 408th rank, wish you good luck to your future.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • sri, Karkala

    Wed, May 25 2016

    Congratulations 😤

    DisAgree [2] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Francis J. Saldanha, Moodubelle / Bahrain

    Wed, May 25 2016

    Harikrishna Mayya, Huge Congratulations ! if anyone can read his interview, will come to know the dedication, commitment and perseverance! hats off to you Sir,. Great achievements. Wish you all the best for your future endeavors. Truly pride of Udupi.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [18] Reply Report Abuse

  • madhukar, Bangalore

    Wed, May 25 2016

    Great achievement. Good interview. Congratulations. 

    DisAgree [1] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse


    Wed, May 25 2016

    What a fantastic news in this world of more negative ones. Congrats Hari, your life is a lesson to others.Hats off to you and to your parents.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [31] Reply Report Abuse


    Wed, May 25 2016

    May the success that has come your way today
    lead you to a bigger achievement in the years to come.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [17] Reply Report Abuse

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