Meet this bus conductor who studied 5 hours daily to clear the UPSC Civil Services exam

Madhu NC, a bus conductor with BMTC, studied five hours daily to clear the UPSC Civil Services exam. He’s just cleared the Mains and is looking forward to the interview on March 25.

When Madhu NC saw his roll number in the results of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) mains which were declared recently in January, his joy knew no bounds. This was not just a big moment that every IAS aspirant looks forward to. Madhu is a bus conductor with the BMTC and the first in his family of elder brother, sister-in-law and parents, to go to school. Understandably, his mother is over the moon too, sharing the joy that her son feels, despite not understanding the import of the results.

The now 29-year-old cleared the prelims in June last year and the results were declared in October after which he started preparing for the Mains. Madhu had to study Political Science & International Relations, Ethics, Language, General Studies (divided into three parts), Maths and Essay Writing. He chose Political Science and International Relations as his optional subjects. Interestingly, Madhu gave his preliminary exams in Kannada but his mains in English.

Madhu who hails from the small town of Malavalli in Mandya, started working at the age of 19 as a conductor, after completing his school. He then completed his graduation and post-graduation through distance learning and now holds a Masters in Political Science degree. “My parents don’t know what exams I have cleared but are very happy for me. I am the first one to be educated in my family,” beams Madhu NC as he shows his roll number in the list proudly.

For eight hours a day, Madhu dons his khaki uniform and works as a conductor. It’s a taxing job, he says, being on his feet in a moving bus, jostling with crowds, handing out tickets, making sure there are no ticketless travellers… Once he clears the interview, he plans to give up his job as a conductor and become an IAS officer like his present boss, C Shikha, the managing director of Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation.

For two hours every week, Shikha has been guiding him to prepare for the interview. “She has always been very supportive and has guided me on how to write the exam. Now she is preparing me for the interview,” says Madhu.