Surabhi Gautam: Once Mocked For Her English, Now A Revered IAS Officer

IAS Surabhi Gautam from Madhya Pradesh is making the nation proud with her exemplary achievements. Coming from a Hindi-medium school, she cracked several competitive exams like the UPSC, GATE, and ISRO like a champ.

Tanya Savkoor
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surabhi gautam ias

Surabhi Gautam, a Madhya Pradesh native with a humble background, is making the nation proud with her exemplary achievements. The Indian Administrative Officer fought all odds, including the insecurity of being from a Hindi medium school, to crack some of India's most difficult competitive exams. She scored an outstanding All India Rank of 50 in the Union Public Services Commission exam in 2016, inspiring thousands of aspirants to believe in their abilities despite any doubts from outsiders.


Earlier, Surabhi Gautam worked a corporate job but knew she wanted to do something for the nation. She aced several competitive exams like the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering), Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL), Delhi Police, and many others. She ranked first across the country in the Indian Engineering Services exam in 2013.

Surabhi Gautam's Story

IAS Surabhi Gautam belongs to the Amdara village in the Satna district of Madhya Pradesh. Her mother Dr Sushila Gautam is a high school teacher and her father is a lawyer in the Maihar court. IAS Gautam went to a Hindi-medium school with meagre facilities but she was a bright student who did not let the obstacles deter her.

surabhi gautam ias
IAS Gautam with her parents. Image Credit: @surabhigautamias on Instagram (Not official account)

She scored 93.4% in her class 10 board exams with a perfect 100 in Maths and Science. In class 12, Gautam fell ill with rheumatic fever, which made her travel to Jabalpur every 15 days to see a doctor 150 kilometres away from the village. However, she found a spot on the state merit list because of her good marks. 

After scoring a remarkable percentage in her 12th standard board exams, Surabhi Gautam passed the State Engineering Entrance Examination and enrolled in Electronics and Communication Engineering at a college in Bhopal. There, she faced mockery from her peers for not knowing English.

However, that did not stop Gautam. She began practising English, speaking to herself in the foreign language and learning 10 new words each day. She listened to the phrases and new words she heard and tried using them in her vocabulary. She then became the topper of the first semester of her graduation and was also awarded the College Chancellor's Award. 

Gautam secured a place at the coveted Tata Consultancy Services through college placements. She worked there for some time before finding her true calling in administrative services. After appearing for several competitive exams, she cracked the UPSC with an AIR of 50. The Indian Administrative Services officer now serving as the Assistant Collector in Viramgam of the Ahmedabad district. She holds the position of District Development Officer. 

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