15 May, 2021

Giving Up Code

Gave up Infosys job to serve the country

H.G. Darshana Kumar
Giving Up Code

For H.G. Darshana Kumar, the decision to quit a well-paying job at Infosys wasn’t an easy one, given the odds against clearing a civil services entrance. He’d been working for six years, including two years in Seattle. Kumar’s folks own a four-acre farmland in Haralakatte, a village in Karnataka’s Arsi­kere—a mostly rain-fed region where agriculture isn’t often viable. Kumar recalls a time when his father worked as a security guard in Bangalore.

Now, Kumar, 31, has cracked the UPSC examination in his fouth attempt, ranking 594. Kumar credits his success to a small peer group which studied together—he is the lone success among a dozen-odd who took the exams in Kannada.

Choosing a vernacular langauge comes with its own challenges, he points out. Since Hindi has a large user base, study material is easily available. “We do not have these resources,” he says. “So, it’s a double task. You need to first read it in English and then translate it.” Besides, guidance is not easily available....

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