Renu Raj also known as Dr. Renu Raj is is a doctor-turned UPSC officer. Dr. Renu bagged the second rank in the 2014 civil services exam. She is presently working as the 33rd district collector of Ernakulam. She had also served as sub-collector in Devikulam and Thrissur.
Dr. Renu Raj was born and brought up in Kottayam, Kerala. Daughter of a retired government servant father and a housewife mother, Renu studied at the St. Teresa’s Higher Secondary School in Changanassery (Kottayam) and later pursued her medical degree at the Government Medical College at Kottayam. Both her sister and her husband are doctors.
She was listed among the Top Ten in Kerala in Class X and XII Board examinations. Later, to pursue MBBS, she took admission in Government Medical College, Kottayam. There, she joined a Government Hospital. She got married while working at the hospital to a colleague by name Dr. L. S. Bhagat and also got divorced. At that time, she thought to prepare for Civil Services. Fortunately, her family members wholeheartedly supported this decision. Her mother is a Malayalam Literature lecturer, and hence she was asked to take Malayalam as an optional subject.
Renu Raj’s mother’s name is Latha V N Her mother is a Malayalam Literature lecturer and her father’s name is M K Rajakumaran Nair.
Renu Raj Early Life:
Her parents, who had seen her win prizes for elocution and do well in extra curricular activities, developed ambitions to get her into the IAS, shifted to a rented house in Thiruvananthapuram to support her, with the full encouragement of her ex-husband, L S Bhagat, who pursued his own medical studies elsewhere and the backing of her sister, Ramya Raj, also a medical student.
Her mother, V S Latha, a Malayalam literature graduate, trained her for the optional paper. Renu rose to the occasion, prepared on her own, even while working and later joined the State Academy, went to the Pala Academy for her Malayalam literature optional paper and the NSS Academy for the international relations module and model interviews.
She said that the International Relations Module was enough for her to score well in the relevant part of the General Studies paper.
Most aspirants go to several institutions for selected courses, for which they are famous. For instance, Pala has specialised in Malayalam and the NSS Academy in international relations. Everyone signs up with the State Academy to avail of the adoption scheme.
Renu went through the three stages, becoming one of the 13,000 out of 450,000 at the preliminary level, one of 5,000 at the mains level and second out of the 5,000.
She could not believe that she had spectacular success even after she saw her name on the UPSC web site.
Renu Raj Marraige:
Dr Renu Raj and Kerala Medical Services Corporation MD Dr Sriram Venkitaraman got married at auditorium in Chottanikkara.The ceremony was a low-key affair and was attended by close friends and family. The two IAS officers reportedly informed their colleagues about their decision via WhatsApp.
They both graduated in medicine before taking up civil services. Venkitaraman was a second rank holder in civil services examinations in 2012. He joined the service as the sub-collector of Devikulam.The two came into prominence through their intervention in evicting encroachers at Devikulam.
Renu Raj Biography
|Dr. Renu Raj
|MBBS by Education, Civil Servant.
|Date of Birth
|11 January 1987
|M K Rajakumaran Nair
|Latha V N
|5’7” (1.70 m)
|Dr Sriram Vekitaraman
|Government Medical College, Kottayam
|Reading Books, Writing
|Changanassery, Kerala, India
|IAS officer of the Kerala cadre
|intervention in evicting encroachers at Devikulam
|Ernakulam, Kerela, India
Dr. Renu Raj’s IAS Preparation Strategy:
- Renu says she studied for anywhere between 3 to 6 hours per day from December 2013 onwards.
- She was always particular about following the right regimen and slept for 7 hours and had food at the correct time always. Perhaps her medical knowledge guided her in this matter.
- Renu followed a prelims + mains approach.
- She preferred to cover the UPSC syllabus sooner rather than spending days on any one topic of the syllabus.
- She avoided group study since she found it difficult.
- She took IAS coaching for the prelims and for a few topics and the optional subject. Her optional subject was Malayalam Literature.
- For current affairs, Renu prescribes reading ‘The Hindu’ newspaper, Yojana and Kurukshetra magazines. For the daily current affairs, we have regular updates and features that can make your IAS preparation a lot smoother.
- The most important thing which can help one in clearing the IAS exam is taking mock exams. She practised a lot of answer writing and this she says worked wonders for her. Enrol for the UPSC mains test series and boost your chances of clearing the UPSC 2021.
Renu Raj Quick Facts:
- Renu hails from Kottayam in Kerala. Daughter of a retired government servant father and a housewife mother, Renu studied at the St. Teresa’s Higher Secondary School in Changanassery (Kottayam) and later pursued her medical degree at the Government Medical College at Kottayam.
- Both her sister and her husband are doctors.
- Becoming an IAS officer was a childhood dream for Renu.
- This dream became stronger during her house surgency days when she met people from different strata of society. She says she was privy to the harsh realities of life during this period.
- Renu was one of the lucky aspirants who could crack the IAS exam in the maiden attempt.
- She was 27 years old at that time and working as a doctor at ASI Hospital in Kalluvathukkal, Kollam district in Kerala, when she created this amazing IAS success story.
UPSC Prelims Book List:
In this section, we give you a list of books recommended by UPSC topper Renu Raj for the UPSC Prelims.
History: Bipan Chandra, NCERT books
Geography: NCERT books
Polity: Lakshmikanth, current affairs material
Science and technology: Online content
Current affairs: Newspapers and magazines
Finally, Dr. Renu acknowledges the support her family gave her during the course of her preparation. She advises candidates to remain focused on the goal and to learn by analysing and correlating.
Steadfast dedication and the right strategy helped this married working doctor to clear the IAS exam in her very first attempt.
Dr. Renu Raj IAS – Contributions after becoming an IAS Officer:
Dr. Renu Raj’s notion of helping the people of the country, be it as a doctor or as a civil servant have been very clear in her mind, ever since she entered the professional world. She has stood up against any encroachments and construction works that were illegally being carried out under her jurisdiction, and refused to bow down to any kind of external pressure.
One such case when she was in news was in Munnar in 2019. She intends not to change the world overnight but bright about changes gradually for the betterment of society.
Renu Raj Images: