Electrical engineer from Bhopal emerges UPSC Civil Services 2020 woman topper in her second attempt – The New Indian Express

Jagriti not only cracked the UPSC Civil Services exam in just her second attempt but was the overall second rank holder and female topper nationally.
Published: 24th September 2021 10:29 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th September 2021 10:08 AM   |  A+A-
Electrical engineer from Bhopal, Jagriti Awasthi who bagged 7 prized engineering jobs in 2017, emerged as the UPSC Civil Services 2020 woman topper in her second attempt (Photo | Special Arrangement)
BHOPAL: Jagriti Awasthi, the young electrical engineer from Bhopal, who emerged as the woman topper and second overall ranker of UPSC Civil Services Exam 2020 idolizes author and Infosys Foundation chairperson Sudha Murthy.

The young engineer who left her two years old job as an engineer in BHEL in 2019 (after failing to clear the UPSC Civil Services 2019 Pre exam) to focus on chasing her dream of becoming a competent civil servant says, “I want to replicate the competence and simplicity of Sudha Murthy Ma’am and usher rural development and empowerment like Bhakti Sharma, the young sarpanch of Bhopal’s Barkheda Abdullah village.”
“I was confident that I would actualise my dream, but realizing the dream with such flying colors is like a fairytale coming true,” she said.
Jagriti faced around 25 questions during her UPSC civil services interview which was more conversational and less interrogative.
“It was around 40-45 minutes long and covered all aspects, spanning from Sanskrit to Afghan conflict, from Gayatri Mantra to Raja Bhoj and from tribal development and reservation to caste census. When asked by the panel of interviewers about reservation, I responded reservation cannot be an end in itself, but only an instrument of empowerment. For the time being it’s essential, but ultimately development should be real issue.”
When asked by the interviewer panel about the caste census, Jagriti said, “I candidly told the real issue is what’s the motive behind caste census, is it to fine-tune the existing reservation system (which is essential) or else guided by the malafide intent of gaining political capital.”
“My aim in life is to script a unique saga of rural development and empowerment as a competent and honest civil servant, who is accountable to people and not to the politicians,” Jagriti candidly told The New Indian Express.
Earlier in the day, the residence of homeopathy professor Dr Suresh Chandra Awasthi in Shivaji Nagar area of Bhopal burst into celebrations as the news of their doting daughter Jagriti Awasthi’s historic success in the UPSC Civil Services 2020 final results came in.
Eldest among the two children (MBBS student brother Suyash being younger) Jagriti not only cracked the UPSC Civil Services exam in just her second attempt but was the overall second rank holder and female topper nationally.
“We were confident that she would crack the exam which was her dream right since school days but had not imagined that she would be second overall and women topper nationally. It still seems that we’re in a dream world,” Jagriti’s elated father Dr Suresh Chandra Awasthi, professor at Government Homeopathic College and Hospital in Bhopal said.
“She was confident of cracking it owing to her very satisfying performance at the interview, which lasted around 45 minutes, compared to 20-25 minutes in case of other candidates. She had told us that she’ll make it, but we never imagined that Jagriti will be the country’s women topper and overall second rank holder,” her proud mother Madhulata Awasthi said.
Throughout her academic career, including her school days at Maharshi Vidya Mandir in Bhopal and later her engineering (B.Tech) days at Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology (MANIT-Bhopal), she has been among the most meritorious students.
She completed B.Tech in Electrical Engineering in 2017 and served as an engineer with the Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) in Bhopal for two years.
“In 2017, she secured 51st rank in the GAIT exam and got seven prized job offers, including IOCL, GAIL, ONGC, and BHEL. After two years with the BHEL, she quit the job to focus on chasing her childhood dream in a focused manner. The UPSC 2019 exam was her attempt to gauge the depth of the water and her real target was to crack the 2020 exam, which she did. She went to Delhi for professional coaching, but the COVID pandemic forced her to return after a few months. Since then self-study and a firm belief in self which has been depicted since childhood in her writing and speaking skills saw her achieve her dream with flying colors,” her father said.
Interestingly, this is the second time in three years that a Bhopal girl has emerged as UPSC Civil Services female topper. Earlier, in UPSC Civil Services 2018 exams, Bhopal’s Srushti Deshmukh with overall fifth rank was the woman topper.

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