A file photo of candiates writing in the UPSC Preliminary exam. | Photo Credit: G. Moorthy
Women have secured the top three ranks in the 2021 Civil Services Examinations conducted by the Union Public Services Commission (UPSC). The results were declared on Monday. Among the top 25 successful candidates, ten are women.
Elated at getting All India Rank 1 in the examination, Shruti Sharma (26) said she wants to work towards improving education, and work towards the empowerment of women during her career as a civil servant.
Having completed her schooling from Sardar Patel Vidyalaya, Delhi, Ms. Sharma studied History at St. Stephen’s College. She then took admission in Jawaharlal Nehru University to study masters in Modern History, but was unable to complete her course. It was then that she decided to take a crack at the civil services examination and joined Jamia Millia Islamia’s Residential Coaching Academy. She is also currently pursuing MA Sociology from Delhi School of Economics.
This is Ms. Sharma’s second attempt at the examination. At her first attempt, Hindi was selected as the mode of examination, instead of English which was her preferred option, due to a technical error. Due to this, she missed out on getting a call for the interview by one mark. Her family belongs to Bijnore in Uttar Pradesh. Her father is a retired professor and mother is a school teacher.
Speaking about her strategy for the examination, she said that she used to make her own notes after reading the newspaper, instead of relying on coaching material. She said she practised writing a lot by attempting many test series. Her advice to those attempting the examination is to not count the number of hours they put in, but to look at the quality of the hours.
She said the journey towards joining the IAS is a very long one and only those who genuinely have interest in the field should embark on it. Only if there is interest will the effort follow.
Ankita Agarwal (25) who secured the second rank said she was inspired to appear for the coveted examinations by her professors at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi, where she pursued Bachelors in Economics (Hons). This was her third attempt. In her first, she had qualified for the Indian Revenue Services (IRS) and is presently undergoing training.
Ms. Agarwal comes from a business family in Kolkata. She is the first in her family to clear the civil services examinations.
“It was at St Stephen’s that our professors made us realise that we are born into privilege. There are not many people as fortunate as us. So, after working for a consultancy for a year, I decided to appear for the civil services examinations,” Ms Agarwal said. It was a mix of coaching and self-study for her. She chose political science and international relations as her optional subject.
Third-rank holder Gamini Singla (23) from Sunam in Punjab’s Sangrur said this was her second attempt at civil services. In the first attempt in 2019, she could not even clear the preliminary.
She said she owes her success to her father Alok Singla and teacher Vinod Sharma. Both her parents are doctors and posted as medical officers in Himachal Pradesh.
“My father used to get newspapers for me and highlight the important topics. He used to discuss current affairs to help me prepare for the exams,” Ms. Singla said. A B.Tech from Punjab Engineering College in Chandigarh, Ms. Singla said she was offered a job as a financial analyst by J.P. Morgan, but chose to appear for the exams instead. “I wanted to give back to society and help people,” said Ms. Singla adding her first choice is the IAS. She chose sociology as an optional subject in the written exams.
Around 5 lakh candidates appeared for the preliminary examination held in October 2021, out of whom 9214 qualified for the written (main) examination and 1824 candidates appeared for the personality test. Nearly 10 lakh candidates had registered.
A total of 685 candidates, including 177 women, were recommended by the Commission for appointment to Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Central Services — Group A and Group B.
The successful candidates include 73 from the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) category, 203 belong to the Other Backward Classes (OBC), 105 are from the Scheduled Castes (SC), 60 from the Scheduled Tribes (ST) and 244 candidates from the general category.
According to a press statement by UPSC, there are 180 vacancies in the IAS, 37 in the IFS, 200 in the IPS and 332 vacancies in the Central Services.
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Printable version | May 30, 2022 9:11:50 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/685-qualify-civil-services-exam-women-secure-top-three-ranks-upsc/article65475651.ece
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