New Delhi : Delhi-based Ira Singhal on Saturday became the first physically-handicapped woman to top the civil services examination in which the top four positions were scooped by women. Suffering from Scoliosis, a spine-related disorder, 31-year-old Ira, an IRS officer, clinched the top position in her sixth attempt.
“I am really very happy. I can’t believe this. I just prepared for the examination. I want to be an IAS officer. I want to do something for the benefit of physically-handicapped people,” she said.
Renu Raj, a doctor from Kerala, and Nidhi Gupta, also an Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer from Delhi, both 27-year-old, secured second and third positions respectively, according to the results announced by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) here on Saturday.
Vandana Rao, who is also from Delhi, has got fourth rank while Suharsha Bhagat, an IRS (Income Tax cadre) officer, who hails from Bihar, has got fifth position in the examination. “This is the first-ever time that a physically- handicapped candidate has topped the civil services exam,” an official said.
A total number of 1,236 candidates, including 590 in General category, 354 belonging to Other Backward Class, 194 from Scheduled Caste and 98 from Scheduled Tribe, have been recommended for appointment to various central government services, the UPSC said.
Renu, who did her MBBS from Kerala, got the second rank in her first attempt. “I am extremely happy. I have been preparing for the exam for the last one year. Perseverance pays,” she said over phone from Thiruvananthapuram. Renu works in a hospital in Kollam in Kerala and hails from Kottayam.
Third rank holder Nidhi said,”It is really a proud moment. I put in lot of hard work and finally it paid.” Nidhi, Assistant Commissioner of Customs and Central Excise, is presently undergoing training at Faridabad.
Vandana is the topper in the Other Backward Class (OBC) category. “I called up people twice to cross check whether or not I have made it in the exam. It is a pleasant surprise. It is really a result of hard work,” she said
Vandana, who graduated in 2012 from Kurukshetra University, wants to be an IAS officer.
“I want to be an IAS officer as it gives you ample scope to do something worthwhile for the country,” she said. It was her third attempt. Suharsha, who hails from Bihar, is a Chemical Engineer from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, and got through in his fourth attempt.
“Suharsha got selected in Indian Audit and Accounts Service (IAAS) in 2011. In 2012, he took the exam again and got Indian Information Service. In 2013 exam, he got IRS (Income Tax). He is posted in Nagpur,” his father Phulendra Bhagat, who is a doctor, told PTI from Bihar’s Samastipur.
Ira had approached Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) in 2012 after she was denied induction in IRS because of her disability. CAT upheld her plea and directed that she be inducted in the service. IAS and IPS officers are selected among others in the prestigious exam.
A total of 1,364 posts are to be filled through the civil services examination. There are 254 candidates in the waiting list. It is the first time that the Commission has declared the final results on the fourth day of the closing date for the personality tests or interviews, the official said.
The civil services examination is conducted by the UPSC annually in three stages — preliminary, mains and interview — to select candidates for the elite Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and Indian Police Service (IPS), among others.
The civil services preliminary examination was conducted on August 24 last year at 2,137 venues in 59 centres across the country. About 9.45 lakh candidates had applied for it but approximately 4.51 lakh appeared for the examination. Of these, 16,933 were declared qualified for the main examination, the official said. The main examination was held in December last year and, out of the 16,933 candidates, 16,286 appeared for it, he said.