Men and women, who cracked the demanding Civil Services examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), said hard work, perseverance and unflinching support from their families helped them to achieve their goal.
Of the 1,078 candidates who cleared the Civil Service Exam, Lady Shri Ram College graduate Tina Dabi topped the all-India charts, repeating the feat of her Delhi University colleague Ira Singhal from 2014.
The second position was secured by Athar Aamir ul Shafi Khan from Jammu and Kashmir, and the third position by Jasmeet Singh Sandhu, also a Delhi resident.
Many political leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, congratulated the achievers on their success after the results were declared on Tuesday.
Congrats to all those who cleared the Civil Services Exam. My good wishes as they commence a new & exciting phase of their lives.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 10, 2016
Here’s what the toppers had to say about their strategy and future goals:
Rank 01; Roll No. 0256747
Tina Dabi, New Delhi
“It is indeed a proud moment for me,” said the 22-year-old as she saw her name on top of the list.
“I wanted to explore a new place and my parents wanted me to stay close to them ... So I chose Haryana. I feel that place also has a lot of challenges and social problems...,” Dabi said on her preference for Haryana as her cadre.
“That is the time when parents’ support counts the most, and I got it all. What I am now is all because of the sacrifices my family members have made,” Dabi, who belongs to Rajasthan’s Jaipur, said.
Rank 02; Roll No. 0058239
Athar Aamir ul Shafi Khan, Anantnag, South Kashmir
All India Rank 2, Athar Aamir ul Shafi Khan was “very delighted and extremely satisfied” over his nearly-impossible feat of clearing the IAS exams twice in consecutive years.
“In the last year of my BTech, I was very clear that this is what I wanted to do. I would have been paid better in an MNC but money is the last motivation for me. The IAS comes with roles and responsibilities that can actually change the lives of people,” he said.
Rank 03; Roll No. 0010512
Jasmeet Singh Sandhu, Rabinder Nagar, Delhi
Jasmeet Singh Sandhu, already an assistant commissioner with the Indian Revenue Services (IRS), got lucky on his fourth attempt. With Punjabi literature as his optional subject, Jasmeet attended coaching classes only for a month.
“He prepared for the exam on his own,” his proud mother Surinder Sandhu told HT .
An MBBS from Maulana Azad Medical College, Dr Artika Shukla was overwhelmed by the AIR 4 rank she secured in her very first attempt.
“The feeling is yet to sink in. It is almost unbelievable. My phone has not stopped ringing ever since the results were declared and I am just too happy,” she told the Times of India .
Shukla credits her success to her brother Utsav, a 2012 batch IAS officer, who helped her prepare.
“I did not join any coaching for preparations and sought all help and guidance from my brother. So, I guess it is our teamwork that has paid off,” she said.
“If one has a dream, they should just follow it,” the achiever said.
Rank 05; Roll No. 0015876
Shashank Mani Tripathi, Deoria, Uttar Pradesh
Shashank Mani Tripathi, who was not available for comment immediately, had secured the 73rd rank in 2014. At present, he is an IAS officer trainee at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration in Mussoorie.
Rank 06; Roll No. 0105343
Ashish Tiwari, Chhatarpur, Bundelkhand, MP
Ashish Tiwari, who comes from a small town Chhatarpur in Madhya Pradesh’s Bundelkhand region, chose public administration as his optional subject with a will to serve the common people.
“I didn’t find it very tough as I did focus on my studies well. With the specific goal in my mind, I balanced both my job and studies together,” Tiwari said.
Rank 07; Roll No. 0575838
Sharanya Ari, Chennai
Sharanya Ari, an information technology graduate from Chennai’s SRM University, thanked her parents for their support.
“It is my fourth attempt. It is a long-time dream of my parents. After failure, picking yourself up and motivating yourself is the most challenging part of civil services exam. Unless you have family support, you will not be successful,” Ari told The Hindu.
Rank 08; Roll No. 0708525
Kumbhejkar Yogesh Vijay, Solapur/Pune, Maharashtra
Pune-based Yogesh Kumbhejkar was not satisfied with his 145th rank last year. After making it to the eighth position in his third attempt, Kumbhejkar told HT he was happy training as an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer but was preparing to take the UPSC exam again to improve his rank.
Rank 09; Roll No. 0147086
Karn Satyarthi, Dhanbad, Jharkhand
Karn Satyarthi studied on his own to make it to AIR 9 in his second attempt.
“India can progress only with an eradication of gender and caste discrimination,” Satyarthi, an IIT-Kharagpur graduate in mining engineering, said.