Ira-Singhal-is-the-topper-of-UPSC-civil-services-exam-2014-HT-Photo
Ira-Singhal-is-the-topper-of-UPSC-civil-services-exam-2014-HT-Photo

Not eligible to be sweeper, but I'm IAS officer: UPSC topper Ira

“I still haven’t checked the rank myself. Hope my friends and you guys saw it properly and confirmed it’s in fact me,” Ira Singhal, the UPSC topper laughs. Her phone has been ringing since the news broke. And even as HT was talking to her, she received a call from a top official of the DoPT, informing her that the minister wants to meet her on Monday.
By Prasad Nichenametla | Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
UPDATED ON JUL 05, 2015 06:20 PM IST

Four years after the government cancelled her candidature for the Indian Revenue Service (IRS) because of her disability, Ira Singhal has emerged triumphant by becoming the first physically challenged candidate to top the prestigious civil services examination.

“Irony is that on medical and physical grounds, I am not eligible to be an IRS, a clerk or even a sweeper, but the rules do allow me to become an IAS (officer),” Singhal said shortly after securing the first rank in the test conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

“I still haven’t checked the rank myself. Hope my friends and you guys saw it properly and confirmed it’s in fact me,” she joked.

Singhal’s phone has been ringing since the news broke and as HT was speaking to her, she received a call from a top official of the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), informing her the minister wants to meet her on Monday.

Read: Ira Singhal tops UPSC exam, top four positions secured by women

This is the same DoPT that had rejected her for the IRS even after her selection for the service in 2010. The reason: Singhal, 31, has been affected by scoliosis or curvature of the spine from birth and is physically challenged.

One of the reasons cited was Singhal’s 62% disability that affected both arms and would not allow her to pull, push and lift heavy packets — an ability the government felt was necessary for her to be in the IRS (Customs and Central Excise).

But Singhal’s success is built on a foundation of intense struggle and she has never allowed her disability to stand in her way. She surely wasn’t going to let a silly rule put her down.

She took her fight to the Central Administrative Tribunal and got a favourable ruling in February 2014, with the panel wondering if an IRS officer really needs to lift heavy packets during a raid. A medical examination showed Singhal could lift packets weighing up to 10 kg.

Singhal, currently in the Dr MCR HRD Institute in Hyderabad as part of her training, went on with the target of getting into the Indian Administrative Service (IAS).
She said her struggle to get into the IRS taught her the best lessons of her life. “Actually, every struggle teaches you something. There is a possibility of defeat but in life you have to fight on.”

Singhal, an engineer and an MBA, was born in Meerut. Her parents, who are into the business of financial and insurance consultancy, live in New Delhi’s Safdarjung Enclave.

“They never treated me like I was physically handicapped. From childhood they taught me to take things like a normal person does. My struggle in this world was not because I am physically challenged but as a woman...like any other woman subjected to discrimination or some backward thinking,” she said.

One of her endeavours as an IAS officer will be to work for women, children and the physically challenged.

“I want to say to everyone, let your daughters study and work. Let them go out in the world and make something of their lives,” said Singhal.

Singhal, who topped in the general category despite her medical condition, has a lot of hobbies – dance, drama, and travel among them.

Her friend and fellow IRS officer Manudev Jain says Singhal is a ‘shararati’ person. “She plans the pranks, we execute them together.”

Read

IAS gives chance to be agent of change: 6th ranked Charusree

Perseverance has its reward, says UPSC 2nd rank-holder Renu Raj

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
MHT CET five-year LLB final merit list.(PTI file)
MHT CET five-year LLB final merit list.(PTI file)

MHT CET five-year LLB final merit list 2020 released, check here

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Akhilesh Nagari, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 28, 2021 06:22 PM IST
  • Candidates can check the MHT CET five-year LLB final merit list online at cetcelladmissions.mahait.org.
Close
BITSoM will offer a two-year residential MBA degree programme with faculties drawn from the top business schools globally and a course fee of <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>24 lakh.(Handout)
BITSoM will offer a two-year residential MBA degree programme with faculties drawn from the top business schools globally and a course fee of 24 lakh.(Handout)

BITS Pilani launches management school

PTI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 28, 2021 06:15 PM IST
Birla Institute of Technology & Science (BITS) Pilani on Thursday announced the launch of BITS School of Management (BITSoM) with an investment of around 1,500 crore over the next five to seven years.
Close
Barring Mumbai, schools in other parts of the state reopened for students of Classes 9 to 12 from November 23. (HT FILE )(HT_PRINT)
Barring Mumbai, schools in other parts of the state reopened for students of Classes 9 to 12 from November 23. (HT FILE )(HT_PRINT)

Schools, colleges reopen after a gap of 10 months in Manipur

ANI, Imphal
PUBLISHED ON JAN 28, 2021 05:48 PM IST
Sangeeta Mayengbam, Principal of Tamphasana Girls Higher Secondary School in Imphal, said that students are allowed to attend classes after getting consent from their parents or guardians.
Close
Representational image.(Getty Images/Representational)
Representational image.(Getty Images/Representational)

Para teachers demonstrate outside WB Assembly demanding pay parity

PTI, Kolkata
PUBLISHED ON JAN 28, 2021 05:25 PM IST
Para teachers demonstrate outside WB Assembly demanding pay parity
Close
Uttar Pradesh Madhyamik Shiksha Parishad aka UP Board will conduct its high school and intermediate examinations-2021 at 8,497 centres spread across the state.(HT file)
Uttar Pradesh Madhyamik Shiksha Parishad aka UP Board will conduct its high school and intermediate examinations-2021 at 8,497 centres spread across the state.(HT file)

UP Boards 2021: UPMSP identifies 8,497 centres for conducting exams

PUBLISHED ON JAN 28, 2021 04:50 PM IST
  • Uttar Pradesh Madhyamik Shiksha Parishad aka UP Board will conduct its high school and intermediate examinations-2021 at 8,497 centres spread across the state
Close
The formal education segment, comprising K-12 and tertiary or higher education accounts for almost two-thirds of the <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>9,00,000-crore revenue of the Indian education sector.(AP file)
The formal education segment, comprising K-12 and tertiary or higher education accounts for almost two-thirds of the 9,00,000-crore revenue of the Indian education sector.(AP file)

Revenues of Education companies to remain flat in 2020-21: Report

PTI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 28, 2021 04:43 PM IST
Fewer enrolments in engineering and business administration courses and inability to raise fees amid the COVID-19 pandemic are likely to keep the revenues of education companies flat this financial year, according to a report.
Close
IIT Kanpur is conducting online internship programme due to Covid-19(File photo)
IIT Kanpur is conducting online internship programme due to Covid-19(File photo)

IIT-Kanpur short lists 20 students from J&K for virtual internship

By HT Correspondent, Lucknow
PUBLISHED ON JAN 28, 2021 03:58 PM IST
  • The students will be given exposure to various laboratories of IIT K and every week a special lecture on latest technological advancements would be held.
Close
Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’.(PTI file)
Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’.(PTI file)

CBSE 10th, 12th board exams dates to be announced on Feb 2: Pokhriyal

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Akhilesh Nagari, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 28, 2021 03:30 PM IST
  • Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal made this announcement during his live interaction session with CBSE school principals.
Close
All India Bar Exam (AIBE XV) was held on January 24 and approximately 1.20 lakh advocates had registered to appear for the exam..(HT file)
All India Bar Exam (AIBE XV) was held on January 24 and approximately 1.20 lakh advocates had registered to appear for the exam..(HT file)

AIBE-XV answer key on January 30, results in first week of March

Edited by Nilesh Mathur
PUBLISHED ON JAN 28, 2021 02:07 PM IST
  • The Bar Council of India will release the answer key of All India Bar Exam (AIBE)-XV on Saturday, January 30.
Close
Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’.(HT file)
Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’.(HT file)

Live Updates: CBSE to announce board exam schedule for Class 10th, 12th on Feb 2

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Akhilesh Nagari, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 28, 2021 03:25 PM IST
  • CBSE class 10, 12 board examination schedule will be released on February 2, Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ said.
Representational image. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Representational image. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

1 more arrested in Karnataka PSC exam leak case

ANI, Bengaluru
PUBLISHED ON JAN 28, 2021 01:25 PM IST
According to police officials, the arrested person has been identified as Basavraj, who was working in the accounts section of KPSC.
Close
A classroom at Mount Abu School in Rohini being sanitised, a day before schools in Delhi resume in-person sessions for students of classes 10 and 12.( anchit Khanna/HT PHOTO)
A classroom at Mount Abu School in Rohini being sanitised, a day before schools in Delhi resume in-person sessions for students of classes 10 and 12.( anchit Khanna/HT PHOTO)

Schools for Classes 9 and 11 to resume in Gujarat from Feb 1

PTI, Ahmedabad
PUBLISHED ON JAN 28, 2021 01:06 PM IST
Schools for Classes 9 and 11 to resume in Gujarat from Feb 1
Close
CAG Recruitment 2021(HT File)
CAG Recruitment 2021(HT File)

CAG recruitment 2021: 10,811 vacancies of auditors and accountants on offer

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Akhilesh Nagari, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 28, 2021 12:31 PM IST
  • Interested and eligible candidates can apply for the positions in a prescribed format on or before February 19, 2021.
Close
Mumbai University(Hindustan Times)
Mumbai University(Hindustan Times)

MU convocation event online but certificates to be distributed by institutes

PUBLISHED ON JAN 28, 2021 11:51 AM IST
  • MU’s online convocation is scheduled to take place on February 1 this year.
Close
RBI Grade B Recruitment 2021.(Screengrab )
RBI Grade B Recruitment 2021.(Screengrab )

RBI Grade B Recruitment 2021: 322 vacancies on offer, here's direct link

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Akhilesh Nagari
PUBLISHED ON JAN 28, 2021 11:40 AM IST
  • Interested and eligible candidates can apply for the positions online at rbi.gov.in on or before February 15, 2021.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP