Blurb: It’s celebration time for the Valley, thanks to the 16 candidates who’ve made it to the prestigious UPSC exam 2023. We talk to some of the achievers and also those who’ve yet to make it. There are precious lessons from both groups.
IN a moment of pride and achievement, 16 candidates from Jammu and Kashmir have made their mark in the prestigious Union Public Service Commission Examination 2023.
The results, declared a few days back, brought joy and celebration to the region. It is good to see that so many youngsters from Jammu and Kashmir are opting for Centre-based exams. In the past few years, we have witnessed students moving to Delhi with the intention of joining coaching institutes to qualify these exams. What is even more heartening is that it’s not just the young men, but young women too are getting out of their comfort zones to achieve more.
Wasim Ahmad Bhat from Dooru in Anantnag, Parsanjeet Kour from Poonch and Nittin Singh from Kathua have secured 7th, 11th and 32nd ranks, respectively.
Others who have qualified the UPSC are Naved Ashan Bhat from Sopore (84th rank), Ambika Raina (164th rank), Namneet Singh from R S Pura (191), Manan Bhat of Soura in Srinagar (231), Arjun Gupta from Trikuta Nagar, Jammu (228), Manil Bejotra from Bishnah in Jammu (314), Mohd Irfan from Thathar Bantalab in Jammu (476), Dwarka Gaadhi from Bishnah in Jammu (505), Anjeet Singh of Bhalesa in Doda (565), Abhinandan Singh from Nardi Bala, Akhnoor (749), Nivranshu Hans (811) Dr Iram Choudhary from Rajouri (852) and Aadesh Basnotra (888).
Talking to KC, one of the qualifiers – Manan Bhat – says: “It takes hard work and perseverance to prepare for this exam. I qualified the KAS (Kashmir Administrative Service) recently, but I did not get the desired field. So this time, I have not only qualified the IAS but I am sure to also get my desired field”. He adds that preparing for this exam has not been an easy task. “I have been studying for the last four years and during the preparation, I have faced so many hardships. Also, I would be constantly inundated with negative thoughts but what I have realised is that consistent focus is the key. One has to keep one’s sight on the goal and keep working. Consistency is the key”.
Parsanjeet Kour, who has secured the 11th rank in the exam, says that she too had secured the 34th rank in the recent Kashmir Administrative Service Exam but since she could not get an administrative post, so she decided to take the IAS to improve her rank. She didn’t expect such a good rank though. She did not take any coaching. “I studied from books and online material. I would study for at least 8 to 10 hours every day, consistently. I have studied in Poonch all my life. I used to send my brother and father to Jammu to get me the material for preparation but I never took any coaching”. What is her advice to those preparing for the exam? She hands out: “Work smart. Don’t read too many books for one subject. Just take one good book of one particular subject and read it again and again till you clarify all the doubts. Read the syllabus, understand what it demands, check previous question papers and see what kind of questions are asked in the examination, what do those questions demand and how to go about it. I will reiterate that if you are studying for UPSC, work with consistency”.
Along with the success stories, are stories of those who have been preparing for the last four-five years, but haven’t made it to the Civils and yet haven’t given up hope. One such candidate is Jaasirah from Srinagar who is currently preparing for the IAS: “I took my coaching from Delhi. I have been preparing for this exam for the last three years and I am still working. This exam is tough and does take a lot of hard work and it sometimes takes a toll on your health too. Earlier, a candidate from Jammu and Kashmir could appear in the Civil Service Examination till the age of 37 but now the age limit is 32, which is very discouraging. Also, the UT’s Civil Service Exam has a hectic recruitment process which takes more than a year and a half. This too is very discouraging; these exams should be time bound”.
Irfan Rahim from Pulwama has been preparing for this exam for the last five years. He says: “This is my last chance to appear in this exam. I am quite discouraged as I don’t know if I will be able to crack it though I know I have studied well and worked hard. But sometimes you get in and sometimes you just don’t. My advice to students preparing for civil services is – work hard, but if you don’t qualify, don’t be hard on yourselves as there are many other career options one can choose from. One has to learn to persevere”.
Also, this year, a history was created with the Union Public Service Commission. This year, the highest number of women ever was selected in the Indian Civil Services! Moreover, the top four ranks this year have been claimed by women. That’s certainly heartening!