Bihar's Shubham Kumar and Madhya Pradesh's Jagrati Awasthi have achieved the first and second ranks respectively in the coveted civil services examination, results of which were announced on Friday by the UPSC. A total of 761 candidates -- 545 men and 216 women -- have cleared the test, conducted annually to select the country's bureaucrats, diplomats and police officers, among other civil servants.
Kumar, aged 24 years, topped the civil services examination in his third attempt. He got selected in the Indian Defence Accounts Service (IDAS) after qualifying the civil services examination 2019. Kumar, who hails from Katihar in Bihar, is currently undergoing training at the National Academy of Defence Financial Management (NADFM), Pune. A Bachelor of Technology (civil engineering) graduate from IIT Bombay, he has qualified the 2020 examination with anthropology as his optional subject.
"My dream was to get into the IAS as it gives a wider platform to work for the betterment of the people. It has been realised and I would like to work for the underprivileged people, especially in rural areas," he told PTI over phone from Pune.
Kumar said areas like poverty alleviation and development of villages and its people would be his focus area while in the service.
"My father used to motivate me a lot and helped me in maintaining a positive attitude that helped me in clearing the exam, he said, adding that his father works as a bank manager in Bihar.
Second rank holder Awasthi, who hails from Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh, said she would also like to join the IAS and work for rural development, besides women and child development.
"I have opted for IAS. I got motivated from people around me. I would like to work for development of rural areas besides women and child development, she told PTI over phone from Bhopal.
Awasthi, aged 24 years, believes skilling women, especially from rural areas, in handicrafts can make India a world leader in the sector. She completed her schooling from Maharishi Vidya Mandir and graduation in electrical engineering from Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology (MANIT), Bhopal. Awasthi qualified the examination with sociology as her optional subject.
"I worked with BHEL for two years after completing my graduation in 2017. I could not clear the examination in first attempt. This was my second exam, said Awasthi, who is also the topper among the women candidates.
The civil services examination is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) in three stages -- preliminary, main and interview -- to select officers of Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and Indian Police Service (IPS), among others.
While Ankita Jain achieved the third rank, Ria Dabi, who is the sister of 2015 civil services exam topper Tina Dabi, has secured 15th rank in the examination. Tina Dabi, an IAS officer, is currently posted in her cadre state Rajasthan.
Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh congratulated the successful candidates and said they have an important contribution to make in their active service of next 25 years as architects of independent India at 100 years. Singh, the minister of state for personnel, said among the 20 toppers are equal number of men and women candidates (10 each).He said his ministry will soon host a direct interactive-cum-felicitation meet with the 20 toppers, like it does every year.
The civil services (preliminary) examination, 2020 was conducted on October 4 last year.
As many as 10,40,060 candidates applied for the examination, out of whom 4,82,770 appeared in it, a statement issued by the UPSC said.
A total of 10,564 candidates qualified for appearance in the written (main) examination which was held in January, 2021. Of them, 2,053 candidates qualified for the personality test (interview), it said.
The 761 recommended candidates include 25 persons with benchmark disability -- seven orthopedically handicapped, four visually challenged, 10 hearing impaired and four multiple disabilities.
Of the successful candidates, 263 are of general category, 86 from economic weaker section (EWS), 220 of Other Backward Class (OBC), 122 Scheduled Castes (SC) and 61 belong to Scheduled Tribes category.
The UPSC said that the top 25 candidates comprise 13 men and 12 women.
Their educational qualifications range from graduation in engineering, humanities, commerce and medical science from premier institutions of the country such as IIT, NIT, BITS, NSUT, DTU, JIPMER, University of Mumbai and Delhi University, the statement said.
A total of 150 other candidates have been put in the reserve list.
The examination was conducted to fill 836 posts 180 of IAS, 36 IFS, 200 of IAS, 302 of central services Group A and 118 of Group B services.