The results of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducted by Civil Services Examination were declared on Tuesday.
Out of the 829 candidates, 150 were women – a mere 18%. This supports the recent revelation made by the Centre that the number of women joining civil services is low – “less than 25%”. However, the women who have attempted the examination have excelled, with Pratibha Verma from UP securing third position. Women make up 43% of the top 100 candidates.
Among these top 100 female candidates are Anupama Singh – a mother of a 5-year-old – and Aishwarya Sheoran – a 2016 Miss India finalist and model.
Anupama Singh Shifted To Delhi Away From Her Family For Two Years To Prepare For The Exam
Anupama Singh from Patna has secured an AIR-90 in the Civil Services Examination in her first attempt.
32-year-old Anupama had done her MBBS in gynaecology in 2011 from Patna Medical and College Hospital, and then pursued a Master of Surgery(MS) from Banaras Hindu University in 2014.
After having practiced at government hospitals for 2 years, she decided to resign in 2018 and dedicate her time and concentration to preparing for the UPSC. During her time working at the hospital she realised that the health system is in dire need of a transformation. “As a doctor, I was treating patients but improving poor medical system was not in my hand,” she says. She felt an urge to contribute to making the government provided medical facilities better and stronger. This triggered the thought to get into civil services.
“My son Anay was 3-year-old when I decided to move to Delhi for preparation. Parting away from my son was the most difficult job I had to do,” she recalls. “Studying after marriage and kids is tougher than in the pre-marriage phase. There is a responsibility on one’s shoulder and an emotional bond with the kid. Unfortunately, my mother and father-in-law are no more, so my husband took care of my son in my absence. My sister-in-law moved to Ranchi specially to look after my son.”
She moved to Delhi in 2018, and enrolled herself into private coaching classes. Living alone meant that she dedicated all her time to studying. After classes, she would prepare notes, and read newspapers, books, and magazines. She would talk to her husband and son regularly over video calls.
“I missed a phase of his childhood and his firsts activities. But instead of thinking to return, leaving preparation halfway, I used to think that I should focus to achieve my target soon to get back home. Maybe this was the reason I cleared the exam in the first attempt.”
Not one to adhere to the regressive social and gendered restrictions that come with motherhood, Anupama is over the moon about her results. She attributes her achievement to dedicated hard work, and endless support from her husband and family members. She returned home in September 2019.
“Anay is 5 now. My sacrifice paid off today. I can proudly share my UPSC-cracking-story with my son when he grows up.”
Aishwarya Sheoran Took A Break From Modelling To Pursue Her Dream Of Entering Civil Services
Aishwarya Sheoran has secured an AIR-93 in the UPSC exam.
Named by her mother after Aishwarya Rai, with the dream that her daughter become Miss India as well, Aishwarya Sheoran incidentally did become one of the top 21 finalists in Miss India beauty pageant in 2016.
Prior to attempting the Civil Services Examination, Aishwarya had a flourishing modelling career. The transition to civil services was not an easy one for Aishwarya. She had participated in Delhi Times Fresh Face and other beauty pageants, walked in the Bombay Times Fashion Week, Lakme Fashion Week, Amazon Fashion Week for designers like Manish Malhotra, and modelled for various magazines and designers.
However, Aishwarya says, “Civil services had always been my dream.” Having always been academically inclined as well, she decided to take a break for a couple of years to pursue her dream.
Aware of how society perceives women in the modelling industry, Aishwarya dismisses these stereotypes. She say that she had always been studious – a head girl at school – and it was natural for her to gravitate back to academia.
She didn’t enrol in any coaching institutions, but dedicatedly prepared on her own for a year. “I had to switch off my phone, social media, everything, to focus on the exam and the result is here.”
Her father, Colonel Ajay Kumar, is the Commanding Officer of NCC Telangana Battalion. While the thought of joining the Indian Army did cross her mind often, she ultimately decided that she wanted to be on “the other side of the coin”. The ultimate idea, for her, is to serve the nation.
Our hearty congratulations to everyone who passed the challenging examination – especially these incredible women who refused to be boxed into restrictive definitions of what women can and should do!
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