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Shruti Sharma tops civil services exam, women secure first three ranks

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New Delhi: Shruti Sharma, a student of history, has topped the civil services examination 2021, with the first three rank holders being women in results announced by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) on Monday.

Ankita Agarwal and Gamini Singla have secured the second and third rank respectively. A total of 685 candidates – 508 men and 177 women – have qualified and they have been recommended by the Commission for appointment to various central services, the UPSC said.

“Among the finally qualified candidates, top three are women candidates,” the Commission said, adding that the “top 25 comprise 15 men and 10 women”.

It is after six years that women have bagged the top three slots.

In 2015, the top four positions were achieved by women.

All the three women achievers said they would like to work for women empowerment and other important areas such as education and healthcare.

They said self-study helped them a lot in preparing for the examination and finally clearing it.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the successful candidates and had words of encouragement for those who could not clear the exam.

“Congratulations to all those who have cleared the Civil Services (Main) Examination, 2021. My best wishes to these youngsters who are embarking on their administrative careers at an important time of India’s development journey, when we are marking Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.

“I fully understand the disappointment of those who couldn’t clear the Civil Services Exam but I also know that these are outstanding youngsters who will make a mark in any field they pursue and make India proud. My best wishes to them,” the prime minister tweeted.

Sharma, an alumna of St Stephen’s College Delhi, qualified in the sought-after examination in her second attempt.

“It is a great feeling. I owe gratitude to everyone who supported me in this journey to success. I used to prepare my own notes. Self-study helped me a lot besides patience and consistency,” she said.

Sharma, who has opted for the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), said she would like to work for women empowerment and in the education sector.

“I will try to do my best in whatever role I am put into. Education and women empowerment would remain two important areas of my focus,” she said.

Sharma, who hails from Uttar Pradesh’s Bijnor, has studied in Delhi.

She graduated in History (Hons.) from the University of Delhi and topped the examination with history as her optional subject.

Second-rank holder Agarwal is an Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise) officer of the 2020 batch. She is currently under probation at the National Academy of Customs, Indirect Taxes and Narcotics (NACIN) in Haryana’s Faridabad.

“I am very happy to have got the second rank. I have opted for the IAS and would like to work for women empowerment, primary health care and school education sectors after joining the service,” she told PTI over phone from the academy.

Agarwal, a graduate in economics (Hons.) from the University of Delhi, secured the second rank with political science and international relations as her optional subject.

Third-rank achiever Singla said clearing the examination was like a dream come true for her and she has opted for the IAS.

“I am really happy. It is like a dream come true. I have opted for the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and would like to work for the development of the country and welfare of people, especially women empowerment,” she told PTI over the phone from Anandpur Sahib in Punjab.

Singla, who cleared the examination in her second attempt, said she mainly did “self-study” and credited her father for her success.

She holds a Bachelor of Technology (BTech) in computer science and stood third in the rank with sociology as her optional subject.

Aishwarya Verma secured the fourth position and Utkarsh Dwivedi achieved the fifth rank, the UPSC said.

Akash Joshi, a journalist with the Press Trust of India (PTI), Delhi, has got 337th rank.

“I am very happy with my selection. Both the IAS and Indian Police Service (IPS) were my preferred choice. I hope to get IPS,” said Joshi, who works as a copy editor with the wire service.

Educational qualifications of the top 25 successful candidates range from graduation in engineering; humanities; commerce and medical science from premier institutions of the country such as IIT, AIIMS, VIT, PEC, University of Mumbai, University of Delhi, GB Pant University, etc., the UPSC said.

“Top 25 successful candidates have opted for subjects like anthropology, economics, geography, Hindi literature, history, mathematics, medical science, political science & international relations, public administration, sociology and zoology as their optional choice in the written (main) examination,” it said.

The recommended candidates also include 25 persons with benchmark disability (seven orthopedically handicapped; five visually challenged, eight hearing impaired & five with multiple disabilities), the Commission said

Of the total of 685 successful candidates, 244 are from the General category, 73 from Economically Weaker Sections, 203 from Other Backward Classes, 105 from Scheduled Castes and 60 from the Scheduled Tribes.

The Centre had notified 749 vacancies – 180 of IAS, 37 of Indian Foreign Service (IFS), 200 of IPS and remaining central Group ‘A’ and ‘B’ services – to be filled through the 2021 examination.

The civil services (preliminary) examination, 2021 was conducted on October 10th, 2021.

A total of 10,93,984 candidates applied for this examination, out of which 5,08,619 candidates appeared, the UPSC said.

The candidature of 80 candidates is provisional, while the result of one candidate has been withheld.

Results are also available on the UPSC’s website — “Marks will be available on the website within 15 days from the date of declaration of result,” it said.

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