First among the equals

First from her community to qualify this prestigious Kashmir Administration Services (KAS), a Muslim girl hailing from Udhampur dreamed to serve society by being the part of administration. RIYAZ UL KHALIQ profiles the 2014 KAS topper

Saba Noor
Saba Noor

She is still to complete her Master’s in Zoology yet she topped the recently declared results of Kashmir Civil Services.

Saba Noor, an MSc Zoology student at Jammu University is serial one in the Kashmir Administrative Services results declared by J&K Public Service Commission (PSC) last week. A total of 99 candidates were declared successful by the Commission.

Hailing from Jammu’s Udhampur district, Saba’s cherished dream of serving society was fulfilled with the declaration of the result. “It was in my blood to serve society,” Saba says in a humble tone. “First I thought to go for MBBS which unluckily I couldn’t qualify but dropped at Unani Medicine,” she informs.

After her class twelfth results in 2009, Saba tried her luck in J&K CET and got Unani Medicine branch but did not join.

Eldest of her siblings, Saba instead joined Government Women’s College, Udhampur and completed her Bachelors in Science in 2012. Her two brothers are 2nd year BBA and Twelfth Class students.

“I tried for PG programme in Jammu University and I got in, she says adding, “Meanwhile PSC had announced KAS posts and I applied.”

Saba had her primary education from Allah-Ditta Memorial School, Badali-her home village. The school has been named after Saba’s grandfather, Allah Ditta. “Grandpa was a much respected figure in the area,” she informs. “He would lead prayers in the local Masjid and would also teach students.”

Saba’s father, Noor Muhammad, is a Hardware shopkeeper in Garhi area of Udhampur while her mother teaches at a government run school.

“I was only three years old when grandpa died. What I am told today is that Grandpa had foretold about such a career,” Saba continues.

Saba had her matriculation from Convent Public School and did her twelfth from Happy Model Public School, Udhampur in 2009.

“Not qualifying was no way a disappointment for me as there was a long way to go and it still is,” she notes.

Kashmir saw a huge intervention in its education sector in the last years of first decade of 21st century. Students changed from traditional careers and started taking recourse to administrative line.

“I made it a point then to get into civil services as I think administration is one of the prominent platforms where from we can serve society, serve in a more better and authoritatively,” Saba says.

As she applied for the highest cadre post in Kashmir region, Saba, besides her Master’s subject-Zoology, chose Anthropology. “Anthropology was a good combination because of fewer syllabi and more interesting.”

As she started her preparation for the examination, Saba had to attend her University as well. But as she puts it, “I managed a two hour preparation daily besides my university classes.”

“As Zoology was my subject from class eleventh so it was easier for me. My basic concepts were cleared already,” she informs.

“It would be better if students who wish to join civil services qualify in their own subjects. It would make them Master in their subject of choice as well,” she argues.

First from her community to qualify this prestigious exam, Saba is hopeful that her joining civil services would boost the morale of her area. “Yes, I hope that my achievement is rightly observed and aspiring students work hard and get successful,” she says adding, “Civil Services is not the only option.”

“Whatever career you choose, try to make a difference,” she says. “Right decision at right time is crucial besides, counseling is must.”

Saba credits her success to her parents and teachers. “Nothing less than hard work will help you,” Saba advises aspiring students. She adds, “As is known that Dua is the weapon, so use it profusely! Ask for prayers from your elders, your parents.”

“If it may be right to say but I think Ramadan prayers have been answered!”

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