by Tahir Bhat
SRINAGAR: The Union Public Service Commission- 2018 examination, the results of which were out late last night, recorded the lowest ever performance of Jammu and Kashmir in recent years. Though seven aspirants from the state have made it to the All India Services, there is nobody from Kashmir. Jammu region has got seven berths at various ranks among 759 candidates. The highest rank was bagged by Rehana Bashir who is No 187.
Rehana, a resident of Salwa Poonch, is excited that she has made it to the top service. She was a practising doctor when she prepared for the examination.
She did her schooling from Army School Ratnuchak and MBBS from SKIMS Srinagar. Her mother Parveena is working in the state agriculture department. Rehana lost her father Mohammad Bashir who was working in State Forest cooperation.
After completing her MBBS, Rehana did not join the job. Instead, she started preparing for the IAS.
Her brother Amir Bashir qualified the UPSC examination in 2017 and is presently working in the Indian Revenue Service. She credits her school teachers, mother and brother for her success.
“I lost my father when I was in class 9th and at that very point of time, my family members and teachers helped me to come out of the shock with proper guidance,” Rehana told Kashmir Life on phone. “My brother motivated me to prepare for the civil services.” Rehana, first time appeared in IAS in 2017, but could not make it.
Preparing for the examination was not so easy. Initially, she said she faced many problems, which fizzled out gradually as she got familiar with the new routine. She evolved her own mechanism to manage the monotony and boredom – she would study books and talk to her family members.
What makes Rehana’s success so special is that she never went to any coaching centre. “I did it all by myself as the entire family was supportive and encouraging,” Rehana said.
The next rank is that of Abhishek Augustya who is at rank 268. He is a resident of village Railway Line Patrick, R S Pura.
Sunny Gupta a resident of 152/F, near Taj Hotel, Rajinder Bazar Jammu is at rank 320. He is a serving KAS officer.
The next is that of Harvinder Singh, who is at rank 335. He is resident of Kotli Mian Fateh, R S Pura. He is Assistant Engineer at PMGSY, Udhampur.
Babar Ali Chagatta from Badder Gulabgarh in Mahore Tehsil of Reasi district is listed at 364. He did his schooling from JNV Udhampur and graduation from Aligarh Muslim University.
JNV Udhampur has congratulated Baber. “Babar Ali Chagatta R/o Badder (Gulabgarh Mahore) qualify IAS with 364 rank congrats to Babar Ali and his family. A proud moment for all JNVs,” the JNV Udhampur wrote on his Facebook page.
Gokul Mahajan from Jammu is at rank 373 .
Devahuti a resident of Jammu is at rank 668. She did bachelors’ in law from Jammu University. Devahuti gave credit for her success to her family, especially her uncle S M Jingral who had served as Deputy Superintendent of Police and is a recipient of two presidential medals for gallantry and meritorious services, reports said.
Soon after the result was declared a senior IAS officer now deputy commissioner Srinagar took to social networking site Twitter to congratulate the selected aspirants and wrote: “Congratulations to all the UPSC Civil Services qualifiers. Best wishes for the career ahead. A scan of the top 20 slots shows amazing combinations!”
“Rehana Bashir from a remote village in Poonch has made it to the IAS. It will go a long way in encouraging all the girls around,” Shahid wrote on Twitter. “Babar Ali has shown the way!! UPSC Civil Services. From Mahore. A village with gaps of a century or so,” he added.
“Gokul Mahajan from Jammu has qualified the UPSC Civil Services Examinations. Congratulations,” he added.
“Harvinder Singh from Jammu brings in another success story. Best wishes,” Shahid tweeted.
Nobody from Kashmir
What was interesting this season was that Kashmir was missing in the list as not a single candidate qualified the coveted examination. This was a break from a decade long track record during which the Kashmiri candidates created a record much bigger than the last six decades.
“For the first time in last decade, we have no selections in IAS from the valley this year. Even from Jammu division, we have fewer selections. Many people attribute it to the decision of Shah Faesal to quit IAS,” a senior KAS officer wrote on his Facebook wall. “To my understanding, it has nothing to do with Shah Faesal and much to do with the unfortunate KAS exam fiasco, apart from the disturbed environment. We had very few candidates qualifying for an interview this year. For the last two and half years, candidates preparing for civil services had KAS exam in sight every time. Every time they thought it is happening soon and every time it got postponed for one or the other reason. As such candidates had KAS exam in mind as an easy choice and could not focus on UPSC.”
The officer added: “This is temporary, but it is the responsibility of PSC to do whatever is necessary avoid this in future and implement reformed exam process in its true spirit… Shah Faesal factor may play in future, but I hope and pray it doesn’t.”
The officer who is passionately training the newer talent for the civil service examination did admit that the state’s overall performance was poor and that of Kashmir poorest.
“One of the factors could be that the date of the examinations was delayed and rescheduled again and again that creates confusion among the aspirants and could not chase their UPSC dreams,” he added.
The UPSC in a statement said that 759 candidates, with 577 men and 182 women, have been recommended for appointment to the Indian Administrative Services and Indian Police Services.
“Out of 759 successful candidates 30 Muslims have made it to this year’s result with Junaid Ahmad from Nagina in Bijnor district of UP bagging the 3rd rank,” it said.
In 2017, 56 Muslims had cracked the examination and six were among the top 10 in the 990-candidate list.
In 2016, 10 Muslims were among the top 100 and a total of 52 Muslims had cracked the coveted examination.
In 2015, 34 Muslims, in 2014, 38 Muslims and in 2013, 34 were Muslims had cracked the examination. Their number was 30 in 2012, 31 in 2011, and 21 in 2009.
Dr Shah Feasal has remained the only topper so far – from Kashmir. Early this year, he resigned and founded his own political party, Jammu and Kashmir Peoples’ Movement.