by Hilal Shah

SRINAGAR: As the erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir completed a year after scrapping of the special status and its division into two Union Territories, 15 of its residents have qualified the prestigious UPSC civil services examination 2019. A result announced a day ago is based on Mains-exam conducted in September 2019 and interviews held in February 2020. A total of 829 candidates have been shortlisted for the appointment as IAS, IPS, IFS, or Group A or B posts.

Interestingly when 15 aspirants applied for the test, they represented a state of Jammu and Kashmir, but
in their results, they belong to two separate union territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.

Resultantly, of the 15 candidates who cracked the examination,  Kashmir and Jammu has equal representation of six each, while three are from Ladakh UT – two from Leh and one from Kargil. Interestingly, no candidate from Kashmir had cracked the examination in 2018.

In Kashmir, two aspirants belonging to  north Kashmir’s  Kupwara district,  Nadia Beigh and Aftab Rasool qualified the top exam.

Nadia Baigh 23, a resident of Punzwa village in Vilgam qualified the exam in her second attempt. Initially, after losing in her first attempt in 2018, she got 350 rank this year.

Born and brought up in Punzwa village, Nadia whose parents are government school teachers has done her schooling in Light House Public School Vilgam and twelfth from Government Higher Secondary School Vilgam with non-medical subjects.

“Keeping in mind the internet blockade and consistent strikes, I decided to go outside for further studies,” Nadia Baigh said. “In 2014,  I landed in Delhi to pursue BA Honours in Economics from Jamia Millia Islamia, it was my brother who suggested me to take admission in BA honours”.

“I was in the second year when I started preparing for civil services, In 2018 it was my first attempt in IAS but could not make it”, Nadia said.

Her two sisters are doing MBBS in Sher-I-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Soura while her brother has completed BBA and is also preparing for civil services.

A resident of same belt, Aftab Rasool is from Trehgam Kupwara. He had completed his graduation from Delhi and got the rank of 412 in his third attempt. “It is not too tough to crack civil service but it needs stability, if you are studying for six or seven hours, read consistently for two to three years” said Aftab.

Another candidate Rayees Hussain Lone from Gurez area of north Kashmir”s Bandipora district also cracked the exam and got 638 rank. He has already cracked Kashmir Administrative Services (KAS) in the year 2018 and is currently posted in Ganderbal, while his father is a Zonal Education Officer (ZEO) presently posted in Uri.

Up South, Sabzar Ahmad Ganie, 25, hails from a remote village of Gheeboom in Kokernag area of Anantnag. Sabzar got 628 rank. “I completed my middle classes in Government Middle School in our locality. In 2017, I completed civil engineering from Government College of Engineering and Technology in Jammu,” said Sabzar.

“My father is a farmer by profession and mother is a housewife. I decided to prepare for civil services in 2017 and in 2018, I appeared in both KAS and IAS exams, in the first attempt in IAS I fell short of points but qualified prelims and Mains exam of KAS, the interview is still pending,” he said.

“I want to make clear for those who are preparing for civil service examination, they must start as soon as possible even in graduation classes because time waits for none” Sabzar Ahmad suggested

Majid Iqbal Khan hails from Shangus Anantnag. He said that he completed matriculation from an Army school and then, senior secondary from Boys Higher Secondary in Anantnag. Later, he went to Telangana where he did B-Tech in Mechanical. He went to Delhi where he did a job in a college for one year.

“During that time, I felt that I have more potential for what I was doing. Hence, I chose to prepare for IAS which is a valuable and prestigious examination,” said Khan. He got 618th rank.

Asif  Yousef Tantry who got 328th rank hails from Hablish Devsar in Kulgam. “All one needs is to work hard and show consistency while preparing for the exams. Besides, one needs to be highly motivated and then one can achieve any goal in his life,” Asif said.

He said that after completing his B Tech he shifted to Delhi for seeking coaching in 2016.

“Since them I worked hard and finally I achieved what I had desired for many years,” he said.

He said that it was the support of his family members since his childhood that he managed to achieve this feat.

“Reaching this stage was not easy without their support and I thank them wholeheartedly for supporting me in whatever the circumstances were,” he added.

“It is not only about UPSC or any other examination. For each and every goal of life, we need to struggle, work hard and then luck also favours those who put in their efforts as well,” he said.

“Nothing is impossible and you can crack even the toughest of exams in the world provided you are motivated, you show consistency and you work day and night,” he advised the youth.

He said that suicide incidents among the youth are increasing mainly due to depression.

“The youth who are depressed must share their problem with parents and friends who can support him to come out of depression and motivate him about achieving his goal,” added Asif.

He said that whatever department or service he will be offered his sole motive will be to serve the people.

Abhishek Augustsya topped at 38th rank, followed by Sunny Gupta at 148, Dev Ahuti at 177, and Parth Gupta at 240, all from Jammu.

Three aspirants from the UT of Ladakh who also cracked the examination are Namgyal Angmo and Stanzin Wangyal from Leh, and Mohammed Nawas Sharaf Uddin Sharafuddin from Kargil’s remotest Drass area.

In a congratulatory message, Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu conveyed his warm felicitation to all the successful candidates for the commendable accomplishment and expressed hope that they would discharge their duties with utmost dedication, commitment and sincerity to uphold the highest traditions of the civil services.

“Their achievement would certainly motivate and inspire many more youths from Jammu and Kashmir to take the country’s prestigious civil services examination in years to come,” he said.

Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) president Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari also congratulated the candidates.

Congratulating the candidates and their parents, Bukhari said that their success has vindicated his belief in the capabilities and potential of the youth of Jammu and Kashmir.

“The young boys and girls who achieved this milestone today despite most of them being from humble backgrounds and without any special support is commendable and an inspiration for our promising youth who aspire to crack this prestigious exam,” he opined.

The JKAP president observed that most of these candidates had similar backgrounds and one thing in common, a desire to do something extraordinary in their lives through hard work and commitment. “I want to congratulate the parents of these candidates who dedicated their lives for a prosperous future for their children,” he added.

Bukhari hoped that today results would become one of the motivating factors for the educated youth who aspire to pursue their careers in civil services in J&K.

“Besides cracking UPSC, our youth have proven their mettle at state, national and international levels in almost all fields,” he remarked.


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