by Maleeha Sofi
SRINAGAR: In the just-released JKAS results, Sana Fayaz emerged as the topper from Kashmir region. She secured 1138.5 marks, the highest in the tally of Kashmir’s 31 candidates who passed the examination from the Srinagar centre.
Though Sana, a resident of Peer Bagh, ranks fourth in the overall list of Jammu and Kashmir, she tops the Kashmir region. Three top slots in JKAS were bagged by Jammu. Megha Gupta topped the list with 1177.5 marks, Shreya Sharma the second topper with 1167.5 marks and Vishal Kumar is the third topper with 1142.5. He is also on the list of reserved category candidates at the same time.
However, what is interesting about Sana is that she also cracked Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) in 2021.
Sana has completed her schooling at Presentation Convent Higher Secondary School. She holds a BTech from the National Institute of Technology (NIT) Srinagar and a postgraduate degree in Climate Change Studies. She started preparing for the Civil Services Examination after completing her engineering in 2017.
“The syllabus of the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) is very much allied with the syllabus of JKAS,” Sana said. “While preparing for GATE, I prepared for Civil Services too, but my main focus has always been UPSC.”
She attempted both JKAS and UPSC for the first time in the year 2017. In the year 2021, she appeared for JKAS for the second time and for the fourth time for UPSC and achieved success in both exams. She has been appointed to the Junior Time Scale of the Indian Trade Service as Assistant Director General of Foreign Trade.
“I faced problems in my optional subject and every time my score was affected because of it,” Sana said. “I suggest everyone choose their optional subjects very carefully.” She is of the belief that the number of hours that one invests in the study does not really matter. “What matters is how focused you are and your concentration level matters. One should not give up so soon in such competitive exams.”
She credits her family and friends for her success. The support she has received in all these years while she was preparing has been a pillar for her. She is the first member of her whole family to attempt and qualify for both the JKAS and UPSC. “The hard work of my parents has been my biggest inspiration to achieve something great,” she added. Both of her parents are professors.
While talking about the challenges she faced in the journey, she opined, “We have to turn our setbacks into our stepping stones. If you truly want to come into this service and you are sufficiently motivated, you will achieve this even if it takes time and several attempts.” “Competitive exams do not come with an assurance of success and people may not have backup plans. Many aspirants face anxiety ahead of exams because everyone wants a secure future,” she added.