Shining to Excellence

Born in a learned family, a youth from a remote village took inspiration from his father and siblings to climb the ladder of success. His academic career touched the acme recently when he cracked the IFoS examination. But that hasn’t stopped him from aspiring to achieve new heights, Ruwa Shah reports.


A native of Haripora in north Kashmir’s Kupwara, Dr Bilal Mohiudin Bhat, 27, is the only candidate from Kashmir valley who qualified the Indian Forest Services (IFoS) examination. He was ranked at 23rd position among the 85 selected students throughout India in the results which were declared by UPSC on April 9.

Dr Bilal who presently lives in Bemina, Srinagar, achieved his goal with hard work and dedication. He studied at a local school in Kupwara till Class 3 and later joined Minto Circle School in Srinagar till he passed Class 10 exam.

The transition from a village to Srinagar city was a bit difficult for him. Since he belonged to a family of educationists, he soon adjusted himself to the new environment. “It was a bit difficult but it hardly took me a year to make new friends,” Dr Bilal says.

Completing his higher secondary education at Government Higher Secondary School, Jawahar Nagar, in Science with Mathematics as an additional subject, he prepared for pre-medical entrance examinations. In the meantime, he attended private tuitions at different places and finally grabbed a seat for Bachelors of Veterinary Sciences in Animal Husbandry (BVSc in AH) at Sher-i-Kashmir Agricultural University of Science and Technology, Jammu (SKAUST-J) in 2005.

Bilal wanted to excel in studies. Thus he kept himself busy in studying magazines, newspapers, journals and kept himself updated with all sort of news. He never wasted any time. Although engagement with books was a routine, but he did not stick to it for 24 hours. “I kept entertainment and studies both alive. I never studied like a book worm,” he adds.

Dr Bilal’s family which includes his father Mr Ghulam Mohiudin Bhat, a senior KAS officer who is presently District Commissioner, Budgam, and three brothers and a sister who are all working at senior posts with the state government inspired him throughout his career.

Bilal considers his father as a role model who kept guiding him all the way at every step of his career. His mother, Fatima Mohiudin, supported him in all the possible ways. He considers her as a great lady who took care of little things that could have bothered Bilal’s studies due to the busy schedule of his father. His father was transferred from one place to another very frequently due to which they had to often change their residence. “She took a great care of mine, and always helped me in solving any sort of problem”

After completing his graduation at 25, he qualified KAS (Kashmir Administrative Service) examinations in 2011 in the first attempt. Even here, his desire to achieve heights didn’t end. He continued his engagements with books and grabbed all kind of knowledge from whatever was available with him. He prepared for civil services examinations during the 4th semester of his graduation.

Bilal considers the preparation for civil service examinations as a gradual process, “Interest in a particular subject and accumulation of knowledge is important. One should show seriousness in whatever subjects he or she pursues,” he says.

After qualifying IFoS examination, his satisfaction still hasn’t ended. He believes complacency might stop him from reaching new heights. He is presently also pursuing Masters in Economics through distance education.

“Everyone has a capability of their own. Nobody is born genius. If one tries hard to achieve milestones, he or she just needs consistency and persistency. Those two things would always keep the passion alive in hearts. Consistently studying and revising during examinations is a good way to achieve success,” he feels.

Since the veterinarian has now become an administrator, he now dreams of bringing a positive change in the society. He believes that his dedication would help him live up to the expectations of people. “The upcoming generation has a different nature. Younger people are more curious to eradicate ill habits in administration such as corruption,” he says.

Dr Bilal foresees the creation of a lobby of intellectuals who can actually bring forth the students and guide them properly for qualifying such exams. “We definitely lack proper education and guidance system especially in rural areas which needs to be looked after,” he says.

Talking about the role of a family in a student’s life, he feels that a space should be provided to the students. “Limiting the resources may cause anguish. Every student can prove himself or herself in their own ways. They just need opportunities,” he says.


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