Truly Techie 

Qualifying Indian Engineering Services (IES) wasn’t a cakewalk for the son of farmer hailing from a remote village. But as Riyaz Ul Khaliq finds out that Zahoor Ahmad Chath of Kangan did what others perceived as hard nut to crack


With the boost in morale of students preparing and joining civil services, less is known about high profile engineering posts and its services.

Last few decades saw huge number of students preferring Humanities after completion of their class 12 and preparing for state and union level civil services. Not only this, Kashmir saw doctors getting top slot in union public services commission’s exam a few years ago. Yes, Shah Faesal after doing MBBS did not practice medicine but went to New Delhi and prepared for IAS. When the results were out, he was All India topper. The year was 2010 when Kashmir saw huge anti-India protests.

Likewise, many engineering graduates do not practice engineering instead they too choose civil services. But little they know that engineers too have such services parallel to IAS, IFS or IRS.

The engineering graduates who have done their B. Tech or B.E. in four branches viz Civil, Electrical, Mechanical and Electronics and Communications are eligible to sit for the examination of Indian Engineering services (IES).

After they are declared successful, the IES candidates are then absorbed in various union government departments as high profile executives not less than the rank of an Executive engineer.

Central Works Commission, NHAI, Indian Railways and many more union departments are the employers of these IES qualified engineers.

Back in valley, the technical education has seen a boost. Besides, valley based government engineering colleges and one private college, a large number of students go to places like Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, UP etc to take this course, privately. But since then they don’t go for such engineering services. Either they go for private jobs in foreign countries or come back and do menial jobs.

But, for Zahid Ahmad Chath, knowledge and exposure of the subject is must, if anyone wants to do big in his/her subject. Zahid qualified IES from Valley after many years altogether.

Coming from a very humble background, Zahid did his matriculation from Radiant Public School situated in his native village of Kangan in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

After passing class tenth, Zahid topped twelfth from Fayaz Educational Institute, Nowgam in South Srinagar. He scored 623 out of 750 in full medical in 2007-08 academic session.

“In 2008, I qualified All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE) and was 167 topper of J&K state,” Zahid says. “I was allotted civil engineering branch and got National Institute of Technology, Hazratbal to pursue my course.”

Zahid was in his final semester when he qualified General Ability Test (GAT), in engineering and was declared 82 all India topper.

“As I got a very good rank, I easily managed admission in master’s course,” he informs. Qualifying GAT is necessary to get in to M. Tech course.

While, he completed B. Tech in July 2012, he started studying M. Tech. His being one of the top all India ranks, Zahid has specialisation in Structural Engineering. He completed M. Tech in 2014.

Meanwhile, Zahid informs that, in mid 2013 he applied for Indian Engineering services. “In September 2013, I qualified its MAINS and in March 2014, my interview session was done,” he continues.

Zahid, 24, comes from what he calls ‘backward than a declared backward village’. “We don’t have regular, I mean normal electricity in our village,” he replies when asked why his cell phone remains mostly switched off.

Zahid is the only son amongst his four sisters of his parents. “I am the eldest one. All my sisters are pursuing education and recently one of them completed bachelors,” he says.

Abdul Ahad Chath, Zahid’s father is a farmer. And his mother, a home maker. “There have been financial hiccups but Alhamdulillah, I completed my education successfully,” Zahid says. “While I was in B. Tech, I would get minority scholarship and M. Tech students are given Rs 10000 per month to compete their course,” he informs.

Zahid is highly thankful to his teachers at NIT. “Teachers particularly HOD has been very helpful as I got basic concepts cleared,” he says. “There is no option but a student needs to be dedicated, works hard work, and has will power to do things successfully,” he advises to budding students.

He adds, “Parental care and support is important!”

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