by Maleeha Sofi
SRINAGAR: Beating all the odds, Muskan Sawhny cracked Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Service (JKAS) examination in her first attempt. The daughter of an auto-rickshaw driver, Sawhny Jr managed to crack the examination without any coaching and with the help of the internet. She secured 1016.50 marks.
Muskan is from Jammu proper and has completed her initial studies at Activity Public Higher Secondary School. She pursued her higher education in Science at Government Higher Secondary, Mubarak Mandi. She graduated in non-medical with Geology and Geography as optional subjects. She has been the district topper in National Youth Parliament- 2019. She gives tuition and works as a presenter at All India Radio to generate extra income for her and her family.
“I have not prepared for a long time. I started preparation after my graduation,” Muskan said. She focused more on learning from people. “When JKPSC advertised these posts in 2021, I knew I had to do it, but I had not started preparations yet.”
With self-study, she appeared for the examination with the belief that the civil services exams do not need you to know everything, but to understand the basics. Given the first attempt, she was not sure about the success.
“I studied religiously during exams as I had very less time,” she said. She did the smart study and hard work.
The major factor that helped her to stay focused was the financial conditions of her family. This was the key factor that prevented her from getting into any coaching centre. She said she chose to study with the help of a few books and the internet only. “I had no proper guidance about books, so I selected a few compact ones and the internet helped me a lot,” she asserted.
Muskan said she studied usually during the night hours to stay focused without distractions. Being a debater, she is well aware of the current affairs that helped her achieve this feat. One of the major tricks that have helped her to qualify for the exam is ‘managing time’.
“I did not share with anyone that I am planning for JKAS except my family and some close friends and teachers,” she said. She has been supported emotionally by her family and her friends even in her studies. The struggle to make a living with her father and uncle has inspired her to achieve success. She considers her parents as her role model.
Her life motto is ‘this too shall pass,’ and she believes this helps her face every hardship. While suggesting aspirants she said, “optimism and faith can help you find God, let alone pass an examination.” She aims to go for the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) in the future.