Women bag top three positions in civil services exam (Lead)

May 4th, 2009 - 10:53 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 4 (IANS) It was woman power all the way in the civil services (main) examination 2008, as they took the top three positions in one of the toughest competitive exams in the country, officials said Monday.
Shubhra Saxena, a graduate from the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee, and Sharandeep Kaur Brar, a post-graduate from Panjab University, were ranked first and second in the civil services (main) examination 2008, the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) announced here. Another woman, Kiran Kaushal was ranked third.

Among the male candidates, physically challenged Varinder Kumar Sharma was ranked first and overall bagged the fourth position. Saxena cleared the exam in her second attempt. Sharma, a bachelor of engineering from Punjab Engineering College, cleared the exam in his first attempt.

Shubhra Saxena said she started preparing only last year after she left her job at Computer Sciences Corporation, Noida. Her optional subjects were public administration and psychology.

“It is a very good feeling. Every person achieves victory on their own pace,” said Saxena crediting her success to her parents and husband.

The software engineer said she quit her well-paid IT job as she always had an urge to serve the rural population, who are deprived of even basic facilities such as education and drinking water.

“I could not serve the people when I was in the IT field. I decided to quit and appear for civil services examination,” Saxena said.

Born in Uttar Pradesh’s Bareilly city, Saxena did most of her education in Jharkhand as her father was an engineer with Coal India.

According to the UPSC, which conducts the examination, 318,843 candidates applied for this examination and nearly half had appeared for the preliminary examination.

As many as 11,849 candidates qualified for the main written examination held in October-November 2008.

A total of 2,140 candidates were selected for the personality test conducted in March and of these 625 male and 166 female candidates cleared the final tests.

These candidates have now been recommended for appointment to the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and central services, Group ?A’ and Group ?B’.

“The top 25 candidates include 15 males and 10 females. Educational qualification-wise they comprise of 12 candidates belonging to commerce, management, humanities, science and social sciences,” the UPSC said here in a press statement.

“Nine candidates were from engineering and four candidates from medical science background.”

The successful candidates include 364 general (including 13 physically challenged candidates), 236 Other Backward Classes (including 7 physically challenged candidates), 130 Scheduled Castes (SC) and 61 Scheduled Tribes candidates.

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