Kerala’s IAS glory; Haritha – First Keralite in over 20 years to top civil services

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New Delhi, May 3, 2013,DHNS:

Haritha V Kum­ar, a B Tech from Kerala University, has bagged the  All-India Rank 1 in the prestigious Civil Services Examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), making it the third consecutive year when a woman captured the top slot.
In a show of consistency, the Thiruvananthapuram resid­ent achieved her dream of joining the elite Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in her fourth and final attempt.
She is currently a probationer in the Indian Revenue Service (IRS)–2011 batch, and is undergoing training at the National Academy of Customs Excise and Narcotics in Faridabad, Haryana.

Kerala dominated the list of top-five successful candidates with V Sriram and Alby John Verghese achieving second and fourth ranks respectively. A total of four candidates from Thiruvananthapuram have made it to the top-25 list.
As many as 12 from Delhi figured in the top-25 list. Stuti Charan, a science graduate from Jodhpur University and a post graduate diploma holder in personnel and marketing management from a private B-school, stood third after appearing in the exam from Delhi.
According to the results, in the top-25 list, there are candidates claiming domicile from as many as 12 states or Union territories namely Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chandigarh, Delhi, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.
Among them, six made it to the merit list in their first attempt, nine in second attempt, eight in third, and one each in their fourth and sixth attempts.
Haritha Kumar said: “I am very happy. You know, nobody expects that one will get first rank. I thank God and parents. Special thanks to my teachers and friends. I could not clear the examination in my first attempt. I got 179th rank in the second attempt and got IRS. My rank dropped to 294 in the third attempt. I did not lose heart and my efforts have borne the fruits.”
Though an engineer, Kumar took Economics and Malayalam Literature as her optional subjects. “One’s life revolves around Economics so I took the subject. I took Malayalam as it is my mother tongue and also I have a special liking for the language since my childhood,” she said.
The 2012 results, declared here on Friday, indicated that it was essentially a women’s show. A total of 998 candidates have been selected for filling 180 vacancies in the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), 30 in the Indian Foreign Service (IFS), 150 in the Indian Police Service (IPS), 630 Central Services Group ‘A’ and 101 Central Services Group ‘B’ vacancies across the country.
In Central Services Group “A”& “B”, 34 vacancies are meant for physically challenged candidates. Of the successful candidates, 753 were men and 245 women. A Total of 457 successful candidates including 23 physically challenged were from the General category, 295 including nine physically challenged from Other Backward Classes, 169 including two physically challenged from Scheduled Castes and 77 from Scheduled Tribes.
Over 2.71 lakh candidates appeared in the Civil Services (preliminary) examination, 2012. Of them, 13,092 qualified for the main examination held in October, 2012, of which 2,674 candidates were selected for the personality test conducted in March-April, 2013.

First Keralite in over 20 years to top civil services


By topping the civil services rank list of 2012 Haritha V. Kumar (26) has become the first Keralite in more than 20 years to achieve this distinction.

The last time a candidate from Kerala — Raju Narayanaswamy — bagged the top rank was in 1991.

An engineer by training and an ardent lover of Carnatic music, old Malayalam movie songs and Malayalam literature, Ms. Kumar is currently undergoing training as an Indian Revenue Service Probationer at the National Academy of Customs Excise and Narcotics (NACEN) at Faridabad. Her last shot at the civil services examination was in 2012.

Ms. Kumar, who resides at Thycaud, did her schooling at the St. Theresa’s Convent School in Neyyattinkara near here before joining the Electronics and Communication programme at the Government Engineering College, Barton Hill, here. Choosing Malayalam literature as an optional subject was a foregone conclusion for Ms. Kumar as she prepared to tackle the civil services examinations. She told The Hindu on Friday that empathy, induced by literature’s portrayal of the realities of life, was a much-needed quality in a civil servant. Her other optional subject was Economics.

Even while undergoing training for the IRS, Ms. Kumar had her sights set firmly on the Indian Administrative Service. According to her, the training she received at the NACEN and her daily discussions and debates with fellow officers at NACEN gave her the much-needed confidence and the poise to face the UPSC interview. She is among those who believe that hard, systematic work and unwavering dedication — and not much by way of brilliance — is what it takes to succeed in the civil services examinations.

Daughter of R. Vijayakumar — a businessman— and Chithra Vijayakumar, a homemaker, Ms. Kumar has two younger brothers who are twins. One of them is currently preparing to write the civil services examinations.


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