The results of the 2022 Civil Services Examination (CSE) were declared by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) on Tuesday, 23 May.
For the second year in a row, women candidates stole the show, with seven of them in the top 10 nationwide. Delhi’s Ishita Kishore secured the All India Rank (AIR) 1.
Just like in 2022, women candidates made a clean sweep at the podium, grabbing the top four positions.
A total of 5.73 lakh candidates appeared for the CSE prelims that took place on 5 June last year.
At least 26 candidates cleared the exam from the Telugu states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
‘Will choose IFS’
From the southern states, Uma Harathi N from the Nalgonda district in Telangana bagged AIR 3, while Gahana Navya James from the Kottayam district in Kerala secured AIR 6.
Speaking to South First from her hometown Pala, an excited James said that she did not expect such a high rank and was quite surprised.
“I just knew that I had done my best. But the rest was quite unpredictable, given the very competitive as well as the prestigious nature of this examination. So, I was optimistic,” said 25-year-old James, an international relations PhD student at the Mahatma Gandhi University in Kerala.
As many as 933 candidates — 613 men and 320 women — qualified in the CSE, as per the UPSC.
While Telangana’s Uma Harathi is a civil engineer from IIT-Hyderabad and the daughter of Narayanpet Superintendent of Police (SP) N Venkateshwarlu, James’ parents are retired Hindi literature professors.
The former first chose geography and later moved to anthropology as her optional subject, while the latter chose political science and international relations.
For Uma, family support was the key. “Information, content, and books all are freely available, but emotional support and family support will not be available. That is important,” she told reporters.
For James, her uncle — Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer and India’s Ambassador to Japan Sibi George — has been a source of motivation since childhood. Like him, James is also clear about choosing the IFS.
“I did not inform my uncle that I was going to write the examination. But he is one of the models I looked up to. From him, I got to know the wide range of opportunities and the diversity of issues with which IFS officers deal,” James explained. She pointed to her interest in IR and foreign policy as the reason for choosing the IFS.
An avid newspaper reader since her young days, James prepared on her own before appearing for the CSE for a second time.
“I gave my first attempt in 2021 but I could not clear the preliminary stage. That’s when I realised that I would have to make a very comprehensive strategy and make sure that I also followed a multidimensional approach to the exam,” she recollected.
‘Don’t sacrifice hobbies’
James has been overwhelmingly surrounded by friends, relatives, neighbours, and others since the results were announced.
“It was quite an unprecedented situation because I had never imagined such a scenario. All of us celebrated and my relatives gave me lots of chocolates. My wellwishers and teachers came home and congratulated me,” said a grateful James.
Not forgetting that with great power comes great responsibility, James noted that she looks forward to building strong ethics, being responsible to all citizens, and remaining accountable towards them.
For the UPSC CSE, she advised aspirants to focus not just on time management.
“It’s always better to pursue our hobbies along with our preparation. There’s no need to sacrifice them for the sake of preparation. Always keep a balance between your co-curricular activities,” pointed out James, a Hindi literature enthusiast.
She appealed to aspiring women candidates to not hesitate while setting their goals.
“There is no need to separate the gender when we are preparing for the CSE because it’s a very comprehensive exam which is very inclusive by its very nature and it also promotes diversity,” James said.
For students who think of committing suicide over failure in exams, Uma advised not to get demotivated.
“Take motivation from wherever you get. If my story is of any help, use it. I have been studying for the last five years. I have seen many failures in the process. My parents believed in me and I continued my studies, which is my duty and I saw the result,” she told reporters.
Meanwhile, a total of 13,090 candidates qualified for the (main) examination, which was held in September 2022.
After that, 2,529 candidates qualified for the personality test of the coveted examination.
The person circled is Mr Venkateshwarlu. He was my Subinspector (SI ) at Kamareddy police station in erstwhile Nizamabad district when I was SP from 1996 to 99’.
He is now Sp Narayanpet district of Telangana . His daughter Uma Harathi has secured an All India rank of 3 in the… pic.twitter.com/vnkrDguB0B
— CV Anand IPS (@CVAnandIPS) May 23, 2023