29-year-old Ira Singhal, a physically handicapped Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer from Delhi topped the examination in the general category. Renu Raj, a doctor from Kerala, and Nidhi Gupta, also an IRS officer from Delhi secured the second and third spot respectively. Vandana Rao from Delhi ranked fourth and Suharsha Bhagat, an IRS (Income Tax cadre) officer managed the fifth position in the examination.
“I am really very happy. I can’t believe this. I just prepared for the examination. I want to be an IAS officer. I want to do something for the benefit of physically-handicapped people,” Ira, who suffers from Scoliosis, a spine-related disorder, told the press soon after the results were declared.
It was Ira Singhal’s sixth attempt at the UPSC examination.
“This is the first-ever time that a physically- handicapped candidate has topped the civil services exam,” an UPSC official said.
Renu got the second rank in her first attempt. “I am extremely happy. I have been preparing for the exam for the last one year,” she said while speaking to a news agency over the phone from Thiruvananthapuram.
Nidhi, who stood third, said, “It is really a proud moment. I put in lot of hard work and finally it paid.”
Vandana Rao, who got the fourth rank in the general category, is the topper in the Other Backward Class (OBC) category.
“I called up people twice to cross check whether or not I have made it in the exam. It is a pleasant surprise. It is really a result of hard work,” Vandana said.
A total of 1,364 posts are to be filled through the civil services examination and about 1,236 candidates have been recommended for appointment to various central government services, the UPSC said.
(With inputs from PTI)