During the recent times, we have seen a stranglehold of men in the UPSC. On an average, there are 8 women to every 18 men in the merit list for the UPSC exam. This shows that women need to be more engaged and in the civil services. Nevertheless, we have wonderful examples of women leading this sad trend behind and making their own identity as capable civil servants. There are women toppers who are setting examples for others and also providing that motivation to their gender to step up and engage themselves in the road to becoming a civil servant. Below is a list of six women who have topped the UPSC exam.
Nandini KR, an IRS officer became the topper in 2016 in her 4th attempt. She got 1120 marks out of a total of 2025- 55.3%. She hails from Karnataka and it is 19 year since someone has topped the IAS exam from Karnataka. It is a proud moment for her and her family. She is holding a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) degree from the M S Ramaiah Institute of Technology, Bengaluru, and her optional subject was Kannada literature.
Tina Dabi was 22 years of age when she topped the IAS exam in 2015. Coming from Bhopal, she had joined the Rajasthan cadre as she wanted to work for women empowerment. She was a graduate of Lady Sri Ram College of Commerce in BA political science. In her first attempt in itself, she not only cleared the exam but topped it. Recently, in 2018 she has married her fellow IAS friend Athar Amir Khan who had secured 2nd rank in the same year’s merit list.
Ira Singhal, born on 31 August 1983 is 2015 batch, AGMUT cadre Indian Administrative Service officer. She was the topper in the UPSC’s Civil Services Examination for the year 2014.She completed her B.E. from NSIT, University of Delhi. Singhal topped the exam in her fourth attempt, becoming the first differently abled woman to top the civil services exam in the general category.
Haritha V Kumar
She hails from Kerala and topped the Indian Civil Services Examination in 2012. In her own words, “Success is not the product of an overnight effort”. She got 1013 marks in mains and 180 marks in interview. Her optional subjects were Malayalam and Economics. It was 22 years since Kerala had celebrated a first rank victory in IAS exam.
Shena Aggarwal was the topper of the Indian civil services exam in 2011. She was not very serious about becoming an IAS. But she turned her focus towards it when she was in her last year of college. At that time she was 25 years old and she was an MBBS doctor from India’s top ranking hospital AIIMS.
In her first attempt S Divyadharshini, a 24-year-old law graduate from the School of Excellence in Law, Chennai could not clear the exam but in her second attempt, she not only cleared it but also became the topper in the year 2010.