Do you know Ira Singhal? She is different from all other UPSC toppers, she is the first differently abled women who cleared the UPSC examination in general category, not once but twice. She is an inspiration for all IAS aspirants. With her determination and hard work, she did something that she always desired for. She cleared UPSC’s civil services exam in 2010 but she didn’t stop and continued her preparation for 2014 examination and secured 1st position in UPSC Exam 2014 with 53.43 percent.
Ira Singhal was not just a general category candidate but also physically challenged. Ira, her father Rajendra Singhal and her mother Anita Singhal were happy and surprised by her success in 2014 UPSC examination, because Ira’s dreams were turning into reality. Ira has been suffering with curvature of spine, also termed as scoliosis, but she never let her disability to be an obstacle in the path of her dreams. Her disability never stopped her from working for her goals, she worked hard to become an IAS officer. In an interview with BBC, she said that it was all due to her crazy desire to serve the country.
Being differently abled proved to be Ira’s biggest obstacle in her success, when because of her disability, she was declared not eligible to be an Indian Revenue Services (IRS) Officer. Apart from IAS, she was not eligible for any UPSC services. Even after giving CSE in UPSC, she was not allowed to join any other service such as secretarial and clerical posts. To get her dream job of an IAS Officer, she needed to score the best in the UPSC exam. Being among UPSC qualified candidates with best rank was the toughest part of her dream. But, she never gave up and gave her 100 percent to achieve it. She was not happy with the discrimination in the UPSC Examination due to physical issue and fought against the system. Ira believes that there should not be any discrimination in the UPSC Examination system as it is the country’s highest exam.
Ira Singhal appeared in the CSE (civil services exam) in the year 2010, 2011, 2013 and in 2014. In the year 2011, Ira also filed a lawsuit after the commission said that Ira’s disability did not fit into any disability category, hence her lawsuit was rejected. She moved to Central Administrative Tribunal after the commission rejected her lawsuit. After a long patience, she won her case in 2014.
Ira earned her graduation degree from Netaji Subhash Institute of Technology (NSIT) and MBA degree from Faculty of Management Studies (FMS), Delhi. She also worked as manager in confectionery firm Cad bury India and as a marketing intern in beverage firm Coca-Cola.
Her firm determination and courage shows that if you want to achieve something, no one can stop you, all you need to do is hard-work.
If you also planning for UPSC, learn from Ira and her efforts. Make a plan, dedicate yourself fully to preparation, and you will surely reach your target.