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#Inspiration: UP’s Pratibha Verma Topped The UPSC Civil Services Exam Among Women Candidates. She Said She Wants To Work For Women Empowerment In Her Home State

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Every year, on the day UPSC exam results are out, I get prepared for an hour of pep talk from my parents to appear in the next one. This is just an annual ritual where both parties have a unilateral discussion (they discuss and I nod) and then everyone goes about their day. And, I am pretty sure this will continue till I am 32 (the age limit for the UPSC exam; no prizes for how I know it). Please tell me I am not the only one and this happens to every child, especially if they belong to Uttar Pradesh which produces more IAS and IPS officers among all Indian states.

The UPSC exam result for 2019 was announced yesterday on 4th August and while the first and the second position is secured by Haryana’s Pradeep Singh and Delhi’s Jatin Kishore respectively, Pratibha Verma who hails from Uttar Pradesh has emerged as the topper among the women candidates by securing an all-India third position in the prestigious exam. This is the toughest exam conducted in India and seeing a woman triumphing in it with an AIR-3 is truly remarkable. Pratibha said she wants to work for women empowerment and children-related issues once she holds the office.

Pratibha is an IIT-Delhi alumna who is currently working as as an officer of Indian Revenue Service (Income Tax). She said in an interview that she wanted to become an IAS since she was a kid. She said, “Since the very beginning I had set my target and worked as per a definite schedule with full dedication. Last year I continued with the preparations despite falling ill and it is because of that effort I could get the third rank,” she told PTI.

Also Read: Meet IAS Officer Tina Dabi, The Woman Behind The Most Sought After And ‘Ruthless Containment’ Model Of Bhilwara

She said in an interview that she was inspired by Tina Dabi who secured the first rank in the exam in the year 2016. ““I always wanted to become a civil servant. I started preparing for UPSC (exam). In the past, women have topped the exam. Tina Dabi stood first in 2016. Happy with what I have achieved. I was confident that I would do well. But never imagined that I would secure AIR 3rd rank. This was very unexpected,” she said. 

The UPSC exam needs great commitment and dedication and seems like Pratibha had it in her. She appeared for the exam last year as well but got 489th rank while this year she secured the third position. Shows how diligent and hardworking she is. Talking about the experience she said, “Last year, I got the 489th rank. I quickly realised the mistakes I made there. I worked hard on my weakness and started writing well-rounded answers. The past experience helped.” She credits her success to her parents who always supported her. “This success was made possible with the cooperation and encouragement of the family,” she said.

We have some brilliant female civil servants in India who are known for their honesty and make for a great example for young women. Pratibha said she was also inspired by the work of these women bureaucrats.“Their work inspired me to join the service as there was a direct connect with people.” “I was inspired by the way IAS officers act as the first responder at the time of any crisis. They are always on the frontline at the time of difficult situations. That is why I decided to prepare again for the exam (after getting selected in the IRS),” she added.

She now plans on working for the welfare and empowerment of women and children in Uttar Pradesh once she holds the office as an IAS officer. She said, “I would like to work for women empowerment and children-related issues, especially in my home state Uttar Pradesh,”


We certainly need more women in power to address the issues related to women and children. The percentage of women who appear and clear the exam is relatively very less as compared to the male candidates. This year too, out of 829 candidates who cleared the exam, only about 150 are women. That’s 18%. Only three women hold the position in the top ten list, including Pratibha.

There needs to be a balance in the workforce in country’s administration to truly bring the change. Although the participation of women in this nationwide competitive exam is quite low, the number is sure rising which is a good sign. However, there’s a long way to go. If half the population of India consists of women, why aren’t there a good number of women civil servants? Why only 18%?

Maybe my parents are right. I should try for IAS and work for the welfare of women and empower them to opt a career as bureaucrats as well. However, meanwhile, remind me to not show this to my parents.

Also Read: IAS Officer Sonal Goel Comes Up With The Idea Of Mobile Grocery Shops In Gurugram. We Think It’s Brilliant!


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