Civil service topper was ineligible to be sweeper

I suffer from scoliosis due to which my spine is curved


New Delhi: Not letting her disability come in the way of reaching her goals has become Ira Singhal’s second nature.

Singhal, an officer of the Indian Revenue Service, topped the prestigious civil services examination. She says she hopes that her feat will inspire people to have a different perspective when looking at girls, especially the differently-abled ones. She wants to be an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer and do something for the benefit of physically challenged people.

“Irony is that on medical and physical grounds, I am not eligible to be an IRS, a clerk or even a sweeper, but the rules do allow me to become an IAS,” Singhal says.

The 29-year-old, who topped the examination in the general category despite being physically challenged, said she was “shocked and surprised” by her success.

“I suffer from scoliosis due to which my spine is curved. But my physical condition has never deterred me from pursuing my dreams,” she said.

Ira, an engineer from Delhi’s NSIT (Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology) and an MBA from FMS, had cleared the civil services examination in 2010 earlier and she was allotted to Indian Revenue Service but first the revenue department refused to give her a posting, and once it agreed, the Department of Personnel and Training refused to give postings.

A total of 1,236 candidates have been recommended for appointment to IAS, IFS, IPS and central services in the results announced on Saturday. Women candidates have bagged all the three top slots in the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examination in this year.

Ira has topped the examination followed by Renu Raj and Nidhi Gupta, who have secured second and third positions respectively. Ira and Nidhi, who hail from Delhi, are Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise) officers whereas, Renu Raj is a doctor by profession. She hails from Kerala.

(This piece first appeared in thelogicalindian.com on June 5, 2015)

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