Indian Administrative Services remains to be one of the most challenging exams of not just India but the world. The wide-ranging syllabus, diversity of subjects, standards of questionnaires, lakhs of participating students from almost all backgrounds, and a minuscule success rate makes it a literal tough nut to crack. IAS is undoubtedly the most prestigious post of Indian government, where qualified candidates are elevated to the post of bureaucrats, which means officers who create, implement, and enforce public policies for the next 30-40 years. The scale of power and magnitude of influence in unmatchable and unparalleled to any other government or non-government service. It therefore is followed by lakhs of aspirants across the nation who spend years grueling under the mammoth syllabus trying to attain the top ranks.
The competition is incredibly tough with a success rate deeply discouraging. Failures are ubiquitous and the period of preparation extremely demanding. Nevertheless, every year some meritorious and exceptional students make it to the top of this ladder with their sheer determination and inexhaustible patience and perseverance. One such candidate who crossed this colossal hurdle is Surbhi Gautam, who proved that no circumstances or background can be a hurdle in the glory to success. Hailing from Amdara village in Satna district of Madhya Pradesh, she completed her Intermediate schooling through Hindi medium. Her mother is a teacher at Amdara’s higher secondary school and her father a civil lawyer at Maihar, Madhya Pradesh. She then went on to pursue Engineering in Electronics and Communication at UIT Rajiv Gandhi Prodyogiki Vishwavidyalaya in Bhopal. A braveheart with remarkable excellence, she was a University topper and a Gold medalist. Her career began as a nuclear scientist at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC). Surbhi’s ambitions were never-ending and her extraordinary zeal brought her to the decision of becoming an IAS officer. She appeared for India Engineering Service in the year 2013 and secured rank 1. Nevertheless, she desired for greater performance. Surbhi has performed really well in other exams such as GATE, ISRO, SAIL, MPPSC, Delhi Police, and FCI.
All this hasn’t been a cakewalk for her as the exam requirements of the knowledge and fluency of English was an uphill task for her being a Hindi medium student. However, grit and mettle form the alchemy which can turn stone into gold. A brilliant student, Surbhi was smart enough to know all answers but just a small mistake of not knowing good English was punished. She was insulted by some teacher for not able to speak up or write up well. But this never let her go down. She rose formidably and acquired great command over her language. She is not just the first woman in her college to be educated, but also a qualified IAS officer and an inspiration of every woman in coming generation. Finally, in the year 2016 she grabbed an all India rank 50 in the Indian Administrative Services, a dream of millions. Her ambition was never discouraged because of her Hindi medium background or other impediments. In fact, it made her stronger, resilient, and resolute. Her dedication and commitment were immovable. She believed that dreams can come true if we strive hard and her example is indeed an inspiration to many who might have had difficult circumstances but chose to fight against all odds.
Article by Mausam.