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  1. #1
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    Barred from civil services earlier over ‘disability’, Ira Singhal tops UPSC

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    Delhi’s Ira Singhal on Saturday became the first differently abled woman to top the civil services examination in which women took the top four positions.

    With 62 per cent locomotor disability, 30-year-old Ira had cleared the examination in 2010 too and was allotted the Indian Revenue Service but she was stopped from joining because authorities cited her “inability to push, pull and lift’’. She moved the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) which ruled in her favour and she was inducted as Assistant Commissioner in the Customs and Central Excise Service.

    A civil servant can do more to serve society: UPSC rank holder

    She is currently on probation, undergoing training at the Dr Marri Channa Reddy Human Resource Development Institute of Andhra Pradesh in Hyderabad.

    “I am thrilled, excited and very, very happy. It is a dream come true,’’ Ira said. “I expected to do very well but did not expect to top it. My friend, an IAS officer here, gave me the good news first. I want to become an IAS officer and work in the field of women and child welfare, development and empowerment. I want to contribute to the uplift of the differently abled, and make their lives easier. Differently abled people struggle, face difficulties everyday and have to go the extra mile to do anything on their own.”

    Recalling the 2010 episode, she said: “It was a big disappointment, a major setback then. But I decided to fight back. It was tough initially as I had to undergo tests, submit medical certificates and prove that I am capable of doing jobs entrusted to me in the IRS. For two years, it was tough but then everyone realised that I am capable of working in spite of the disabilities. They realised I am no pushover.”

    UPSC Civil Services Examination results declared, 4 out of 5 toppers are women

    “Later, even people from the Department of Personnel and Training, Department of Revenue and others supported me. I could have gone to the High Court or the Supreme Court. Since I was right and capable, CAT ruled in my favour and I joined IRS,’’ she said.

    Preparing for the civil services examination again and attending CAT proceedings, Ira also taught Spanish and English as a tutor in Safdarjung Enclave, New Delhi. “I am yet to explore Hyderabad. I arrived here on June 21 and the course started the next day. I have heard a lot about this place, so may be when I get time, my colleagues will I will explore the city,’’ she said.

    “Perseverance, hard work pays” say UPSC toppers

  2. #2
    “Perseverance, hard work pays”

    Her achievement is really INSPIRING....

  3. #3
    "I think people will now have a different perspective when looking at girls, specially disabled girls,"
    Ira Singhal

    She holds an MBA from Delhi University's Faculty of Management Studies (FMS), and a B.E. in computer engineering from Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology (NSIT).

    Topper Ira Singhal Has Fought Disability To Ace India's Toughest Exam

    The story of Delhi resident Ira Singhal, the topper in today's civil services exam result, is nothing short of epic. The four-feet-five-inches tall woman is a towering reserve of determination and perseverance, and has battled disability and discrimination to top one of the world's most challenging exams. The acceptance rate for the Indian Administrative Service, which only the top 70 rank holders can usually hope for, can be as little as 0.025%.

    "I think people will now have a different perspective when looking at girls, specially disabled girls," Singhal told ANI.

    ""My daughter has always been brilliant in academics," said her proud father.”But she always studied normally — she wouldn't spend all day studying."

    "And she doesn't give up."

    Singhal has a disability in her arms that doesn't allow her to twist her arms completely. She appeared for the exam in 2010 and got a rank of 813, but she did not get a posting because of her physical challenges. She fought and won her case in the Central Administrative Service and was finally given a posting in December last year.

    She gave the test twice afterwards because she wanted to improve her rank. And on this fourth attempt, she has topped the exam, her elated father, Rajendra Singhal, told HuffPost India.

    "She has some trouble with her spinal cord that doesn't let her fully twist her arms — and she is a bit short too," he said. "Even though she qualified they wouldn't give her a posting."

    After fighting a four years-long legal battle with everyone from the Department of Personnel & Training, to the Revenue Ministry, UPSC, and Ministry of Social Justice & Welfare, Singhal finally got a favourable ruling in February last year. Yet, the department gave her a post only six months ago in Hyderabad.

    The Delhi girl is currently an assistant commissioner in the customs & excise department of the Indian Revenue Services, but will likely move to an IAS posting soon. Given she is the exam topper in the general category, any choice of postings can be expected for her. Her father is not so sure.
    "I hope she is given a proper posting this time," he said.

    Singhal has earlier worked as a Spanish teacher for a year, as well as a manager in Cadbury India, and a marketing intern in beverage giant The Coca Cola Company.

  4. #4
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