The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has achieved a historic milestone by selecting the highest number of women ever for the Indian civil services. Out of the 933 candidates recommended for appointment, 320 are women, accounting for over one-third of the total.
This is a significant increase compared to two decades ago when women constituted only 20% of the selected candidates. Furthermore, women have secured the top four ranks for the second consecutive year.
The topper of this year’s examination is Ishita Kishore, a Delhi University graduate, followed by Garima Lohia, a DU graduate from Bihar, Uma Harathi N, an IIT Hyderabad graduate from Telangana, and Smriti Mishra, a DU graduate.
This achievement reflects the growing representation of women in the civil services, which has gradually increased over the past two decades. In 2021, women’s representation reached an all-time high of 34%, compared to around 20% in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
The number of women selected this year marks a remarkable increase compared to the previous year. In 2022, 177 women were recommended for appointment out of a total of 685 candidates. This year, 320 women out of 933 candidates were selected, representing a jump of nearly 9 percentage points. Even in 2019, when a similar number of candidates were recommended for appointment, women comprised only 24% of the total pool.
Ishita Kishore, the topper, comes from an Indian Air Force family and was inspired by their sense of duty and service. She aims to join the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and work for the betterment of society.
Garima Lohia, the second-rank holder, shifted her focus to civil services preparation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Uma Harathi N’s father, a member of the Telangana Police, motivated her to pursue administrative services, leading her to prioritize civil services over-engineering.
These success stories highlight the challenges faced by these women on their journey to success. Failures and setbacks shaped their determination and led them to make crucial decisions that ultimately paid off. The UPSC examination’s unpredictability is evident in their experiences, but their resilience and perseverance led them to achieve their goals.