Women make up more than one-third of the 933 individuals nominated for appointment (320). This is notable given that women accounted for only 20% of chosen candidates only two decades earlier.
On Tuesday, the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) achieved a historic milestone by selecting the highest number of women ever for the prestigious Indian civil services. This remarkable achievement marks a significant step forward in promoting gender diversity and inclusivity within the UPSC selection process.
Furthermore, women candidates have accomplished an incredible accomplishment this year by capturing the top four positions in the UPSC tests. This notable achievement is the second year in a row that women have secured the top three places, demonstrating their remarkable performance and ability in the civil services area.
Top 4 UPSC Candidates
- Ishita Kishore
- Garima Lohia
- Uma Harathi
- Smriti Mishra
UPSC topper: Ishita Kishore
Ishita Kishore is the daughter of a former Air Force officer and worked for the multinational company Ernst and Young. She is the younger of two siblings and her elder brother is a lawyer, while her mom is a teacher at a private school.
Ishita Kishore, a graduate of Delhi University (DU) from Gautam Buddha Nagar, was the best UPSC test scorer on her third try. She chose political science and international relations as her electives. Ishita finished her undergraduate degree in Economics (Honours) at DU’s Shri Ram College of Commerce. Her outstanding success demonstrates her commitment and intellectual prowess in the field of civil services.
Garima Lohia, the second highest-ranking Indian, comes from Buxar in Bihar and is a graduate of Delhi University (DU). Kirorimal College offered her a Commerce degree. Uma Harathi N, who finished third, has a BTech degree from IIT Hyderabad and is from Telangana. Smriti Mishra, a BSc graduate from Miranda House College in Delhi, placed fourth in the UPSC test. These gifted individuals from various academic backgrounds have exhibited outstanding ability and perseverance in their pursuit of civil service.
Women’s presence in the civil services, which have traditionally been dominated by men, has steadily increased over the last two decades. Until 2006, women made up around 20% of UPSC applicants. This figure progressively grew to 29% in 2020 before reaching an all-time high of 34% this year. It is worth mentioning that women’s representation was less than 20% in the late 1980s and early 1990s. This increased trend demonstrates the progress made in fostering gender equality and inclusion in the public service sector.
Ishita Kishore said
Ishita Kishore said, “I used to study for at least eight to nine hours per day to prepare for the exam.” After becoming an IAS officer, I planned to work towards women’s empowerment, and achieving the first rank in the civil services test was like a dream come true for her.”
“The Indian Administrative Service is my choice,” she continued. My choice is for Uttar Pradesh (my native state) as my cadre. After joining the respected administrative service, I intend to work for women’s emancipation and the upliftment of the underprivileged. It is a privilege to serve my nation. Civil service is a more effective means to serve the country.”
The UPSC oversees the yearly civil service examination, which consists of three stages: preliminary, main, and interview. These phases decide who is chosen for prestigious services like the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), the Indian Foreign Service (IFS), and the Indian Police Service (IPS), among others.
Notably, the top four seats in the examination were won by female candidates. In addition to Ishita Kishore, who took first place, Garima Lohia took second place, Uma Harathi took third place, and Smriti Mishra came in fourth place. This remarkable accomplishment recognizes the extraordinary talent and perseverance displayed by these successful women in their pursuit of success in civil services.