By topping the civil services rank list of 2012 Haritha V. Kumar (26) has become the first Keralite in more than 20 years to achieve this distinction.
The last time a candidate from Kerala — Raju Narayanaswamy — bagged the top rank was in 1991.
An engineer by training and an ardent lover of Carnatic music, old Malayalam movie songs and Malayalam literature, Ms. Kumar is currently undergoing training as an Indian Revenue Service Probationer at the National Academy of Customs Excise and Narcotics (NACEN) at Faridabad. Her last shot at the civil services examination was in 2012.
Ms. Kumar, who resides at Thycaud, did her schooling at the St. Theresa’s Convent School in Neyyattinkara near here before joining the Electronics and Communication programme at the Government Engineering College, Barton Hill, here. Choosing Malayalam literature as an optional subject was a foregone conclusion for Ms. Kumar as she prepared to tackle the civil services examinations. She told The Hindu on Friday that empathy, induced by literature’s portrayal of the realities of life, was a much-needed quality in a civil servant. Her other optional subject was Economics.
Even while undergoing training for the IRS, Ms. Kumar had her sights set firmly on the Indian Administrative Service. According to her, the training she received at the NACEN and her daily discussions and debates with fellow officers at NACEN gave her the much-needed confidence and the poise to face the UPSC interview. She is among those who believe that hard, systematic work and unwavering dedication — and not much by way of brilliance — is what it takes to succeed in the civil services examinations.
Daughter of R. Vijayakumar — a businessman— and Chithra Vijayakumar, a homemaker, Ms. Kumar has two younger brothers who are twins. One of them is currently preparing to write the civil services examinations.