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Updated: May 4, 2013 02:45 IST

First Keralite in over 20 years to top civil services

G. Mahadevan
Comment (30)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
Haritha V. Kumar
Haritha V. Kumar

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.

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let us not undermine someone's success in a single stroke just because
they have taken literature as an optional. However,a lot of questions
are being raised regarding this issue and there exists enough doubts
on this front which is why upsc made a change in the earlier
notification .Again there is a school of thought that aspirants must
be allowed any optional including literature even if they don't have
that background.This would have been desirable only if even the
slightest doubt on biased checking is eliminated. However, these
doubts continue to persist thanks to the skewed performance of some
literature optionals. The reform that upsc made this year was
unfortunately cut short.It would have created much more
parity.Ultimately,even the lone optional needs to be eliminated. Upsc
needs to work in this direction not withstanding the political heat
this issue generated.

from:  Varun shankar
Posted on: May 5, 2013 at 08:42 IST

There is little doubt that the CSE is an extremely competitive
exam.Engineers and doctors continue to perform well in the exam while
those from humanities background are not quite in the same league.The
elite civil services is definitely a challenging career and it is
imperative that the best minds get in.Restricting the competition to
humanities alone would be a backward step in a country like India
where even today bureaucracy exercises a lot of power.Otherwise, the
saying that "civil services is for the mediocres" will come
true(Already the erstwhile charm of civil services is on the
wane).This is not to belittle humanities. But if they are deserving
enough, they should face open competition . Moreover,every year, lakhs
of engineering graduates are being churned out by universities across
India. What difference does it make if a few hundred choose civil
services as a career.Ultimately the choice of one's career should be
based on the satisfaction the individual derives .

from:  Varun shankar
Posted on: May 5, 2013 at 08:20 IST

I do not agree with the sentiment that people should work in their "chosen" field of interest. First, it is not the children's chosen field, it is their parents'. Second, the nation does not lose anything when well-trained people take an interest in general affairs. What matters more is the quality of the person, not the namesake degree which demonstrates the fashion prevalent when you were 17. Why should 4 years of your life determine the next 60? No good education is wasted, no matter which area your subsequent career is in.

from:  Satyadev
Posted on: May 4, 2013 at 20:54 IST

After the Government spent lakhs of rupees for the technical education these technocrats, medicos choose the non technical posts and deprive the arts graduates of their opportunity. And I fail to understand why these young men and women choose what a former ICS officer called the post Independence Collectors as " glorified Head Clerks". Why can't they appear for All india Engineering services Exam. Military Engineering and Army medical corps

from:  ramu
Posted on: May 4, 2013 at 20:02 IST

First of all congrats to Haritha for this achievement.
I do feel asking about this coverage and hype of ICS. Do we really
give too much importance for Civil Service exams? Are they the
ultimate test of human knowledge and skills? The recruitment of
scientists/engineer to ISRO/DRDO and other government agencies never
creates so much news. Are they not involved in nation building? I see
many engineers, doctors clearing Civil Service exams. Isn't it a waste
of human resource? Why don't the government create enough technical
and research and development jobs in Indian research organisations?

from:  Arjun
Posted on: May 4, 2013 at 18:40 IST

I know that many youngsters from Kerala were reluctant for civil
service as majority among them may get posted in Hindi speaking
states, probably due to the fact that they have basic knowledge in
Hindi language. The high rate of corruption and decayed political set-
ups in northern states wherein officers will be in severe stress and
may get transferred from one district to another at frequent intervels
were resons behind the clumsiness towards civil service all these
Let a new generation of officers display their might and intelligence
right from the beginning of career and even get united for the good
cause of people’s right, freedom and justice surpassing any kind of
distasteful influences by politicians and mafia.

from:  Madan Menon Thottasseri
Posted on: May 4, 2013 at 18:10 IST

While my congrats and best wishes go to Haritha and others who have done well, I must add that IAS is just hype continuing from the old ICS days, when a government administrative job was the only decent and well paying job available. I fail to understand why engineers and doctors write IAS (by the way, the 2nd ranker is a doctor!). It is a classic example of job being totally unrelated to what you study, and a complete “wastage” of your education (and here the government is promoting it!). The exam as well as who can take it, should be restricted to relevant fields like law, economics, history, sociology etc.

from:  Siva
Posted on: May 4, 2013 at 17:57 IST

3 out of top 4 have Malayalam literature as their optional.Its shows how biased are people who check their papers.UPSC tried its best to restrict people taking the literature paper.but pressure group manage to change it again.Nothing offensive.

from:  rahul
Posted on: May 4, 2013 at 17:54 IST

It is really a promising development that more youngsters are being
wooed to take up civil service despite the tainted record of ministers
and administrators giving no scope for governance. It will be a
challenging task to all these young people to steer the nation towards
right direction and not bend on knees to political ruffians who
becomes legislators. Of course people of this country must get united
against corruption and misfeasance and give a valiant support to young
civil servants who will be initially keen on showing unbiased
righteousness while discharging their duties. Once they get support
from people they will get boosted and will not get influenced by any
elements that frustrate justice in administration.

from:  Madan Menon Thottasseri
Posted on: May 4, 2013 at 17:49 IST

Topped in the 4th attempt. Requires serious thinking about the way Babus are
'Rattu tota' is widely used as a mild derogative for those who perform well in
exams by cramming/mugging rather than logical understanding. What is more
shocking to note is the fact that the Goverment of India actually incentivises such 'Rattu totas'.
No offences meant, but I am of the opinion that in the shape our country is today is because it is governed by such "Rattu Totas". The Civil Services Exam is designed in such a way that only those who keep attempting, get selected. In other words, those who have nowhere else to go, keep attempting again and again. That
brings in a lot of bureaucrats with great 'Rattu tota' skills, but no brilliance. A winner in a 100 m dash cannot be a winner in marathon too, and vice versa.

from:  Amit Bhargava
Posted on: May 4, 2013 at 17:29 IST

congrats haritha....u r inspiring lady for eveone who is preparing for civil services

from:  shushmita
Posted on: May 4, 2013 at 16:49 IST

Haritha ji, Hearty Congrats. All South Indians will get inspired by you.
Hope all your tenures will be successful in flying colours.

from:  td reddemma
Posted on: May 4, 2013 at 14:24 IST

Congrats to Haritha.. May God bless her to donate towards the Unity and
Integrity of our Great Country..

from:  Hamza Nilambur
Posted on: May 4, 2013 at 14:10 IST

Hi Haritha

We are realy proud of you and all the very best.

from:  veenus
Posted on: May 4, 2013 at 13:58 IST

Best Wishes. One hopes she will lead by example and provide an efficient and corruption-free administration in the Government, wherever she serves. May God be with her in her efforts.

from:  V. VEDAGIRI
Posted on: May 4, 2013 at 13:35 IST

Congratulations Haritha! Hope you will serve the nation to your fullest
dreams. All the best.

from:  Kiran
Posted on: May 4, 2013 at 13:20 IST

Congrats for the achievement

from:  K V Sunil
Posted on: May 4, 2013 at 13:11 IST

The IAS topper has proved that through hardwork, dedication, and
systematic way of study she could got achieve this. Actually, she is a
model for all students who are aiming at this highest examination in
India. Let her result inspires all students!

Posted on: May 4, 2013 at 11:53 IST

we are proud of you!!!

from:  VISHNU MS
Posted on: May 4, 2013 at 11:52 IST

many congratulations to Haritha for the commendable achievement. As a
fellow keralite I am doubly proud.

from:  Narayan
Posted on: May 4, 2013 at 11:04 IST

Congratulations to Haritha. Her belief that "hard, systematic work and unwavering dedication and NOT MUCH by way of brilliance" is the icing on the cake. Youngsters must note this point and work hard.

from:  Hari B R
Posted on: May 4, 2013 at 10:43 IST

our heartfelt congrats to Er.Haritha Kumar.

Posted on: May 4, 2013 at 07:23 IST

Congrajulations Haritha V. Kumar

from:  Kiran
Posted on: May 4, 2013 at 05:36 IST

ACHIEVEMENT BY ITS ALUMNI!: Congratulations to the topper Smt.Haritha
V.Kumar who is a B.Tech (Government Engineering College,Barton Hill) from
the University of Kerala in 2007.Second rank holder Dr.V.Sriram has earned
MBBS from the University of Kerala.Congrats to him too:)

from:  Jayasankar Prasad A
Posted on: May 4, 2013 at 00:02 IST

Haritha deserves special praise because she has not only chosen her mother tongue Malayalam as a subject for her examination but also proudly goes on to state that her mother tongue has been her passion right from her childhood days. Nobody needs to feel ashamed of her mother and her mother tongue. People who distance themselves from their roots in a false show of dignity should learn from the example and achievement of Haritha. The mother tongue is the mantra for success and all other languages will add to the native endowment and beauty.

from:  S.K.Kumaran
Posted on: May 3, 2013 at 23:51 IST

My congratulations to toppers but it is wrong to have language as a subject in main examination on which merit depends. It is because of such politically motivated parameters that we have bureaucrats of such poor standard. Somebody appears in Sanskrit, some body in Urdu, Farsi or Pali making a mockery of Civil Services Examination. A group of standard subjects should be there and any body who intends to appear in civil services examination should be tested in those subjects. Those subjects should be Philosophy, Political Science, and economics. Candidates must also pass in two languages - compulsory English and one Indian language and computer application. They should be also tested for honesty and their humane quality but so long our third rate politicians are controlling the Govt. such utopian ideas can not be implemented.

from:  S. Vatsya
Posted on: May 3, 2013 at 23:21 IST

Hey....Congrats Haritha for Ur success :-) It's been really
encouraging.. specially with the Economics as their Mains Subject. Enjoy
the Success :-)

from:  Sushil
Posted on: May 3, 2013 at 22:51 IST

Congratulations on your success. Best wishes for the hard work that you are going to put in henceforth, which will enable you to be a efficient and administrator.

from:  Vimal Stanley
Posted on: May 3, 2013 at 22:38 IST

Congrats!!!This is incredible , after getting topmost job she did not
lost hope to get in IAS proper.. at 4th attempt she got the IAS proper
that too 1st rank.. This success story is inspirational to other

from:  mahmud
Posted on: May 3, 2013 at 22:14 IST

Haritha- the pride of Kerala.
The myth(keralites are bad for civil service) is broken finally after two decades. We are truly proud of you. Success is due to your never say die attitude and perseverance. God bless you
Congrats to all other successful candidates

from:  anoop
Posted on: May 3, 2013 at 21:51 IST
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