On Friday Kerala was on cloud nine. Three candidates from the State bagged top ranks in this year’s civil services examination.

While Haritha V. Kumar bagged the first rank, V. Sriram got the second rank and Alby John Varghese the fourth rank. It was in 1991 that a candidate from Kerala —Raju Narayanaswamy — had last emerged the topper in the civil services examination. At least five candidates from Kerala figure in the top 50 ranks; Avinash Menon Rajendran from Thiruvananthapuram got the 30 rank and Gayathri Krishnan Bhavani also from Thiruvananthapuram got rank 37. There are at least eight candidates from Kerala in the top-100 list; S. Vineeth from Thiruvananthapuram was ranked 56, K. Manjulekshmi from Thiruvananthapuram was ranked 63 and Shreya. P. Singh from Thrissur bagged the 86 rank.

All the above mentioned candidates received training from the Kerala State Civil Services Academy, here. As many as 34 Academy trainees have found a place in the UPSC rank list this time. ADGP Prisons Alexander Jacob, who is a civil services trainer, told The Hindu that around 50 candidates from Kerala appear to have found a place in the rank list.

Ms. Kumar — an engineer by training and a resident of Thiruvananthapuram — is currently a trainee officer in the Indian Revenue Service. The other two toppers are doctors; Dr. Sriram is doing his PG programme at a hospital in Cuttack, Orissa, and Dr. Varghese works at a public health centre at Kunnukara, near Paravoor.

“I dedicate my rank to Kerala,” Ms. Kumar told The Hindu over phone from Faridabad where she is undergoing training. “All I wanted was to figure in the first 100 ranks. This was unbelievable,” she added. What made this success sweeter for Kerala was the fact that both Ms. Kumar and Dr.Varghese had Malayalam Literature as an optional subject for the main examinations. Dr. Sriram had medical science and zoology as his optional subjects.

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