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Second time lucky for UPSC toppers

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T. Mithra
T. Mithra

Staff Reporter

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: It was second time lucky for the top three candidates from the State who cracked the Union Public Services examination, the results of which were declared on Monday.

T. Mithra, (rank 10), Priyanka Mary Francis (rank 54) and Telma John (rank 70), with specialisations as diverse as literature, medicine and engineering, made it into the coveted list on their second attempt.

For Mithra, the success was tinged with sadness because of the untimely demise of her parents. She lost her mother last July last while her father passed away recently.

A postgraduate in English literature from All Saints College here, Mithra attributes her success to her “systematic hard work” over the past year and a half. One of her options for the examination was, predictably, English literature. “It helped improve my communication skills. I could tackle questions posed by the interview board with ease,” said Ms. Mithra. So, what were the questions she faced? “Starting with my bio-data, to recession and the role of the media and reservation of women, the session went for nearly 30 minutes,” said Ms. Mithra.

Giving up her job

For Priyanka, it was the fulfilment of a childhood dream. A former scientist/engineer with the Indian Space Research Organisation, Vattiyoorkavu, she went to the extent of staking her job for writing the examination. “The job of a scientist, though interesting, was one-sided. Scientists live in their own world. I had no clue about what was happening in the world,” said Ms. Priyanka. “It was a calculated risk,” she said about her decision to resign the job in April 2008 to prepare for the civil services. “I had burned my bridges and was desperate to get into the civil services,” she said.

Doctor’s dreams

Dr. Telma John wanted to “experience the world outside the confines of her hospital.” “I wanted to gain an insight into the problems and issues faced by the people of this country,” said Ms. Telma who spends up to 15 hours a week on the Internet. Dr. Telma’s options were medical science and public administration. “I want to pursue a career in public health,” she said.

The students of the Centre for Career Development Studies came out in flying colours.

The winners include Priyanka Mary Thomas, Thomson Jose (rank 119) and Shivaprasad (467), while U. Mini Chandran (224) and Udhal Raj Singh (350).

The Kerala State Civil Service Academy too won accolades with 19 of the 42 candidates, including the top three, making it to the civil services.

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