Wednesday was jubilation time for the Kerala State Civil Services Academy. Thirty of the academy's students made it to the Union Public Service Commission's Civil Services rank list, the highest rank haul since the academy's inception in 2005.

Eight of these students hail from Thiruvananthapuram. Last year, 22 academy students had made it to the UPSC rank list.

Academy director Mohan Abraham told The Hindu here that the methodical guidance given to the candidates preparing for the main examination, and the mock interviews led by a five-member expert panel were the key to the success of these candidates.

“We have a talent development course wherein we give a civil services orientation to students who are in Class 8. We also have a civil services foundation course. Once the candidates clear the mains, we train them for the personality test and also arrange for their journey to New Delhi where they stay at the Kerala House for 10 days. We arrange for interactions there with serving IAS and IPS officers. All this helps put the candidates at ease,” he said.

The government had recently passed an order asking 15 young IAS officials to formally associate themselves with the activities of the academy.

S. Aneesh Sekhar, academy alumnus who bagged the 48th rank, told The Hindu that joining the Civil Services was a childhood dream. Intelligent hard work was what saw him through the Civil Services examination. An MBBS graduate of the 2009 batch from the Government Medical College here, Mr. Sekhar had opted for public administration and medical science as his optional subjects. A resident of Poojappura, Mr. Sekhar studied at Christ Nagar School, Kowdiar. His father, N. Somasekharan Nair, is a businessman and mother Valsala Kumari a homemaker.

Nikita S. Chandran who got the 375th rank completed her B.Tech. in electronics and communication from Barton Hill engineering college in 2006. An alumnus of Kendriya Vidyalaya, Pattom, she chose geography and psychology as her optional subjects. She is a resident of Kudappanakkunnu. Her father, Chandrasekharan Nair, is a retired officer of the Central Industrial Security Force.