Shahid Raza Khan, the Muslim cleric who ranked 751 in the UPSC Civil Services Examination - 2018, said that he views Azamgarh as a "very good source of learning".
"I see Azamgarh as a very good source of learning. It is a city that has produced a poet like Kaifi Azmi and a scholar like Shibli Nomani," said Mr Khan while talking to news agency ANI.
Born in Bihar's Gaya, Mr Khan received his basic education at a madrasa in his village and then at Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh.
"I received basic education from a madrasa in my village. Then I moved to Al Jamaitul Ashrafia, Mubarakpur (at Azamgarh) and now I am pursuing a PhD from JNU," he said.
"I think there is a lack of awareness among people regarding Urdu. It is taught not only in madrasa but also in schools, colleges and universities. It is an optional subject in UPSC and it is also used in journalism and media," he said.
"I aspired to go for civil services right from my days in madrasa. My mother is my inspiration; she always supported me in studying whatever I wanted to. No madrasa, mosque or religion should be stereotyped. Religion teaches us to serve humanity, I will do the same," he said.
UPSC Civil Services Examinations results were announced more than two weeks ago. The final ranks were announced based on the results of the written part of the exam held in September-October, 2018 and the interviews for Personality Test held in February-March, 2019.
A total number of 759 candidates were recommended for appointment in Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service, Indian Police Service, and Central Services.