The Union Public Service Commission announced the results for 2021 Civil Services Examination today, with Shruti Sharma, Ankita Agarwal and Gamini Singla securing the first, second and third rank on the merit list, respectively.
Kolkata's Ankita Agarwal, a graduate in Economic Hons from Delhi University's prestigious St Stephen's College, told NDTV she started preparing for the examination in 2018 and was offered a position in the Customs and Excise Department of the Indian Revenue Services in her first attempt. In her second attempt, she secured the second rank in the examination.
Talking about her plan for preparing for the civil services exam, Ankita Agarwal said, "I studied hard as I could while still giving time to her health, her family members and to her friends. I tried to fit in as many hours as I could to study for at least 8-12 hours a day."
"I made my notes on my computer so that they are easier to organize since digitally it helps. I studied from sources and translated them in my own language which makes it easier to revise," she said.
While sharing tips for UPSC aspirants, Ms Agarwal said, "One should be very clear with why they want to join the services and if one has the motivation, then it help. It's important to have a sustainable plan since it's a long process which takes at least two years, which helps to motivate."
Ms Agarwal said she chose Political Science and International Relations as her optional subjects, which were new to her and helped her sustain the preparation and kept her interested.
She said it's a matter of great pride and honour to see women taking the first spots on the merit list. She said just because women were the top three rank holders doesn't imply that women have a special quality, it shows that more women are getting opportunities.
"Women have a lot more desire to prove themselves because the society holds them up to certain standard, which motivates them," Ms Agarwal said, adding the country will see more women frequently at the top of the list.
Rank 1 holder Shruti Sharma is also an alumna of Delhi University's St Stephen's College. As many as 685 candidates have qualified for the prestigious test, the UPSC said.