She was the topper of UPSC examinations who secured AIR 1. Ira Singhal got 920 marks in written Exam and 162 marks in the Interview section or personality test.
Ira Singhal told that “I want to be an IAS officer. I want to do something for the benefit of physically challenged people” .
Ira Singhal was 32 years old in 2015, a general category candidate and also a physically challenged. Ira Singhal was shocked and surprised by her success in UPSC Civil service examinations. Ira Singhal had never allowed her disability to come in the way of pursuing her dreams. Ira Singhal is suffering from scoliosis or curvature of the spine is curved but this has never stopped or demotivated her. She told that”crazy desire to serve my country”.
“I am both shocked and surprised at be¬coming the national topper. I just want to say to everyone who is reading this, please let your daughters study and work. Let your daughters go out in this world and make something of their lives.”
The biggest issue with Ira Singhal was related with physical and medical point of view, Ira Singhal is not eligible to be an Indian Revenue Services Officer due to her health issue. Ira Singhal’s disability means she was not eligible for any service of UPSC apart from IAS. She was not allowed to join any other service after giving CSE in UPSC including secretarial and clerical Posts. As we all know that getting into UPSC qualified candidates list is tough but ranking the best to become an IAS is tougher. So she had to obtain the best marks out of lakhs of candidates to get her dream Job of an IAS.
But, she never give up. she fight against discrimination sys¬tem due to medical and physical issue, According to her this should not be in the system of UPSC Examinations as it is the highest exam of the country.
And, while the phone started ringing continuously after the news of her result broke, the most special call was undoubtedly from that of a top official of the Department of Personnel and Training, who in 2010 had denied her posting,
“It was a big disappointment, a major setback then. But I decided to fight back. It was tough initially as I had to undergo tests, submit medical certificates and prove that I am capable of doing jobs entrusted to me in the IRS. For two years, it was tough but then everyone realised that I am capable of working in spite of the disabilities. They realised I am no pushover,”
Ira Singhal love to read books. Her other hobby was reading books. She vested St Ann’s Junior College and told the students “I read everything under the sun, I read a lot of fiction too. I have around 750 unread books with me. I have been buying and buying and hoping one day I will find time to read them,” She also told the students “While struggling through all the insecurities of life, just remember that this too shall pass”
I donated all my savings to the Uttarkashi earthquake relief fund. I was in class III and about eight years old in 1991. I wanted to become a doctor, but my father did not let me take up Biology to study medicine due to physical constraints.
I qualified in 2010, 2011 and 2013 for the civil services exams, I should have been given a service but the current government criteria didn’t allow me to get a service except in Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and Indian Foreign Service (IFS).
I felt that with my background as an MBA, I should go for IFS.
I can speak Spanish and I have taught it also for some time, a bit of French and I am learning Italian, Portuguese and German.
I gave up last year when I got through Indian Revenue Service (IRS), as I was getting this service for the past three times. But then a friend of mine really insisted that I should not give up and try for IAS.
Preparation for civil services examination is all about smart study, more observation and analysis that actually gathering stuff and reading from 5,000 sources.
People who look at clearing civil services as a matter of life and death need to move beyond it. It will be tough for them to clear it if they think like that. There is life beyond these examinations.
My favourite author is Victoria Holt. These days I’m trying to read Agatha Christie. It is tougher to read course books, but I love reading other books.
Students who think that they are not good at Mathematics, it is mostly because of your teacher. It is the only subject where only teachers matter.
I realized that when I secured 99.6% in Mathematics in my CAT examination. It is the only subject where what you get what you expect.
We are normally not paying attention to our studies. Our attention span is not more than three minutes. When we sit for more time, we are actually fooling ourselves into believing that we are studying.
My single aim to help society and I’m not after power, money or success. I don’t lie to myself.
IRS has little option of being in touch with people. You need a lot of work to be able to pick up minute details. It’s quite a James Bond type of work.
We cannot handle everything by being aggressive. We need to be tactful and understand both points of view.
I’m not scared that I will keep fighting if I am wrong, and I will not stop if I’m correct. I can live with multiple transfers.
We should explore everything. I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t do anything that will harm you or society and I don’t lie. I do it because of my conviction, and not for anyone else’s approval.