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Shah Faisal, first Kashmiri to top IAS exams

Saturday, May 08, 2010 04:37:57 PM, & Agencies

Dr. Shah Faisal

(Photo: S. Subramanium/The Hindu)

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Srinagar: As always the results of Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examination brings with it another tale of inspiration for the country. This year, Shah Faisal, a Kashmiri doctor, hit headlines for creating history by becoming first Kashmiri to top the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) examination.


Dr. Shah Faisal is the second Indian Muslim who has topped the coveted civil services exams. Before him, Amir Subhani became the first Indian Muslim to top the UPSC exams. Earlier in 2000, Shehla Nigar from Bihar came into the limelight when she stood second in the overall list.

Dr Shah Faisal had to face a lot of demons in the past before reaching his stage in his life. Shah Faisal lost his father nine years ago when an unidentified gunman shot him down in the border district of Kupwara.

His father was a school teacher who left behind Faisal's mother, Mebeena Begum, with three children to take care of.

Faisal, who has seen several hardships in life, always achieved the best. He topped even his Class 10 to take up MBBS from the Srinagar medical college.

What is more striking about Faisal and his current achievement that he was a socially active youngster. He has been an active member of the RTI movement in Jammu Kashmir.


Faisal was coached by Saiyid Hamid, a retired officer of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and former vice chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University. Hamid now is secretary of the New Delhi-based Hamdard Education Society, which runs the Hamdard Study Circle. It was there that Faisal received his coaching.

Hamid was absolutely thrilled by his student’s success. “The Hamdard Study Circle has been in operation since 1991, and we have had many successes in the past. More than 220 students have qualified from our institute. The best result was when one of our students secured fourth place at the All-India level,” he said.


“However, nothing matches Faesal’s success. This is great news for us all,” he said.


Shah Faisal's success story reminds the country yet again that adversities in life fail to destroy the determination of the strong.


A total of 875 candidates — 680 men and 195 women — were recommended for appointment to Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service, Indian Police Service and other central services. Besides Faesal, there are 20 Muslims on the list of 875 successful candidates. Among them are Mohammed Y. Safeerullah, Mohammed Shahid Alam, Rayees Mohammed Bhat, Muhammad Siddique Alam, Abid Khan, Abu Imran, Ashiquzzaman, Tamanna Alam, Mohammed Yusuf Qureshi, Mir Umair Nabi, Danish Ashraf, K. Asif Hafeez and Rizwan Ahmed.

A total of 409,110 students applied to take the test in 2009. Of those 193,091 appeared for the preliminary examination. Only 12,026 of them qualified for the written test, and then only 2,432 of them were short-listed for the all-important personality test, which was conducted in March and April this year.






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