New Delhi: A physically-challenged Delhi woman topped the civil services examination, as the first four ranks were scooped up by women in the results declared by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) on Saturday.
A total of 1,236 candidates were recommended for appointment to the Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service, Indian Police Service and Central Services Group 'A' and Group 'B', the UPSC said.
Of the top five candidates, four were women -- Ira Singhal (1), Renu Raj (2), Nishi Gupta (3) and Vandana Rao (4).
Specially-abled Singhal is from Delhi, and is at present working as an assistant commissioner with the Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise).
She did her schooling from the Army Public School in Dhaula Kuan, as per her Facebook page.
A graduate in computer engineering, Singhal did her MBA in finance and marketing from the Faculty of Management Studies under Delhi University between 2006 and 2008, before joining Cadbury.
She cleared the examination in 2010 as well and had joined the IRS. She topped the examination in the general category despite being physically handicapped.
An avid football aficionado, Singhal is an FC Barcelona fan.
The second rank holder, 27-year-old Renu Raj, is a doctor and passed the prestigious examination in her first attempt.
"I was not sure of clearing it in the first attempt. I owe my success to my dear and near ones who stood by my side," she said.
Renu Raj, who works as a medical professional at an ESI hospital in Kollam, is from Changnacherry in Kerala's Kottayam district.
According to the UPSC, of the total candidates who cleared the exam, 590 were from the general category, 354 belonged to Other Backward Classes, 194 were from the Scheduled Castes (SC) and 98 from the Scheduled Tribes (ST) category.
It was for the first time that the final results were declared within four days of the closing date of the interviews.
Conducted by the UPSC annually in three stages -- preliminary, mains and interview -- the examination took place on August 24, 2014 at 2,137 venues at 59 centres across the country.
Of the 9.45 lakh candidates who applied, about 4.51 lakh were cleared to sit for the examination.
A total of 16,933 candidates qualified for the main examination which was held in December, 2014. A total of 1,364 posts have to be filled through the examination.