UPSC IAS Toppers Interview 2010
He could “not have asked for a better birthday gift.” Just 10 days before he turns 27. Shah Faesal became the first Kashmiri and only the fourth Muslim (after Independence) to top the civil services. And this in his first attempt. Excerpts from a chat with the topper from Saugam (Kupwara) Kashmir:
Your thoughts at this moment.
I was expecting a poor rank, but didn’t see this coming. I am overwhelmed and miss my father the most.
What significance does this achievement hold for you?
My success has broken a stereotype about my community. I hope I have set a precedent far the people of my State and helped inspire more Kashmiris to appear for civils.
How do you plan to use this opportunity?
I would like to serve my state by reducing the gap between the people and administration. My first preference will be IAS, then IPS and lFS. I have been a victim of insurgency and understand Kashmir’s problems. My father (Gulam Rasool Shah), a schoot teacher, was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in 2002, just three days before my pre-medical exam.
Who would you give credit for your success?
I haven’t had any formal training. No coaching institute can use my picture or take credit for my success. My father, my biggest role model, and my mother, who was my rock after my father passed away, deserve all the credit.
You are a doctor. How and when did you decide to pursue civil services?
I pursued medicine as that’s the trend in Kashmir. I even topped my university (Sher-I-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences). But I wanted something more challenging. I appeared for the prelims soon after finishing my MBBS. I moved to Delhi and prepared for the exam.
How will you celebrate?
I return to my family in Srinagar tomorrow. The first thing I’ll do is hug my mother.