Reading Time: 5 minutesA Kashmiri who made history and really sets a great example not just for the youngsters of the valley but also for the nation. One such person is IPS officer Dr.Ruveda Salam who ranked 23rd in the Civil Services Examination. She became the first woman from the Kashmir Valley to qualify in the Union Public Service Commission examination in 2013. She cleared the Kashmir State Administrative Service Exam in 2009 before attempting UPSC Exam. But instead of pursuing a post graduation in medicine, she began pursuing Administrative Services.
Dr.Ruveda Salam, Jammu & Kashmir’s first woman IPS officer, joins the growing list of women IAS, IPS officers in India such as Kerala’s Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Merin Joseph IPS and Telangana IAS officer Smita Sabharwal.
“Being a young ACP is a challenging role. It carries a lot of responsibility. I am in a state where people respect the police. When girls see me in uniform they look at me with admiration!,” Dr.Ruveda Salam says.
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Family Background of Dr.Ruveda Salam
Dr.Ruveda Salam comes from Farkin, a remote village in Kupwara district, Jammu & Kashmir, Salam is currently an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) in Chennai. Her father is a former deputy director general of Doordarshan and her mother was also educated.
When Dr.Ruveda Salam was growing up in Kashmir, her father often used to say that she should become an IAS (Indian Administrative Service) officer. It was her father who inspired her to clear UPSC. That’s when she first thought of becoming one. It inspired her and she decided to go ahead and aim for it and that’s what made her more determined.
Dr.Ruveda Salam could fend off pressure from orthodox relatives to get married. “I am not going to blame my religion for this, but yes, Muslim girls are supposed to marry early,” Dr.Ruveda Salam says. She thanks her mother for being a buffer and fending off suggestions of early marriage as they always supported her convictions.
Dr.Ruveda Salam feels very proud of reaching such a level. Her parents too are proud about it. There is this sense of turmoil in the valley and the situation does not allow you to pursue such dreams. So being the first woman to get a rank in the UPSC from the Kashmir valley does give her a sense of pride.
Dr.Ruveda Salam completed her MBBS from the Government Medical College in Srinagar and joined the State Civil Services. Her parents said, “if you want to fly higher we are not going to act as a barrier”. She had already made up her mind while doing MBBS that she would shift over to the Civil Services. Instead of doing a post graduation in medicine, she had started reading papers and preparing for the UPSC.
There was craze in Dr.Ruveda Salam’s town going around that you have to be either a doctor or an engineer. In the Kashmir valley being a doctor or an engineer was considered to be a blessing in 2003-2004. Parents forced their children to take up medicine or engineering. Her parents didn’t force her.
Dr.Ruveda Salam asked them for their advice and they asked me to follow my conviction. They asked me to first complete my MBBS and then go for it, so that in the event of not qualifying for the civil services she’d at least have a good profession to fall back on.
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Dr.Ruveda Salam has cleared the UPSC exam for a second time and has secured a higher rank which enables her to join the coveted IAS.
Dr.Ruveda Salam have not done any coaching. She had qualified the State Civil Services Exam without coaching, when she was on a job on probation for some time. It was not possible for her to move to Delhi or any other metropolitan city to undertake coaching. Dr.Ruveda Salam prepared for one whole year before Preliminary Exam as she got the right material. She also ordered certain books from Delhi and also took help of Internet. She was able to get the information she needed (for the UPSC exam preparation) on Facebook.
Besides that, Dr.Ruveda Salam also took guidance of some senior IAS officers in the state. She carried her study books to office and whenever time permitted she would take them out and study.
Success Mantras for UPSC Aspirants
- Believe in your capabilities. That gives you the conviction and the perseverance required to achieve your aims.
- Discipline is very important because you have to overcome many distractions.
- Sticking to your plan and working towards your goal is very important if you want to achieve something in life.
- If you are a professional or into the civil services or a farmer or doctor or lawyer or journalist, you should make efforts to contribute something the nation’s development at your own level and in whatever way you can.
- Only through small contributions can a big change be experienced at the national level.