Haritha V Kumar was the first woman topper of the Indian Civil Services Examination in 2012 from Kerala and she says “Success is not the product of an overnight effort” and Kerala celebrated a first rank victory after 22 years.
In 1991, a Kerala bureaucrat Raju Narayan Swamy had topped the Civil Services rank list. This is one examination where mugging will do no good. Instead, one has to work really hard. Perseverance and dedication is the key to her success.
Haritha V Kumar, was born and brought up in Thiruvananthapuram. Harith’s father Vijay Kumar runs a construction business while mother Chitra is a homemaker. Her twin brothers, Safdheerth and Sasdharsh, are proud of her achievement; and Haritha inspired Sasdharsh for preparing the UPSC Civil Services Examination. Her father has helped her a lot in fostering the desire for IAS.
Haritha completed her schooling from St. Theresa’s Convent School and Plus Two from Government Girls Higher Secondary School in Neyyattinkara. She secured an Engineering degree in Electronics and Communication from the Government Engineering College, Barton Hill in the year 2007. Early in her childhood, she had decided to become an IAS officer.
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Haritha opted for Economics and Malayalam as her optional subjects. She believed economics is the underlying problems to all issues India is facing. So she wanted to have a deep knowledge of the subject. She says “one’s life revolves around economics. For any problem, you can find that the root cause is related to economics”.
On other hand, Malayalam is her mother tongue and from childhood she had a special liking for Malayalam.
Haritha did not pass in her first attempt. In her first attempt in 2009, she fell short of 18 marks from clearing the mains. In the second attempt, she got 179th rank and got selected for Indian Police Service(IPS), but she opted for IRS. In her third attempt, she got a rank of 294. This time she got what she aimed for as she was very keen to become an Indian Administrative Service (IAS). This was her fourth and final attempt.
Success Mantra for UPSC aspirants by Haritha V Kumar
- Your success is directly proportional to the intensity of your ambition. So stay focused on your goal. This will help you overcome the obstacles and failures you may face on the way.
- One should not get disheartened and must work with dedication and determination.
- Instead of studying for a certain number of hours, divide the syllabus into parts and decide how much you would cover each day.
- One vital thing that you should remember is, in the interview, there is an option to use your mother tongue, but I won’t advocate that. It is always better to speak in English in the interview.”
- A lot of writing practice before attempting the mains.
- One should be a regular reader of newspaper, which helped a lot in improving general knowledge and passion for reading.
- Communication in English is very important and has to be developed from an early stage itself.
- Finally, one should not allow anything to be a road block that prevents you from reaching your goal. One has to overcome such hurdles and for that a family’s support is crucial.