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Dr. Shah Faesal IAS Topper from Kashmir – A Role Model for Youth

Dr. Shah Faesal, a MBBS Doctor, the first Kashmiri who had topped the Union Public Service Commission’s Civil Services Examination and the first candidate from Kashmir in several years to be selected to the Indian Administrative Service through open merit. Faesal has become very popular among Indian youth, a new role model and an icon for Kashmiri youth.

Faesal says, “Real glamour should be associated with people who have done something for the country. They deserve all the attention. But in India we are more fascinated by the brightness of the picture than by the brightness of the character.”

Family Background

Shah Faesal was born in a remote village Sogam, of Lolab Valley in Kupwara district of North Kashmir. His father Ghulam Rasool Shah, a government school teacher who was killed by militants and his mother Mubeena Shah who is also a government school teacher.

His home town is well known for the scenic beauty, Lolab Valley is famous for having been the birthplace of the great Islamic theologian.

Must Read: UPSC Topper Interview – Alok Ranjan Jha, Rank 1 Civil Services

Marks Obtained

 Total Marks  Marks Obtained
Total (Written)  2000  1136
 Interview  300  225
 Total  2300  1361  (59.17%)


Dr. Shah Faesal completed his graduation from Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Science, Srinagar. He was a Doctor by profession before clearing Civil Services Examination.

People call Faesal a career chameleon, as he kept looking for new challenges, and believe in himself, if there would have been a more difficult exam in India he would have appeared for that as well. But, when he started preparing for IAS, there was the motive of serving the country in his mind.

Optional Paper

Shah Faesal first went for Public Administration and Geography but later on he changed and opted for Public Admistration and Urdu Language as his optional paper.

He chooses Urdu as his optional paper because the intention was to dispel the myth about Urdu being a downtrodden and a neglected language. He wanted to prove that Urdu too can fetch you laurels.

Faesal Said, “if you are well prepared, success can be achieved with any subject combination”.

Must Read: 20 UPSC Preliminary Questions (Prelim 2015) with Detailed Explanation


Faesal Shah cleared this prestigious exam in his very first attempt at the age of 27 year and topped the UPSC Examination in the year 2009.

Faesal says, Gandhiji had said the best way to determine the success of your actions is to think about the impact of that action on the poorest man in the country. If you will make plans and rules keeping that in mind, you will never go wrong.

Suggestions for Aspirants by Shah Faesal

  • Civil Services is not the end of the World.
  • Do not read for the examination read for the knowledge. And when you gain knowledge , any paper becomes easy to handle.
  • Be confident with the treasure of knowledge you are having within yourself.
  • Read as much as possible and complete the syllabus prescribed.
  • Read regularly newspaper and be updated with the current affairs and the happenings.
  • Expect the best but, be ready for the worst.

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