Salute to an exemplary heroine

At ABP Live news channel, their daily news bulletin was going on and suddenly breaking news started flashing. That was results day of UPSC 2014. News- This time girls have bagged the top four positions, i was normal. They unraveled the names of toppers ,i was normal.Then they displayed the photographs of toppers, i was normal. But when i came to know that Ira Singhal is first differently abled candidate from general category who got first rank in the civil services examination : it was not normal. Her story is profusely inspiring not only for the civil services world but also for the normal world. She never glorified her special needs (she is victim of a medical condition Scoliosis ); she explained that her hands have restricted movement and her spinal cord is of S- shaped and not straight. But, she maintained that she feels normal about herself. She told that everyone has one problem or another, only thing is that her problems are more visible than others. She is very much normal than me , infact much normal than all of us. She is not a stereotyped topper. She reads a lot of novels and watches TV series of US/UK. According to her, one should study smartly by understanding and analyzing stuffs rather than being glued to books all the time.She has transformed herself into someone who is so much engrossed in learning, knowing and exploring what is around her that she has no time to bother about her physical condition or anything else.

The pragmatic Ira had some suggestions for the students : ” First get a professional degree , get a few years of work experience and then take the UPSC exam if you want to. And no matter what you do, always remember to have a life.”

She holds an MBA from Delhi University’s Faculty of Management Studies (FMS), and a B.E. in computer engineering from Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology (NSIT).

Since 2010, She had cracked CSE in her every attempt (4 attempts – cracked all- secured first position in 4th attempt)

She was refused a posting because she suffers from curvature of the spine. She filed a case in the Central Administrative Tribunal, which she won after 4 years, after which she was given a post. She has also taught Spanish for a year, has been a manager in Cadbury India and a marketing intern the Coca Cola Company. She was posted as Assistant Commissioner in the Customs & Excise department of the Indian Revenue Services, but will likely move to an IAS posting soon.
Despite topping one of the toughest competitive exams in the world, she told it was just another exam. She told that an exam cannot decide who you are. Life is more that an exam. She got 99.7 percentile in CAT. She told that Maths is tough or easy depending on your perception. It’s all in mind. She felt that a better teacher can make Maths easier and fun.
She knows various languages like English, Hindi, German, Spanish.

Her interview radiated positive vibes only.Normally, these interviews of successful people are focused on their struggle and hardship. But, the interview of this brilliant lady was different. It was full of hope, encouragement and  motivation to see beyond our own problems. How she has turned her problems into opportunities was worth admiring. Her positive frame of mind is amazing. She is calm and composed. She has never back down in life when so called normal people often don’t achieve even an iota of what she has accomplished till date

As an Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer, she has to do more of office works and she always wanted to do good for the people by doing more field works. She wants to serve people and that’s why she wanted to be an IAS officer. Mr. Ravish Kumar asked whether she wanted to prove something through UPSC. It was expected she would say something like she wanted to show people that her physical condition didn’t came in way of her dream or something like that. But it was pleasant surprise when she told that she had nothing to prove. She wanted to be IAS officer as this will give her a bigger opportunity to serve people.

She hangs out with her friends like every other person. She is effortless genius of her life.She is an epitome of character and strength.


Her message : ” While struggling through all the insecurities of life, just remember that this too shall pass.”

She never considered her deformity to be a challenge. It all depends on how big you consider it to be a problem.

“My single aim is to help society and i am not after power, money or success. I don’t lie to myself,” Ira said.

I have tremendous amount of respect in my heart for this lady .I wish Ira ma’am all the happiness and all the very best for her journey.  And i love you “meri living legend.”


Image 1 source : The Indian Express

Source : TOI

Some excerpts are taken from web and her interviews. 




Reservation Conundrum


I am General category and I support reservations. Let’s shed some light on this. A general category student with three digit rank xxx in a competative exam couldn’t make it to the xyz premier institute but a reserved category student with a telephone number type digit rank xxxxxxx in the exam gets the call for admission.


A reserved category person earning crores per annum needs any kind of aid? Certainly not.


Reservation degrades the system, be it jobs promotion,selection,admissions in colleges and so on .

The chief architect of Indian constitution B.R. Ambedkar reluctantly agreed to reservation in the belief that it would be discontinued 10 years after the adoption of the Constitution. Even he wanted “reservations to end in ten years”.


Document’s summary

During the process of drafting a constitution:


Quote:From the outset, the Constituent Assembly laid out clearly its objectives and philosophy for the new constitution. Several of the framers’ main goals, articulated in the “Objectives Resolution,” included guarantees of equality, basic freedoms of expression, as well as “adequate safeguards…for minorities, backward and tribal areas, and depressed and other backward classes.” These principles guided the delegates throughout the Constitution-making process.

The Assembly set up a special Advisory Committee to tackle minority rights issues. This committee was further divided into several subcommittees. The Subcommittee on Minorities focused on representation in legislatures (joint versus separate electorates and weightings), reservation of seats for minorities in cabinets, reservation for minorities in the public services, and administrative machinery to ensure the protection of minority rights. After extensive research and debate, the Subcommittee on Minorities drafted a report of its findings for submission to the Advisory Committee. The latter supported most of the Subcommittee’s recommendations.

From the constitution:

Quote:Significantly, Article 15, which prohibits discrimination, also contains a clause allowing the union and state governments to make “any special provision for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.” This language was added in 1951 within weeks of a Supreme Court decision outlawing quotas in school admissions. The speed of the amendment is indicative of the strong political support for reservations, Nehru’s personal views notwithstanding.

Similarly, Article 16, calling for “equality of opportunity in matters of public employment,” contains clauses permitting the “reservation of appointments or posts in favour of any backward class of citizens which, in the opinion of the State, is not adequately represented in the services under the State” and another allowing “reservation in matters of promotion” for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes

A separate section of the Constitution, “Special Provisions Relating to Certain Classes,” requires the reservation of seats in the “House of the People,” or Lok Sabha, and the Legislative Assemblies of the states for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. The numbers of reserved seats are determined by the proportion Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe members to the general population, based on population estimates from the most recent decennial census. The President of India and the Parliament, in consultation with the state governments, determine the list of groups qualifying as Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and “backward classes.”

Several safeguards accompany these provisions for reservation. First, the Constitution originally required the reservation of seats in the Lokh Sabha and state legislatures to end after ten years. After five amendments, the policy is now set to expire on January 25, 2010. Secondly, regarding the reservation of jobs, Article 335 of the Constitution mandates that the “claims of the members of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes shall be taken into consideration, consistently with the maintenance of efficiency of administration.” Finally, a National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes was created to investigate, monitor, advise, and evaluate the progress of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes under the schemes aimed at the socio-economic development of these groups. Another Commission was also created to investigate the conditions of the socially and educationally backward classes.

A boy born in Rameshwaram in a poor family by surpassing all the barriers hurdles with his indomitable spirit made India proud. He is legendary A.P.J ABDUL KALAM. This titan was an aerospace scientist, Professor, Author , President of India. Do he needed reservation? Obviously no. Without reservation he excelled in every field.

Barack Obama became President of USA without any Afro-American quota, same about honourable Nelson Mandela. Quotas are constitutionally illegal in the USA. [ In the past black Americans were brutally tortured ]

Inspite of slavery of 200 years we Indians have cracked milestones,created history , proved ourselves in every direction. We are capable.

Reforms are needed to bring true meritocracy in India.Amendments are must.

India will breath in fresh air of true independence when this pollutant namely reservation will be cleaned.

Reservation free India- A very long journey to go. Government, media and we common people ..three important constituents have to come together, unite and work together. “unity to be real must survive the severest strain without breaking” – M.k. Gandhi 

Be the change you wish to see in the world- Mahatma Gandhi . We must change ourselves first to bring the change.

Eventually India is “unity in diversity”

We are all ONE.



Source: Document’s summary – The nirmukt free thought community