For 26-year-old Ruchi Bindal, it was a case of being fifth time lucky as she secured the 39th all-India rank in UPSC Civil Services Exam 2019, the results for which were announced on Tuesday, and dedicated her success to her late grandfather who passed away just days before her crucial interview.
Bindal received coaching at the Residential Coaching Academy (RCA) of the Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) university where she had enrolled last year.
"This was my fifth attempt. After failing four times, it was difficult for me to pick up myself but my family motivated me to not lose hope. The feeling of clearing UPSC is just sinking in," she said over phone.
Bindal's father is a businessman while her mother is a homemaker. She did her graduation in BA programme from Delhi University's Lady Shri Ram College and her post-graduation in Conflict Analysis and Peace Building from Jamia Millia Islamia.
She had lost her grandfather on March 16, a few days before her March 23 interview, which was subsequently postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"I want to dedicate this day to my grandfather as it was his dream to see me succeed. I miss him terribly and wish he was here," she said.
It was her family''s dream to see her as an IAS officer, she said, adding that it became her dream only when she entered LSR as she was exposed to various administrative policies and how administration works.
"I focused on getting into the services only after I learnt about various administrative policies. For my preparations, I relied on expanding my knowledge base and brushing it up daily. I did a lot of mock tests," she added.
She said in serving the nation as a civil servant, she wants to work against child marriage and do something positive for transgenders.
Thirty candidates who received coaching and training in JMI's RCA have been selected in UPSC Civil Services Exam 2019. Out of the 30, 25 were residing in RCA and five were trained at the mock interview programme of the centre, a statement from the varsity said.
"This is the biggest selected group in the country from any public coaching centre," it added.
Out of 30 selected candidates, six are expected to get IAS, eight are likely to get IPS and the remaining candidates will get IRS, Audit & Account Service, IRTS and other allied services of Group-A as per their ranking and choices.
Bindal, who secured 39th rank is the best performer from the RCA this year. Six out of 30 selected candidates are women.
Professor Najma Akhtar, Vice Chancellor, JMI said the consistently high performance of RCA, JMI, trained students in civil services examinations year after year was a matter of great pride and satisfaction for the university.
"We expect better results in the coming years," she said in the statement.
Last year Junaid Ahmad, third rank holder in UPSC Civil Services Exam, was the star performer from the RCA, JMI, it said.