South Kashmir’s Devipora village spent Tuesday celebrating a 23-year-old’s spectacular success in the civil services exam. Athar Aamir ul Shafi Khan was placed second in the merit list after the results were declared. With this success, he also achieved the feat of cracking the exam twice in a row, while improving his ranking from 560 last year to number two this year.
“It was a dream come true… I always wanted to join civil services, though I got selected last year and stood at 560 rank. This year again I tried for improvement of my rank and managed to bag second position,’’ Athar told The Indian Express.
Currently undergoing civil services training in Lucknow, he said that J&K will be his first preference for posting, but he was ready to serve anywhere in the country. “If I am sent to any place in the country, I will work will zeal and dedication,” he added.
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In Devipora, Athar’s father Mohammad Shafi Khan hoped that his son’s success would inspire other youths in the Valley.
“My son is the first IAS officer from the village and our family. I hope he will become an inspiration for other students of the area as well,’’ said Mohammad Shafi, who teaches economics at the Government Higher Secondary School in Anantnag.
Of late, the region from where Athar hails has seen a spike in militancy with dozens of local youths joining militant ranks. Security agencies have been worried about educated young men joining militancy in the area.
The young officer, meanwhile, said he wants to work for the youth and try to play his role in making the society corruption free. “I wish my selection becomes an inspiration for the youth from entire Kashmir, especially south Kashmir,’’ he said.
According to his family, Athar was always a bright student who cracked many competitive examinations. He did his schooling from Iqbal Memorial Institute, Anantnag and Biscoe, Srinagar. In 2010, he got selected for IIT Mandi and completed his engineering two years ago. “I left my medical course (at the Government Medical College, Jammu) halfway once I got selected to the IIT,’’ he said.
“Talent was always there, but after Shah Faisal topped UPSC exam, it gave confidence to others from Kashmir,’’ said Nisar Iqbal, who teaches Computer Science at government college.