Twenty-three-year-old Nadia Beig, who became one of the youngest to crack the civil services exam (CSE) 2019, says women should be allowed to follow their dreams and decide their future. Hailing from Kashmir’s Kupwara district, Nadia moved to Delhi to pursue a graduate degree in Economics from Jamia Millia Islamia after completing secondary school.
She cracked the exam on her second attempt. “I appeared for the exam in 2018 first. I had full preparation but was unable to crack even the preliminary. It was the first time that I was appearing for a national level entrance exam of such high competency. I was not confident despite devoting day and night to my studies. This year, I had worked on my weaknesses,” said Nadia who has secured 350th rank in the UPSC civil services exam.
Reading newspapers was a habit for Nadia, which she believes had come handy in cracking the exams. During her preparation for the second time, she had also focused on expressing herself better and worked hard to grasp the English language.
“My preparation started on the first day of my college. I gathered information not only from books but also from many free resources available online. I was part of many groups on Telegram as well. Meeting people from different backgrounds at a university campus also helped in learning,” she said.
During her personality test, the panel asked her questions ranging from Kashmir and the history behind its name, export of saffron which is cultivated widely in the Valley and the Shankaracharya temple.
Beig’s parents are teachers and her two younger sisters are pursuing a course in medicine. She was part of the residential coaching classes for UPSC offered by the Ministry of Minority Affairs and run at the JMI campus.
While she wishes to work for public welfare in general, education is one of the causes she would like to focus on. Nadia said women should have the liberty to decide their future. “There is additional pressure on girls. Every human being has potential regardless of gender. Girls should be given the freedom to explore their potential and decide when they want to marry or which dreams they want to follow. No one should be made to feel lesser because of their gender.”
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