Meet UPSC civil services 2019 women topper Pratibha Verma from UP

Pratibha Verma from Uttar Pradesh — the All India women topper who has secured AIR 3rd rank in the UPSC 2019 examination — is still in a state of disbelief that she has topped among women in country’s toughest examination.

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“This is amazing and left me speechless. I just could not believe when I checked UPSC result this afternoon,” said Pratibha. She had joined the Indian Revenue Service (IRS) but took leave to prepare for the examination.

A native of Sultanpur, Pratibha said she is super excited. “In the past women have even topped the exam. Tina Dabi stood first rank in year 2016. Happy with what I have achieved. I was confident that I would do well. But never imagined that I would secure AIR 3rd rank. This was very unexpected,” she said.

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The calls started pouring in as the news spread, she said. A colleague in IRS services was the first one to inform her about the result. “And then I checked it on the website,” said Pratibha who had physics as her optional subject.

Praibha graduated from IIT Delhi in 2014 and worked with a private firm for two years to gain some work experience. “I always wanted to become civil servants. I started preparing for UPSC,” she said.

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“Last year I got 489th rank. I quickly realised the mistakes I made there. I worked hard on my weakness. Started writing well rounded answers. And also the past experiences helped,” she said.

On UPSC services, she said there are a string of women bureaucrats who have done exceptionally well as bureaucrat. “Their work inspired me to join the services as there is a direct connect with people,” she said.

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Her father, Subansh Verma retired a few months ago as English teacher in a government intermediate college and mother, Usha Verma is a head teacher with a government school in Sultanpur.

“My elder sister Priyanka is a doctor. And I have two brothers, one working with private sector company and younger brother is studying,” she said.

When asked about the celebrations, Pratibha said because of pandemic there is no big celebrations. Only video calls with parents, siblings and close family members and friends.

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