Ishita Kishore, an alumna of Delhi University's Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC), secured the All-India Rank 1 in the Civil Services 2022 final, results of which were declared by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) on Tuesday.
"I was confident about qualifying, but topping the merit list came as a surprise," said Ishita, 26, who graduated in economics from SRCC in 2017 after doing her Class 12 from the Air Force Bal Bharti School. She had scored 98 per cent in her Class 12 CBSE boards.
The daughter of an IAF officer and a private school teacher, Ishita, a resident of Greater Noida, cleared the prestigious examination on her third attempt. She has given a preference for the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and the UP cadre.
She has been a national-level footballer too, having played in the Subroto Cup in 2012.In an interview with IANS, Ishita dwelt on how her family had supported her and her strategy for the exams.
IANS: When did you think for appearing for the Civil Services exams?
Ishita: I worked with Ernst and Young from 2017 to 2019, and while working, began thinking of what I wanted in the long-term. Then I thought I should join public service. It is after that I started preparation for the UPSC exams.
IANS: How much time did you devote to preparations?
Ishita: I used to study for 8 to 9 hours a day, or 6 to 7 hours sometimes. If you calculate the average, I used to devote eight hours for preparations. During my studies, my mother used to support me fully.
IANS: What was your strategy for the exams?
Ishita: There were various stages. The UPSC has three levels - the Prelims, the Mains, and then, the Interview. For the Prelims, you need analysis and presence of mind, And yes, you should read the newspaper regularly.
IANS: You appeared in the UPSC exams twice previously. What went wrong?
Ishita: I analysed my mistakes again and again. I understood them and when I resolved the mistakes, the result came as a dream come true.
IANS: Whom do you consider as your idol?
Ishita: Many people, including my father, who was in the IAF, my mother, who handled everything, and my brother.