Our great IAS story

It is an annual success story that everyone in Valley now awaits. And it is about the UPSC results. For the past around six years, more than half a dozen of Kashmiris crack the exam every year, with one of them Shah Faesal topping it in 2010. And now this year again, seven candidates have passed the examination, with one of them Athar Aamir Khan securing second position. He says that he choose  IAS as it comes with roles and responsibilities that can actually change the lives of people.  It was his second shy at the examination after becoming the youngest IAS officer from the state at the age of 22 last year. He had scored 560th position in 2014 exam but he wanted to be at the summit. And he did get there, only missing it number one slot by a few percentage points. 

 If anything, the likes of Dr Shah Faesal and Athar Aamir Khan have established the fact that Kashmiri boys can compete and excel at the national level. The IAS results over the past several years have been epiphanic not only for us in the state but also for the people in mainland India. The  trend has caught on in the past few years with its high point being the success of Dr Shah Faesal who topped the examination in 2010. What is more, this is a remarkably ascending trend. In between,  J&K also became the third state with highest number of civil services passouts in the country. This is an amazing achievement for a state where youth until a few years ago weren’t even sufficiently aware of the civil services examination. 

Valley, on the other hand, was obsessed with medical and engineering courses, with youth not even interested in Kashmir Administrative Services. This was because the parents in Valley brought up their children dreaming to become a doctor or engineer. But things are changing now. This new IAS success is about a spectacularly symbolic release from the stranglehold of the fourth class employee culture and a collective fancy for the medical and engineering careers. More so, in a state where the majority community traditionally cribs about the fast declining representation in the upper echelons of bureaucracy, police and judiciary. 

However, some quarters in Valley have looked at the success in IAS with a degree of unease. The problem  is grounded in the perennial binary of the state’s political system founded on two political narratives plowing in exactly opposite directions. While mainstream hail the success, separatists think growing IAS participation sits somehow uneasily with their struggle. But we would urge everybody to look at the development beyond the self-serving prism of politics, as a pursuit of youth for excellence in life, a game-changing shift in their career priorities. We can collectively take pride in the fact that our youth are up to any challenge which in itself bodes well for the future of the state.  And Athar Aamir Khan and six others who passed the exam this year represent this excellence. 

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