Sukhbir Singh Malik, a Haryana farmer, was working in his fields on August 4, when his son Pradeep Singh called to tell him that he had cleared the civil services examinations. “So you have become an IAS, but did you make it to the list of top 100 candidates,” Malik asked. “Top hundred? I am on the top, at No. 1.” In an exclusive interview to Harish Manav, Pradeep, 29, speaks about his journey.Excerpts:
Did you ever believe that you would be a topper?
Frankly, I had expected to be among the top 100, but not No. 1. I could not believe it when I saw my name and roll number on the list of successful candidates. My father left his work unfinished in the fields, came home and hugged me. People kept coming home all through the day to congratulate me. My entire family could not sleep that night because of an overwhelming sense of happiness.
Tell us about your educational background?
I studied till Class 5 at a private school in my village. I...