15 June, 2021

Showkat Parray, The Humble Vizir

Veterinary science beckoned, but his journey from a north Kashmir village without newspapers, computers or the internet took him straight to the IAS

Showkat Ahmad Parray
Showkat Parray, The Humble Vizir

When Showkat Ahmad Parray, 35, an additional excise and taxation commissioner posted in Punjab, decided to prepare for the civil services, he did not have any lofty aims in mind. “I had no desire to become an IAS officer. All I wanted was a job,” he says. There were few alternatives for Parray in rural Jammu and Kashmir. “When I realised that openings in veterinary science could be a long time coming, I considered the civil services as a career option,” he says.

Born in Vizir village of north Kashmir in a lower-middle-class family, Parrey studied at a village school. Later, he enrolled at a high school at Nowpora village, some three kilometres from his native place. Parray used to cover the distance on foot daily. After passing the higher secondary part II exams, he enrolled for a Bachelor of Veterinary Science course. He completed the degree in 2009.

“I started preparing for the civil services at home. I had little exposure. Until then, my only foray into the world outside was a school trip to Delhi after my Class 9 exam. I had...

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