Pratibha Verma, daughter of schoolteacher-parents from Sultanpur in UP, has secured the top rank among women candidates in the civil services examination this year. The 27-year-old, who had earlier done her B.Tech from IIT-Delhi, speaks to Neeraj Jha on her success story: Excerpts:
How has been your journey from the small town of Sultanpur to the top...?
I had resolved in my childhood that I would become an IAS officer. Even though I had made it to the Indian Revenue Service last year, I was still focussed on IAS. But it was a difficult journey. You need a lot of energy to stay focussed on your studies for ten hours a day...It was difficult to groom myself as an IAS officer but with practice and focus on my goal, I completed this journey.
What was your daily routine?
I used to religiously spend two to three hours every day reading newspapers, whether it was before the Prelims, Mains or the interview. I would then spend the next three hours on theory, and another three...