Young officers should bring in a change in system: OAS topper Puspanjali

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Balangir: Dr Puspanjali Panda, who has secured top rank in the Odisha Administrative Service (OAS) examination for the year 2011,has said the young officers should try to bring a change in the system so that corruption does not become a hindrance in development work and becomes an inspiration for others.

“Corruption is present in all types of services, but not all the officers are corrupt. Afew good people can bring a change in the system. We should set an example for others,” said Panda, a veterinary service holder, in an interview with OTV.

In her reaction after emerging topper, Panda said, “I had not expected to secure the No.1 rank. Though I had thought I would be among the top 20, I never expected to be the topper. Soon after the result was announced late in the night yesterday, my friend called me up from Bhubaneswar and congratulated to me. I sleepily replied to my friend with a ‘Thank You’. But when I asked why you are congratulating me, my friend said you have got No 1 rank in the OAS examination. It was beyond my expectation. I was happy that the results had finally been declared after so much effort and four-five years of patient waiting. I do not have words to express how happy I am after this kind of achievement.”

“The credit for my success goes to family members, colleagues and friends. Apart from my parents, my in-laws and husband cooperated with me a lot. In 2011, when I sat for the Prelims of the civil services, I was single and my parents were my inspiration. By the time the Mians were held In 2014, I was married. As a married woman, it is very difficult to manage home, study and achieve something. My in-laws and husband helped me out with household chores and cooperated with me a lot. They did not create any obstacle and gave me ample scope,” said a grateful Pushpanjali.

Regarding a query on whether she ever was depressed and frustrated with the delay in the announcement of the result, Panda said, “Depression and frustration are part of life. But those who can overcome them, be patient and keep their morale high while preparing will certainly achieve their goal.”

To a query on when she decided to be an administrator, Panda said, “From my school days, my ambition was to be an administrator. I was born and brought up in Koraput district as my parents were working with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. I have seen the suffering of tribal people. From my school days, they have been saying we will approach a BDO or Tehsildar to solve our problems. Since then, I was thinking are they really so powerful? That thought remained within me as I was growing up. After finishing school, when I studied Veterinary Science, I came to know about my seniors joining the IAS, which also had an effect on me. Since my school days, I had an ambition to be a civil servant.”

Asked about the areas she would focus on to resolve the issues of the backward region, Panda stated, “First of all, the focus will be illiteracy. Before announcement of the OAS result, I have been working with veterinary services. I am still on the job as I have not resigned yet. I know people are not aware what can be done regarding an issue and what schemes are available for them. Therefore, I think people’s participation is important. Once I come to the official post, I will ensure people are aware of what the government has done for them and what facilities are being provided so that they will avail the benefit of those schemes.”

Panda further said, “I will ensure that the motto of the service, which I am going to join, is fulfilled.”

She had Veterinary Sciences and Geography as optional subjects in the OAS examination. “Veterinary Science was my parent subject as I have graduated in that whereas Geography is a subject of my interest. Even in IAS, I had Geography as an optional subject.”

Asked if she tried to join the IAS too, Panda said, “Yes I had attempted for the IAS. In the last all-India civil service examination, I fell short yb 17 marks from qualifying it. I have exhausted three attempts and will definitely try one last time.”

Panda said, “Division of time is necessary to prepare for the civil services exam. As a housewife, I have to household work at home though I do get cooperation from all. During free time, with some rest, I used to study the subjects within the limited period with proper division of time.”

Asked where she would like to work, Panda said, “Anywhere in Odisha. When I have joined the service, I have no priority regarding the location, be it Koraput or Balangir.”

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