Cassian Baliarsingh

UPSC aspirants prepare for years to fulfill their dream of becoming an IAS and IPS officer. However, IAS Vandana Singh Chauhan only had one chance to fulfill her dream. Despite facing objections from her family, Vandana proved her mettle and cleared UPSC with an impressive AIR-8 on her first attempt.

Her life journey is an inspiration for young girls from rural areas who face several challenges, even from their families. Born in the small village of Nasrullagarh in Haryana, Vandana lacked access to a good school. Determined to study, Vandana fought with her family to get her admitted to a good school. After several objections, she was finally admitted to Moradabad Gurukul, a Hindi medium.

Not only her family, but even her relatives criticised her for focusing on her studies, being a girl. However, Vandana remained focused on her studies and always dreamt of doing something big in her life. She successfully completed her education in Sanskrit (Hons) from Kanya Gurukul, Bhiwani.

Due to lack of family support, she had to pursue LLB from BR Ambedkar University, Agra, through online courses. However, her brother stood by her and supported her. Not to disappoint her inner self, Vandana dedicated 12 to 14 hours to her studies.

Her life experiences made her decide to become an IAS officer and bring a change in society. However, due to family opposition who wanted her to get married, she just had one year to prove herself.

A determined Vandana studied for hours and her hard work paid off. She secured an AIR-8 in the 2012 UPSC Civil Services Exam conducted in Hindi.

Currently serving as the District Manager (DM) of Almora district, Vandana has earned a reputation as one of the most diligent public servants in the country.