Rashmi Rekha Das

The list of meritorious candidates who have cleared the Odisha Civil Services Exam 2020 has been released. A total of 392 candidates have cleared the state's topmost bureaucratic examinations. 

Female candidates have outperformed their male counterparts in the examinations with all top three rank holders and seven out of the best 10 candidates are females. 

Tejaswini Behera tops the list of rank holders with Subhankari Swedwesna and Ananya Shrusti Satpathy bagging second and third position respectively. Soon after the declaration of the results, OTV caught up with all three of them for candid chitchat. Here are some excerpts.

Tejaswini to OTV

Tejaswini who exclaimed at outperforming all others in the tough exam said it was in fact her first attempt at the test. Tejaswini, indeed, was on cloud nine after she came to know about the results. She said, “I was not expecting to top the exam. I am happy no doubt. But at the same time I am ready to fulfil the responsibilities that have come along with the topper tag.  I hope I will live up to the expectations. Though I was not expecting to top the list, I had just wished to see my name somewhere in the list of toppers.”

Tejaswini who had opted for Economics and Home Science as optional subjects on OCS examination, said, “I did graduation and post graduation in Economics. And I believe Economics can contribute a lot in terms of policy formulation and administration. That’s why I chose Economics as my optional. And when it comes to choosing optional as Home Science, I must say an administrator must have knowledge on malnutrition, nutrition, child development and women development. For this reason, I went ahead with Home Science.”

Born in Cuttack and brought up in Bhubaneswar, Tejaswini surprisingly did not opt for any coaching to appear for OPSC exams. “For the mains, I took coaching from Kalinga IAS and that helped me immensely to click the exam. I took interview guidance from different institutes.”

About questions being asked to her during the interview, she said, “My interview lasted for only 15 minutes. And I was little scared for that reason. I was asked questions basically on economics like what is NCA, what is Bad Bank. Besides, I was asked why I want to make career in this generalist field despite an Economic student. I have answered almost all situation-based questions. Also, I was asked about Agneepath Scheme.”

About preparations, Tejaswini who had her graduation from Delhi University and post-graduation from Jawaharlal Nehru University said, “I had started preparing for civil services exam from post-graduation days when I was in Delhi in 2020. I took coaching there only. I am very happy with OCS results but will also try to crack Union Public Services Examinations because it will provide me a larger platform.”

On what kind of changes she would like to bring in society, the topper said, “If everyone works with dedication and honesty it can bring positive changes in the society which will help in the long run.”

On her choice of Civil Services as a career, she replied: “I don’t want to restrict myself in a single domain. I believe civil services will provide me exposure and give me chance to work on many dimensions. Also, it will be exciting to work with people for the people. I am against of freebies as they should not be wasteful expenditure, instead, they should be a medium to enhance the capability of a person.” 

On the trapping of several bureaucrats and government officers in corruption cases and the ways to deal with them, she responded, “I believe there should be zero tolerance policy to contain corruption-related issues. And Odisha government has taken lots of steps like 5T. The situation will definitely improve for sure.”

Subhankari Swedwesna to OTV

In tete-a-tete with OTV, Subhankari and Ananya talk about their success mantras.

Subhankari never expected to be the second topper. “I wanted to be a civil servant. That’s why I went for OCS examinations and cleared preliminaries and Mains. It was my aim to be part of civil administration.”

Subhankari cleared the OCS examinations in second attempt. Upon being asked to share her secret of success, she said, “I believe in patience and perseverance which worked wonder for me.”

Subhankari, a veterinary doctor, chose animal husbandry, veterinary science and zoology as her optional. She quit the job when notifications for OCS were out so that she could give her best. 

“I wanted to serve public for which I tried for medical entrance but failed. I joined veterinary services so that I could treat voiceless animals. Still, I was not happy as I failed to serve people in grass-root level”, replied Subhankari on asking behind joining civil services. 

Ananya Sristi Satpathy to OTV

Third topper Ananya Sristi Satpathy was overwhelmed after the results came out. The to-be OAS, who had made spent hours and hours on her studies, said more than being happy, she was grateful. 

“I was confident that I would get good marks in the exam, but didn’t know that I would come third. Everyone including my family members and friends were confident about my rank.”

Interestingly, this was her first Mains attempt. “I had qualified prelims earlier, but could not sit for the Mains as I had another exam at the same time. So, basically, this is my first Mains exam,” an excited Ananya stated.

Speaking about her preparation journey, Ananya said, “I always was attracted towards Civil Services since my childhood. And she only hopes to do better for the common people.”

Report: Bibartan Panda, OTV

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