“We need to remember is our Goals all the times and should be mentally prepared for failures” says Rehana Bashir (AIR 187; CSE 2018)

A Jammu (J&K) girl, Dr. Rehana Bashir, MBBS from SKIMS, Srinagar, J&K has achieved brilliant success in Civil Services Examination 2018 and got 187th Rank.

It was her second attempt. In first attempt (CSE 2017) she couldn't clear Preliminary Examination.

She had kept her own subject - Medical Science as optional subject.

 By:           Read In Hindi

When your goal is as big as Civil Services Examination, it needs commitment and accepting the challenges. With hard work and patience you can convert your dreams in to reality.

Dr. Rehana Bashir from Jammu (Jammu and Kashmir) like her brother Amir Bashir (IRS) had shown courage to appear in Civil Services Examination and in her second attempt she cracked it and got rank 187 in CSE 2018.

She came across some challenges and faced unpleasant results in her first attempt; she looked at these as stepping stones to success. Winners make Commitments and keep them; Losers make Promises and break them.

“We need to remember is our Goals all the times and should be mentally prepared for failures, if any”, said confident Rehana.

“We fall to rise again. When we fall, it gives us opportunity to introspect, an opportunity to review our plans towards our goal.”


An athlete Rehana has Painting and Sketching as hobbies and, had won many prizes.

Being clear about her career destination, she has been really serious about her goal – career in Civil Services.

Candidly talking about the reason for choosing career in Civil Services Rehana said, “During my internship I found that there are certain things that were beyond my scope. As a doctor, I couldn't change certain factors that has implications on health of a patient, be it safe drinking water, hygienic food, non-toxic air, timely transportation to hospital at the time of emergency, their economic conditions etc. I wanted to work regarding these problems and realized that Civil Service is the best platform for carrying out such activities for masses.”

As a matter of fact, it was my father's dream. My mother after father's death singlehandedly raised us provided everything we needed.

My mother, Parveen Akhter is section officer at Directorate of Agriculture, TalabTillo, Jammu. My father, Mohammad Bashir, passed away in 2006, was in state forest corporation. My brother Amir Bashir is IRS (IT) and is currently undergoing training.Rehana-Bashir-upsc-topper-CSE-2018-187th-rank-J&K-Medical-Science

Since my brother Amir had prepared for CSE at home, I got the courage to follow his footsteps; though, he faced lots of ups and downs and learnt with hits and trials. In the process, he prepared a smooth path for me and I could understand the intricacies involved in Civil Services Exam preparation. So, when I commenced preparation I was clear about my goal and had a strategy in my hand.

Revealing fine points about her journey Rehana said, “My internship got completed in November 2016; I started my preparation late due to internship. I was not fully prepared to give Civil Services Examination 2017, my first attempt.”

“Had I cleared Prelims at that time, I would have succumbed in Main Examination. So, CSE 2017 attempt gave me a chance to improve and introspect” she accepted honestly.

In the meantime, I appeared in many other open competitions and cleared quite a few. I have qualified my state PCS Main Examination, its interview was held after UPSC CSE 2018 interview and results are awaited.

I had cleared NEET PG exam held in December 2017, I didn't go for counselling as my first preference has been UPSC. I gave myself another chance and succeeded.

I had also given CMS Examination 2018, cleared its Mains also; but didn't appear for interview.

I had cleared State medical officer exam also.Rehana-Bashir-upsc-topper-CSE-2018-187th-rank-J&K-Medical-Science

Divulging details about UPSC CSE preparation Rehana said, “My optional subject was Medical Science. I had studied diligently during my college days; so, I was almost ready with my optional subject.”

“Since I studied it well during my college days, I didn't think about my optional subject for UPSC Civil Services Examination, it was almost prepared. Time saved on Optional Subject helped me focus more on General Studies which was alien to me at the beginning of my preparation”, she added.

Every paper in this exam holds importance. We need to focus on all; but, since General Studies papers are general in nature, a well prepared optional subject can give an edge.

Being a medical student, I was not in touch with many constituents of General Studies syllabus. So, I prioritized the areas that needed attention. Since, it was my first Main Examination, while studying for General Studies, I tried to relate various topics in my mind.

Idea was to give multi-dimensional viewpoint. I wrote answers using paragraphs as well as flow diagrams. I kept my answers short and precise as I am a slow writer.

As I mentioned, I had also studied for state PCS, for which my optional subjects were philosophy and Sociology, so for essay besides the help of standard essay books, I had the help of these two subjects.

The topics I chose for writing Essay were –

  1. Alternative technologies for a climate change resilient India and
  2. Reality does not conform to the ideal, but confirms it.

My Interview was in Air Marshal Ajit Bhonsle Sir’s Board on 1st March.

Listing out factors that contributed in her success Rehana said, “I think that my decision to prepare at home gave me a chance to be creative with my answer writing and since the journey is long and tiring, I had constant moral support of my family members, friends and colleagues that really helped.

Secret of Success

Besides blessings of my mother, my brother's guidance helped to me to clear this exam and take my first step towards my goal.

Credit for Success

Credit for this success goes to my mother and brother. My brother is my guide and mentor, introduced me to Civil Services. I attribute my success to my family and to my school teachers, college teachers, friends and colleagues.

Advice to future aspirants

•             Keep your motivation high, sincere efforts give good results.

•             If you are passionate about it, give yourself another chance in case of failure.

•             Keep on learning from your mistakes and improve them. Make sure that you standout during exam.

Last Update Monday 15th July 2019     

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