Thiruvananthapuram: Renu Raj, 27, a doctor, who has secured the second rank in the civil services examination, the results of which were declared by the UPSC on Saturday, told the aspiring candidates that perseverance pays.
"This was my first attempt. I was tense since night and even though I knew the results would be out by afternoon, I did not tell my parents," said Raj, who works as a medical professional at an ESI hospital in Kollam.
"I was even more tense when I logged on to the website. My phone started ringing even before I could check the results as my friends and well wishers told me that I had secured the second rank," she added.
Raj is from Changnacherry in Kottayam district. For the past one year, she and her parents were staying in the national capital where she attended coaching classes.
"I was not sure of clearing it in the first attempt. I owe my success to my dear and near ones who stood by my side," she said.
"I want to tell aspiring candidates that perseverance has its reward," she added.
Her elated father said her success is dedicated to the poor and downtrodden. He said he was confident that his daughter will help the weakest in society.
"Had she remained a doctor, she could have helped 50 or 100 patients. But through her new qualification, one decision of hers will benefit thousands," he told the media.
Raj's husband is also a medical professional.
In 2013, Haritha V. Kumar, an engineer from the capital city, secured the first rank in the exam.
The 2014 UPSC Main exam was held in December 2014 and the personal interviews were conducted in April-June 2015.
Of the top five candidates, four are women - Ira Sehgal (1), Renu Raj (2), Nishi Gupta (3) and Vandana Rao (4). The 5th rank holder is Suharsha Bhagat.