Formerly a Teacher, now a KAS officer hailing from remote and farflung area of Dhandal, in mountainous district Doda, ShaziyaRehman’s Journey into Kashmir’s premier civil services is inspirational. This Interview and information may come handy for those aspirants, who want to aspire and cherish their dreams after simple graduation. Shazia Rehman was working as an ReT Teacher before she Cracked her Prestigious KAS Exam in her first attempt. Shaziya shares her emotional feelings, ideas, strategies, time planning for cracking such exam and much more in an exclusive interview with Mansoor Parey.
Excerpts of a detailed interview:
What motivated you to choose civil services when you were already in a demanding job like teaching?
A person always wants to achieve higher. The prestige, power, economic security associated with civil services motivated me to choose this.Besides the opportunity to serve common masses in different aspects was one of the main motivational force.
First we would like to know your early schooling and the place you were born and family background?
I belong to a remote village and far flung area called Dhandal,which falls in Tehsil and District Doda. I did my schooling from Green Model Higher Secondary School Doda and completed my graduation from Govt. Degree College Doda.
What was the reason for shifting from Teaching to Administration?
Although teaching is a good profession but the opportunity provided by Civil Services to serve common masses in different aspects was one of the main reasons.
How did you maintain your focus when you were already in job? What was your plan and strategy?
When you are fully dedicated and determined it comes naturally, besides I managed the time according to my job. The plan was simple that one should use his available time judiciously. The strategy was simply to have a holistic and integrated approach for prelims and mains. Reading minimum number of standard books multiple times is the key to this exam. Besides this, one should give as many mock tests as possible for both prelims and mains.
What is the reason behind more candidates cracking state civil services from Jammu?
According to me, there might be two reasons. One is the fact that the Jammu region is equipped with good number of quality coaching institutes and they have easy access to proper guidance and good study material. The second is that if you analyze the data of this exam from the past few years, you will find that the number of aspirants appearing in this exam is much more than that from Kashmir region. And obviously if there are more no. of candidates appearing from a particular region, there are greater chances that candidates from that particular region will be in a higher ratio in the final list.
But from the past few years there has been greater awareness in Kashmir regarding these competitive exams. Due credit goes to initiatives like ICP (Initiative For Competition promotion J & K) which provides free guidance cum coaching to the aspirants at each stage of this competition. And let me admit the fact that I have been their regular student. Further inspiration is being provided by those who are cracking the prestigious UPSC Civil Services Exam.
To whom do you give credit of your success to?
First of all I want to thank Almighty Allah for bestowing his blessings upon me. Then my parents, my brother Sameer -ul-Rehman (KAS-2011), Sana Rehman (sister), Dr Mohammad ZubairLattoo (KAS-2011), Deeba Farhat (KAS-2011), Nayiem Iqbal Sheikh (KAS-2013) and all my relatives and friends, without whose support and encouragement, I would not have been able to realise my dream. In addition to this, ICP (initiative for Competition and promotion J & K) helped and motivated aspirants like me to achieve this goal.
Apart from teaching and reading, what were your other interests?
I was a good debator, sports girl and used to take part in all the co-curricular activities in school and college for which I have received numerous awards.
How does it feel to be the first girl from your area to make it to KAS List?
Being first girl from my area makes me feel good and the thing that it will inspire other girls makes me feel even much better.
What was your first reaction after knowing that you made it to the KAS list?
(Smiles)The feeling cannot be expressed in words. I was over the moon that time.The feeling that I made my parents, my brother, my sister and all those who helped me in achieving this goal proud is something which I would cherish for quite a long time.
What as a child had you aimed or wished to become in future?
Very good question- actually I always wanted to achieve something which would help the people in all the ways and civil services is a field which would help me to serve people especially from rural and far flung areas in a better way.
The first step is the most difficult, how should we prepare? From where you got the right advice?
Determination is the first chapter of success. I think dedication, consistency, hardwork and focused goal are the four pillars of this exam. And I was fortunate enough to have my brother Sameer -ul-Rehman, Deeba Farhat, Dr Mohammad Zubair Lattoo and Nayiem Iqbal Sheikh who had already qualified this prestigious exam around me to help and guide as and when I required.
How many hours one should put in to sail through this exam?
There is no time limit for preparation. What really matters is the number of quality hours you put consistency for preparation.
How did you prepare for the interview? What questions were asked in the interview?
For interview I remained in constant touch with day to day happenings, both national and international.Besides the mock test conducted at ICP (institutions for Competition and promotion) helped me a lot. I was asked about RBA, constitution of India, media regulation, civil services and Arabic literature (my subject in graduation).
What is your advice for Civil Service Aspirants particularly who are from far flung and rural areas?
I advice all the aspirants to kindly have faith in Almighty Allah. Work hard towards your goal with focused determination. Create a good environment in and around you. It is only a matter of a year or so that I might be reading your interview next time while sitting in my office. Besides, hard work has never killed anybody. Be in touch with the people who always encourage and motivate you.
Thank You so much for your time.