Education and Careers

First Muslim from Maharashtra tribal dist in civil service

Mumbai: For the first time in history, a Muslim from Nandurbar — a tribal district in North Maharashtra, has cracked the Civil Services Examination this year.

Shakeel Mehmood Ansari hails from Shahada — a small and backward town in Nandurbar district having a population of 55,000 people. It was his second attempt to crack what is considered as one of the toughest exams in the country.

Speaking to, Shakeel Ansari, who belongs to a family which deals in readymade garments, thanked Allah the Almighty for the success, and his family and teachers for the support they extended in his long career.

“I belong to a family which is not financially sound. But, my family always extended the support needed for such a challenging career”, he said.

What makes his success more sounding is the fact that Shakeel Ansari completed his early education and schooling in an Urdu medium school before doing M.Sc in Physics from a college in Pune. He opted Urdu as the language in the final interview.

“What matters in civil services exams is your calibre, talent and confidence, not the language. Though I had written the UPSC Mains exams in English, I opted Urdu as the language for the final interview”, he said.

Stating that cracking the Civil Services exams was his childhood dream, he said, “While I was studying at Nishat High School in Shahada and Vikas High School & Junior College in the same town, I decided to take this path and with consistent and determined effort made this dream a mission.”

“By the time I completed M.Sc. from Garware College of Pune, I had enough knowledge and study material needed for the coveted exams. However, it was Haj Committee’s study centre which supported me immensely in preparing and appearing for the UPSC exams”, he said.

Elaborating further, he said that living in a tribal district was the main reason he wanted to be in the civil services. “I have closely watched the issues and problems of tribals, and thought I would be able to do something for these downtrodden if I am in the civil services”, he said.

Shakeel is now preparing to try for one more attempt and would appear for the exams staring 26 May. “I have secured 507th rank in the exams. I want to become IAS and hence will try to improve my rank”, he said.

Meanwhile, Shahada town is in a celebrating mode since the results were announced.

“It is a historic moment for us. Shakeel has made everyone of us proud by his success”, said Ahmedbhai Noorani, a local community leader and president of local educational institute.

“We pray that he improves his rank in the forthcoming exam”, he said.

Ather Shazan,