Chandigarh: It was triple celebrations for the twin states of Haryana and Punjab, with candidates from the region bagging the top three position in Civil Services Examination.

"I was pleasantly surprised with the result. This was my third attempt and I didn't expect to top. I am grateful to God," said Shena Aggarwal, a resident of nondescript town Yamunanagar in Haryana, who is currently undergoing training for IRS in Nagpur academy.

Rukmini Riar, who followed her in second place, is a resident of Hoshiarpur in Punjab while Prince Dhawan, who came third, is the son of Commissioner of Income Tax in Chandigarh - the joint capital of the two states.

The urge to work for the under-privileged and provide the common man with basic amenities like health and sanitation inspired 25-year-old Shena, a medicine graduate, to appear for civil services.

Asked what prompted her to give up medicine and become a civil services aspirant, she said: "As a doctor, I was aware of the problems faced by people when it came to health and other issues.

There are many people who don't have basic amenities and proper health care in the country, she said, adding she would work for their betterment once she takes up government service.

"I would work on providing basic amenities like education, health and sanitation to people. That would be my aim," said Shena, who wants to join IAS.

Shena said she would not have achieved this feat without "tremendous support" from her family members.

"My daughter has all through been a topper in her studies, including in pre-medical examination," said her gushing father C K Aggarwal, a dental surgeon, who became emotional as neighbours and relatives thronged their house and distributed sweets.

Aggarwal said that Shena had last year qualified for All
India Services and got selected for IRS.

She is the elder of two siblings. Her mother is a homemaker and her brother is doing B.Tech from BITS, Pilani. Born in Rohtak in Haryana, she had her early education from Bathinda in Punjab.

A similar jubilant atmosphere prevailed at the residence of Rukmini Riar at Hoshiarpur. Belonging to a family of landlords of Gurdaspur district, her father Baljinder Singh Riar retired as Deputy District Attorney of Hoshiarpur.

Rukimini did her schooling from Sacred Heart School at Dalhousie in Himachal Pradesh and her graduation from Guru Nanak Dev University at Amritsar. The only child of her parents, her mother Takdeer Kaur is a housewife.

At the house of Prince Dhawan in Chandigarh, his mother said he was always confident of making it to the top. "My son was confident after the exam that he will figure in the first three," Dhawan's mother Indu Dhawan, an agriculturist and wife of Income Tax Assistant Commissioner K K Dhawan, said.

"Since his younger days he was attracted to the civil services. We told him that first deserve then desire.... He got his inspiration from his IRS father and his grandfather, a retired judge," she said. Dhawan's younger brother too is doing his enginnering from BITS Pilani, Indu said.

"When I called him after the result was announced, my son who is in Delhi was speechless," she said. Incidentally, all the three toppers were not with their families when the UPSC results were declared on Friday.


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