Cracking the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) Civil Services Examination, one of India’s most challenging exams, demands years of hard work, determination, and dedication. Success stories of UPSC candidates who overcome tremendous odds often inspire the nation. Today, we delve into the remarkable journey of Pranjal Patil, India’s first visually challenged IAS officer.
Pranjal Patil, hailing from Ulhasnagar, Maharashtra, lost her eyesight during childhood. However, her indomitable spirit and unwavering determination led her on an extraordinary path. She completed her schooling at the Kamala Mehta Dadar School for the Blind in Mumbai. Afterwards, she pursued a degree in political science from St. Xavier’s College.
Following her undergraduate studies, Pranjal earned a postgraduate degree in international relations from Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi. Remarkably, before embarking on her Ph.D. and M.Phil. journey, Pranjal chose to take the UPSC exam.
Pranjal’s UPSC journey was devoid of formal coaching. Instead, she relied on special software that audibly read books to her. Leveraging her keen sense of hearing, she defied her sensory limitations.
In 2016, Pranjal’s first attempt at the UPSC exam secured her an All India Rank (AIR) of 744. Undeterred, she persisted and, in her second attempt in 2017, achieved an impressive AIR of 124.
Her remarkable accomplishment earned her a significant role in the Indian Administrative Service (IAS). In 2018, she was appointed as the Assistant Collector in Ernakulam, Kerala. Pranjal currently serves as the Sub-Collector of Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
However, her journey was not without its challenges. Initially, the Indian Railways had rejected her job application on the grounds of visual impairment. Nevertheless, Pranjal Patil’s resilience and unwavering spirit serve as an inspirational testament to the power of determination and perseverance.