In the tenth position of the UPSC Civil Services 2016 final exam results was Bilal Mohiuddin Bhat from Kashmir. For this forest officer from the Valley, it was nothing but a dream come true.
Words can hardly describe my feelings. I feel on top of the world today," Bhat said.
Bhat, who had appeared for the examination four times, would have in November this year crossed 32, the cutoff age for appearing for the elite services. "I believed in this quote -- Try, try, try again. I have been trying from 2010," Bhat said, his voice choking with emotion.
Bhat, who belongs to the remote border district of Handwara in North Kashmir, completed his schooling and college from Srinagar before studying Veterinary Sciences in Jammu.
The product of a government college, he cleared the Kashmir Administrative Services (KAS) and later the Indian Forest Services.
My aim was the IAS and now I am sure that I will get my home cadre," Bhat said. I have had to sacrifice every comfort to achieve my goal, Bhat, who has three brothers and a sister, added.
His father, who was also a KAS officer, was "elated" by his son's success. "He is longing to see me back in my home state so that I can serve my people," Bhat said.
The father in him credits his success to his seven- month-old daughter, Mariam. "After she was born in September, I cleared my preliminaries. And since then there has been no looking back," he said.