NEW DELHI: Women continue to break more boundaries, and this year the top three positions of the UPSC exams were secured by women. And not just this, but the ultimate topper is with 62 percent disability, and despite having been rejected on this ground before, persevered to demolish the opposition and enter the ‘exclusive club.’

Ira Singhal, Nidhi Gupta, and Renu Raj are the three women who assailed the formidable exam to make this year unique , by tipping the top end in favour of the underrepresented.

"I am thrilled, excited and very, very happy. It is a dream come true,’’ Ira said. “I expected to do very well but did not expect to top it. My friend, an IAS officer here, gave me the good news first. I want to become an IAS officer and work in the field of women and child welfare, development and empowerment. I want to contribute to the uplift of the differently abled, and make their lives easier. Differently abled people struggle, face difficulties everyday and have to go the extra mile to do anything on their own.” She said in an interview with Indian Express.

Singhal, 30, has disability in her arm. She was denied a position in IRS years ago, citing that she can't "push, pull, or lift" things. She then moved to Central Administrative Tribunal, which adjudicated in her favour and allowed her the job. She joined as Assistant Commissioner at Customs and Excise Deptt., and is now undergoing training at Dr Marri Channa Reddy Human Resource Development Institute of Andhra Pradesh in Hyderabad.

It was hard for Singhal in 2010 when she was denied the deserved job, coping with not failure but with typical apathy from government towards disabled, despite her success. She recounted, “It was a big disappointment, a major setback then. But I decided to fight back. It was tough initially as I had to undergo tests, submit medical certificates and prove that I am capable of doing jobs entrusted to me in the IRS. For two years, it was tough but then everyone realised that I am capable of working in spite of the disabilities. They realised I am no pushover.

Later, even people from the Department of Personnel and Training, Department of Revenue and others supported me. I could have gone to the High Court or the Supreme Court. Since I was right and capable, CAT ruled in my favour and I joined IRS,’’ she said.

It was in her fourth attempt that Delhi based Ira singhal aced the exam. She has done her MBA from Faculty of Management Studies (FMS) and BE in computer science from Netaji Subhash Institute of Technology.

Civil Services Exam is considered one of the hardest to crack. This year 4.51 lakh people appeared for it for just under 1400 seats. Singhal had secured rank of 813 in first her attempt and strove to improve on that, finally topping it this year.