Syed Ali Abbas from Bahraich, Uttar Pradesh secured Rank 137 in the Civil Services Examination 2017.

Around 50 Muslims cracked the Civil Services Examination 2017. Caravan Daily talked to some of them to know why they opted for civil services and how they cracked one of the toughest examinations in the country. Their experience is being shared in a series of stories – Editor

Part Two

MUMTAZ ALAM | Caravan Daily

From B.Tech to bank to Civil Services – the story of Syed Ali Abbas is indeed inspiring, but it is emotional also. Eldest among three siblings, Abbas grew up seeing his specially-abled younger and only brother – and this pushed him to dream high to do something for the society. But the journey towards the goal was not so easy thanks to the place he was born in.

Syed Ali Abbas comes from Bahraich, the most illiterate district in India’s largest state – Uttar Pradesh. He studied all his foundation classes – from Class 1 to 12 – in this district which has no good schools and only two English-medium schools. He considers it as one of the major difficulties he faced in his journey.

“In the early period when I was studying in school and used to reside in a village where educational facilities were not proper and if there were some, you could not get good teachers and other things,” Abbas told Caravan Daily.

“My native place Bahraich is very poor in terms of literacy rate. And we have only two English-medium schools there and literacy rate is just 49% that is by far the lowest in UP. There were certain difficulties. So, we never knew what we have to do after graduation, in fact what to do in graduation itself.”

He admits that as scores of youths from his area were opting for engineering, he also did so but later he realized this was not his cup of tea.

“It is a matter of chance that everyone in my district and my place was doing engineering so I opted for engineering. It was only in my later phase that I realized that this is not something for me and I should try for something else,” says Abbas, son of a retired government officer.

From B.Tech To Bank To Civil Services

Abbas studied till class 12th in his native place Bahraich. Then he pursued B.Tech in electronics and communication from Integral University in Lucknow. “Thereafter I decided for civil services. When after preparing for two years I could not find success, I joined Bank of Baroda as Probationary Officer. I worked there for almost five years while preparing for civil services exam.”

But since this plan was not working, he resigned from the bank job in 2017 and dedicated full one year for civil services. “In this period of one year,with the grace of Almighty and prayers of my parents, I was able to crack this exam.”

He secured 137th rank in the list 990 successful candidates of Civil Services Examination 2017, whose results were announced on 27th April. He got success in his fifth attempt. Last time, he had reached the interview level but could not qualify.

He was coached at Jamia Millia Islamia’s Residential Coaching Academy.

What pushed him for Civil Services?

“I have one brother who is especially abled. That pushed me towards this exam. I wanted to do something that section of the society. He is deaf and dumb since childhood,” says Abbas. His sister, youngest among three siblings, is doing M.Arch from Jamia Millia Islamia. “They were my pillars of support during my exam,” he says.

For his success, he wants to give credit to “Almighty Allah and to my father and mother.” “My mother and father were pillars of support in this exam,” says Abbas. His father Safdar Raza has retired from Central Warehousing Corporation and mother Zakia Begum as principal from a government primary school.

With 137th rank, Abbas is most likely to join Indian Police Service.

In his message to the community youths, he says: “One should constantly work towards his goals sincerely because as I have felt in my case and also in many other cases of whom I know very personally, that whoever was diligent and working with consistent endeavor has succeeded in their exam. So as an aspirant, one must do his best and leave everything on Almighty Allah and everything will fall in place.”

The Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination, 2017 was conducted on 18th June, 2017. Over 9.57 lakh candidates applied for this examination, out of which 4,56,625 candidates actually appeared. Only 13,366 candidates qualified for appearance in the Written (Main) Examination held in October – November, 2017. Of them, 2568 candidates qualified for the Personality Test conducted in February – April, 2018. The final results were announced on 27th April and 990 candidates were declared successful. Around 50 of them are Muslims.

Related Stories:

Part One: Despite Several Failures, I Didn’t Give up, Says Junaid Ahmad from Uttar Pradesh

Part Three: By Cracking Civil Services Exam, Two Muslim Youths Create History for Aurangabad of Maharashtra

Part Four: Prejudice, Myths to Blame for Fewer Muslims in UPSC Exams, Says Successful Aspirant

Part Five: Jamia Millia Played Key Role in My Success, Says Bihar Youth Ranked 154 in Civil Services Exam



  1. It is very inspiring to know that a young boy who has a specially abled brother has worked so hard that he has cracked lPS exam.Congratulations to him and his family.

  2. I know Ali from child hood we done schooling together and shared many life experiences. One thing I m proud of him is that he was always clear and focused towards his goals at the age were peoples don’t even know about there path and future endeavors. Really proud of you brother and pray to god for all the sucess in life.


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