(TOPPER) Roopa Mishra - First Woman from Orissa to top IAS Examination

(TOPPER) Roopa Mishra - First Woman from Orissa to top IAS Examination

"I believe in leading by example...": IAS topper 2003 Roopa Mishra

May 08, 2004 16:41 IST

Roopa Mishra, the Indian Administrative Service examination topper 
for 2003, on Saturday said she strongly believed in leading by 

"I aim to make a difference. It is not whether you are a man or a 
woman, but the kind of person you are what's 
important," Mishra, 27, said.

"The kind of spirit I have in me, I would do in the same way whether 
I am a man or woman," she said replying to queries from reporters at 
her parents' Shahidnagar residence in Bhubaneswar.

Mishra attributed her success to her faith in God and handwork put in 
for around ten months. She credits her husband Anshuman Tripathy, 
parents, in-laws and teachers also for the same.

"My husband is my friend and he initiated me into this system of 
examination," she said. Tripathy is a fellow at the IIM, Calcutta.

On her success in the Union Public Service Commission-conducted 
examination, Mishra said many factors went into
making a person successful, but one mistake could make everything 

The topper said she had done very well in the exam, but didn't expect 
to top the list. "It came as a bonus."

The news of her topping the exam came from a career magazine's 
office. "I was thrilled, I wept," Mishra, the daughter of Danda 
Nirodh Mishra, an IAS officer, said.

Mishra studied science at the plus-two level and then switched to 
commerce, completing her post-graduation in management from Utkal 

She briefly worked for a local TV channel anchoring programmes and 
taught at the Directorate of Distant and
Continuing Education of the Utkal University. She married three-and-
half years ago.

Asked whether she ever dreamt of becoming an IAS officer, a beaming 
Rupa said: "Not exactly but I had many dreams at different times."

Mishra, who had public administration and psychology as her subjects, 
stayed in Delhi for ten months to prepare for the exam. "It is very 
important to chose subjects with care and I chose public 
administration as it is relevant and psychology as it deals with 
human behaviour which is interesting," she said.

Replying to a question as to why she chose to join the civil service 
when she had a degree in management, Mishra said: 
"I believe the civil servant is the biggest manager of all."

As regards her preparation, she said she did not slog but had a clear 
idea as to how she would go about it.

Describing poverty in Orissa as an enigma, Mishra said: "It's poverty 
amidst plenty."

Mishra is the first IAS topper from the state since Prafulla Chandra 
Mishra in 1982 and Hrusikesh Panda in 1979.