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Complete List of UPSC Toppers (1972-2016)


One of the most prestigious services in India, Civil Services, are the foremost priority to get into the ambit of Government machinery. Every year the Union Public Service Commission conducts the Examination on All India basis. Around 5 lakh candidates appear for the examination every year, and only around 1000 of them make the final tally. At least 100 toppers are selected to the IAS. Remaining candidates join other services. Here’s a list of UPSC Toppers since 1972:

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Anudeep Durishetty (2017)

Anudeep Durishetty

  • Marks- 1126/2025
  • Attempt- 5th
  • Optional- Anthropology

Anudeep Durishetty completed her B. Tech in Civil Engineering from the prestigious Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani. After graduation, he joined ‘Google India’ and started preparing for the Civil services. He also worked as Assistant Commissioner (P) at Indian Revenue Service, and was posted in Hyderabad. In his fifth attempt, he topped the exam with AIR 1 in 2017.

Nandini K R (2016)

Nandini KR - IAS Topper

  • Marks- 1120/2025
  • Attempt- 4th
  • Optional- Kannada Literature

Nandini K R completed her B. Tech in Civil Engineering from MS Ramaiah Institute of Technology, Bangalore. After graduation, she started preparing for the Civil services. In her second attempt, she cleared the exam with AIR 849 in 2014. She was allotted Indian Revenue Services. But due to her strong desire of becoming an IAS, she took a leave from her job and dedicated one full year to prepare for the examination and finally became an IAS in her 4th attempt in 2016.

Tina Dabi (2015)

Tina Dabi

  • Marks- 1063/2025
  • Attempt- 1st
  • Optional- Political Science

Tina Dabi is one of the youngest candidates to clear the Civil Services exam and that too in her first attempt. Unlike most other students, she chose humanities over science and started her preparation in school days itself. She did her graduation from Sri Ram College of Commerce, New Delhi. She was also the CBSE topper and College topper.

Ira Singhal (2014)

Ira Singhal

  • Marks- 1082/ 2025
  • Attempt- 4th
  • Optional- Geography

Ira Singhal’s journey to become an IAS officer has been an extraordinary one. She cleared the UPSC exam in 2010 but was denied the entry into the Indian Revenue Services (IRS) as she suffers from a condition called Scoliosis, owing to which she has difficulty in moving her arms. But despite her rejection on medical grounds, she fought her case at the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) and was finally admitted into the IRS in 2014. According to Ira, she wants to do something for the benefit of differently abled people. She had also done an MBA in Marketing & Finance from Faculty and Management Studies, Delhi.

Gaurav Aggarwal (2017)

 

Gaurav Aggarwal

  • Marks- 975/2025
  • Attempt- 2nd
  • Optional- Economics

Gaurav left his lucrative career in Investment Banking in Hong Kong to work for the service of the nation. He is an IIT Delhi and IIM Lucknow alumni. In his first attempt, he was allotted the Indian Police Service with AIR 244. In a speech, Gaurav said that working as an IAS officer in a remote area after living a luxurious life is although a difficult task, however, when you can solve the problems of people, it gives you an immense satisfaction.

Haritha V Kumar (2012)

Haritha V Kumar

  • Marks- 1193/2300
  • Attempt- 4th
  • Optional- Economics and Malayalam

Haritha completed her Engineering in Electronics and Communication from the Government Engineering College, Barton Hill in the year 2007. Early in her childhood, she had decided to become an IAS officer. In her second attempt, she got 179th rank and was allotted the Indian Police Service. But she chose Indian Revenue Services. She got 294th rank in her 3rd attempt. After that, she took a break of one year from services to prepare for the IAS and ended up getting 1st Rank in her fourth attempt.

Dr. Shena Aggarwal (2011)

Dr Shena Aggarwal

  • Marks- 1338/2300
  • Attempt- 3rd
  • Optional- Medical Science and Psychology

Sheena had completed her MBBS from AIIMS. She was also a topper of CBSE PMT, 2004. Although becoming an IAS officer was her childhood dream, she became stern about it during her internship of MBBS in a rural area. In her second attempt, Sheena was able to secure 305th rank and was given Indian Revenue Services, and it was the year 2011 when she finally became an IAS officer with AIR 1.

S. Divyadharsini (2010)

S Divyadharsini

  • Marks- 1334/2300
  • Attempt- 2nd
  • Optional- Law and Public Administration

Divyadharshini was a law graduate. She graduated in BA BL (Hons) from School of Excellence in Law College, Tamilnadu. In her 1st attempt, she could not qualify the prelims. Meanwhile, she joined SBI in clerical cadre. Becoming an IAS officer was her sole dream, and she was ready to exhaust all her attempts to fulfill that dream.

Shah Faesal (2009)

Shah Faisal

  • Marks- 1361/2300
  • Attempt- 1st
  • Optional- Public Administration and Urdu

A doctor by profession, Shah Faisal became the first candidate to be selected into the IAS from Kashmir. His father was a teacher and was killed by terrorists. After topping the UPSC exam, Faisal became a role model for Kashmiri youth. He completed his MBBS from Sher-i-Kashmir Medical College, Srinagar. Shah Faisal is very active on social media and tries to connect with Kashmiri youth to guide them in the right direction. He is known to have a love for poetry.

Shubhra Saxena (2008)

Shubhra Saxena

  • Marks- 1371/2300
  • Attempt- 2nd
  • Optional- Public Administration and Psychology

Shubhra was a Software Engineer by profession, and before her career in the civil services, she was working at the Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) in Noida. She is an alumnus of IIT Roorkee. She could not clear the exam in her first attempt and managed to get 1st rank in her 2nd attempt. She said that she was not satisfied with her job as a Software Engineer and wanted to do something for the betterment of society, so she chose to quit the job for the preparation of civil services.

Apada Karthik (2007)

Apada Karthik

  • Marks- 1458/2300
  • Attempt- 3rd
  • Optional- Zoology and Psychology

Adapa Karthik is a doctor by profession, and to serve the nation, he has even rejected scholarships from Harvard and Cambridge in the service. Even after getting into civil services, he organises health camps for the needy people. In his previous two attempts, he was selected for the IPS.

Mutyalaraju Revu (2006)

Mutyalaraju Revu

  • Attempt- 3rd
  • Optional- Electrical Engineering and Maths

Mutylalaraju Revu completed his B. Tech from the National Institute of Technology, Warangal and his Masters in Engineering (ME) in Signal Processing from the Indian Institute of Sciences, Bangalore. He had also cleared GATE and IES and worked as the Railways Engineer. In his first attempt, he was selected for the IPS.

Mona Pruthi (2005)

Mona Pruthi

  • Attempt- 3rd
  • Optional- English Literature and Sociology

Mona is an Economics graduate from Delhi University’s Shri Ram College of Commerce and a postgraduate from the Delhi School of Economics. She worked with the American Express. However, after working there for one year, she quit the job to prepare for the examination. In her previous attempt, she was selected into Indian Revenue Services.

S. Nagarajan (2004)

S Nagarajan

  • Marks- 1247/2300
  • Attempt- 4th
  • Optional- Sociology and Geography

Nagarajan did his B.Tech in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from BITS, Pilani. After completing graduation, he started preparing for the civil services. He managed to reach till interview stage in his first attempt. In his second attempt, he was allotted the Indian Railway Traffic Services.

Roopa Mishra (2003)

Roopa Mishra

  • Attempt- 1st
  • Optional- Public Administration and Psychology

Roopa Mishra studied science up to plus-two level, but then switched to Commerce. She completed her MBA from Utkal University. She takes inspiration from the work of farmers, soldiers, and homemakers and wants to pay them back by serving them as an IAS officer.

Ankur Garg (2002)

Ankur Garg

  • Attempt- 1st
  • Optional- Physics and Chemistry

Ankur Garg was an Electrical Engineer graduate from IIT, Delhi. After graduation, he was offered hefty pay package by MNCs, but he rejected those offers. Ankur belongs to the family of doctors, but he wanted to become an IAS officer since class 3rd. During his engineering, he also had a chance to do an internship in France and Switzerland.

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Alok Ranjan Jha (2001)

Alok Ranjan Jha

  • Attempt- 3rd
  • Optional- Sociology and Political Science

Alok was a Humanities students from the State of Bihar. He did his graduation and masters from the Hindu College, Delhi. Then he pursued M.Phil from the Jawahar Lal Nehru University. In his previous attempt, he narrowly missed the final cut off by 5 marks. Also, However, when he finally cleared the exam in 2001, he chose IFS over IAS.

Vijayalakshmi Bidari (2000)

Vijayalakshmi Bidari

  • Attempt- 2nd
  • Optional- Political Science and Kannada Literature

Vijayalakshmi Bidari belongs to a family of civil servants. Her father, brother, husband, and sister-in-law are all into the civil services. She completed her Computer Engineering at RV College of Engineering. After B. Tech, she was offered a job by BFL Software and HPCL Calcutta. In her first attempt, she secured 107th rank.

Sorabh Babu (1999)

Sorabh Babu

  • Attempt- 1st
  • Optional- Maths and Mechanical Engineering

Sorabh did his B. Tech in Mechanical Engineering from a University in Uttar Pradesh. He topped the UPSC exam in his very first attempt.

Bhawna Garg (1998)

Bhawna Garg

  • Attempt- 1st
  • Optional- Maths and Chemistry

Bhawna was an IIT Kanpur graduate in Chemical Engineering. She was the first woman to secure the first rank in the UPSC Exam. During her training at LBSNAA, she was awarded a gold medal for best performance in extra-curricular activities. She belongs to Punjab.

Devesh Kumar (1997)

Devesh Kumar

  • Marks- 1462/2300
  • Optional- Chemistry and Geography

Devesh Kumar is an IAS officer from Bihar. He did his graduation and masters in Chemical Engineering from IIT Kanpur. He also did his Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Syracuse University, Maxwell School (2014-2015). After clearing the exam, he was given the Himachal Pradesh cadre.

Sunil Kumar Barnwal (1996)

Sunil Kumar Barnwal

  • Marks- 1417/2300
  • Optional- Maths and Physics

Sunil belongs to a very humble family from Bihar. He left his home after 10th standard, and with hard work, he was able to get admission into Petroleum Engineering in ISM, Dhanbad. He used to study for civil services during his vacations in college. He also excelled in his academics and ended up getting the Gold medal. But engineering was just his backup plan as he always wanted to be an IAS officer. After completing graduation, he joined GAIL and side by side kept preparing for the civil services. He could not succeed in his first attempt but secured 1st rank in the second attempt.

Iqbal Dhaliwal (1995)

Iqbal Dhaliwal

  • Marks- 1446/2300
  • Attempt- 2nd
  • Optional- Economics and Public Administration

Iqbal Dhaliwal completed his B.A. (Honors) in Economics from Sri Venkateswara College, Delhi University in 1992, and M.A. in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics in 1994, and also secured the first rank in the college. In his first attempt, he secured 229th rank. To become an IAS officer, he again appeared for the exam.

Ashutosh Jindal (1994)

Ashutosh Jindal

  • Attempt- 1st

Ashutosh belongs to Punjab and is a 1995 Batch IAS officer of Manipur Tripura Cadre. He was a topper of Electronics and Communication Engineering at Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology, Patiala.

Srivatsa Krishna (1993)

Srivatsa Krishna

Srivatsa Krishna’s first posting was as an SDM in Delhi. Later, he was picked up by Chandrababu Naidu in his team of bureaucrats to make Hyderabad an IT hub. Srivatsa’s role in the development of Hyderabad is applaudable. After working in Hyderabad, he joined Harvard Business School for MBA, and on completion of his course, he went on to work at World Bank. In 2003, World Economic Forum at Davos bestowed on him the prestigious “Global Leader for Tomorrow” Award.

Anurag Srivastava (1992)

Anurag Srivastava

  • Attempt- 1st

Anurag belongs to Uttar Pradesh and has a B.Tech degree in Civil Engineering from IIT, Kanpur. Becoming an IAS officer was his childhood dream.

Raju Narayana Swamy (1991)

Raju Narayana Swamy

Raju joined the services at the age of 23 from Kerala. He obtained his engineering degree in Computer Science from IIT, Madras. He was the State topper in 10th standard and also cleared GATE exam. Raju is known for his crusade against corruption.

V. V. Lakshminarayana (1990)

V. V. Lakshminarayana

Lakshminarayana hails from Andhra Pradesh and is an alumnus of NIT, Warangal and IIT, Madras. Laxmi joined the services at the age of 25. He is one of the few aspirants who chose IPS over IAS. He is known for his stint as SP of Nanded and in the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad.

Shashi Prakash Goyal (1989)

Shashi Prakash Goyal

Shashi belongs to Uttar Pradesh cadre. His qualifications include graduation in Mathematics, Physics, and Statistics. Recently, Uttar Pradesh government had asked for Shashi’s reparation from Central Deputation to his parent cadre.

Prashant Kumar (1988)

Prashant Kumar

Prashant Kumar is a native of Bihar and is an IAS officer of West Bengal Cadre. He was the district magistrate of North Dinajpur in the 1990s but later went to Delhi on deputation in the Union ministry of petroleum and natural gas.

Amir Subhani (1987)

Amir Subhani

Amir Subhani is a Bihar cadre IAS officer. He has served as the Principal Secretary of Home Department in Bihar.

Dr. Hrusikesh Panda (1978)

Dr. Hrushikesh Panda

Dr. Hrusikesh Panda opted for his Home State Orissa as his cadre. His educational qualification includes an M.Sc. in Chemistry, a Diploma in Social Work, an MBA from Australia, and a Ph.D. in English. He is a well-known fiction writer from Orissa. Most of his career has been devoted working for the poor.

32. Javed Usmani (1977)

Javed Usmani

  • Attempt- 1st

Usmani has an MBA degree from IIM, Ahmedabad and an MSc degree in Social Policy and Planning from the London School of Economics. He joined as an IAS officer in 1978 and was allotted the Uttar Pradesh cadre.

Bhaskar Balakrishnan (1974)

Bhaskar Balakrishnan

Bhaskar Balakrishnan has studied at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (1963-66), Delhi University (1966-68), and holds a Ph.D. from Stony Brook University, USA (1968-72) in the field of Theoretical High Energy and Particle Physics. He has held teaching assignments at Panjab University (1972-74) and Stony Brook University, USA. He joined Indian Foreign Services in 1974. He has also served as the Ambassador of India to Greece, Cuba, Haiti and Dominican Republic.

Nirupama Rao (1973)

Nirupama Rao

  • Attempt- 1st

Nirupama Rao has served as Indian’s Foreign Secretary from 2009 to 2011. She chose IFS over IAS. Nirupma obtained her master’s degree in English Literature from Marathwada University in Maharashtra.

Duvvuri Subbarao (1972)

Duvvuri Subbarao

  • Attempt- 1st
  • Optional- Physics

Duvvuri Subbarao completed his M.Sc. degree from IIT Kanpur and then topped the UPSC CSE. He was allocated Andhra Pradesh Cadre. D. Subbarao also served as the 22nd Governor of Reserve Bank of India. To study Economics, he joined Ohio State University, US and later also went to Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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