|Famous For||Being the first visually impaired IAS officer in India|
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters- 152 cm
in meters- 1.52 m
in feet inches- 5’
|Service||Indian Administrative Service (IAS)|
|Major Designation(s)||• Assistant Collector of Ernakulam district, Kerala
• Sub-Collector of Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
|Date of Birth||1 April 1988 (Friday)|
|Age (as in 2019)||31 Years|
|Birthplace||Wadaji Village, Jalgaon, Maharashtra|
|School||• Kamla Mehta Dadar School, Mumbai
• Chandibai Himatlal Manshukhani, Ulhasnagar, Maharashtra
|College/University||• St. Xaviers College, Mumbai
• Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)
|Educational Qualification(s)||• Bachelor of Arts (BA) from St. Xaviers College, Mumbai
• Master of Arts (MA) from the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)
• Master of Philosophy (M.Phil) from the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)
• PhD in International Relations from the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)
|Hobbies||Reading Books of Japanese Buddhist, Daisaku Ikeda|
|Controversy||In 2016, Pranjal was allotted a job in the Indian Railway Accounts Service (IRAS). She was informed that her training would start in December, but in November 2016, she got a letter from the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) that her allotment was being cancelled, as the Indian Railways does not employ someone with 100% vision impairment. Pranjal was furious after hearing this. She wrote letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu, and other high ranking officials seeking justice. Several media houses covered the story. Pranjal stated that she passed the UPSC exam like any other person, and she should get a job according to her merit. In 2017, Suresh Prabhu met her, and he tweeted stating that Pranjal will be given a job according to her merit soon.|
|Relationships & More|
|Husband/Spouse||Komal Singh Patil (Businessman)
|Parents||Father- Lahen Singh B Patil (Engineering Assistant)
Mother- Jyothi Patil
|Salary (approx.)||56100 INR + other allowances|
Some Lesser Known Facts About Pranjal Patil
- Pranjal Patil is the first visually impaired IAS Officer in India. Her first posting was as the Sub-Collector of Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala in 2019.
- Pranjal lost her vision when she was just six years old. She was born with weak eyesight. Reportedly, she lost her vision completely after her eyes were exposed to direct sunlightSheThePeople. Another source states that once a classmate hit her in the eye with a pencil, due to which she lost vision in one of her eyes. After being treated, the doctors told her parents that as she was born with weak eyesight, she would soon lose vision in her other eye too, and within a year, she completely lost vision from both of her eyesAmarUjala.
- Even though she lost vision in both her eyes, her parents never let her impairment stand between her education. Her parents got her enrolled into “The Kamla Mehta School For The Blind” in Mumbai.
- During her college days, she used to travel from her home in Ulhasnagar to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) to her college. She stated that people were always helpful to her whenever she was travelling. People would always help her get on the train, cross the road, climb bridges, and she never faced any problems.
- When Pranjal was pursuing her graduation, her friend read an article about the Indian Administrative Service (IAS). It piqued her interest in civil services, and she decided to pursue a career in the same. However, she waited until she was ready to appear in the exam.
- In 2015, when Pranjal was pursuing her MPhil degree, she started preparing for the UPSC entrance exam.
- While preparing for the UPSC entrance exam, she used technology to help her in the preparations. She used a software named Job Access with Speech (JAWS), which is a screen reading software, which helps visually impaired users to read the screen with text-to-speech output and a refreshable braille display.
- Once, in an interview, she stated that the process of preparing through JAWS was tough, as she had to get the necessary books scanned to use JAWS; as JAWS only reads printed documents. She also had to find a writer for her exam. The main exam is of 3 hours, but people who use a writer get 4 hours to finish the paper. Hence, she had to find someone who could match the speed of her dictation.
- Her friend Vidushi came to her aid as a writer. She was very happy with Vidushi being her writer, as she was super fast and would also help Pranjal during her preparations. Pranjal states-
I had perfect tuning with Vidushi. She would scold me if I slowed down in the exam. It was like I uttered a word and it was on paper”
- She states that she never took any coaching classes for her preparations, but she used to go for “test series,” which helped her get disciplined for her preparations.
- She appeared for the UPSC exam in 2015, and she scored a ranking of 773. She was allotted a job in the Indian Railway Accounts Service (IRAS), but as her vision was nil, she wasn’t deemed fit for the job.
- In an interview, she stated that she was very disappointed after her rejection from the job in the Indian Railways, but it only made her stronger and more determined to get a better rank in her second attempt.
- In 2017, Pranjal attempted the UPSC entrance exam once again, and she achieved AIR 124.
- She became the first woman to qualify for IAS as a blind student.
- She was felicitated by Akashwani (All India Radio) Pune for overcoming her visual impairment and cracking the civil services exam.
- Pranjal idolizes and follows the writings of a Japanese Buddhist, Daisaku Ikeda. She reads his writings every day, and it helps her believe that nothing is impossible for her. Pranjal also idolizes Stephen Hawking.
- In 2018, she completed the first leg of her IAS training from the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration in Mussorie, Uttarakhand.
- On 28 May 2018, she took charge as the Assistant Collector of the Ernakulam district of Kerala. She became the first visually impaired IAS officer in India.
- In December 2018, she made headlines, when Pranjal and her husband became organ donors at her brother’s wedding in Ulhasnagar. She stated that she signed up to be an organ donor in public to inspire as many people as possible to become organ donors.
- On 14 October 2019, she took charge as the Sub-Collector of Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. She was welcomed on her first day by the District Collector K Gopalakrishnan, who stated her appointment as an auspicious event for Thiruvananthapuram.
- In an interview, she stated-
Success doesn’t give inspiration; the struggle behind success gives you the inspiration. But success is important because only then people will be interested to know your struggle. The attitude and the approach to do something matters and each individual can become a building block for a beautiful society”