Meet Tina Dabi IAS officer from Haryana Cadre 2015-16
Tina Dabi, a Dalit woman has achieved a great feat and brought laurels to her community. She not just cleared the UPSC IAS Exam with flying colours, but bagged the first rank for herself in the year 2015-16 category. Like most candidates, her parents have been a constant source of support for the girl and have helped and mentored her throughout her journey to achieve this feat.
She especially credits her success to her mother from whom she draws her greatest qualities of strength, dedication and goal setting in life.
Tina’s early days and personal life
Tina hails from the city of Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh. She lives in New Delhi at present. Her family chose to shift to New Delhi from Bhopal when she was in her seventh grade at school. She continued her schooling at Convent of Jesus and Mary, New Delhi.
She pursued college from Lady Sri Ram College for women, New Delhi. She did her graduation in arts. She developed a keen interest in political science and has studied the same subject under graduation.
She is an avid reader, travels a lot to other places to know more about people and cultures. She is a passionate painter too. Whenever she is having spare time, spends it either in reading or painting. It is interesting to note that both her parents had cleared the Civil services exams earlier.
They had successfully cleared the Indian Engineering services exam under UPSC. Tina recalls that she had a keen interest to pursue commerce graduation and not take to arts. But her love for political science pushed her towards the arts stream. It was along with political science as a subject that she even built her IAS dreams around and then there was no looking back from there.
The IAS corner
Tina displayed lot of interest and enthusiasm in IAS preparation. She keenly studied the constitution of India and followed Indian political not just from college days, but as early as from school life itself. This led to her opting political science in her graduation.
She topped her college and bagged top spot there too. She was very good at debate competitions right from the beginning and a voracious orator too. At a young age of 22, she managed to clear the IAS exam, in the very first attempt. This is very commendable for her age and the Prime Minister was all praises for this girl when she achieved this feat.
She secured a whopping 1063 marks for a total of 2025 marks. There are a lot of women from her community (scheduled Caste) who have cleared the IAS exam previously, but none have done it by getting the 1st rank like her.
English was her preferred language for both exams and interview. She not just cleared the exams with a whip, but recounts the tough scheduled she drew for herself before this could happen.
She spent almost 10 to 14 hours of rigorous preparation for chasing her IAS dreams. Tina spent her efforts in answering old question papers of general studies and referred to almost twenty years old papers.
As she calls it, IAS is not an easy cake ride, but a very tough nut to crack and the amount of commitment and perseverance needed to clear the exam is immense. Throughout her educational journey right from school till college days, she has maintained a consistent and top performing academic record, maintain excellence in all circles.
Apart from being a good student at academics, she also stresses on the need to put focus on smart and strategic planning for any exam, small or big. It’s always good to plan and forecast well ahead for one’s future, in her words. Many candidates choose the last year of graduation as the ideal time for UPSC preparation.
But this was not the case to be with Tina. She knew she had to clear IAS and bring a proud name back to the Dalit community. Hence, she started dreaming early and began preparation as early as class eleven. She hails from the rigid societal places of Haryana.
She wanted to prove beyond community and caste matters and make a spot for herself at the national level. She stresses on the importance of taking small breaks while trying to study for an exam. Balancing academic preparation wit breaks for refreshing mind is very essential.
Tina’s work and dedication roles
Tina has expressed deep concerns over the safety of women in our country and vows to work for women empowerment as top priority. She aims to bring a change in women’s lives in our society. She also aims to move further up the ladder in her career and plans to become a Cabinet Secretary in Parliament some day.
Tina called her achievement a very proud moment for herself and her family. She was confident of making it to the final list of candidates, but bagging the first rank was something she never sighted even in the farthest of her dreams. She calls it a very ecstatic and happy moment in her life.
She owes all this achievement to a lot of hard and smart work put together, lots of patience in letting things set on the right track, good and vast understanding of the core subject areas and also for being blessed with a mother who stood by her in all her efforts and encouraged her day and night. Also, dedication towards one’s studies is extremely important according to her and acts as a big deciding factor.
Tina used to spend nearly 14 hours a day and organised her studies and structured a smart time table to cover the vast syllabus for the exam. She says one should have thorough self confidence in the studies one is sticking to and not get carried away by factors that disturb others.
Sticking to one particular methodology and approach will yield good results at the end. There is no sure shot formula for success in her words. It depends on how we approach the exam in hindsight. Thinking of the exam as a very tough one and losing confidence on one’s abilities will only jerk the marks that one is capable of attaining.
Also, focus on what needs to be studied, what is essential for the examination and what will ultimately fetch marks. Discipline gathering towards good studies is a must. She loves her subject political science. She is an expert in the core concepts and fundamental theories in there.
She says one should love the subject he has chosen for himself. Studying merely from an examination point of view would only fetch marks for sustaining in the exam but gathering expert knowledge will go deep in understanding and increasing capabilities of oneself.
Tina’s take on work ethics
The reason Tina chose Haryana cadre for her is because she wanted to experience economic development in a hands on manner and she thought there’s no better place than Haryana to see this happening. Other important criteria for opting Haryana was that she always felt Haryana moved ahead in development strategies of the country but definitely seemed lagging behind in social parameters.
It is a tough and inhibiting paradoxical situation for the whole state and if the country has to see progress, then every sphere and every state has to surge ahead in metrics of economic performance and strategy building.
She knew Haryana would be a tough challenge for her. She, being a tough task master herself wanted to work on particular aspects of the clinging behind factors present in the state. She laid her first priorities on improving the sex ratio between boy and girl child as it was very bad there.
She set her strategies forth right in trying every measure to improve the sex ratio and thereby decreasing female infanticide and empowering women to fight against a patriarchal built society.
Tina Dabi puts stress on work ethics before anything. She works daily on improving her communication and speech skills as it is one of the vital aspects of her tough jobs in line. She has shown great aptitude in her speech and oration skills.
She was sent appointed as the vice speaker at the Youth parliament back in the year 2012 where she showcased her talent as one of the most motivational speakers at the event.
No wonder she has shown keen interest in debates since the time she was in school. She aims to train and guide girls who are in line and waiting to attempt IAS exams. She plans to help and mentor more girls and encourage them to take away the exam and not shy away due to its toughness.
Her motto is to help women achieve a good ranking in the very first attempt itself. For that she has even opened her own website which contains a lot of educational blogs plus guidance words for people aspiring to make it to the top in IAS exams. She is a secular at heart and encourages healthy nation building activities under her mentorship.