Meet Haldwani DM Vandana Singh Chauhan, Who Cracked UPSC With Self-Study To Become IAS Despite Family Opposition | India News

  • February 13, 2024

New Delhi: Violence broke out in Banbhoolpura, Indira Nagar, sending shockwaves through the tranquil streets and causing tensions to escalate in the serene town of Haldwani, Uttarakhand. The genesis of this turmoil lay in the attempted eviction of a madrasa by the police, igniting simmering discontent among the locals. Situated amidst the picturesque landscape of the Nainital district, the daunting task of restoring order fell squarely on the shoulders of Vandana Singh Chauhan, the District Magistrate (DM) of Nainital. Her swift and decisive actions became the linchpin in quelling the unrest that threatened to engulf the entire community.

Today, we delve into the remarkable journey of IAS Vandana Singh Chauhan, a testament to resilience and determination amidst adversity. Despite encountering formidable opposition, her resolve to chart a path in the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) remained unwavering.

Born on April 4, 1989, in the heartland of Haryana, Vandana encountered formidable obstacles stemming from her family’s entrenched beliefs regarding girls’ education. In a society steeped in tradition, the pursuit of academic excellence by a girl was often frowned upon. Undeterred by societal norms, Vandana’s father, Mahipal Singh Chauhan, exhibited rare courage by enrolling her in Kanya Gurukul near Moradabad, defying entrenched conventions and inviting the ire of relatives. This act of defiance served as a beacon of inspiration for Vandana, instilling in her a steely resolve to conquer the odds and realize her dream of becoming an IAS officer.

Following her intermediate education, Vandana embarked on the arduous journey of preparing for the UPSC exams while pursuing a degree in law at B.R. Ambedkar University, Agra. Despite being enrolled in college, familial support remained elusive, compelling Vandana to forgo the comforts of campus life and study from the confines of her home. Resourcefulness became her ally as she resorted to ordering law books online or dispatching her brother on errands to procure study materials.

With the culmination of her undergraduate studies, Vandana devoted herself wholeheartedly to preparing for the UPSC civil services exam. Immersed in a rigorous regimen, she dedicated an impressive 12-14 hours daily to her studies, exhibiting unparalleled commitment and determination. In an insightful interview, her mother, Mithilesh, reminisced about Vandana’s unwavering resolve, highlighting her aversion to using a cooler during summers, convinced that cooler temperatures induced drowsiness and hindered productivity.

In her quest for success, Vandana traversed the path alone, with only her brother offering occasional support amidst a backdrop of familial indifference. Her perseverance bore fruit when she clinched victory in her maiden attempt in 2012, securing an enviable All India Rank of 8 in the UPSC, thereby etching her name in the annals of success and inspiring generations to come.

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