Rising from the ashes left behind by militancy, and topping the Kashmir Administrative Service (KAS) exam—Anjum Bashir Khan Khattak has finally realised a long-standing dream.
The son of a retired lecturer and government teacher, 27-year-old Anjum cracked the exam in his very first attempt and secured the first rank, reported the Hindustan Times. For the future administrative officer, whose family suffered the wrath of insurgency in the early ‘90s, this achievement meant a lot.
“In 1990s, Surankote had been in the grip of peak insurgency, and in 1998, my ancestral house was torched by terrorists at Mohra Bachai (in Poonch district’s Surankote),” said Anjum, who teaches mathematics in a local government school, to the Hindustan Times.
Undeterred by the incident he began harbouring dreams of clearing the KAS exams. Anjum completed his undergraduate degree in studied Computer Science from Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University (BGSBU) in Rajouri and completed his course in 2012. He began preparing for the KAS soon after.
“I never went to any coaching centre. I did all the preparation by myself. My focus was on presentation,” said Anjum. His parents, Anjum says, supported him through the entire process.
For the KAS topper, the secret to his success did not lie in burning the midnight oil, but the consistent and steady assimilation of information and insight. “One must be consistent and should study topics,” he told the Hindustan Times. “I never studied after 11 in the night.”
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For the preliminary stage of the exam, Anjum chose public administration, and for the main exam, he opted for anthropology and public administration, a subject he deems his favourite.
When asked why he didn’t want to pursue the prestigious Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) exam, Anjum told the national daily that as the only child, he felt an obligation to stay close to his parents.
“I want to remain with my parents. We have already seen turmoil. Therefore, I decided to prepare for the JKPSC (Jammu and Kashmir Public Service Commission, under which the KAS exam is conducted) to serve my people and at the same time remain with my parents,” he said.