Three Puneites have ranked among the top 100 in the country in the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) civil services examination, the results of which were declared on Wednesday.
Aayush Sanjeev Oak, 25, a resident of Shivajinagar, stood 42nd. Nileshkumar Mahadev Kshirsagar, who stays in Shirur, secured 78th rank, and Ashish Suresh Thakare, a resident of Sahakarnagar, stood 98th.
The other successful candidates from Pune include Suhas Ganpatrao Dabade of Tingrenagar (353rd) rank, Padmasinha Uttam Jadhav of Dhankavdi (482nd) and Adish Digvijay Pathania of Dapodi (555th).
Kranti Khobragade, a female candidate from Pune, ranked 777th. She was a resident of Wanavdi, and has recently shifted to Nagpur.
Speaking to DNA, an elated Aayush, who has done mechanical engineering from the Maharashtra Institute of Technology said, "I always wanted to pursue a career in civil administration. As I have secured a good rank my first preference will be the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and second is the Indian Foreign Service (IFS)."
This was Aayush's third attempt at the exams. His father is an architect and mother a businesswoman.
Nilesh, who is working as a deputy collector in Osmanabad, was also extremely happy with his results. "This was my first attempt. I also cleared my State Civil Services Examination in the first attempt. I would prefer the IAS," said Nilesh, who is also an ayurvedic doctor and has done his course from Tilak Ayurveda Mahavidyalaya. He has done his 10+2 from SP College.
The 98th rank holder, Ashish, described his success in the examination as "a dream come true". Ashish is doing his MPhil from the University of Pune (UoP) and is a visiting faculty at the Symbiosis School of Economics. Ashish's father is a retired judge.
According to tutorials imparting coaching for the UPSC examination, over 80 students from the state have succeeded in the examination.
According to Nitin Mane, project officer of Dr Ambedkar Competitive Examination Center (ACEC) in Yashada, this year the results are satisfactory as far as Maharashtra is concerned. The centre trains candidates from weaker sections of society for the examination.
Forty-six candidates from different parts of the state, who were trained by the centre, have passed the examination. "I feel that more candidates from weaker sections of society and girls must appear for the examination," he added.
The Unique Academy director, Tukaram Jadhav, said the results of the students of Maharashtra in the UPSC examination are quite satisfactory.
"As far as I know, no student from the state was among the top 100 last year. But we now have quite a few in the top 100. There is a need to increase the number of girls clearing the examination, which has now become more challenging," he said.