Madrasa Graduate from Lower Middle Class Family Cracks Civil Services Exam
“I could clear UPSC because of the confidence built in me by the madrasa” says Shahid Raza Khan who is currently doing PhD at JNU.
Tazeem Haider and Mumtaz Alam | India Tomorrow
New Delhi, April 6— “Hello Everyone, Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullah.” These were the opening words of Shahid Raza Khan, one of the 759 successful candidates of Civil Services Exam 2018, while talking to India Tomorrow in New Delhi on Saturday. The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) announced the final results of Civil Services Exam 2018 Friday night. Khan thanks the Almighty and applauds the role of his family for his success. The two different phrases of salutations in the beginning of the exclusive interview with India Tomorrow actually define the academic career of Khan who hails from Gaya district in Bihar.
Between schooling in Gaya and graduation and post-graduation in Delhi, Shahid Raza Khan studied at a madrasa in Azamgarh, and he wants to give credit for his success to the confidence he says built in him by the madrasa.
“Being a madrasa student, I got several advantages in preparation for UPSC. My memory was very sharp because of studying in madrasa. I also learnt some parts of Quran. This also sharpened my memory. A level of confidence was built in my by the madrasa that helped me to maintain and boost my confidence throughout the UPSC preparation,” he says.
“My base is basically madrasa from where I got a formal education. Of course, I did 10th and 12th from Bihar but it was madrasa where I got an urge to go for civil services but I had little knowledge about it. When I got admission at JNU, I got more aware about it,” he adds.
“For mains of UPSC, I chose Urdu as optional subject because I have interest in this language and do poetry also. I love Urdu reading and literature is my background,” says Khan.
Khan’s Journey from Gaya to Azamgarh to Delhi
“I did my schooling in my hometown Gaya (Bihar). I studied till 12th there. Then I studied at Madrasa Jamiatul Ashrafia Mubarakpur, Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh. Then I moved to Delhi and got admission in BA at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in 2011,” says Khan.
He did BA and MA in Arabic language and literature at JNU. Then he changed subject for further studies.
“I changed my subject from literature to politics and did my M.Phil and currently doing PhD. in West Asian Studies at School of International Studies at JNU.”
After graduation and while doing post-graduate, he began preparing for civil services from 2014 and attempted in the very year but could not get success and he stopped preparation for some years. He resumed it in 2018 and got success.
“I did attempt in 2014-15 but could not clear Personality Test (Interview). I stopped preparation for civil services for some time to complete my parallel academic courses and to clear JRF and MPhil exam which I did. I resumed civil services studies in 2018 and have got success with 751 rank. I thank Allah for this,” says Shahid Khan.
Shortcomings at Madrasa
While applauding his madrasa for instilling confidence in him, he admits that he had several limitations due to his studies at madrasa.
“At the same time, there were several limitations with me as compared to other aspirants. Language was a barrier. I was not much familiar with modern subjects. For UPSC, I had to start study from basics – like from school level and took it to that level of UPSC. This limitation was because of the syllabus of the madrasa,” says Khan, son of a retired government electrician.
Jamia Millia Islamia
Shahid Raza Khan was giving interview to India Tomorrow at the office of Jamia Millia Islamia’s Centre for Coaching and Career Planning that provides free coaching to civil services aspirants. Khan was one of the candidates who were coached by the centre. He lauded Jamia’s centre for good coaching and residential facilities.
“I come from a lower middle class family. My father is a retired government servant. He was an auto electrician in Central Coal Limited (CCL) in Bokaro,” he says and applauds the role of his family in his success.
“In this success, my parents and my elder brother had big role. Mine is a very good family, they supported me in all ways – emotionally and financially. I have many beautiful friends who supported me all the way.
Khan’s Message – Nothing is Impossible
“If I want to give a message I would say that for civil services, candidate needs to have confidence that I would do it. It’s not tough. It all depends on your confidence. If you want you can, you can do whatever you want. Study needs consistence and seriousness. We have to do preparation, we are doing and we will do until we get success or our attempt limits are exhausted. One needs a determination and confidence with continuity in study,” says Khan.
As parting gift he says: “Nothing is impossible. We can achieve anything if we really desire for it.”