Thursday, July 02, 2015

Know Your Babu: IAS Smita Sabharwal’s schooling, love for Hindustani classical and her rank in UPSC

Story of  Smita Das: A 14-year-old newspaper cutting
“Smita Sabharwal: Indian 'eye candy' official sues Outlook”— was the headline of a story in BBC dot com’s Asia section after 2001 batch IAS and additional secretary to Telangana CM announced that her lawyers sent a legal notice to the news magazine which carried an illustration showing the officer walking the ramp at a fashion show with her political bosses leering at her. Senior IAS Amitabh Kant tweeted: “Well done, Smita Sabharwal! Outlook piece is in extremely cheap and poor taste. Highly derogatory.” In the past two days, there have been a lot of writings on this IAS officer including in national media. But BoI here presents 10 facts about Smita Das (she became Sabharwal after her marriage to her IPS batch-mate Akun Sabharwal), her schooling, her love for Hindustani classical and how she had cracked the UPSC exam:

1. This 38-year-old officer is a Bengali from Darjeeling. Her fans and supporters say she is a “Hyderabadi at Heart”.
2. As her father Lt Col PK Das was a part of Indian defence force, she did her schooling in various parts of the country.
3. From Class 9 onward, she studied only in Hyderabad. She first studied in Army School, Secundarabad, but then completed her Class XII from St Ann's, Marredpally, Hyderabad. She got the first rank in the all-India ICSE Class 12 exams.
4. In graduation, she studied commerce with accounts and economics as subjects. She did her BCom from St. Francis College.
5. Before her UPSC examination, she said she studied six hours a day apart from reading news paper and magazines.
6. She took public administration and anthropology for her mains examination in civil services.
7. She failed to clear her prelims in the first attempt, but in the next chance, he clinched the all-India 4th rank. "It's incredible! ...After the grilling interview session, I expected maybe the 50th rank, but definitely not the 4th rank” she told in an interview to a newspaper then.
8. In the UPSC interview, she was asked questions on foreign policy, China-US dispute, banking scenario in India and banks’ non-performing assets.
9. She is a trained athlete. She also learnt Hindustani classical music, and she sings.
10. Her inspiration: her mother Purabi Das. Her quote: “Everything becomes relevant once you put your heart into it.” (as quoted in an interview to Hyderabad Times after securing the 4th rank in civil services examinations)


  1. Every bureaucrat is brilliant, logical and hard working including Smita Sabaharwal. Outlook Magazine cartoon controversy created hue and cry and she hurts. We are all respecting the women including female bureaucrats. She audaciously retaliate against magazine is appreciable. We are now expecting from her that she will be the crusader to save the woman's pride in the state as an additional secretary to the chief minister.

  2. Telangana's lady IAS officer's ire against the OUTLOOK ,is justified.
    A satirical snippet should not insult the dignity of a lady.
    Worse, saying a simple regret by the Media house, does not mitigate the culpability of the offender.

    A K SAXENA (A retd civil servant)

  3. she is role model for all womens to achieve goals and real life.....