Hyderabad: Meet Syed Hashmi, who ranked 162 in UPSC exams

Hyderabad: Dr. Syed Mustafa Hashmi, from Hyderabad has secured a comfortable rank in the Civil Service UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) examination.

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Ranked 162 in the civil service examination, this was the doctor’s fourth attempt. “I started seriously preparing for a year and a half, during my COVID-19 duty,” Dr. Hashmi said while speaking to Siasat.com on Monday.

Dr. Hashmi started preparing for civil service while simultaneously working as a doctor in King Koti Hospital. He finished his MBBS in 2016 and Masters in 2020. He did his masters in surgery from Osmania General Hospital and is currently practicing as a general physician surgeon.

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An Unusual Prep

According to Dr. Hashmi, his preparation for the civil service was “unusual”. “I would call it that as I have always had an interest in reading. I have been a bookworm since my school days. And hence I like to read and update myself with the latest news and current affairs. I read the newspapers daily. Newspapers were very critical in my preparation for the exams. It broadened my knowledge. I had a fair amount of understanding when it came to subjects like economics, history, geography, and international state of affairs,” he told siasat.com.

Dr. Hashmi further stated that his preparations were mostly self-study as most of the content is available online. “The only time I took the help of coaching institutes was when I would take their test series,” he said.

“It was all self study and little bit of help from the coaching institues.

Apart from hours of studying Dr. Hashmi has an interest in participating in various quiz shows related to science. He has been a participant in several quiz competitions ranging from being in the hot seat with Amitabh Bachchan in KBC to NDTV, Times Now, and K-Circle as well as Tata Crucible Campus Quiz, in which he and his brother, Syed Murtuza Hashmi, participated and won. He stressed that participating in different quizzes also helped in his preparations for the civil service.

Asked how was he able to balance work and studies, he accepted it was hard. “It was very challenging to study and do your service as a doctor,” he said, adding, “It took a lot of time and energy, but I had full support from my family. My family is my strength.”

Handling Stress

Dr. Hashmi admits that studying for the UPSC is not an easy task and it can take a toll on one’s mental health. “Of course, there was a lot of stress while preparing. UPSC can really challenge the strength of your character. But my family was my biggest stress buster. Interacting with them would relieve my stress to a large extent,” he said.

Coming from a family of six, Dr. Hashmi’s three other siblings – two brothers and one sister – are all doctors. While his father is a private employee, his mother is a homemaker.

The 29-year-old is not just a son and a loving elder brother, but a doting husband too. Married for nearly a year, when asked about the impact on his social life due to his studies, he said, “It did not impact my marriage at all. My wife understands how important this exam was for me and hence, we both had to make little adjustments. As for social life, I would still interact with the world through my patients.”

As delighted as his family is right now, Dr, Hashmi said that had it turned out negatively, he would have taken it in a positive stride.

Be at the service of my people

Dr. Hashmi says he will be trying for the Indian Police Service (IPS) but nothing is certain as of now. When Siasat.com asked about his choice of serving as a police officer when he currently lends his service in the field of medical science, he said he looks at himself as a civil servant.

“My main aim is to serve people. It is true that I am able to serve people by being a doctor but with the help of UPSC, the length and breadth of my service will expand and I will be able to serve more people deprived of basic necessities of life,” he said proudly.

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