Chettikulangara (Alappuzha): Chettikulangara resident S Malini is on a winning streak. By topping the maiden Kerala Administrative Service (KAS) examination held by the Public Service Commission, she has registered two back-to-back remarkable wins in competitive exams.
Malini won the first rank in the KAS exam soon after bagging the 135th rank in the all-India Civil Services Examination.
Surprise during Horizon meet
The news of her topping the KAS exam reached Malini while she was attending the UPSC Civil Services Toppers Meet, held online by Manorama Horizon, on Friday. Her parents passed on the information.
Stellar academic career
Malini, the eldest daughter of Advocate P Krishna Kumar and retired teacher S Sreelatha of 'Pratibha' House, had graduated in English Literature from the English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU) in Hyderabad before successfully pursuing a Master's in Literature in English. She also holds a Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA) awarded by Cambridge University through the British Council in Delhi. Additionally, she has a Diploma in Spanish Language.
She has also enrolled as a post-graduate student in International Relations in the Annamalai University, Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, while employed as an Assistant in the High Court. She took leave from the court to prepare for the three-round KAS exams.
Literature runs deep in Malini's family. She is the granddaughter of Prof Erumely Parameshwaran Pillai. Her paternal grandmother is the sister of Dr Puthussery Ramachandran.
Recalling a few notable KAS interview questions, Malini said "I was asked whether I have forgotten Malayalam since I took my BA and MA in English. I responded by reciting a few lines from ONV Kurup's 'Amma.'
"The KAS interview board asked me about the judiciary, probably because I have taken leave from my office at the High Court to prepare for the exams," she revealed.
Her 'smart answers' during the Civil Services interview included a question on social reformer Sree Narayana Guru.
She followed the same study pattern for preparing for both the Civil Services and the KAS examinations.
"I had daily targets till the day before the exams. I used to prepare for an average of 8 hours daily," Malini said.
The winners of the KAS exam will be drafted for the Kerala Administrative Service which will be functional from November 1, coinciding with the Kerala Foundation Day.