Jajpur: Aswini Kumar Panda of Khetrapal village in Dharmasala block of the district has topped the Odisha Civil Services 2019 examinations. He has been selected for the Odisha Administrative Services (OAS) for which there were 30 posts.
In a conversation with reporters on Saturday, a day after the results were published by the Odisha Public Service Commission (OPSC), Panda said, “The period during 2020 and first half of 2021 was very demotivating because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But I never lost my focus.”
“I had never imagined that I would top the list. There was a hope to secure a rank, but topping was beyond my imagination. I am just sinking in the feeling,” he said.
“It was very difficult during the Corona times. There was a lot of negativity all around, but my family stood behind me as a rock.”
“My preparation everyday was consistent in between 5 to 6 hours. I never deviated from my goal. It was difficult because Covid started right after the prelims exams and my entire preparation was at home,” added Panda.
He attributed the success to his parents, siblings, family and teachers. “I would make a special mention for Dr Mousami Padhi and Prof Pranay Mandal, my teachers who have been a great support and motivation.”
Panda aims to work for the overall development at the place of posting after training. “My aim is to work for the overall development of the region and its people. I personally have an inclination towards education, health and women empowerment,” added Panda.