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From Sub-inspector to IPS

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May 09, 2006 19:34 IST

Delhi Police Sub-Inspector Pranav Kumar is basking in the spotlight. And loving every minute of it.

The 31-year-old Kumar is answering journalists' questions with a smile, and accepting Delhi Police Commissioner Dr K K Paul's glowing words: "Well done. You have done an exceptional job. You have managed your time excellently. You can be a source of inspiration for your colleagues."

Kumar has passed the Union Public Service Commission's national examination, which sees the nation's best and brightest compete for a place in the elite civil services.

And he has done so while carrying out his duties as a police officer.

"I would come home late at night," says Kumar. But instead of slipping into bed and letting exhaustion take over, he would "cook my food, eat it and then start my studies."

It wasn't easy for the lanky policeman, a native of Begusarai in Bihar. It is never easy in an examination that sees razor sharp competition.

"In the last two attempts, I did not do well in general studies. I would invariably score less than 200 marks," says Kumar. "I decided that this time around I would concentrate on this paper. You can see the result," he says.

"If I get another chance I will do even better than this," says a confident Kumar.

Future plans? "I would love to have Delhi as my cadre because I have lived here for the last 16 years or so," he says. He thanks his parents for his success and says -– with the smile that seems a part of him now -– that his being single helped him stay focused on the task at hand.

He dreams of making it to the Indian Foreign Service or the Indian Administrative Service, but he says if that does not happen, he would like to serve as an Indian Police Service officer who would not differentiate between seniors and juniors.

"Bhaisaab, tell me what can I expect with a rank of 300?" he asks this correspondent.

It is perhaps this straightforwardness, this honesty that has helped him emerge triumphant in a battlefield where thousands of better equipped brains slug it out every year.

Onkar Singh in Delhi