Uma Harathi, Narayanpet SP’s daughter, aces UPSC civil services with all-India 3rd rank


HYDERABAD: For Venkateswarlu Nukala, Superintendent of Police, Narayanpet, the day suddenly became hectic in the afternoon on Tuesday. Along with the usual rigmarole of work, he also had to juggle with his constantly ringing mobile phone. Yet, he was hardly fretting and instead, his face was glowing with happiness and pride.

Venkateswarlu would have arguably been the proudest father on the face of the earth in that moment, having been struck by the news – a ‘happy lightning’ – of his daughter Uma Harathi Nukala acing the Civil Services as the third best all-India ranker, through the UPSC results 2022 released on Tuesday.

Strangely, the top cop of Narayanpet district was soon relegated to the backstage as the focus shifted entirely on to the soon-to-be civil servant from his family. With her father relishing her stupendous success quietly from a corner, Uma Harathi took the centrestage, giving a glimpse or two of a ‘true blue’ IAS officer in the making, all set to take the world by storm.

Reacting to the result, she began taking it initially with a sense of disbelief. She was confident of a good show but ending up in all-India top three was something she never really imagined, by her own confession.

Family’s emotional support the key

When asked about the quintessential factor that made her success possible, she minced no words in singling out her family’s unwavering emotional support all through her ‘penance-like’ pursuance of the toughest competitive ordeal in our country.

Refused to be drawn into a gender-centric narrative, she says, “Male or female, it hardly matters. If there is unconditional emotional support from the family, anyone can reach where I have reached today,” she quipped.

On a more serious question of youngsters taking their own lives, distressed by their failure in exams, Uma Harathi hoped that her own arduous journey, filled with highs and lows, would be a motivating factor to bounce back and do well in life. “Don’t be demotivated by failures. No one is an exception when it comes to failure. I, myself, tasted it a few times, before finding ways to overcome it. Hope my achievement will become a motivational story for them.

“Of course, I was blessed to have a family that supported me to the hilt all through these years of my preparation for the Civils. Not even once, did they ask me if it would really be possible for me to reach where I was aiming at,” she explained.

On another question as to who she would credit her success to, the ‘young IAS officer waiting in the wings’ named her family, without batting an eyelid. That, after a pause, she took her father for a special mention, came as the icing on the cake.

Interestingly, cracking complex competitive tests of the highest order – something that is still a mountain to climb for lakhs of aspirants across the country – seems to be a hearteningly contagious affair within the family of Venkateswarlu.

Only last year, Uma Harathi’s younger brother Sai Vikas bagged all India 9th rank in Indian Engineering Service (IES) examination. In a case of sheer coincidence, he took up his first job, post IES achievement, in Mumbai only on May 22, 2023, a day before his elder sister brought the UPSC laurels to the family.

Incidentally, Uma Harathi also becomes the only woman from the two Telugu states to bag the all-India third rank in Civil Services after Smita Sabharwal.

Gave up IRS qualification, second time lucky with IAS

Though Venkateswarlu’s family hails from Sitaramnagar Colony of Huzurnagar in Suryapet district, Uma Harathi spent her formative years in education in Hyderabad. She did her schooling from third to 10th standard in Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. A brilliant student that she is, she later studied Intermediate at Bridge College and even emerged as a state ranker.

Uma Harathi headed to Mumbai IIT where she graduated in civil engineering before enrolling for coaching for civil services. Not content with the IRS rank she received in her first attempt, she went into the coaching mode again for six months and came out with flying colours in the second go.

With compliments pouring in from all quarters, the Nukala family and Venkateswarlu are basking in the new-found fame. In one such encomium of sorts on Twitter, Hyderabad Commissioner of Police C V Anand reminisced his previous association with Venkateswarlu and congratulated him for being the pillar in his daughter’s success.

“The person circled is Mr Venkateshwarlu. He was my Subinspector (SI ) at Kamareddy police station in erstwhile Nizamabad district when I was SP from 1996 to 99’. He is now Sp Narayanpet district of Telangana . His daughter Uma Harathi has secured an All India rank of 3 in the #Civilservices exam of last year which is an incredulous feat . Congratulations to the family and am proud that a daring officer who fought the naxalites bravely and got accelerated promotion for that , has fathered an even daring daughter ,and exhilarated as I have heard about their progress since they were very young,” read C V Anand’s tweet.

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