A native of the Kupwara district, Dr Ruveda Salam made history when she became the first woman from the Kashmir Valley to qualify in the Union Public Service Commission examination in 2013.
She did her MBBS from the Government Medical College in Srinagar. Currently, she serves as an Assistant Commissioner of Police in Chennai. She passed the UPSC exam again this year. With an improved rank, she has fulfilled her dream of being an IAS officer.
She in her interview has said that when she was growing up in Kashmir her father often used to advise her for becoming an IAS officer. It is from that day that the idea of becoming an IAS officer has stuck her mind. This kept on inspiring her and then she decided to move ahead with this aim.
She cleared UPSC exam in her very first attempt. She was selected in the Indian Police Service cadre. Then she had gone for training to Hyderabad. Talking about her training, she said it was very straining. Physically it was very hard. After finishing her training, she was posted in Tamil Nadu as an Assistant Commissioner of Police in Chennai.
Before applying for UPSC, she got into medical college. Even at that time, she used to read a lot. She even cleared the Kashmir State Administration Service exam which is not as tough as the IAS.
However, she is not neglecting her current job as an ACP in Chennai where she starts her day at 7 in the morning and works hard often till midnight. She used to have three rounds at night per week, monitor traffic and attend weekly as well as monthly meetings regularly. Moreover, she used to receive public petitions, especially from women.
It’s a strenuous job, but for Ruveda, duty comes first and she has already shown in her life that she will not shy away from hard work.
She received another prestigious honour last year when she was selected as one of the five young cadres from India to present a paper at the Youth-20 summit during the G-20 Nations meet in Sydney. Now she also gives regular motivational speeches to the younger generation, particularly for the girls from Jammu and Kashmir, encouraging them to appear for the UPSC examination.
Some people in various parts of India have a perception of her being anti-Indian due to her status of a Kashmiri girl that she thinks can be changed through her attitude. Many even think that Kashmiri girls cannot compete at national level. Ruveda wants to change this perception by showing her mettle. The heartening fact is that she admitted of being received with affection by most of the people throughout the country. We need more young and vibrant Indians from every corner and society of this country to achieve sustainable growth and worldwide success as a country.