Bhushan Ahire of Nashik more than made up for the heartbreak of having missed becoming a class I officer by just one mark two years ago when he topped the state in this year's Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC) examination. The results were declared on Thursday evening.
The 29-year-old Ahire scored 526 marks to be selected as a deputy collector. Shrikant Gaikwad of Pandharpur finished second with 522 marks while Poonam Patil was first among the women candidates with 507 marks. Patil, an engineer, has been selected for the post of deputy superintendent of police.
Ahire, who hails from Gorane village in Satana, Nashik, completed his engineering and subsequently spent four-and-ahalf years preparing for the MPSC exam. His mother is a zilla parishad teacher and his father a primary school principal at Gorane.
An elated Ahire told TOI, “The one mark I lost two years ago had dashed all my hopes.However, since it was my parents' dream to see me become aclass I officer, I decided to give the exam another shot. Topping the state was never on my mind as I was still reeling from the one-mark loss.“ Ahire now intends to crack the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) exam. “My ultimate aim is to join the Indian Administrative Services (IAS). But I will take a decision on this later. I want to enjoy my success right now,“ he said.
For second-ranked Gaikwad, clearing the MPSC examination was all about reading the textbooks thoroughly . “I based my preparation solely on the MPSC textbooks. I would study for around 8 to10 hours every day ,“ the 26-year-old said.
Gaikwad had previously attempted the UPSC main exam twice, in 2014 and 2015, and this was his fourth attempt at cracking the MPSC exam. “The simultaneous preparations for the UPSC and MPSC exams earlier proved counter-productive. This time, I focused on the MPSC exam and did a good job,“ he said.
Gaikwad's parents are farmers in Tungat village, Pandharpur. He has completed a BTech in electrical engineering from Sangli.
Five candidates, including a woman, Nilam Bafna, were recommended for the deputy collector's post based on the exam held on April 10 last year in 37 district centres. Bafna scored 500 marks in the exam. The cut-off for the open category was 522 marks and 511 for the OBC category .
Thirty candidates were selected for the posts of deputy superintendent of police and assistant commissioner of police. Amol Thakur from Pune topped this section with 521marks. MPSC chairman V N More said, “The cut-offs this year were really high because the exam was conducted for only 135 posts.Usually , the exam is conducted for a minimum of 350 to 400 posts.“
As many as 1,91,563 candidates from Maharashtra appeared for the exam.