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Father a grocer, Bengal’s Shweta Agarwal had topped IAS exam

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She comes from a family that has hardly ever read newspapers. When she was born, her parents were told by her grandparents that being the only daughter, she will soon be married off and hence either they produce a son or adopt a son who will look after them. Yet, Shweta Agarwal made her family proud by topping the IAS examination with an All-India rank of 19. A grocer’s daughter, raised in a middle-class Marwari joint family, Shweta Agarwal broke all ceilings of patriarchy for sure!

Serving as the SDO of Rampurhat, Shweta always wished to study and though her cousins of the joint family kept on getting married, she told her father she wanted to study. Her father thankfully stood by her and sent her to a missionary school in Chandannagar, pooling all his income. Every day he used to save to send his daughter to an English medium school. Infact none in her family had gone to any English medium school. Shweta was the first woman graduate of her family and went to do Economics at St Xavier’s College and then an MBA. Despite doing a plush corporate job, she always wanted to serve her nation.

She worked hard to crack IAS thrice, but ranked in the last examination.