Surging South India in UPSC IAS Exam

South India states tops in educational, developmental and health indicators. But people from South India states especially from Kerala have not been progressing well in the UPSC IAS exam in recent years. Even the other south Indian states are also in front line compared to other Northern states in India. Every year when the states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh produces 200+ successful candidates to country Kerala hardly gives around 50.

On an average, only 10-20 UPSC aspirants from Kerala crack the UPSC IAS Exam conducted by Union Public Service Commission every year. The UPSC aspirants from Kerala have the potential to top the examination and they have proved it thrice. The trend prevailing among the students in Kerala is to excel in careers like engineering, business, and medicine. The dominant focus on the medical and engineering stream might have led to a shift in their priorities.

The last time a candidate from Kerala was Haritha V Kumar (2012) bagged the first rank in UPSC IAS Examination. Previously Raju Narayanaswamy and Nirupama Rao bagged the first rank in 1991 and 1973 respectively.

UPSC toppers from South India





Haritha V Kumar



S Divyadharsini

Tamil Nadu


Adapa Karthik

Andhra Pradesh


Mutyalaraju Revu

Andhra Pradesh


S Nagarajan

Tamil Nadu


Vijaylakshmi Bidari



Iqbal Dhaliwal

Tamil Nadu


Srivatsa Krishna



Raju Narayana Swamy



Lakshmi Narayana

Andhra Pradesh


Nirupama Rao



Duvvuri Subbarao

Andra Pradesh


It is exact that the largest number of IAS officers are from two north Indian States—Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. According to the report, on January 1, 2009, there are 4,572 IAS officers in India. Out of them, 1,186 officers are from the two States of UP and Bihar (26 per cent). It does not mean that the UPSC selection process has a North Indian bias. More students from the country’s highly literate state should come forward to opt this as a career.

The whole number of IAS officers from the four south Indian States-Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh- together is 949. This almost accounts for 21 percent.

But, recent trends show that south India is surging ahead in UPSC IAS selection. From 2004 to 2008 batch, out of the 465 candidates selected to the IAS, 111 (24 %) are from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. As many as 120 (26 %) are from the Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh.

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