Poonam Dalal Dahiya who cracked UPSC CSE thrice but still chose to serve in Haryana State Services for the love of khaki is an inspiration for many. The officer who started her journey of as a government school teacher in Delhi cracked UPSC CSE in 2009 and 2010 but didn’t get a job of her choice.
Her age has passed so she joined police force through state services but destiny blessed her with another opportunity. On orders of the court like many others, Ms. Dahiya got one more chance to sit for UPSC CSE in 2015. This was too difficult for her as she was carrying a child. She delivered the baby after prelims and appeared for Mains while taking care of her infant. She sailed through with flying colours and got AIR 308.
For her Mains she opted for Sociology because of the familiarity of the subject. but she had a special love for History. The officer, currently serving as Additional SP, Rewari (Haryana), has written two books on the subject which became a hit for other UPSC aspirants.
In a conversation with Indian Masterminds, the supermom & supercop shared her love for the subject and how she came up with the books.
NAMED HER SON AFTER A HISTORIC CHARACTER
Hailing from a village in Jhajjar district, Haryana, Ms Dalal completed her graduation from Delhi University. It became difficult for her to chose optional as there were multiple subjects of her interest. However, she went with Sociology though History remains her favourite subject. Speaking to Indian Masterminds she says, “I am so passionate about history that I have named my son Vikramaditya. Poor Chap (she laughs).”
FRIENDS AND FAMILY ENCOURAGED
In 2017, she published her first book titled ‘Ancient and medieval India’ for UPSC Preparations and took five years to publish her second book in 2021 title ‘Modern India’. Both the books are from Mc Graw Hill publication. She says, “I was good at notes making. My notes were like by my friends, colleagues and juniors who felt History is a boring subject. So, my husband and brother suggested why don’t I write a book.”
That was it. She had a discussion with a publication house. They also liked her notes. There already was a vaccum of good books for Ancient & Medieval India. Her book became a hit among the aspirants.
Both the books focus on relevant topics with special care of prospective exam questions. Since Ms. Dalal has cleared many exams from teaching to banking, SSC and then UPSC so, she has used all her experiences in writing the book.
Her Second book on Modern India is unique as it contains analysis of many major events along with various charts. Taking about it, “There are too many options in information but they lacked on analytical things while, most of the UPSC questions are based on the analysis. I have tried to bridge that gap with my book.”
At the age of 23, she wasn’t even confident to attempt for UPSC and gave her first attempt at the age of 28. Now, many aspirants are reading her book, dreaming of clearing the UPSC CSE.
Ms. Dahiya who happily left jobs as IRS (IT) officer is doing great work in her capacity as an Additional SP. She has been honored as International Emerging Leader for women issues by US Embassy in 2012 for her campaign against harassment in Faridabad.