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Inspiring Biography of Athar Aamir Khan

Athar Aamir Khan is a famous IAS officer.

He secured the second rank in the Civil Services Exam 2015.

Athar’s story of cracking the Civil Services Exam despite hailing from a small village and facing many difficulties is very inspiring.

So read on.


Athar Aamir-ul-Shafi Khan was born on 5 September 1992 in Devi Pora village, Anantnag district, Jammu and Kashmir.

His father, Shafi Khan works as an economics teacher at Government Girls Higher Secondary School in Anantnag.

His mother, Tahira Khan is a housewife.

Athar has two younger sisters and a younger brother.

Initial struggles-

Kashmir was in turmoil while Athar was growing up.

And thanks to this unrest, the schools used to remain closed for long periods of time.

This forced many students to drop out of the school but as Athar’s father was a teacher and knew the importance of education, he made him continue his education and also ensured that he studied at home when the school was shut down.

Even though his grandfather, Raj Mohammad Khan was a poor illiterate farmer, he inspired Athar to study well.


Athar did his initial schooling in Evergreen Public School, Kawari Gam, Anantnag.

This school was near his village within a walking distance and here, he studied until his fifth standard.

Then, Athar shifted to Iqbal Memorial Institute, Anantnag and studied here until his tenth standard.

Apart from excelling in studies, he actively participated in many extracurricular activities like sports, National Children’s Science Congress (NCSC), etc.

Meeting A. P. J. Abdul Kalam-

While in his tenth grade, Athar participated in the National Children’s Science Congress (NCSC) held at Gangtok, Sikkim.

Here he met and interacted with A. P. J. Abdul Kalam and got very inspired by him.

Inspired by Abdul Kalam-

Abdul Kalam narrated Athar and his friends the story of a bumblebee that according to the laws of aerodynamics, the body mass ratio of a bumblebee shouldn’t allow it to fly but however it flies due to its willingness to fly.

This story got etched on to his mind and motivated him to never lose hope and work hard.

Choosing PCMB-

Athar chose to study Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics & Biology (PCMB) in his intermediate.

He completed his intermediate education in Tyndale-Biscoe School, Srinagar.

While in his intermediate, Athar prepared for entrance exams and after finishing his intermediate, he cleared many entrance exams.

Choosing IIT over medical college-

Athar Aamir Khan studied from IIT Mandi

After clearing the Pre-Medical Entrance Test, Athar got admitted into Government Medical College, Jammu.

While he was studying in the medical college, the results of the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) were announced and he decided to quit studying medicine and join an IIT.

Athar joined the Indian Institute of Technology, Mandi, Himachal Pradesh to study BTech Electrical Engineering.

Choosing to prepare for Civil Services-

While in his final year of engineering, Athar was a little bit confused about his future career and was struggling to choose between higher studies or working in a company or preparing for the Civil Services Exam.

Then, in his seventh semester of engineering, he decided to prepare for the Civil Services Exam.

Athar wanted to become an IAS officer in order to contribute to the society.

He was fascinated by how the IAS officers will be in capacity to positively influence the education system, health services and transport system and also work on the ground.

Preparing for the Civil Services Exam-

Athar began preparing for the Civil Services Exam while in his eight (final) semester of engineering.

He also joined weekend coaching classes in Delhi and used to travel every Friday from Mandi to Delhi by bus for availing coaching.

Athar used to attend classes on Saturday and write a mock test the next day and then return to Mandi on that evening.

Studying for long hours-

Even while studying engineering, Athar managed to study for the Civil Services Exam daily for around 7-8 hours.

He was very good at time management and used to design time tables and study plans and meet them.

As Athar was fascinated by philosophy, he chose philosophy as his optional subject.

Appearing for the exam-

In 2014, Athar passed out from the IIT and in the same year, he attended the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination.

Later, he also attended the Civil Services (Main) Examination and interview.

Athar secured a rank of 571.

With this rank, he couldn’t realise his dream of becoming an IAS officer as he was only offered Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS).

Then, Athar decided to attempt the Civil Services Exam once more to try his luck.

Second attempt-

This time around, Athar prepared more seriously for the exam.

He read many books, prepared notes out of them and revised them multiple times and he also attended many mock tests.

In 2015, Athar attended the Civil Services Exam and secured the second rank.

Thanks to his substantial rank, he was able to choose IAS.

Many roles-

In 2017, Athar underwent his district training in Jaipur, Rajasthan.

Later, he got posted as a Sub-Divisional Magistrate at Badnor, Rajasthan.

Then, Athar got posted as the CEO Zila Parishad in the Jaipur District, Rajasthan.

In 2021, he was posted as the Commissioner of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC).

Athar is also serving as the CEO of Srinagar Smart City Limited (SSCL).

Marrying Tina Dabi-

Athar married Tina Dabi in March 2018.

She was the topper of the Civil Services Examination 2015.

But this couple got divorced in August 2021.


Apart from being an officer, Athar is also a good speaker and spoke at many events.

On 10 February 2018, he delivered a TEDx Talk at Manipal University Jaipur and on 29 October 2019, he spoke a TEDx Talk at IPER Bhopal.

So, how are you inspired by the success story of Athar Aamir Khan?

Tell me in the comment section below.

Athar Aamir Khan Image credit: Alok Singh Oberoi/Wikimedia Commons

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